It was only a matter of time before we got around to featuring Merida in our 2018 bike guide. The brand, often mistaken for a Spanish marque given its Hispanic name, in fact calls Taiwan home (with links to Germany), just like Giant. In fact, Merida, like Giant, is also one of the few bike brands that owns its own manufacturing processes.
So what’s on offer? Well, the top-line race bike you’ll spot under riders of the Bahrain-Merida team most of the time is the Reacto, the aero race machine that received an update ahead of the 2017 Tour de France.
It boasted a claimed five per cent improvement in aero efficiency, while compliance was also said to be improved by ten per cent. What’s interesting, however, is that along with being available in both rim and disc brake guises, you can also have it in the pro-level CF4 layout, or the slightly pared-back and relaxed CF2 geometry, potentially making it an aero bike for the masses. There’s also an alloy version of the Reacto in the mix, too.
On the other side of the race coin is the Scultura, which is every bit a race bike as the Reacto, but caters to the needs of the lightweight climbers. Therefore, it’s generally Vincenzo Nibali’s bike of choice – it’s won a Giro d’Italia stage and Il Lombardia underneath the Shark of Messina this year – and also boasts good levels of compliance too, as we discovered when we rode the disc-equipped version over the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix. This predominately carbon-framed range is bolstered with eight aluminium models.
In terms of alloy bikes, there’s also the Race line-up, with two builds that offer a more affordable entry point to the Merida brand, while the emerging gravel market is catered for with the Silex – two carbon and five aluminium models here – and there are no bonus points for guessing what the Cyclo Cross bikes are designed for. Finally, the time trial artists among you might consider the Warp TT steed.
Here we go then, starting with that freshly updated Reacto.