The Ride is Merida’s ‘comfort’ bike and, like the Reacto, a number of frame options are available. Four, in fact, with the flagship Ride Carbon Pro, the mid-range Ride Carbon Comp, the aluminium Ride Lite and the entry-level (also aluminium) Ride.
The Ride’s comfort-boosting features include, on the carbon fibre bikes at least, a layup designed to add flex to key areas and maintain stiffness in others, while the seatstays and chainstays have a flattened profile, and the seatpost has a skinny 27.2mm diameter. The frame also has a more relaxed geometry (which, like most bikes of this ilk, translates to a shorter toptube and longer headtube) than the race-orientated Reacto.
The Ride Carbon Pro is the bike used by Lampre-Merida to take on the harsh cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix. The frame has vibration-dampening flax fibres woven into specific areas of the frame, like the seatstays, to improve comfort, while the 372g ‘F-Flex’ fork has two cutouts towards the axle which are said to help absorb more vibrations. The Ride Carbon Pro is available in one build, the Ride 5000, with a largely Shimano Ultegra groupset and Fulcrum Racing 7 wheels, for £1,800.
The mid-range Ride Carbon Comp shares the same tube profiles but loses the flax fibres and F-Flex fork, with two bikes to hit Merida dealers: the £1,250 Ride 3000 (Shimano Tiagra) and the £1,500 Ride 4000 (Shimano 105).
In to the aluminium range and the Ride Lite frame uses the same grade of 6066 aluminium alloy as the Reacto Aluminium. Again, it’s triple-butted, with double-passed smooth welds, and each frame is paired with a full carbon fibre fork with a tapered steerer to boost front-end stiffness. Four bikes are available, with the most expensive being the Ride 400, available in two colours, white and a Lampre-Merida edition, both with Shimano 105 at a Cyclescheme-friendly £999.99.
Move down a level and the £849.99 Ride 300 comes with Shimano Tiagra, the £749.99 is equipped with Shimano Sora and the £599.99 Ride 100 is dressed in Shimano Claris.
And finally, at the base of the range, the regular Ride frame is made from a double-butted 6061 aluminium alloy but still has a tapered headtube and full carbon fork, with one bike, the Ride 88, available for £524.99 with Shimano Claris.
Merida were one of the many brands we saw at Eurobike to include a disc-equipped machine in their ‘endurance’ range for 2015 and the Ride gets the treatment with two models.
The frame can accommodate 28mm tyres and uses a 15mm thru-axle at the front, which Merida say improves the stiffness of the wheel and steering precision, and a standard quick release axle at the back. The frame will also accept mudguards.
The Ride Disc 5000 is the more expensive of the two models at £1,900 and comes with a Shimano Ultegra-based groupset and TRP HyRd mechanical disc brakes, while the Ride Disc 3000 gets Shimano Tiagra parts with Tektro Mira mechanical disc brakes.