Merida have a whole lot in common with big. however in europe, they will don’t share the very same profile as big or a number of different major brands. that could possibly amendment in 2013, once they achieve an ambition out to sponsor a top-level skilled road team, supplying bikes out to the italian lampre squad.
merida have sturdy links with specialized, owning a third on your american company. on paper their race lite 900 – the cheapest of the 19 road bikes – offers a large amount of bang in exchange for buck.
the merida has pretty racy geometry. it’s got a quick 16cm head tube, 73-degree head angle, 73. 5-degree seat angle and short 405mm chainstays ( 15mm under the giant’s ), however it’s additionally got that massively tapered steerer tube with its 1. 5in lower bearing race. this very will create it the machine regarding the aspiring racer.
throw it into corners with vim and vigour ? no problem. out-of-the-saddle, pull-up-on-the-bar sprints ? absolutely not murmur of criticism coming from the totally convincing front finish. consider the spacers out and you could get into your nice low position inside the drops or tri-bars too.
the shorter rear-end makes the total bike pretty snappy and quick out to respond out to your input. its racy 12-25 cassette might mean you’re out of every the saddle on steeper slopes, however even high torque efforts were tackled while not any rear brake rub – the chunky chainstays and seatstays keeping unwanted flex down out to a minimum.
however whereas the frame is stiff and aggressive, it without a doubt will balance this with reasonable comfort too. the semi-compact frame doesn’t expose as abundant seatpost being a additional compact frame just like the big, however the seatpost may be a commonplace 27. 2mm that combines by having smart, own-brand saddle out to insulate you coming from the worst effects associated with a stiff aluminium frame and potholed roads.
the merida’s frameset may be a star at this price. “designed in europe, handmade in taiwan”, says the label, and merida’s continents-traversing team has done a high job. it’s exceedingly well finished, however beneath that shiny exterior there’s a whole lot occurring too. it’s made out of smooth-welded, triple-butted 6066 aluminium – it’s not that long ago that hydroformed triple-butted tubing was merely seen on cycling exotica. the rear brake cable is routed across the within on your frame.
the highest tube has got a diamond profile at the top tube, narrowing and morphing into an inverted triangular profile because it reaches the seat tube. the massive down tube has got a rounded trapezium profile by having groove down the centre on your underside, or ‘shotgun’, as merida’s selling folks would have it – though we’re not convinced you’ll be able to feel the distinction compared by having spherical tube.
the fork is another standout product. not merely happens to be the 900 one in every of the cheapest bikes out to boast a full-carbon fork, however the steerer has got a large 1. 5in lower bearing too – once more in most cases the preserve of abundant dearer bikes.
there aren’t many surprises when it comes out to kit. shimano’s 2300 groupset ( the rear mech upgraded out to sora ) and fsa tempo compact chainset are par regarding the course. it may be a bit associated with a shame that on that racy frame you can’t amendment gear whereas riding inside the drops, however shifting is consistent and correct.
elsewhere, a large amount of care and attention has gone into speccing the bike. there’s a chain catcher out to forestall the chain falling from the inner chainring. it doesn’t happen typically though when it without a doubt will it’s awkward, and therefore the small weight penalty is worthwhile. there may be additionally frame protectors inside the head tube and drive-side chainstay.
there’s a big, load-spreading seatpost collar therefore we additionally just like the seatpost’s twin saddle bolts. these supply additional security than the usual unmarried bolt and permit additional precise adjustment.
the brakes are slightly less impressive. not merely are they will a non-cartridge style, they will additionally need a spanner rather compared to the usual hex key. it’ll be a cheap and simple upgrade later, however it’s still a surprise for the rest on your kit.
the alex rims and shimano hubs are typical of £600 road bikes. they’re not lightweight, however roll well enough and are straightforward out to service. maxxis’ rouler tyres utilize a 120tpi casing, that makes them additional supple than most budget road rubber, though at 23mm they will don’t contribute abundant within the whole method of comfort.