The 2015 ranges will soon hit the shelves of the bicycle stores, so, in the little time that’s left, the manufacturers that haven’t yet presented their novelties can still play their aces. Merida heavily improved its bicycle range last model year, so for 2015 only some iterations of already existing models will enrich the brand’s catalogue.
New One-Twenty, One-Forty and One-Sixty in the Merida 2015 line-up
While the One-Twenty itself isn’t something new, Merida’s chief of R&D, Juergen Falke, states that “not a single bolt of its hasn’t escaped untouched”. The name of the new 27.5“ full suspension may suggest a slightly refined version of the already existing bike, but this sporty 120mm marathon/tour bike has been developed from scratch, the same Falke claiming it to be “an entirely new project”. The rear end works with a supported single-pivot construction operating via “floating shock”, this concept resulting in improved responsiveness and tuning capability. But not only the kinematics was improved, another 3 new technologies seeing the light of day along with the new iteration. “Double Stop” and “Down Tube Exit” ensure that the internally routed cables and wires can move without causing any trouble while remaining comfortably accessible for servicing. In a similar manner, “Guided Remote” (photo below) routes the remote-lockout cable in a defined curve towards the shock so it will work reliably all the time and not scratch the frame. The new One-Twenty features a rear 12mm e-thru axle, a 70mm stem (except for the S size, where it’s of 60mm), and a slack 68-degree head tube angle. All these contribute to a great downhill performance, but climbing was not neglected, the 74,5 degrees of the seat tube angle helping in this respect.
In addition to the revamped One-Twenty, Merida improved other models as well in what regards riding downhill. The One-Forty, with its 145mm suspensions, now employs a shorter chain stay, for enhanced maneuverability, and features an extra 8mm of tire clearance.
One-Sixty also got upgraded, having longer chain stays (extra 5mm), and featuring the “Double Stop” and “Down Tube Exit” technologies.
Merida showed hardtail fans some love as well, developing an alloy version of the Big.Nine, TFS (Techno Forming System), with the purpose of reaching a lower price point.
Merida Ride receives disc brakes
Presented more as a touring bike, a strategy far different from the one used by other manufacturers that try to place endurance and typical road bikes on the same performance level, the Ride Disc is, as the new One-Twenty, a new project, developed from zero, even if inspired by the already existing Ride. It features internal cable routing, for the mechanical cables, as well as for the electronic ones, even the front brake’s hose/cable running partially through the fork, which, in turn, features a 15mm thru-axle. The disc brakes run with 160mm rotors and don’t require adapters, and the frame is compatible with all mechanical sets, and Shimano Di2 electronical ones. Available in 3 carbon version, 7000, 5000 and 3000, the difference between them sits in the groupsets and brakes. While the first two are both equipped with the Ultegra groupset, they have different brakes, Shimano RS-685, and Tektro HyRD, respectively, both being hydraulic. Mechanical disc brakes are only present on the Ride Disc 3000 (Tektro Spyre), the bicycle also being equipped with a lower set, Shimano Tiagra. And, because we’re dealing with endurance road bikes here, we should also mention the longer head tube, shorter top tube, and 25mm tire clearance that all contribute to a more comfortable ride.
Merida Reacto goes alloy
Merida Reacto, an aero road bike and Lampre-Merida’s work horse for the current season, will be available in a wide array of specifications. The basic model will now be the Reacto 4000, fitted with the Shimano 105 groupset, but the real news is the alloy’s comeback. Juergen Falke and his team developed an aluminum version of the carbon Reacto frame, that has the same aerodynamical and stiffness features, which was named Reacto Lite. Like the Big.Nine TFS, Reacto Lite’s purpose is to reach a lower price point, making it more affordable. The versions put up for sale confirm this intention, the Reacto Lite 300 bearing the Shimano Tiagra groupset, the 400 features the Shimano 105 set, while top of this alloy line is the Reacto Lite 500, with a mix of Shimano Ultegra and non-series components.
Merida separates timetrial from triathlon: Warp Tri
Last, but not least, Merida looks triathlon’s way by launching the Warp Tri, a purpose-built iteration, morphed out of the Warp TT. The riding position became more relaxed, and more accessible to amateur sportsmen, while the aero features remained unaltered, Warp Tri including NACA-shaped tubing, direct mount brakes, inner cable routing, and an aero-optimized head tube. Compatible with both electronical and mechanical groupsets, the Warp Tri’s strongest point is that it allows setting up different positions via its flip-flop seat post and modular cockpit. And, don’t forget it also includes standard dropouts, so that means changing wheels is no longer a burden.