Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.
Merida Cycles, the Taiwan-based bike brand, appears to be testing a new road bike on the hills of the Ardennes classics. Little is known about the new bike, which was ridden to 65th place by Lampre-Merida rider Raphael Valls at Liège-Bastogne-Liège Sunday.
The new bike is sporting graphics intended to disguise the lines of the frame, but we are able to take a few things away from the two photos of the prototype. It uses a rear brake mounted at the bottom-bracket. Likely a direct-mount brake, like the Dura-Ace BR-9010. The down tube is also squared off, so it could be a Kamm-Tail shape, but without a shot of the front, it’s hard to tell. In either case, the large diameter of the down tube does not lend itself to being very slippery in the wind.
This bike will not likely be replacing the Reacto aero road bike, despite the bottom bracket-mounted brake, as this prototype lacks the dramatic tube shapes of a modern aero road bike.
We expect this model will be a new generation of the Scultura road bike, which currently uses a classic, round seatpost, as seen with this prototype. The Reacto, on the other hand, uses a sculpted post designed specifically to match the frame’s aero shapes. A close look at the photo indicated that the UCI approval sticker on the bike’s seat tube read, “MERI-SCUL,” which would confirm our suspicion about its place in Merida’s line-up.
Merida did not immediately respond with comment when contacted about the prototype.
Spencer Powlison contributed to this report from Liège, Belgium.