Merida is a Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer who has been around since 1972. Merida bicycles have always strived to make an impact with better design and specs, which make the bicycle value for money. Cyclocross is a road bicycle segment, which is gaining popularity and Merida have a few great models in this segment. We got the opportunity to test ride the Merida Cyclo Cross 300 (2017) and here is what we thought.
The Cyclo Cross 300 (2017) is built on a Cyclocross Lite Aluminium frame. Whilst there is a notion that bicycles like the Cyclo Cross, which are also meant to be ridden on rough surfaces have heavier frames, this is not the case with this frame as the techno forming system has helped shape the tube in a way to use material only where it is needed the most. Acceleration was top notch and the riding position was comfortable. The frame was well supported by lightweight rigid alloy forks.
The bicycle I test rode came in a full black frame with blue graphics. The tiny diamond shaped design in a few places on the frame looked new and refreshing. The curved top tube along with the thin chain stays was a good contrast to the rugged and well-treaded tires. The colour coded bar tapes, saddle and rims enhanced the aesthetics of the Cyclo Cross 300.
It is essential to have good range of gears for different terrains, as a Cyclocross bicycle is meant to roll on all kinds of terrains and Merida have done just that. This bicycle is equipped with Shimano Tiagra as derailleurs at both the front and the back. During the test ride this high-end road bicycle groupset from Shimano gave the perfect range of speeds for both quick accelerations as well as minor climbs on the both rough and flat surfaces. The 10x2 speed Shimano Tiagra integrated shifters were smooth and easy to use.
The Cyclocross range from Merida have fully moved into having disc brakes and the same is the case with the Cyclo Cross 300. The Tektro Spyre mechanical disc brakes are specially made for Cyclocross road bicycles. These disc brakes are cable triggered, but benefit from a dual piston design. This means that both pistons move equally against the rotor, as opposed to the single piston design. The main advantage is that the force applied at the lever is split between both pads to give a balanced braking experience.
The Merida Road Expert Classic OS handlebar was in short reach making it comfortable to hold on to while riding. The X-Tapered headtube that is big at the bottom and small at the top not only saves weight but also provides good stiffness and smooth steering even on rough roads.
The Maxxis Mud Wrestler Cyclocross specific 700x33C foldable tires were heavily treaded. These tires have a classic spaced out tread pattern to provide equal traction on rough and wet surfaces. They are also UCI certified and come tubeless ready.
The Merida Sport saddle had a good texture but felt a little narrow for anyone looking to get on the edge and sprint once in a while. The overall ride quality was comfortable and fast on both rough and smooth roads.
With a frame and fork combination that shines when conditions get rough, this bicycle is a fine entry into the world of Cyclocross. The balanced mechanical disc brakes and a comfortable riding posture provide full control of the bicycle on rough and wet surfaces. If you are someone looking to get into road cross riding then the Cyclo Cross 300 from Merida is definitely a great choice to consider.
Prices are subject to change by the brand, without due notice.