Merida, a Taiwanese bicycle manufacturing company is known to make reliable road bicycles. Over the last few years, Merida have also become contract manufacturers for a number of well-known bicycle brands in the world. The Merida Ride 100 2016 is a good looking entry level road bicycle at an attractive price point and here is our review of this budget road machine.
The Merida Ride 100 is equipped with the Ride Lite alloy frame. The welds on the frame are sound and perfect. The long, bulbous head tube has an integrated headset and the carbon-legged fork has a curvy triangulated teardrop shape that would be usually found on a far more expensive bicycle. An oversized, oval shaped and slightly triangulated down tube, shapely chainstays and integral inner cable routing are talking point features too. The Ride 100 is an endurance bicycle and the frame geometry gives a fairly upright body position to the rider.
Visually, the tall head tubes on the Merida Ride 100 are a love/hate thing, but it's not only the beginners who are attracted by a possibility of being able to set the top of the handlebar roughly level with the top of the saddle. Most importantly Merida also takes the frame styling on the Ride 100 up to the level of an expensive full carbon framed road bicycle model. The paint job on this bicycle is also more of a Matt than a gloss finish which instantly reflects the high quality black/green colour graphics as well.
One truly impressive component on the Ride 100 is the Shimano Claris/Sora gearset. The shifting was smooth and the speed transition could be felt instantly. The Ride 100 comes with Shimano's proven double paddle shifters in effect here, and to all intents and purposes it works very well. It's not as plush or as smooth as higher spec options, but it feels truly bombproof and dare I say it, just a little bit more reliable than some of its supposed betters.
Slightly less impressive are the dual-pivot caliper brakes. They are about what you would expect on a road bicycle at this price, and by following the unforeseen enjoyment that comes with going up hills on the Ride 100, it is a bit of a shame not to be able to really let fly down-hill on tarmacs with a bit more confidence.
The Merida compact road OS handlebar is a drop model of the sort that's popular with both beginners and experts. On the test ride the handlebar felt really nice and I enjoyed turning into fast corners and powering out of them too. Also I found it comfortable for commuter purposes since the endurance geometry itself is aimed at keeping the handlebar for the rider in an upright position.
The Maxxis Detonator 700 x 25C tires on the Merida Ride 100 2016 stood up to a battering on our local potholed roads. They are tightly laced across with 32 stainless steel spokes and the Merida Comp 20 Air rims perform well perfectly supporting these foldable tires.
The ride quality is relatively comfortable and the ride position is fairly compact compared to more racy frames, and as a result I found myself climbing almost constantly on the lever hoods rather than holding the flat centre of the bars. On the positive side, I ended up using the drops more than on many other endurance road bicycle, even with the stem slammed right down.
The Ride 100 does have a collective of smaller glitches which might mostly go unnoticed or affect the normal riding. An excellent alloy frame with an added incentive in the form of a carbon fork definitely makes this bicycle a top contender at this price point. To conclude, the Merida Ride 100 2016 is an exceptional bicycle to ride, and if you are new to road cycling, the Ride 100 is a friendly companion to own. We would like to thank Pro-Bikers, Chennai for providing us with this bicycle for the review.