Merida is a Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer who has been around since 1972. Merida is known for their performance packed, value for money bicycles with cutting edge design. The 2018 range of bicycles from Merida are available in India and we got the opportunity to test ride the Merida Scultura 300 (2018) and here is what we thought.
The Scultura 300 is built on a full aluminium frame. This 6066 Pro-Lite Aluminium frame is super light and durable. The Scultura is a road race bicycle in geometry and during the test ride it was evident that this bicycle is an all-rounder, which can both climb as well as ride fast. All this was possible while still having a comfortable ride posture. The hydro formed tubes help maintain the stiffness to weight ratio which helps absorb vibration off the surface making the ride smoother. All the road bicycle forks in the Merida 2018 range come with carbon forks. These bladed forks contribute to smooth steering and keeping the front half of the bicycle light.
Merida have seriously been putting in a lot of work towards the design of their bicycles in the last few years. This year I would like to believe that they have gone up a notch with not just the design but also the quality of the paint job. The Scultura 300 which I test rode comes in a shiny dark silver frame with light grey and green graphics. The gloss finish paint job was of superior quality with subtle and neat graphics.
The Scultura 300 is equipped with a full Tiagra road drivetrain. Tiagra sits beneath Dura-Ace, Ultegra and 105.During the test ride both at the front and rear, the gears shift cleanly, smoothly and quietly. I never missed a gear or felt the shifter being unresponsive when I needed to change gear quickly. It shifts well under load as well. The 10x2 speed integrated Shimano Tiagra shifters were easy to use with feather light pushes to change the gears.
Merida’s Stock Road Comp Caliper Brakes handle the braking department in this bicycle. During the test ride these brakes were put to test thoroughly with a lot of interval braking and jamming of brakes as well. These brakes provide light and comfortable performance with perfect balance on both wet and dry conditions. The Shimano Tiagra Brake Levers were easy to use and felt responsive.
The Merida Expert Compact drop handlebars were perfect in width making them not too wide nor too cramped. Getting off the saddle and accelerating was easier thanks to the great steering response, which this handlebar provided.
The Maxxis Dolomites 700x25C folding tires on the Scultura 300 are race specific tires built to be lightweight but reliable. Maxxis have found the perfect balance in the Dolomites using technology such as their silkworm puncture protection and duel compound tread.
The Merida Sport Stock saddle was not only colour coded, but has a level of support and cushioning that suits the rider on faster rides just as much as those riding a century. The width of the saddle could have slightly more to help during longer rides. The overall ride quality was fast and comfortable on flat tarmacs with lots of climbs.
This road bicycle is lightweight but not at the expense of frame rigidity, it responds well when you up the watts, and the ride quality is high. If you are looking for a road bicycle with the perfect mix for fast paced longer rides with climbs and backed by performance packed components, the Merida Scultura 300 (2018) is a serious challenger.
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