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Merida is a performance bicycle brand, which have been around for close to 30 years now. A great combination of German R&D and Taiwanese legacy bring out lighter and faster bicycles every year. From children’s bicycles to E-bikes and adult performance bicycles, they have it all. We got the opportunity to test ride the Merida Speeder 100 (2017) and here is what we thought.
The Merida Speeder 100 is built using a Speeder Lite Alloy frame. This frame at first glance looks a bit aggressive in geometry and this is because this bicycle is a flat bar/fitness road bicycle with endurance road bike geometry for a good mix of stability and comfort. Flat bar road bikes are road bicycles with flat handlebars replacing the drop handlebars. Merida’s Pro lite triple butted frames claim to offer an optimum Stiffness-to-Weight (STW) ratio which was evident during the ride.
The Speeder BC Alloy rigid fork is bladed and it significantly contributes to the light weight of the frame. This frame weighs approximately 11.5 kgs, which is great for a flat bar road bicycle.
Performance and componentry is the main focus on a bicycle like the Merida Speeder 100 (2017). But there is still significant importance given to the aesthetics of a bicycle. The bicycle which I test rode came in a full black matte finish with white graphics. The curved top tube and thin seat stays make this bicycle look sleek. This bicycle comes in just this 1 colour and 6 different frame sizes namely; 47cm, 50cm, 52cm, 54cm, 56cm, 59cm.
In essence this Speeder 100 is a road bicycle and the derailleurs in this bicycle are road gearing components. Shimano M191 at the front derailleurs and Shimano Claris at the rear worked smoothly during the test ride. The gears shifted down and up quickly and without any lag. They helped accelerate on flat empty roads with ease. The Shimano EZ fire shifters were easy to operate. The same speed and distance as road bicycles can be covered with this flat bar with these high performing gears.
Once confined to mountain bicycles, the use of disc brakes on recreational and commuter bikes is becoming more and more common due to the fact they provide superior brake control and durability, especially in wet condotions when compared to rim brakes. As such the Speeder 100 is equipped with mechanical 160mm Promax MTD Mechanical disc brakes that provide ample stopping power. During the test ride these brakes were powerful and balanced.
This handlebar defines the type of this bicycle. A road bicycle frame and geometry with similar components and Merida Comp OS6 makes this a flat bar road bicycle. With a good bulge in the middle and thinning out to the grips, this handlebar has a balanced weight load. The grips are comfortable and the bar position is quite aggressive.
The Merida Speeder 100 (2017) comes with a pair of Maxxis Detonator 700 x 32C road tires. Getting up to speed and away at traffic lights took a bit of work, which is to be expected with the longer wheelbase and larger tires, but given its purpose, the decision to opt for slower tires to provide better comfort and puncture protection is a good one. The Merida Comp 22 Disc Pair rims are a bit heavy and in the long run if you want racing tires then a 26mm tire change could be useful.
While saddle choice is a personal preference, the Merida Sport saddle was incredibly comfortable for me with plenty of padding, even without wearing bib shorts during the test ride. The overall ride quality was fast on tarmacs.
Right at the beginning of the Speeder series is the Speeder 100, this is Merida’s famous fitness and flat bar road bicycle that is perfect for anyone who wants a decent performing flat bar bicycle matched with a very decent price tag. This bicycle is light enough to cover undulating terrain, and the 24-speed drivetrain provides more than enough gears to conquer the climbs.