In line with the growing attention that Merida pays to the road bike segment, the Taiwanese producer showed its two new flagships regarding this category. One one hand there is the Merida Scultura SL, Lampre-Merida’s new workhorse, and on the other the Time Warp, a piece of excellent engineering achieved by the company.
Juergen Falke, chief of R&D at Merida, emphasised on the tricks of the trade when it comes to using carbon, mentioning, if necessary, that working with this material is no easy task, anyway not when you desire to build a bicycle that can handle pro peloton demands.
The Scultura SL proves that Merida didn’t spare any effort when it came to producing the right bicycle that will aid the Italian squad in their quest for victory. The riders were rather pleased with the new bikes they received for this season but this is just a basic prerequisite if Merida aims to be a big name in the road cycling world. Extensive testing showed that Falke and his team managed to balance in an appropiate way weight, stiffness and confort, so much so that only a handful of other models surpass Scultura SL. Merida’s prodigy has a good score, high enough to undermine some top manufacturers, but not enough to beat the Cannondale Super Six Evo, Felt F1 and Specialized Tarmac. In any case, time is on the Taiwanese’s side so we should expect things to get even better in the following years. Coming back to the actual features of the Scultura SL, when can underline the BB386 bottom bracket, the shorter 400mm chainstay, the UHM carbon and anti-wrinkle reisins used for gluing it, silicon bindings and greater width of the tubes in the stiffness hot spots. Also, some Flax bio fibers were used in building the rear triangle, for better dampening and shock absorbtion. The bike is specified with the Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 electronic 11-speed groupset and with Fulcrum XLR Light wheels. In addition, you can find the Selle Italia SLR Monolink saddle mounted on this model. Weight of the frameset (frame, fork, headset and seatclamp) comes in at an impressive 1.290 grams.
The bad news is that the Scultura SL used by Lampre-Merida will not be up for sale, at least not this year, but you can get yout hands on the next best thing, the Merida Scultura SL 909. The new Dura-Ace is present on the bike, although you will have to settle for the mechanical version, and the wheels chosen are Mavic Ksyrium SLR. Otherwise, it is the same as the pro’s bike.
In a world obsessed to get the very most of every advantage, the Merida Time Warp steps in to help the Lampre-Merida team squeeze all seconds possible in the race against the clock. The time trial bike is not fundamentally different, nor those it represent a breaktrough, but it gets very close to the top performance required from such a bicycle. Juergen Falke admitted that he and his team focused on the position the rider has on the bike and after some less than satisfactory trials with the Computational Fluid Dynamics, he called in the riders to help set the optimal fit. The handlebar offers a great array of adjusting possibilities so not only aerodynamic demands are met, but also the confort ones.