By Symon Lewis
Merida now has a large stable of bikes, with plenty of road and off-road offerings. For 2018 it has decided to bring its outdated cross bike into the modern era and because of bikes like the gravel Silex, the new Merida Mission CX cross bike can be just that, a racing orientated cross machine.
Merida claimed that it had a number of reasons to update its cross bike range. The first being that cross racing has seen a fairly large revival over the last year or so, and this is certainly evident in the UK.
The others reason is that Merida's old cross bike was outdated and begged to have more tyre clearance, standardised thru-axle sizes and disc brakes.
These requirements led to a complete design overhaul, and the frame has re-designed, UCI-certified geometry fully focused on racing. Merida has also moved with the times, adding flat mount brakes and axles that are 12mm front and rear with that clever little lever (see above). The bike is also now recognisably Merida; namely that bulbous top and head tube. Merida wanted customers to be able to recognise a Merida bike without looking at the name.
The bike gets internally routed cables, which is great for cross bikes and limits the need to constantly keep your cables cleans and working. There's a removable bridge at the rear of the carbon version for fitting a rear mudguard or racks.
By giving the bike a longer wheelbase, Merida has stopped that annoying toe catch you can get on bikes. This is especially good for the racers who tend to oversteer when racing.
You can also run both one and two by systems and can have a nice clean look once you remove the front mech and mount.
Weight-wise you're looking at 885g for a medium frame paired with a 420g fork, equalling a sub-1500g total frameset weight which is competitive. For the aluminium version you’ll be looking at 2kg for the frameset, according to Merida.
Starting at the top end, you get the carbon Mission CX 8000-E built with Shimano Ultegra-RX groupset and carbon Vision SC 40DB wheels. That then moves down to the Mission CX 5000, which features SRAM Apex.
Lower down, there's the alloy range, which starts with the entry-level Mission CX 400, this comes with a Shimano 105 groupset. The 600 then again comes with the SRAM Apex groupset.
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