By James Bracey
The latest Merida to bear the Scultura tag promises to deliver the missing link between its road race, gravel and cross specialists; all rolled up in a package that will appeal to all riders.
It seems like right now brands are cottoning on to the fact that, above all else, most of us who ride for leisure, fitness and enjoyment don't necessarily need the lightest, most aerodynamic or most extreme of bikes in order to get the most out of riding, effectively the do-it-all bike. And here's Merida's entry into the one-bike quiver killer - the Scultura Endurance, it's new 'road-adventure' range.
Look carefully and what Merida has done with the Scultura Endurance is take the best parts of four of its different drop barred ranges and identikit them together to create the new platform. On the road race side there are hints of the Reacto aero bike and plenty of Scultura influences, whilst it also shares DNA with the Silex gravel and Mission CX 'cross racer.
Critical to the new model is an updated geometry which suits the needs of a long-distance, comfort-orientated rider perfectly. A more upright riding position is provided thanks to the longer head tube plus an increase in clearances - to fit tyres of up to 35 mm - give the Scultura Endurance a more comfortable ride, as well as provide additional control in case the roads get rougher or more challenging. A slacker head tube angle and slightly longer wheelbase, in combination with the wider tyres (32mm come fitted as stock), make the bike more stable and safer at speed. It's also available in sizes XXS-XL.
Merida has focussed on tuning specific areas of the frame in order to increase comfort further and reduce vibrations, specifically at the rear triangle. Here both seat and chain stays have distinctive profiling that enables the entire construction to work in the same way a leaf spring works on a vehicle, enhancing the compliance of the new carbon frame.
There is also a nod towards the rapidly popular trend of 'cleaning' up a frame from an aerodynamic standpoint and the Scultura Endurance is no different to this end. It borrows the newly introduced 'Wire Port' headset, normally found on more race oriented machines, in order to tidy up and hide the cable routing from handlebars into the frame. Unlike some brands, this design is utilised throughout the range, including at the entry level price points. There is also a new hidden seat post clamp that helps to keep lines smooth and uninterrupted as well as potentially reducing turbulence around crucial parts of the bike.
All bikes in the new Scultura Endurance range are disc brake only and utilise 12mm thru-axles. The frame also features a removable seat stay bridge to allow the use of full mudguards. Each model will also be available in two colour options.
Scultura Endurance 4000 £2,000
Scultura Endurance 5000 £2,200
Scultura Endurance 6000 £2,500
Scultura Endurance 7000-E £3,500
All Scultura Endurance models will be available from the middle/end of August. For the full spec and more information you can head to Merida's website.
We have just received our test bike so will update with our first ride impressions as soon as possible and a full review will follow in the near future.
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