Merida is a Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer that was founded in 1972. Its main purpose was to prove that Taiwanese-built bikes were of better quality than their reputation had previously implied. This is exactly what Merida achieved, starting out by manufacturing bikes for other brands until it was time to launch bikes of its own under the Merida brand name.
Merida is now the second-largest bike manufacturer in Taiwan. They began distribution of bikes in India in 2009 and have performed quite well in the India market. Backed by a supportive distributor, Merida has been able to offer high-quality rider support with good availability of spares and timely support. Unlike a lot of other brands, healthy sales have ensured a good lineup of bike inventory for the Indian market with a good range of bicycles from hybrids, mountain bikes to high-end race bikes with a good selection in the latest model year.
Merida’s dealership and service center network has grown wider over the years with the brand being easily available and serviceable across India. Bikes have been aggressively priced over the years, which make this brand a hot choice for the value-conscious rider.
WHY CHOOSE A MERIDA BIKE?
Understanding the USP of a bicycle brand is important as this seeps into the ride quality and could also tip the scales while you’re in a deadlock deciding between bicycles.
Here are some of the things we really like about this brand
1. HIGH-QUALITY GERMAN ENGINEERING
Years of research and development at the German R&D center has lead to the birth of new prototypes and design on regular intervals. After the ideas and concepts get put together to form the outline of a new bike it goes through countless stages of drawing, modeling, and re-measuring before the first prototypes get hand-built and welded in Merida’s factory in Taiwan. Improvements and upgrades are constantly looked at and integrated when possible.
A high performing and safe bicycle is critical. Merida has a well equipped in-house testing facility that pushes production and prototype model beyond industry standards. Testing, re-testing, and testing again are crucial steps taken at Merida to ensure that the product you receive is of the highest quality. Merida has been doing everything possible to provide its customers with the most refined and most secure product possible.
3. CARBON TECHNOLOGY
Carbon fiber technology was relatively new in the 1990s and Merida was one of the early pioneers in that area and developed the automatic manufacturing process for carbon fiber frames.
Carbon is not all the same and visually identical frames can vary in quality due to the level and mix of carbon fibers used and the engineering of carbon layups used. MERIDA uses a CF number to demonstrate the performance level; 2 is the lowest, 5 the highest. Subtle tweaks to the carbon fibers used both save weight and improve performance.
Marketing has created a mystique around carbon frame quality; labels such as high tensile, high modulus, super high modulus, and ultra-high-modulus dominate the market. Merida uses its Nano Matrix Carbon and carbon Anti-Wrinkle System across nearly all of its carbon fiber bikes, and both of this help increase the stiffness of the frame.
4. ALUMINUM TECHNOLOGY
Merida has been producing cutting edge aluminum frames for decades, continually refining their knowledge and developing new technologies. Zeroing on the top Aluminum grades, and focusing on processes like Double and Triple Butting along with Hydro and Techno forming have enabled complex frame shapes, uber strong and lightweight frames that are appropriate to the demands of each bike they manufacture.
Merida bikes are still very much ‘made by hand’ and that process starts with the many individuals who make up Merida’s highly skilled R&D team based in the heart of Germany. The handcrafted frames are built with an extreme level of detail and professionalism that very few mass-market manufacturers look into these days. From conceptual planning, via prototypes, integration of colors, design elements and graphics into the overall project, refining the pre-production models to the final bike that makes its way to the shop floor of your local bike shop.
THE MERIDA 2020 LINEUP
We’re pumped to have our hands on the latest 2020 Merida bikes.
For the new year, there have been significant changes to the current lineup with some new models, and some newer technology. Newer colors, a wider range of bikes and greater pricing are what stands out this year.
At the entry-level Merida has brought in new hybrid models – Crossway 15-V, Crossway 15-MD Crossway 20-MD, Crossway 40-D, and the Crossway Urban series. In the MTB lineup, we have the Big-Nine 100, 300 and 500. The cruiser/gravel range includes the Mission CX300 SE. The Speeder series of bikes are for speedy commutes and fitness-oriented riders. The Scultura series makes up the strong range of road bikes on sale here in India.
MERIDA HYBRID BIKES
The entire range of Crossway bikes from Merida has been a big hit for a while now. The new bikes have a few more added features and colors. A major change for hybrid buyers here is the introduction of the Crossway Urban series which currently consists of the Urban 20 and the Urban 40-D.
1. CROSSWAY SERIES
The Crossway bikes were always a popular choice among commuters and fitness enthusiasts for its simplicity and ease of maintenance. The Crossway has been known for its excellent ride quality over bad roads due to its 63mm of front suspension travel. The new Crossway 40-D also now comes with a compression lockout on the front fork. A heavy-duty 8-speed drivetrain on all the Crossways does a stellar job of providing easy pedaling in all scenarios.
2. CROSSWAY URBAN SERIES
A faster, more contemporary version of the best-selling Crossway. The new Urban 20 and 40-D are two new great rigid fork bikes that sit in-between the hybrid and road bike category. The lack of a suspension seat post and an adjustable stem makes the Urban lighter and more agile. They aren’t full-on road bikes with drop bars but they have rigid forks with the 40-D having a 9-speed drivetrain. The road bike inspired frame geometry is as comfortable as a hybrid but as fast as a road bike.
3. SPEEDER SERIES
The Speeder shares its genes with road bikes and gets a redesign for the 2020 season. The new slightly more sporty geometry offers a more extended reach for added stability. Fitness enthusiasts alike, this is the bike for you! Light, versatile, speedy and more comfortable than ever before. The new 2020 Speeder series bikes can do it all. They can be road bikes, gravel bikes, tourers or even city commuters. Anything you want, it’ll do. The frame geometry allows you to have a relaxed and upright riding posture. It’s comfortable and gives you more control with less effort.
MERIDA MOUNTAIN BIKES
1. BIG-SEVEN SERIES
Unmatched ride quality along with high-end components at a highly competitive price point. The alternative to the BIG.NINE 29er hardtails for riders who prefer the smaller 650B wheels. The latest aluminum frames featuring slim tube shapes create a new look and a more relaxed geometry. A shorter top tube and a higher head tube offering a more upright riding position and enhanced trail visibility.
2. BIG-NINE SERIES
Merida’s mid-range hardtail MTBs for riders who like to ride the road less traveled. The classic 29er hardtails that are available in carbon and aluminum. The Big-Nine with its racing geometry is an ideal companion on XC and marathon race tracks All three MTBs, the Big-Nine 100, 300 and 500 you get a 100mm of travel which will ensure you can tackle every obstacle in your path. The Big-Nine 300 and 500, both feature air forks for a plush ride over the really rough stuff. The bigger brother (500) comes with a Shimano Deore 10-Speed drivetrain that is versatile for climbs and even technical sections. The Big-Nine series consists of some really hardcore do-anything, go-anywhere hardtails that come in at a very competitive price point, starting around 53k and going up to around 80k.
MERIDA TOURING/GRAVEL BIKES
1. MISSION CX 300 SE
The cyclocross range from Merida has brought in the new Mission CX 300 SE which is the perfect mid-range gravel bike. The new Mission CX combines thoroughbred cyclocross racing genes with an array of features that make it a sophisticated “daily” bike. It offers not just a new and modern frame design but also an updated geometry with plenty of tire clearance as well as integration for accessories It can be used for touring as well. The bike comes with 160mm tektro rotors in the front and the back. for superior stopping power. Meaty 700X30c tires do duty on this bike ensuring you keep powering through your obstacles. This bike would be the ideal sports tourer.
MERIDA ROAD BIKES
1. SCULTURA SERIES
Lightweight, high-performance race bikes that have been at the cutting edge of design, powering Merida’s ProTour teams to Grand Tour victories. Available in two different geometries and as either disc brake or rim brake options. This classic road bike combines class-leading comfort, with incredible acceleration and stage winning climbing pedigree.
The Scultura series of road bikes start from around 63k and go up to about 1.67lakhs for the top of the line Scultura 5000. The entry-level and mid-range Scultura bikes all feature lightweight aluminum frames designed for local road riding or long-distance commuting. The Scultura 100- the most basic road bike in the new 2020 lineup is ideal for riders who want to start out on the road. It’s a bike that is built to go fast and handle well, but with a much more comfortable feel than one might expect from your average road bike. Look at the Scultura 4000 and beyond and things start to get really serious. We’re talking full carbon frames and high-end 11-speed groupsets. Carbon fiber construction on the Scultura bikes are bonded together with epoxy resin and added nanoparticles to increase impact resistance by up to 40%.
‘A piece of legendary racing equipment’ is what Cycling Plus magazine had to say about the Scultura bikes.
The Reacto series of bikes are incredibly fast and responsive, It’s a no-compromise race bike for riders looking to carry some serious speed through flat and rolling courses. The top of the range models use Merida’s highest quality CF4 carbon framesets, for the highest stiffness to weight ratio. These bikes also feature a very aggressive geometry for efficiency and performance
The Reacto is designed with all-out speed in mind while still being fairly lightweight. It’s one of the most value for money aero road bikes series in the world. The Reacto series is made up of 12 model variations, with Shimano groupsets and rim/disc brake options across all of the carbon models. Only the Reacto 400 and Reacto 300 have an aluminum frame.
Merida’s 2020 lineup has left us impressed with a wide range of mid-range to top-end bikes for everyone in the market looking for a new high-performance, good quality bicycle. All the bikes have improved from the previous year. Merida’s focus for India has always been towards their Road bikes, and the new Scultura and Reacto series reflect that.
Kudos to the company for creating a strong rider community behind the Merida brand and providing a strong service and backup system to ensure riders have a great experience while choosing this brand and are well supported on their cycling journey.
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WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING
I’m an avid mountain biker and I like riding fast and flowy singletrack. As I keep riding, I continuously work on honing my riding skills. I like to ride whenever possible, especially with friends. I also like to influence folk into getting to ride more often.
Working on bicycles has also been a keen interest of mine for quite some time.
DISCIPLINE: Mountain biking and Road biking
CURRENT BIKE: RockRider 5.3 & Specialized Allez Elite DSW
DREAM BIKE: Santa Cruz 5010