Merida Silex - You Won't Regret Any Penny Spent On This Gravel Bike.


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Merida Silex 9000 2019 - lighter, than my aero bike...

Let me remind you, that last year I made a 350 km trip on the alloy Silex 700 and it had been a great experience! The carbon gravel bikes from Merida are even more advanced and so I would recommend the more expensive version for a gravel event racers or a "pro" traveller, who makes tons of miles annually. 

With the Silex 9000 test I went even further, than on the aluminum one - I stripped it completely, to find out, why it feels so quick. Here's what struck me the most:

  • superlight frameset - the frame weighs only 1135 grams, with the BB bearings,
  • the tapered, full carbon fork weighs 529 grams,
  • the pictures made INSIDE the frame confirm Merida's "Anti-Wrinkles" system.

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Let's not forget, that the 1135 g frame (without the BB about 1050 g) and 529 g fork provide great stiffness and stability under load of your travelling bags + the bike is made for offroad riding and has huge tire clearance of 42 mm (700c) or 2.2" (650B option).

 

Silex - why one of the top gravel bikes in the world.

 

Gravel bikes must be fun to ride, versatile and pretty tough. The Merida Silex meets these requirements, with the following features:

  • the geometry - high heat tube + almost MTB geometry are designed for fun, but also many hours in the saddle,
  • 5 bottle cage mounts (the ones on the fork can be used for the bag mounts),
  • the option of faster 700c wheels or tougher 650B,
  • stiffness check done - the bike fully loaded (20 kg of stuff on it), hands off the handlebars and it goes straight like an arrow,
  • the Merida S-Flex Team seatpost truly enhances your comfort on rough roads.

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What modifications you might want to make.

 

First off - think about the drivetrain. The Sram Force 1x11 will work great for you, if gravel grinding means just riding for fun. You might also be OK with it on the gravel races, though I would much rather use a double crankset for that. If you plan to travel a lot with it, then the 44T chainring at the front and 10-42T cassette will kill your legs on the hilly roads.

Secondly - the tires. Maxxis Razzo 35 mm tires are pretty fast on the tarmac and will do great on a hard pack gravel, but don't expect to much grip on roots, slippery corners etc. Those knobs on the sides help a bit, but I wouldn't say these are for speeding off-road.

Otherwise - go tubeless and put this machine to the test, because it's asking for it! In 2020, there is a sweet addition to the Silex bikes range - the Silex Plus, on 650B wheels and 45c tires. 

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