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SickBiker

Merida Reacto - finally aero bikes for people!

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SickBiker

Aero for an average Joe?

Yes, the aero road bikes have always been sexy looking, but difficult to ride. Why? The point was to make the fastest bike possible (on paper). An aero framesets with aero geometry were giving great results in the wind tunnel, but show me people, who would ride these bikes on the drops for hours... Merida Reacto is the bike, that will give better results in the real world, than in the lab and that's what I've been looking for. Sweet spot between comfort and aerodynamics.

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Geometry is the key

Same stack and reach as on the climbing bike - Merida Scultura. I even compared the geo to Cannondale SuperSix EVO I had been testing for a whole season and the SuperSix is about 30 mm lower, than the Reacto. Just look at the head tube and you'll see right away, that Reacto will feel fine on the drops. 

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Is it still an aero bike with such geometry?

Hell yeah! The bike is packed with aerodynamic features:

  • NACA FASTBACK (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics), truncated tubes,
  • aero fork, integrated with the down tube,
  • rear brake hidden behind the bottom bracket,
  • all internal cables with new routing,
  • aero seatpost,
  • integrated seat clamp,
  • 35 mm deep rims,
  • smaller rear triangle with shaped seatstays.

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How does it ride

Merida Reacto is indeed comfortable, it's got the aero sound, it's very stiff and... don't think you're going to be faster on it, if you strugle riding solo with the speed over 30 km/h (19 mph). The higher the speed, the bigger the aero advantage, but it is rather for stronger guys to actually notice the difference. 

The with its huge BB area is very stiff and the sprinters will love it, but don't expect to much compliance from it, even though it's all carbon. The engineers gave the seatpost a special elastomer insert, which does flex nicely, but even newbies will notice the difference on a bumpy tarmac between the Reacto and Scultura (climbing bike).

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Whom do I recommend this one?

EASY - all sprinters, all faster guys and all those, who want a bad ass looking machine. If you're a typical climber, with little power on flats, get yourself a climbing bike, but if you love the pain when pushing it over 35 km/h, then the Merida Reacto will slice the wind beautifully. Of course, the Shimano Ultegra components worj great and the wheels are good quality (Fulcrum Racing Aero), but some carbon ones would make the bike even faster. One thing I DIN NOT LIKE is the rear brake clamp and a barrel adjuster, that hit the bars on the bumpy road.

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Here's the video test:

 

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