This bike should be banned! Oh wait, it is banned – at least temporarily for the pros from Lampre-Merida. But forget heated discussions about disc brakes in the boardrooms and corridors of the UCI’s headquarters, we’ve been out testing the Scultura Disc in the Dolomites to see if the bike can keep its ‘cool’. After all, the Merida engineers claim to have come up trumps with this design.

VOLUNTARY RECALL ON 2017 MODELS
On all 2017 models Merida have issued a voluntary recall on their carbon forks, please visit their site to see further details and next steps of what actions you need to take if you have one of their bikes. Note: this is only on 2017 models.

Merida Scultura Disc 6000 | 8,45 kg | 2.799 €
Merida Scultura Disc 6000 | 8.45 kg | € 2,799

Back in spring, the Taiwanese company with their Germany-based R&D centre introduced their all-new disc brake road bike and received approval from the UCI for the Lampre-Merida team to test the Merida Scultura Disc. But now you might be wondering why we’ve got a veritable racing bike in our endurance group test.

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Well, the Scultura Disc 6000 can’t hide its racing genes even though its position is far more upright than the top-of-the-range Team and 7000-e models. The head tube is 10 mm taller, the forks are 5 mm longer, and unlike the top model, our test bike is made from CF2 carbon rather than CF4 carbon, which according to Merida is around 200 g heavier. With the addition of comfort-enhancing measures is this a race bike looking for adventure?

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Technically on the pulse, the Merida Scultura Disc 6000 has some sweet features, with the rear brake’s Merida Cooler being one of the standout features. Designed to ensure better heat dissipation and additional cooling, we did notice that the cooler itself heated up significantly, meaning that Merida’s innovation works!

Play it cool: The Disc Cooler should prevent heat build-up.
Play it cool: The Disc Cooler should prevent heat build-up.
Colourful: Colour-coordinated from top to toe.
Colourful: Colour-coordinated from top to toe.
Ready to Race: Das Team Lampre-Merida war das erste Team, das komplett auf Scheibenbremsen setzte.
Ready to race: Lampre-Merida were the first ProTeam to adopt disc brakes.

Specification of the Merida Scultura Disc 6000

Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra | 50/34, 11 – 28
Wheels: Fulcrum Racing Line DB
Brakes: Shimano BR-RS805
Tires: Continental Grand Prix
Weight: 8.45 kg
Price: € 2,799
More info: merida-bikes.com

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With its flat bar design and thin gel inserts under the bar tape, the riding position feels natural and delivers a real sense of comfort at the front. The rear also filters out the most major bumps, but is no rival for certain other bikes in the group test. Its handling definitely errs on the agile side of the spectrum, and even with its 8.45 kg, it’s a willing climber. On high-speed descents you’ll need a firm hand to guide the lively bike so that it adopts a smoother ride.Considering its price, the bike’s colourway is as impressive at its spec. And the fact that the Shimano thru-axles can be upgraded to the quick-change R.A.T. thru-axle system is testament to the work done at Merida’s Magstadt office.

Conclusion:

A down-to-earth road bike with some really intelligent design features and good value for money, the Merida Scultura Disc does have certain comfort-orientated elements that distinguish it from the Team model – although its racing genes won’t be suppressed. If you’re looking for a versatile bike for gravel adventures then look elsewhere – but it’s a force to be reckoned with on long days out in the saddle.

Strenghts

  • Merida’s cooler
  • State-of-the-art technology
  • value for money, honest bike

Weaknesses

  • minimal tire choices (but aligned with its more race-orientated purpose)

To get an overview about the bikes we tested, check this article: What’s the best road bike to conquer the Alps? 7 bikes on test

All bikes in test: Trek Domane SLR 7 | Specialized Roubaix SL4 Pro Disc Race UDi2 | Giant Defy Advanced Pro 0 | Cervélo C3 SRAM Force 1X | Canyon Endurace CF SLX | Argon 18 Krypton XROAD Disc

This article belongs to the GRAN FONDO Issue #002. For the full interactive experience we recommend reading it in our magazine app for iPhone & iPad – it’s awesome – and free!

Words: Thomas Seidelmann, Robin Schmitt Photos: Klaus Kneist, Noah Haxel, Robin Schmitt, Julian Mittelstädt (Post production)