The all-new MERIDA SILEX 10K is a sporty all-rounder, promising to excel at more than just racing. Besides featuring a new look, the long-awaited update is also aimed at a broader target group. The new SILEX is said to be significantly sportier, but how does it compare with the other bikes in our adventure gravel bike group test?
This bike was tested as part of our 2023 adventure gravel bike group test – you can find an overview of the group test and test field here:
From gravel racing to adventure: this is the motto of the new MERIDA SILEX 10K, venturing into new territory. And that’s not just visually, compared to its less sporty predecessor. Unlike the old SILEX, the new iteration faces competition from its own ranks: the SCULTURA ENDURANCE GR is another bike in the MERIDA lineup with clear gravel racing ambitions. So it’s more for adventure than racing after all? We put this beautiful bike with its well thought-out features and high-end spec head to head against some of the best adventure gravel bikes of 2024.
The choice of gods? – Components on the MERIDA SILEX 10K
The MERIDA SILEX 10K doesn’t exactly fly under the radar, standing out from the crowd at first glance, not just thanks to the exceptional paint job, but also the eye-catching design. It also features a sporty, aero look. Thanks to neat features like the proprietary MERIDA brake coolers, the SILEX makes an extremely high-quality impression, which you’d expect considering the € 9.599 price point – not the most expensive bike on test, but certainly up there.
The componentry is top notch, too. The SRAM RED eTap AXS mullet groupset with an XO1 rear derailleur speaks volumes. It doesn’t get any better, offering an incredibly wide gear range. The massive 10-52 t mountain bike cassette allows you to conquer any climb. The matching AXS dropper from RockShox also suits the bike perfectly and is controlled via the buttons on the hoods. That said, the 50 mm drop is somewhat limited.
Transferring your input to the ground are a pair of carbon Reynolds Blacklabel G700 wheels shod with 45 mm MAXXIS Rambler tires, providing efficient propulsion and control – there is nothing to complain about here! For the cockpit, MERIDA rely on the popular Easton EC70 AX handlebar, also made of carbon, of course. Just like with saddles, handlebars are a very subjective matter, so the cockpit probably won’t suit everyone, but it definitely looks the part.
The mounting points are suitable for all kinds of adventures, too, offering more than just the default bosses for two bottle cages inside the front triangle and one underneath the down tube. You’ll also find some cleverly hidden mounting points on the fork legs. And if that’s not enough, the MERIDA has internal cable routing for a hub dynamo, like the Ridley. That’s sure to impress even the greatest adventurer. Speaking of which, we were told that really tough old-school explorers don’t need a power meter on the bike, because if you don’t go over the limit, you’re not doing it right. Nevertheless, MERIDA have included a power meter in the crankset for mere mortals like us, which we applaud! But even die-hard adventurers will be pleased to learn that every MERIDA SILEX 10K comes with a practical multi-tool under the saddle, a Fidlock bottle and mount, as well as 180 mm rotors front and rear.
Tuning-Tipp: A more ergonomic handlebar with thicker bar tape
Merida Silex 10K
Fork ridig fork
Seatpost RS AXS Dropper
Brakes SRAM RED 180/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM RED eTap AXS /XO1 2x12
Stem Merida Team CC 80 mm
Handlebar Easton EC70 AX 420 mm
Wheelset Reynolds BLG700
Tires Maxxis Rambler 28"
Size XS S M L XL
Weight 9.08 kg
Sleek, racy look
Cleanly hidden mounting options for fenders and lights
MERIDA brake coolers
High quality equipment
Pure joy aboard the MERIDA SILEX 10K
As the look promises, the Merida SILEX is a ton of fun, and it’s one of the most attractive bikes in the test field for fast and active riders. Thanks to its lively, agile and, above all, playful handling, it dances through fast and tight corners, and despite the meaty MAXXIS Rambler tires, it feels nimble even on flowing trails. When accelerating, the bike feels fast, stiff, and therefore efficient. The riding position is perfectly balanced, sporty yet comfortable, suitable for even the longest rides. On very fast descents, the bike stays on line and steers precisely, going exactly where you want it to.
It’s surprisingly compliant, too, with the vibration damping of the frame working excellently for everything but the roughest trails.
But despite all the praise, the bike has its weaknesses: while it can go off-road capably enough, that’s not necessarily its strongest attribute. If you’re looking for the ultimate off-road gravel bike for adventures in rough terrain, the SILEX will likely reach its limits. That said, the wide MAXXIS tires won’t let you down, and prove to be one of our absolute highlights once again.
Race bike, thoroughbred adventurer… is there anything the MERIDA SILEX 10K can’t do?
The perfect MERIDA SILEX 10K ADVENTURE
Even if it doesn’t look like it, the MERDIA SILEX isn’t a specialist, and the racy look belies its true versatility. It actually does everything really well and it’s always fun, turning out to be one of the best all-rounders. And while it will eventually reach its limits on technical trails, we’re still testing gravel bikes here. Therefore, the SILEX is a loyal companion that will also tackle everyday adventures on the way to work. The neatly integrated mounting points and internal cable routing for a hub dynamo further increase the bike’s versatility, making the MERIDA SILEX 10K the only other bike besides the Ridley that can keep blazing a trail through the night.
Our conclusion on the MERIDA SILEX 10K
The MERIDA SILEX 10K is an excellent all-rounder for those who don’t want to commit, or simply ride on a wide variety of terrain. Its features allow the bike to cope with any situation and eventuality, which is what sets it apart. Furthermore, the riding performance delivers what the look promises, with the Taiwanese jack-of-all-trades catering to everything from gravel races to epic, multi-day gravel adventures. It’s simply an excellent all-rounder, both for fast and long rides.
- hard to beat in terms of fun
- sleek look
- enough mounting points for all eventualities
- top of the line components
- some riders don’t get along with the Easton handlebar
For more Information visit merida-bikes.com
This bike was tested as part of our 2023 adventure gravel bike group test – you can find an overview of the group test and the test field here:
All bikes on review:Argon 18 Dark Matter | BMC URS 01 ONE | Cannondale Topstone Carbon 1 Lefty | Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 Force AXS Trail | Falkenjagd ARISTOS TRAIL GRAVEL | Focus Atlas 8.8 | Ghost Asket Advanced | Giant Revolt X | Merida Silex 10k | Mondraker Dusty XR | Orbea Terra M21e Team Custom M | Ridley Kanzo Adventure | Rose Backroad AL Plus | Santa Cruz Stigmata | Scott Solace Gravel eRIDE 10 | Specialized Diverge STR Pro | Trek Checkpoint SL 7 AXS | Wilier Adlar | YT Industries Szepter Core 4
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Words: Calvin Zajac Photos: Mike Hunger