The MERIDA REACTO DISC TEAM-E we’ve tested here is a genuine pro-bike – literally! Somehow we managed to borrow Vincenzo Nibali’s power-rocket and take it to the sunny hills of Girona where we observed it battling against the gods of the race-bike Olympus. But what’s the MERIDA really capable of?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: The best race bike of 2019 – testing 11 exclusive race bikes

MERIDA Reacto DISC TEAM-E | 7.45 kg | € 9,499

If you’ve read our exclusive review of the MERIDA REACTO DISC TEAM-E you’ll know what our first impressions were. On the current version of the BAHRAIN MERIDA Team bike, the dominant colour theme is black. While it’s up to you to decide whether the new paint job is your cup of tea, the quality of the finish and the workmanship of the lavish frame, with all its smooth transitions, is spotless! Our test bike comes with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R170 groupset, DT Swiss PRC 1400 SPLINE DB 65 wheels (the deepest rims in our test) and Continental GP 5000 TL tires. Series production bikes will be equipped with the conventional clincher version of the GP 5000 that is slightly lighter.

The REACTO begs you to ride fast – all the time. A lively two-wheeled antidepressant!

Unlike its Metron 5D-predecessor, the new Vision Metron 6D cockpit comes with a straight handlebar. The in-house MERIDA Team CW carbon seatpost and Prologo saddle round-off the package and bring the total weight to 7.45 kg in M/L size. For the price of € 9,499 MERIDA delivers their REACTO with a number of pretty details and clever solutions: the disc brake calipers, for example, sit on an aluminium cooling-body to dissipate the heat and the recess in the seatpost allows for a taillight.

The MERIDA Reacto DISC TEAM-E in detail

Driverain Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9170 2 x 11
Gearing 52/36T und 11–28T
Brakes Shimano Dura-Ace BR-9170 160/160 mm
Seatpost MERIDA Team CW 15 mm Setback
Stem FSA Vision Metron 6D Integrated 120 mm
Handlebar FSA Vision Metron 6D Integrated 420 mm
Wheels DT Swiss PRC 1400 SPLINE DB 65
Tires ontinental GP 500 25C

Cool braking
The futuristic-looking aluminium cooling fins on the Dura Ace callipers are designed to dissipate heat and prevent the brakes from overheating.
Tidy
The ergonomic cockpit looks nice and tidy. We love the heat-shrink tubing over the cables. Unfortunately it’s not included in the original spec because it has to be removed for transport.
Pro-team hack
The Di2 cable is routed through an additional small cable port. We love such attention to detail!!
Your call!
Both the BAHRAIN Team logo and the Continental logo are stuck over the clear lacquer and can be removed.

The geometry of the MERIDA Reacto DISC TEAM-E

Size XS S S-M M-L L XL
Seat tube 470 mm 500 mm 520 mm 540 mm 560 mm 590 mm
Top tube 520 mm 535 mm 545 mm 560 mm 575 mm 590 mm
Head tube 117 mm 127 mm 142 mm 157 mm 172 mm 192 mm
Seat angle 74.5° 74.0° 74.0° 73.5° 73.0° 73.0°
Head angle 71.5° 72.5° 73.5° 73.5° 73.5° 74.0°
Chainstay 408 mm 408 mm 408 mm 408 mm 408 mm 408 mm
BB Drop 70 mm 70 mm 66 mm 66 mm 66 mm 66 mm
Stack 512 mm 525 mm 542 mm 557 mm 571 mm 592 mm
Reach 378 mm 385 mm 390 mm 395 mm 400 mm 409 mm

The MERIDA Reacto DISC TEAM-E in test

Despite the deep rims and thus relatively heavy DT Swiss wheels, the MERIDA provides good acceleration and agility. While eagerly maintaining its speed both on climbs and the flats, it always seems to beg for more. The direct handling hits the sweet spot between smoothness and liveliness and allows you to throw the bike from one corner into another without breaking a sweat – and that’s despite the dominating aero-concept.

Tuning tip Lighter wheels with a slightly shallower profile to reduce cross-wind susceptibility
Helmet CHPT3 x POC Devesa Ventral SPIN | Glasses 100% S2 Sagan Limited Edition | Jersey CHPT3 GIRONA 1.27 Jersey | Bibs CHPT3 GIRONA 1.17 Shorts | Socks FINGERSCROSSED Pain Is Temporary | Shoes Shimano S-PHYRE RC9

This cornering aptitude combined with the bike’s impressive straight-line performance inspires lots of confidence.This makes the REACTO feel equally comfortable at high speeds and slower paces. Only the side-wind susceptibility of the 65 mm DT Swiss wheels shook us out of our high-speed trance from time to time. Wheels with a lower profile – especially in the front – would suit the character of the frame better and feel more controlled in crosswinds.

Compared to other bikes like the S-Works Tarmac SL6 Disc, the comfort level of the MERIDA is only average. The stiff frameset offers little compliance, which might be advantageous in bunch sprints and high-speed bonanzas, but can be tiring on longer rides. The ergonomically-superb FSA Vision cockpit dampens the vibrations almost as efficiently as MERIDA’s in-house seat post, which offers a surprisingly good level of comfort despite its aero-shape. The Reacto might not be a masterpiece of compliance and smoothness but still offers a good amount of riding comfort considering its strong aero DNA.

Conclusion

The MERIDA REACTO DISC TEAM-E is a balanced racing machine which promises tons of fun. From beginners to pros, everyone will enjoy this fast and well thought-out overall concept. The poor compliance of the frame and the wheels’ strong sidewind susceptibility cost the MERIDA one of the top spots on the test-podium.

Tops

  • Agile handling
  • Accelerates and sprints eagerly
  • Clever details and solutions

Flops

  • The new team finish might not be everyone’s cup of tea
  • Relatively strong crosswind-susceptibility of the deep rims

For more info head to: merida-bikes.com

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: The best race bike of 2019 – testing 11 exclusive race bikes

All bikes in test: Argonaut Road Bike | Basso Diamante SV 2019 | Bianchi Oltre XR4 Disc | BMC Timemachine Road 01 TWO | Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc 9.0 | Cervélo S5 | EXEPT Allroad Classic | FOCUS IZALCO MAX 9.8 | Specialized S-Works Tarmac Disc SL6 Disc | Trek Madone SLR 9 Disc


This article is from GRAN FONDO issue #011

GRAN FONDO Cycling Magazine is published in a digital app format in both English and German. Download the app for iOS or Android to read all articles on your tablet or smartphone. 100% free!

Words: Benjamin Topf Photos: Valentin Rühl