MERIDA furnish the REACTO TEAM-E CUSTOM with 32 mm tubeless tires and hope to make the super-fast pro-peloton aero bike an all-rounder in the process. Is the added comfort enough to take on the competition on bumpy gravel tracks in our group test of 14 bikes? You can find out here.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best road bike of 2021 – 15 models in review

MERIDA REACTO TEAM-E CUSTOM | 7.69 kg in size M | € 10,299 | Manufacturer’s website

With the REACTO TEAM-E CUSTOM, MERIDA put a bike on the start line that you wouldn’t necessarily expect in this group test, approaching the holistic approach to road bikes from the performance side of the discipline. The aero bike is a bit of a provocation in this context and intended to shake up perceived bike categories. Custom parts to make the series REACTO TEAM-E all-road worthy are sparingly applied. Only the tubeless Continental GP5000 TL 700 x 32C tires contribute to additional comfort. They are mounted to Vision Metron SL TL wheels where they measure 31 mm wide. Together with the compliant MERIDA TEAM CW seatpost, they noticeably improve the comfort of the otherwise stiff performance machine on rough roads. On our test bike, MERIDA trust in the series DURA-ACE Di2 groupset with 52/36 t chainrings, an 11–30 t cassette and dual-sided power meter. A sensible decision, because it allows you to fully experience the bike’s strengths on high-speed sections, keep power going through the chain, yet you’ll still have enough left over to master short and gentle slopes.

Super clean, super fast
The complete integration of all cable results in a tidy and good-looking bike. Together with the one-piece Vision Metron 5D ACR cockpit with its 110 mm stem and 420 mm bars, it contributes to the good aerodynamics of the bike.
Make some space
The tire clearances are large for an aero race bike and the concept of fitting wide Continental GP5000 TL tires works surprisingly well. We would like to push this approach to its limit and make full use of the 700 x 34C clearances – aero cyclocross, anyone?
The cutout at the upper end of the aero seatpost increases the comfort of the otherwise stiff bike significantly and damps vibrations effectively. Integrating a light into the cutout is also a great idea – more safety in low light and more comfort. #winwin


€ 10,299


Seatpost MERIDA Team CW individual 15 mm**
Brakes Shimano DURA-ACE BR-R9170 160/160 mm
Drivetrain Shimano DURA-ACE Di2 R9150 2 x 11
Chainring 52/36
Stem Vision Metron 5D ACR Integrated 110 mm
Handlebar Vision Metron 5D ACR Integrated 420 mm
Wheelset Vision Metron 55 SL TL 12 x 100/12 x 142 mm Thru-Axle
Tires Continental GP5000 TL 32-622 (700x32C) 31
Cranks Shimano DURA-ACE FC-R9100-P 172,5 mm
Cassette Shimano DURA-ACE CS-R9100 11–30

Technical Data

Size XS S M L XL
Weight 7.69 kg

Specific Features

rear light integrated into seatpost
aero cover of brake calliper
fully-integrated/no cables visible
generous tire clearances up to 700 x 32C

Cool aerodynamics
The forged covers and machined cooling fins of both brake callipers, so-called Disc-Coolers, are designed to conduct heat away from the brakes. We weren’t able to tell how well they work in practice, but the braking performance of DURA-ACE is typically excellent and the heat sinks look cool.
Watt more do you want?
A road bike in this category requires a power meter. The REACTO TEAM-E CUSTOM, just like the series REACTO TEAM-E, comes with a dual-sided Shimano DURA-ACE power meter.
It’s about the details
The MERIDA REACTO TEAM-E CUSTOM has a forged Direct-Mount hanger that takes its visual cue from the Disc-Cooler. The perfect finish is only disturbed by the tape securing the Di2 cable.

The full integration and one-piece Vision Metron 5D ACR cockpit make the REACTO, similar to the Wilier Filante SLR, one of the visually most tidy looking bikes in our test. While the frame is completely black, with its mixed gloss and matte finishes it’s anything but boring. Solely the large logos and the graphics on the Vision components disturb the otherwise perfect stealth look of the 7.69 kg (size M) bike. The series bike costs a cool € 10,349. In addition, you can factor in € 54.95 for the fitted frame bag and € 149.80 for the set of 32 mm Continental GP5000 TL tires – though your dealer will likely waive their cost swapping them for the series 25 mm tires.

Size XS S M L XL
Seat tube 500 mm 520 mm 540 mm 560 mm 590 mm
Top tube 536 mm 545 mm 560 mm 575 mm 590 mm
Head tube 112 mm 128 mm 140 mm 155 mm 176 mm
Head angle 72.0° 72.5° 73.5° 73.5° 74.0°
Seat angle 74.0° 74.0° 73.5° 73.0° 73.0°
Chainstays 408 mm 408 mm 408 mm 408 mm 408 mm
BB Drop 70 mm 66 mm 66 mm 66 mm 66 mm
Wheelbase 983 mm 990 mm 990 mm 999 mm 1,010 mm
Reach 384 mm 390 mm 395 mm 400 mm 409 mm
Stack 529 mm 542 mm 557 mm 571 mm 593 mm
Helmet POC Ventral Air SPIN | Glasses POC Aim | Jacket Specialized Men’s Deflect Jacket mit SWAT
Jersey Isadore IAR T-Shirt | Pants Isadore Alternative Thermal Bib Shorts
Shoes Dromarti Race Carbon Terra | Socks MB WEAR Stelvio


The MERIDA REACTO TEAM-E CUSTOM is a thoroughbred racer, and neither can it nor does it want to hide those sporty genes. As such, it’s not surprising that the bike generates a lot of pressure on the front wheel and in comparison to other bikes in the test steers with precise directness. While doing so, it always communicates the limit clearly to its rider. Together with the overall good stability that places it in the middle of the pack, this results in a good-natured and intuitive ride which less experienced riders will be able to cope with as well, building up a lot of trust.

The concept of wide tires and a frame bag works very well and expands the range of applications of the bike significantly. Bikepack to the race, sprint to the podium and back again – why not?

Sporty riders can push the REACTO to the limit without having to spend much time getting used to it and don’t have to be wary of any unpleasant surprises. Only the sensitivity to crosswinds and the aggressive riding position compared to the other bikes in the test spoil the otherwise high feeling of security. Thanks to their vibration damping, the wide Continental GP5000 TL tires defuse the racing sharpness of the bike a little and make it suited not just to long distances but also the occasional detour onto uneven and hardpack surfaces. However, in comparison to the competition, the REACTO is a stiff bike, only coming ahead of the Storck Fascenario.3 and BMC Roadmachine at the bottom end of the comfort scale in this test. The wide tires do no harm to the bike’s speed. Get past the lacking light footedness from a standstill and the bike convinces with high efficiency on the flats and even uphill on low grades. With sufficient runup and keeping the pedals turning, it playfully rides away from the competition on the undulating terrain of our testing grounds. While in the end, this bike is too sporty and stiff for this group test, it demonstrates how areas of application can be sensibly expanded with a simple component swap – in this case, the tires. As a result, the MERIDA REACTO TEAM-E CUSTOM narrowly sprints past our Best Buy.

Tuning tip: Take it or leave it! This bike will split opinion and you’ll either see yourself on it or not. If we were looking for the best all-round aero bike, presumably the REACTO would win.

Riding Characteristics



  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Fun factor

  1. boring
  2. lively


  1. firm
  2. comfortable

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Technical Data


Size: XS S M L XL
Weight: 7,69 kg
Price: € 10,299

Indended Use

Smooth tarmac 1
Allroad/Gravel 2
Everyday/Commuting 3


The MERIDA REACTO TEAM-E CUSTOM rolling on its wide tires cast a spell on us with its relentless speed – on asphalt just as much as gravel and hardpack. All speed freaks looking to push the pace on flat and rolling terrain and ride past the end of the asphalt will find what they’re looking for here, even if it does mean forgoing a high level of comfort. If you feel at home in the high mountains or are always riding on rough ground, you’d be better off looking somewhere else.


  • versatile for an aero race bike
  • great vibration damping thanks to wide tires and compliant seatpost
  • maximum efficiency on the flats thanks to good aerodynamics
  • full integration results in a tidy look


  • racing stiffness and aggressive position make the bike too sporty to be a true all-rounder

For more information head to

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best road bike of 2021 – 15 models in review

All bikes in test: BMC Roadmachine 01 ONE (Click for review) | Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Disc Ultegra (Click for review) | Canyon Grail CF SLX 8 eTap (Click for review) | Cervélo Caledonia-5 Dura Ace Di2 Disc (Click for review) | Mason Resolution Ekar (Click for review) | MERIDA REACTO TEAM-E CUSTOM | MERIDA SCULTURA ENDURANCE CUSTOM (Click for review) | OPEN MIN.D. (Click for review) | Orbea Gain M20i (Click for review) | ROSE REVEAL FOUR DISC Ultegra Di2 (Click for review) | SCOTT Addict eRIDE Premium (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Aethos (Click for review) | Storck Fascenario.3 Comp Disc Ultegra (Click for review) | Trek Domane+ LT 9 (Click for review) | Wilier Filante SLR (Click for review)

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Words: Photos: Valentin Rühl