With the SCULTURA V TEAM, MERIDA present the latest version of their proven climber and promises even more speed for competitive riders. Are there any other innovations besides a new paint job and new geometry? Read on to find out!
If you’ve been following the world tour during the past few weeks, you might have seen it. The new MERIDA SCULTURA V TEAM was already flexing its muscles before the official launch and winning stages at the Critérium du Dauphiné, the Tour de France and the Vuelta. What exactly has changed compared to its predecessor, apart from the new SHIMANO DURA-ACE Di2 9200 groupset that we’ve already reviewed for you here?
Point 1: Integration on the new MERIDA SCULTURA V TEAM
Point 1 is immediately noticeable. The subject of integration was a top priority for the new SCULTURA. External cables have become a thing of the past as the bike features perfect cockpit integration and internal cable routing throughout, resulting in an extremely clean look. To do so, the SCULTURA relies on the new one-piece MERIDA TEAM SL cockpit, which is available in several sizes with stem lengths of 90–120 mm and handlebar widths of 400–440 mm, weighing in at around 320 g. Thanks to the WIREPORT headset, the cables can be routed directly into the frame and remain completely hidden from view. Thanks to the two-piece spacers, you can adjust the cockpit height easily and without having to shorten the steerer tube or cut cables. You simply instal them under or over the stem and clamp them together by pre-loading the headset. The so-called FORCE DIFFUSOR attached to the carbon steerer tube where the stem gets clamped is also new and it’s intended to reduce material fatigue in the steerer tube.
Point 2: The aerodynamics of the new MERIDA SCULTURA V TEAM
In addition to the new one-piece cockpit and the completely internal cable routing, both of which are intended to reduce the road bike’s aerodynamic drag, MERIDA have fine-tuned the frame set. By doing so, they promise a saving of 10 watts thanks to aerodynamically optimised tube profiles and an aerodynamic head tube, such as you’ll find on the new MERIDA REACTO. The rear of the SCULTURA has also been optimised too and the seat stays have been dropped further down.
Point 3: Weight and comfort of the new MERIDA SCULTURA V TEAM
Despite the new aero tube profiles, which often add weight, the SCULTURA V TEAM has apparently lost some weight: the new CF5 carbon frame is claimed to be 4% lighter. According to MERIDA, the new frame weighs 822 g (size M) and the CF5 fork should weigh in at 389 g. Like other manufacturers, MERIDA believe that the reduction of bodily and muscular fatigue allows you to ride harder for longer and therefore, according to their own statement, the new SCULTURA V TEAM offers increased rider comfort. The seat tube was shortened by 40 mm to accommodate a longer seat post and thus offer more compliance.
Point 4: Spec and geometry of the new MERIDA SCULTURA V TEAM
As already mentioned, the new MERIDA SCULTURA V TEAM features the new Shimano DURA-ACE Di2 9200 groupset, which we’ve already had the chance to test. The road bike rolls on the new tubeless-compatible VISION METRON 45 SL wheels, fitted with 700 x 28C Continental 5000 tubeless tires, though the SCULTURA V TEAM offers clearances for up to 700 x 30C models. The SCULTURA comes with the latest version of MERIDA’s DISC COOLERS, as seen on their other bikes, as well as improved access to the bleed ports. MERIDA have matched the geometry of the SCULTURA with the current REACTO and they’ve done so for a good reason: this allows the pros to switch between the REACTO and the SCULTURA, depending on the stage and requirement, without having to adjust.
|Seat tube||480 mm||500 mm||520 mm||540 mm||560 mm||590 mm|
|Top tube||520 mm||536 mm||545 mm||560 mm||575 mm||590 mm|
|Head tube||105 mm||112 mm||128 mm||140 mm||155 mm||176 mm|
|Chainstays||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|
|Wheelbase||985 mm||983 mm||990 mm||990 mm||999 mm||1,010 mm|
|Reach||377 mm||384 mm||390 mm||395 mm||400 mm||409 mm|
|Stack||517 mm||529 mm||542 mm||557 mm||571 mm||593 mm|
MERIDA have made some promising updates to the new SCULTURA V TEAM, presenting a fully integrated and elegant road bike. While decreasing weight, the new road bike also promises to be more comfortable than its predecessor. Want to know how the bike performs in the real world? Then you won’t have to wait long. We’ve already been putting the bike through its paces!
For more information about the MERIDA SCULTURA V TEAM, visit merida-bikes.com
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Words: Photos: MERIDA