For our big bikepacking group test, MERIDA sent us their SILEX+ 8000-E to take on the competition. With its successful participation in the Atlas Mountain Race, it’s already proven itself on one of the most demanding adventures around. But how will the Shimano GRX Di2 equipped bike fare in this test?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best bikepacking bike in review

MERIDA SILEX+ 8000-E (650B) | 8.87 kg in size M | Manufacturer’s website

All black everything seems to have been the motto for the designers of the MERIDA SILEX+ 8000-E. Seeing the end result, they’ve definitely done a good job. The stealth SILEX+ is infused with mountain bike DNA, furnishing it with useful bikepacking features. The comparatively long reach ensures composed handling and prevents toe overlap while the short stem and long head tube make for a comfortable riding position.

The MERIDA’s carbon frameset offers plenty of space for luggage and has numerous bolt-on points for bottle cages, gear and mudguards. Internal cable routing together with the integrated seat post clamp and Di2 junction box ensure a tidy look. As on most of MERIDA’s new bikes, the SILEX+ features so-called Disc Cooler heat sinks made of aluminium, placed between the brake calipers and the frame. For € 3,999, you get a Shimano GRX RX810 Di2 groupset, Fulcrum Rapid Red 500 wheels and 650 x 45B Kenda Flintridge PRO tires. The frame offers clearance for tires up to 700 x 45C or 650 x 50B. The in-house aluminum cockpit is nothing special but the 30.9 mm MERIDA TEAM CC seat post made a positive impression on our test riders. Despite its zero offset design, the seat post is very compliant. In size M, the MERIDA weighs 8.87 kg.

Doesn’t give up
An electronic drivetrain makes perfect sense on a bikepacking bike. The Shimano GRX Di2 can be charged with a power bank while you’re riding.
Well done
The MERIDA TEAM CC seat post offers a lot of comfort without feeling spongy. Well designed and built.
The seat post clamp is beautifully integrated and does its job without issues.
So close
The MERIDA has a lot of features that make it a great bikepacking bike. Unfortunately, the slow-rolling tires prevented it from claiming the top spot.

MERIDA SILEX+ 8000-E (650B)

€ 3,999


Brakes Shimano GRX815x 160/160 mm
Drivetrain Shimano GRX RX817 Di2 40 (11-42)
Handlebar MERIDA EXPERT GR 420 mm
Wheelset Fulcrum Rapid Red 500
Tires Kenda Flintridge Pro 45B

Technical Data

Size XS S M L XL
Weight 8.87 kg
Wheelsize 650B

Specific Features

bosses on the fork
available as a 700C or 650B version
electronic Shimano Di2 drivetrail
lots of storage space

Lenkertasche TRAVEL (16 l, € 59.909 | Rahmentasche Travel Bag (5.4 l, € 54.95)
Satteltasche Travel Bag (21 l, € 74.95) | 2 x MERIDA Gravelcage inkl. Tasche (5 l, € 34.95)
Size XS S M L XL
Seat tube 440 mm 470 mm 500 mm 530 mm 560 mm
Top tube 548 mm 564 mm 580 mm 600 mm 620 mm
Head tube 160 mm 180 mm 200 mm 220 mm 240 mm
Head angle 71.0° 71.0° 71.0° 71.0° 71.0°
Seat angle 74.0° 74.0° 74.0° 74.0° 74.0°
BB Drop 75 mm 75 mm 75 mm 75 mm 75 mm
Chainstay 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm
Wheelbase 1,027 mm 1,044 mm 1,061 mm 1,082 mm 1,104 mm
Reach 379 mm 390 mm 400 mm 415 mm 430 mm
Stack 588 mm 607 mm 626 mm 645 mm 664 mm

The MERIDA is ready for any bikepacking adventure and Atlas Mountain Race approved! Unfortunately, the Kenda tires hold back this black beauty.

Helmet POC Omne SPIN | Glasses Oakley Trillbe | Jersey GRAN FONDO Crew-Shirt
Shorts Rapha Men’s Core Cargo Bib Shorts | Socks MB Wear Stelvio
Shoes Specialized S-Works Recon

The MERIDA’s acceleration is only average despite its comparatively low weight. It doesn’t carry its speed quite as efficiently as some of its competitors in the test field either. The main reason for this is the high rolling resistance of the Kenda tires, which generate a lot of grip and offer good damping but aren’t fast rolling on any surface. We’re sure that with a better set of tires, this bike would have been much more coherent!

In terms of handling, the MERIDA offers an excellent balance of composure and agility. Despite its excellent straight-line stability and the fact that it never gets unsettled, even on demanding terrain or with heavy loads, it is by no means sluggish. With such confidence-inspiring handling, you’ll easily be able to overlook its slight lack of precision. The good vibration damping, the composed feeling even on rough terrain and the long-distance comfort all add to your feeling of confidence when riding this bike. Contrary to some critics, we can wholeheartedly recommend the electronic Shimano GRX RX810 Di2 groupset for bikepacking due to its easy and comfortable shifting. Should you run low on power after a few days in the saddle, simply connect your power bank to recharge the groupset’s battery while riding – you shouldn’t be riding without a power bank anyway.

Tuning tips: tires with less rolling resistance


With its super composed handling, high level of comfort and generous accommodation for luggage, the MERIDA SILEX+ 8000-E is an excellent bikepacking rig for long expeditions in demanding terrain for all skill levels. While the easy shifting of the electronic Shimano GRX groupset is the bike’s absolute highlight, the Kenda tires are in urgent need of an upgrade. Due to its lack of sprightliness and the slow acceleration, the SILEX+ came just short of our Best Buy.


  • balanced handling
  • high level of comfort
  • lots of space in the front triangle
  • easy shifting of the Shimano GRX RX810 Di2 groupset


  • slow acceleration
  • slow rolling tires

For more info head to

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best bikepacking bike in review

All bikes in test: Bombtrack Hook 2 (Click for review) | Canyon Grail AL 7.0 SL (Click for review) | Fern Chuck Explorer (Click for review) | Marin Headlands 2 (Click for review) | Mason Bokeh GRX (Click for review) | MERIDA SILEX+ 8000-E | RONDO BOGAN (Click for review) | ROSE BACKROAD AXS Mullet Build (Click for review) | Salsa Cutthroat GRX 600 (Click for review) | Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Epic HT AXS Custom (Click for review) | Trek Fuel EX 9.9 XTR Project One (Click for review)

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Words: Photos: Benjamin Topf, Robin Schmitt, Valentin Rühl