Mekk is a collaboration between industry insiders Mark Edwards and Ken Knight, who were instrumental in establishing the GT brand in the UK. With plenty of time spent battling crosswinds for a place in the road racing echelon as well as fighting for market share in the bicycle business, the pair bring a wealth of experience to the table. So the Poggio P 2.0 comes with a rock solid pedigree.
Visually, Mekk still seem to be searching for their own unique style. At first sight, you could be forgiven for thinking Merckx had just reworked their graphics. In fact, the bike strikes us as a mash-up between a Pinarello and the great man Eddy’s machines. Aesthetics aside, though, this is a new standalone brand with tons of ambition.
Smooth, flowing lines combined with attention to detail characterise the overall design brief of this high-modulus carbon frame. Important features include an internal cable guide for the rear brake, and substantial, metal capped carbon dropouts that hang onto the wheel with a muscular grip.
At just 1,125g, the lightweight frame is certainly capable of serving as a springboard for some ambitious upgrades. So what better way to test its mettle than with a diabolical sportive, taking in every rough and muddy lane running along the Cotswold escarpment?
The Mekk’s overall behavior is stable and controlled, with neutral manners, yet responsive when called upon. It’s very good at smoothing out fine bumps, but a little less so when confronted with bigger, sharper hits. The Ice wheel package shod with rigid Kenda tyres and the well made but robust Ritchey seatpost are surely contributing factors to the stout character of the bike. Production models will have Shimano R500 wheels.
Shimano Tiagra’s easy actuation effort, coupled with compact gearing, is a bonus. Steep inclines and sharp walls can be tackled in earnest and easily overcome. Up front, a carbon-bladed fork weighing 600g offers exceptional lateral rigidity and precise handling, with only slight high speed buffeting due to its broad profile.
The Poggio P 2.0 has to be commended as a successful initial effort. It’s ideal for anyone looking for that first carbon bike on a budget, and whose ambitions might encompass anything from daily fitness rides to sportives or even the odd winter training camp. With the Poggio available on the internet for below that magic £1,000 mark, it’s a proper bargain.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.