Lampre-Merida Reacto Evo 2013 - first look

New aero road bike in use with pro team at the Tour of Flanders

Taiwanese bicycle powerhouse Merida is the latest company to toss its hat into the aero road bike arena, with the new Reacto Evo used by Lampre-Merida teammates Filippo Pozzato and Alessandro Petacchi at the start of this year's Tour of Flanders. With design DNA seemingly borrowed from the Trek Madone 7-Series and BMC TMR01 TimeMachine, it's a speedy-looking ride.

The new Merida Reacto Evo doesn't appear to break any radical ground design-wise, but it does seem to combine some of the most successful features of other aero-inspired machines.

The down tube, seat tube, fork blades, and seatpost all use Kamm tail-like cross-sections, with truncated tails. Direct-mount Shimano Dura-Ace brake calipers are used throughout, too, with the rear relocated beneath the chain stays. And the seat stays sport a clean, blade-like profile and compact layout that presumably produces smoother airflow.

Other aero-inspired features include a dead-level top tube and hourglass-profile tapered head tube, to reduce frontal area, convertible internal cable routing, and even a seatpost binder wedge that's neatly integrated into the top tube.

The Reacto Evo doesn't seem to sacrifice rigidity for aerodynamics, though – if anything, we expect it to be very stiff given the team riders using it. Save for the seat stays, just about all of the tubing uses a large diameter, and Merida has outfitted the bike with a wide and oversized BB386 EVO bottom bracket shell, complete with the larger adjoining tubes and wider chain stay spacing that format allows.

The dead-level top tube on the new Merida Reacto Evo

We don't expect the Reacto Evo to be brutally harsh, either, thanks to the aggressively hogged-out seatpost shape and the shock-absorbing elastomer insert filling in the area.

BikeRadar doesn't have any official information from Merida just yet, but stay tuned as we expect an official launch later this season.

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