World champion Rui Costa is racing the 2014 Tour de France on a Merida Reacto KOM, of which there are only three in existence.
Designer Jurgen Falke told BikeRadar that Merida's aim with the new bike was to create something that retained all of the aero benefits of the Merida Reacto, but also met the UCI’s 6.8kg / 15lb minimum weight limit for bikes. Despite earlier statements that the bike’s aero and dynamic efficiency more than made up for its slightly heavier than average frame, Merida claims that Costa's complete Reacto KOM frameset is about 165g lighter than his previous Merida Reacto.
Falke outlined how some of the weight savings on the new frame were made. The use of different carbon in new layups trimmed 70g from the frame, he said, and another 30g from the fork. The aerodynamic and shock-reducing S-Post seatpost has been constructed in one piece, rather than the previous two, cutting 50g more, and Merida used light aluminium headset cups weighing just 15g.
The truncated airfoil tube shapes of the Reacto carry over to the Reacto KOM, but in a lighter package
Falke claimed that the complete new bike is a whopping 500g lighter than Costa's previous Reacto Evo, which we weighted back in February at 7.43kg / 16.38lb, so if, as claimed, the KOM hits the magic 6.8kg / 15lb mark, there has certainly been an intensive diet.
The Reacto KOM retains the truncated airfoil tube shaping of the Reacto, which Merida calls Fastback, and the direct-mount rear brake that is tucked under the chainstays.
Production and availability information is limited at the moment, but don’t expect to see one in your local dealer until 2015.
Costa debuted this bike at the 2014 Tour de Suisse, which he won for the third successive year.
With the rear brake tucked under the seatstays, Merida designers are free to rework the seatstay and down tube configurations for aerodynamic gain