Friday five-a-side: This week’s new bike gear 16/01/15

New bikes from Merida, Polygon and Norco, plus kit from Park Tool and Ritchey

It’s peak-riding season Down Under, and so our third roundup of new 2015 road and mountain bike gear comes with a whole lot of summer riding treats soon to be enjoyed by our Australian team.

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We’ve got mountain and road bikes from Merida and Polygon, along with an endurance-roadie from Norco. Additionally, we have some new tools, a tasty stem and plenty more.

New road bike gear

Merida Reacto DA LTD

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The 2015 merida reacto da-limited looks to pack a serious punch for the cash : the 2015 merida reacto da-limited looks to pack a serious punch for the cash

The Reacto DA LTD aims to bring pro-level aero-road features into a more accessible – good value – price point.

Where the Reacto Team Edition uses a ‘CF4’ extra-high-modulus carbon, the Reacto DA LTD is made of a lower grade CF3. Aside from the carbon used, the frames share casts and so are aerodynamically the same.

The Reacto frame has spent many hours within a wind tunnel and is said to be one of the world’s fastest. Its flat-back NACA Fastback tube profiles allow for both frame stiffness and ride quality to be retained, it’s claimed.

Further aero features include an integrated seatpost clamp, internal cable routing from behind the stem and a chainstay mounted direct-mount rear brake.

While the frame positively oozes performance, the componentry is equally slick with Shimano Dura-Ace shifters and derailleurs, 42mm deep Vision Trimax T42 wheels and FSA Team-Issue handlebar and stem. A matching carbon bottle cage is a neat addition.

£3,500 / US$TBC / AU$5,000

www.merida.com (www.merida.com.au – Australia)

Polygon Helios C8X

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The 2015 polygon helios c8x packs plenty of bang for the buck in australia: the 2015 polygon helios c8x packs plenty of bang for the buck in australia

The new Helios Disc range signals a jump into the burgeoning disc-equipped road bike sector for Indonesian manufacturer Polygon. This new full-carbon endurance platform is available in two models – for testing, we’ve got our hands on the upper-end Ultegra Di2 equipped C8X Disc.

With stealthy logos hidden amid the gloss paint job, the frame features include a tapered steerer tube, internal gear cable routing (brake cables go externally), a press-fit bottom bracket and a slender 27.2mm seatpost.

Both frame and fork feature an enclosed thru-axle design that sees a standard quick release thread into the opposing side – compatibility with standard QR wheels remains.

The attention-grabbing near-full Ultegra Di2 drivetrain is matched with R785 shifters and hydraulic brakes, 160mm Shimano Freeza brake rotors are mounted on RX31 wheels, also from the Japanese giant.

In Australia and, soon, the US, Polygon bikes are sold direct-to-consumer – meaning the firm can offer prices that will make you doubt your eyesight.

£N/A / US$TBC / AU$3,600

www.polygonbikes.com (www.bicyclesonline.com.au – Australia)

Norco Valence Ultegra Di2

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2015 norco valence carbon ultegra di2, a high-value endurance ride : 2015 norco valence carbon ultegra di2, a high-value endurance ride

Given that this Canadian brand is best known for its mountain bikes, we were given an unexpected shock when we