Originally published on Cyclingnews
The Bahrain-Merida team has unveiled the three Merida bikes their riders will use in their debut season in 2017 – the Scultura, the Reacto, and the Warp.
One of each was hidden under black cloth during the press conference at the new team’s introductory training camp in Croatia, but there were no huge gasps when they were revealed as it’s the same range used this season by the Lampre-Merida team, just in the new team’s colours.
The three-bike range
Here’s the cockpit for the Scultura, which is Merida’s flagship lightweight race machine Patrick Fletcher / Immediate Media
The Scultura is Merida’s flagship lightweight race bike, which will be the bike used most widely and the one on which Vincenzo Nibali is likely to lead the team at the Giro d’Italia.
The Merida Reacto will be used by the team’s sprinters, like Niccolo Bonifazio and Sonny Colbrelli Patrick Fletcher / Immediate Media
The other road bike is the Reacto, which will be used by the sprinters in the team such as Niccolo Bonifazio and Sonny Colbrelli. The bike prioritises aerodynamics and the handlebars are designed to cut through the air, with Merida also positioning it as the ideal choice for those looking to spend time in breakaways.
The Merida Warp, the new team’s time trial bike Patrick Fletcher / Immediate Media
The Warp is Merida’s flagship time trial bike.
The new bikes were displayed with Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2 9070 groupset, but the team will be riding the new 9170 components when they come out in February 2017 Patrick Fletcher / Immediate Media
The team will be using the Shimano Dura-Ace groupset, with Di2 electronic shifting, and will be changing to the latest version once the upgrade comes out in February. The wheels are supplied by Fulcrum and the SRM power-meter set-up is said to be the most weight-efficient out there.
‘All or nothing’ for discs
Andreas Rottler, director of sport marketing at Bahrain-Merida, examines the new bikes Bettini Photo
The bikes on display were all fitted with caliper brakes, but the range is completely ‘disc-brake ready’. The UCI is re-introducing a trial period for disc brakes in 2017, and Juergen Falke, Merida’s head of design, told Cyclingnews that the riders will be encouraged to use them.
They will almost certainly be used at Paris-Roubaix, where discs free up space to fit wider tyres for the rough terrain, but a consultation process will take place with regards to other races. Falke explained that it was all or nothing in terms of going to races with discs, saying it didn’t make logistical sense to have some riders on discs and some on calipers.