Mark Padun and Jack Haig of Team Bahrain Victorious were spotted riding an unreleased Merida road bike at the Critérium du Dauphiné this past weekend.
With its slim, presumably lightweight, tube profiles, could this be a new Merida Scultura? A frameset called the Scultura 5 was added to the UCI’s list of approved frames and forks in September 2020, so it seems likely this is that bike.
Given Padun won both of the final two mountain stages at the prestigious French stage race, Merida can hardly have asked for a better debut for the new bike.
At a glance, the new bike ticks all of the boxes we’ve come to expect of a modern, all-round WorldTour bike.
It also has a slick, fully integrated handlebar and stem. Previously, Merida bikes have used integrated cockpits by Vision, but a lack of obvious branding suggests this could be something of Merida’s own making. If so, this would be a first for the Taiwanese brand.
For better or worse then, it follows many of the same trends the majority of other high-performance road bikes on the market do.
Given this, many brands have been slimming down their aero bikes recently, in a bid to satisfy the weight weenies and still make a bike that cuts through the air efficiently.
When will this new bike be released?
When contacted, Merida wasn’t able to give us any details on the name or tech behind this bike. It did, however, confirm that it is a new bike and that it’s likely to launch “later this summer”.
It also seems highly likely that more members of the Bahrain Victorious team will be riding this bike during the upcoming 2021 Tour de France.