Merida Ride Carbon 95 review

Sportive ride from Taiwan

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £2,000.00 RRP | AUD $2,599.00

Our review

Good value, stiff yet comfortable but could do with a lower front end
Skip to view product specifications

Merida’s Ride series was new for 2013, marrying the construction of the Scultura race bikes to taller, longer ‘endurance geometry’. The Ride Carbon 95 is a sportive bike that we feel is built for comfort over outright speed.

Advertisement

Ride and handling: solid but weighty

On the road, the Merida is as solid as it looks, with a direct feel under power that flatters your efforts. But comfort is good thanks to a combination of frame construction, 27.2mm carbon post and 25mm tyres.

It’s significantly heavier than other carbon bikes in its class, which holds it back on sustained climbs. Some of that weight is in the frame, which there isn’t much you can do about, but a future move to lighter wheels would add a bit more zip.

Even by sportive bike standards, the Ride Carbon has a very long head-tube. While this gives you a good view and is comfortable on the flat, on hills (both up and down) we found ourselves wishing for a lower bar than is possible. Getting a bit lower would help to put the power down going up, and unless you really hunker down over the front on descents it can feel slightly wandery.

There’s no shortage of chassis stiffness up front, it’s just hard to get enough weight over the front wheel for committed cornering. Many riders may not have any issue with it, but we’d like to be able to make the most out of the lively and responsive frame.

Frame and equipment: decent for the price

The Merida Ride Carbon 95 a distinctive-looking frame, with a massive tapered head-tube, trapezoidal down-tube, flattened top-tube and dropped seatstays. Inside there are stiffening ribs splitting the main tubes into chambers, and layers of flax fibre in the layup designed to damp vibrations.

The Ride Carbon frame is also ready for a Di2 transmission, with the internal cable routing supplemented by an extra cable port near the front mech and bosses for a battery under the left-hand chainstay. The front cable ports are in the head-tube, which does lead to some slightly awkward cable curves in standard spec.

Headline spec is Shimano Ultegra, which is impressive on a £2,000 carbon bike. We’re not surprised that you don’t get a full group, though – STI units and mechs are Ultegra, while the chainset and brakes are non-series Shimano. The solid crank arms are heavier than Ultegra’s hollow units, but the brakes are a cut above the Tektros often seen at this price.

Advertisement

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Ride Carbon 95 (13)
Brand Merida

Available Sizes 50 52 54 56 59
Headset Type NO.55EP Neck-com
Shifters Shimano Ultegra
Seatpost Merida Carbon K SB19 27.2
Saddle Q-BIK flow
Rims Mavic Aksium
Rear Tyre VITTORIA RUBINO 700x23
Rear Derailleur Shimano Ultegra
Handlebar FSA Gossamer Compact OS
Brakes Shimano R561
Front Tyre Vittoria
Front Derailleur Shimano Ultegra
Frame Material Sportif geometry carbon monocoque frame with bio fibre damping and flex stays for supreme comfort
Fork Full carbon tapered fork with double chamber blades and bio fibre damping
Cranks Shimano R550 50-34
Chain KMC X10 10-speed
Cassette Shimano CS-4600-10 12-28
Stem Merida Pro E OS -7