Merida Scultura Comp 904 review

Lightweight bargain of an all-round road bike

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £1,500.00 RRP

Our review

Superb ride from a state-of-the-art all-rounder with decent kit and value price
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While the previous Scultura frame was a fairly straightforward, straight tube format, Merida have found their flow, structurally and ride-wise, with the new 2013 frame. 

  • Highs: Excellent ride quality from a lightweight, future-proof frame with great spec for the price
  • Lows: Not the stiffest or sharpest under real stomping power
  • Buy if: You want a really cultured-feeling, lively, all-round ride at a bargain price

The continuous arch of the ovalised down tube, flattened A-frame ‘Flex Stays’ and skinny 27.2mm carbon seatpost build a ride that feels tautly sprung and eager to go from the outset. 

Spin the pedals at a smooth cadence and it glides up gradients, with a buoyant, momentum-sustaining spring. It’s not the stiffest when you jump up and stamp, but it’s no slouch attacking out of corners or jumping the group halfway up a hill. 

Responsive Mavic Aksium Race wheels and a low overall weight mean you can light up the pace repeatedly on combative climbs without regretting it. It also meant the Scultura was always one of the first to surge ahead as climbs started to plateau at the top, getting over the brow easily and spinning quickly into a gap.

The ratios of the compact chainset keep your knees intact even up extended pitches. The bike’s smoothness across rough sections pays increasing dividends the longer you ride it, and the cockpit is well shaped and stiff enough to be accurate without jarring you. 

The front end is high enough for creaky back comfort if you leave all the spacers in, but low enough to create a proper racer feel. Despite the smoothing effect of the wishbone top line of the frame, the accuracy of the fork and head tube means you can push it hard through corners. 

There’s plenty of feedback for reaching the edge of adhesion without a dose of road rash and the Vittoria tyres are smoother rolling and more surefooted in corners than most mid-price rubber. It’s stable enough for back pocket snacking between summits and it takes deep section wheels and gusty days in its stride too.

Detailing like the blended seat tube, top tube centre strake (a fin-like reinforcing extension) and curved seat collar base sync well with the curved frame. While the outer cable running through the top tube adds grams, frame weight is okay. 

Perfect frame and rear triangle alignment is great to see, confirmation of the expertise of one of the world’s largest bike manufacturers.

The merida’s tyres and low weight make accelerating a piece of cake: the merida’s tyres and low weight make accelerating a piece of cake
Russell Burton/Future Publishing

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

Product Specifications


Name Scultura Comp 904 (12)
Brand Merida

Description 44, 47, 50, 52, 54, 56, 59cm sizes
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Top Tube (cm) 56
Standover Height (cm) 78
Seat Tube (cm) 49
Chainstays (cm) 42
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 27.2
Weight (kg) 8.29
Stem Merida Pro 11cm
Shifters Shimano 105 STI
Seatpost Merida Pro alloy 27.2mm
Saddle Selle Italia X1
Rear Wheel Weight 1740
Headset Type Integrated
Bottom Bracket Shimano 105
Handlebar Control Tech One 42cm
Front Wheel Weight 1210
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Frame Weight 1130
Frame Material carbon monocoque
Fork Weight 420
Fork Full carbon with alloy dropouts
Cranks Shimano 105 50/34, 172.5mm arms
Chain KMC X10
Cassette Shimano 105 11-28T
Brakes Merida Pro dual pivot
Wheelbase (cm) 100