Merida Carbon Race frame review
The Carbon Race is the new version of the frame that Gunn-Rita Dahle dominated World Cup cross-country races on last year. Redesigned seat and chainstays add more shock absorption for those who like to run hard, skinny tyres but otherwise the song remains the same.
The weight is 1.531kg (3.4lb) including a quick-release seat clamp, bottle cage bolts and inset headset cups. The frame also comes with the complete headset and allen key seat clamp.
The state-of-the-art structure is a carbon monocoque with a seamless main triangle. Standover height and mud clearance are generous and everything about the finishing detail is incredibly tidy.
You can opt for either rim or disc brakes and you can either buy a frame alone or the £1,800 Special Edition bike with a Shimano LX/XT drivetrain, Magura Julie discs and a Manitou Axel Platinum fork. The frame offers a superb ride – noticeably more comfy than the best aluminium frames and up there with some of the best titanium offerings in terms of sharp handling. It would happily run with a 100mm travel fork too.
Sizes available in the UK are 16, 18 or 20in, but sizing is on the small side so you’ll probably be looking at the 20in frame if you’re 5ft 11in or over.