Australian climber Matthew Lloyd and his Lampre-Merida team have found themselves on a new machine for the 2013 season, but carrying over is the distinct neon flair that makes them easy to spot in a crowded peloton. We caught up with Lloyd's new Merida Scultura SL at the Santos Tour Down Under.
Lloyd's Scultura SL carbon frame adheres to traditional stiffness-to-weight priorities with its nominally round, oversized, and tapered tubes – there isn't an aero profile to be found, at least not in the chassis. The head tube surrounds a tapered 1 1/8in to 1 1/2in steerer, the lower end is anchored by the new ultra-oversized BB386 EVO bottom bracket shell, the arched and flattened top tube is broad from end to end, and the seat tube flares from top to bottom.
In keeping with the theme, the chain stays are rather bulbous too. However, Merida does slim down the seat stays considerably – and adds softer flax fiber to the mix – to lend a smoother ride.
Merida has infused Lloyd's bike with another secret weapon from its arsenal, though – an internal wall-to-wall rib running the length of the down tube to increase stiffness and impact resistance.
Lampre-Merida has switched component sponsors from last year, moving from Campagnolo to Shimano. As was the case with most Shimano-equipped bikes we saw at the Santos Tour Down Under, Lloyd's Scultura was fitted with previous-generation Dura-Ace Di2 in place of the newer 9070 set to arrive later this spring. Another familiar sight is the SRM power meter, outfitted with 53/39T Dura-Ace 7900 chainrings.
Lampre-Merida has carried over its wheel and cockpit sponsors, which is somewhat unusual given Shimano's recent push for teams to use its rolling stock and PRO bits. When we caught up with Lloyd's bike, mechanics had fitted deep-section Fulcrum Racing Speed XLR carbon tubulars, wrapped with 22mm-wide Continental tires.
Lloyd's 22mm-wide Continental Competition Pro Limited tubulars
Lloyd bucks a couple of trends with his FSA cockpit components, opting for a carbon fiber bar, carbon wrapped stem, and a zero setback carbon fiber seatpost topped with a Selle San Marco Regale saddle.
Finishing things off are Elite Custom Race cages, an aluminum SRM PowerControl 7 computer head, and an FSA headset and bottom bracket.
Total weight as pictured is 7.38kg (16.27lb).
Complete bike specification
- Frame: Merida Scultura SL, 44cm
- Fork: Merida BC Carbon superlite-S
- Headset: FSA Orbit ZS, 1 1/8in to 1 1/2in tapered
- Stem: FSA OS-99 CSI, 100mm x -6 degrees
- Handlebar: FSA K-Force Compact, 42cm (c-c)
- Tape/grips: black/pink
- Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7900 w/ Fulcrum carbon-specific pads
- Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7900 w/ Fulcrum carbon-specific pads
- Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 STI Dual Control ST-7970
- Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-7970
- Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 RD-7970
- Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 STI Dual Control ST-7970 w/ SW-7972 'Sprint' shifters
- Cassette: Shimano Ultegra CS-6700, 11-25T
- Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7901
- Crankset: SRM Wireless PowerMeter DuraAce 7900 Compatible, 172.5mm, 53/39T
- Bottom bracket: FSA BB386 EVO-to-24mm
- Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL PD-7900
- Wheelset: Fulcrum Racing Speed XLR tubular
- Front tire: Continental Competition Pro Limited Allround tubular, 22mm
- Rear tire: Continental Competition Pro Limited Allround tubular, 22mm
- Saddle: Selle San Marco Regale w/ Xsilite rails
- Seatpost: FSA K-Force SB0
- Bottle cages: Elite Custom Race (2)
- Computer: SRM Aluminum PowerControl 7
- Rider's height: 1.71m (5ft 7in)
- Rider's weight: 62kg (137lb)
- Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 701mm
- Saddle setback: 29mm
- Seat tube length, c-c: 402mm
- Tip of saddle nose to c of bars: 495mm
- Saddle to bar drop (vertical): 105mm
- Head tube length: 110mm
- Top tube length: 515mm
- Total bicycle weight: 7.38kg (16.27lb)