Merida Scultura 5000 first ride review£1,750.00

Ultegra-equipped endurance ride

Merida has specced a bit more Shimano Ultegra than £1,750 normally gets you — and a carbon seatpost — though economies have been made to the brakes and chainset on its endurance-flavoured Scultura 5000.

Merida Scultura 5000 spec overview

  • Weight: 8.05kg (56cm)
  • Frame: Carbon
  • Fork: Full carbon, tapered
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra (R500 50/34), 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano R561
  • Wheels: Merida Expert SL
  • Tyres: 25mm Continental Ultra Sport II
  • Handlebar: Merida Expert Compact
  • Stem: Merida Expert

Its distance qualities are reflected in its (just) metre-plus wheelbase, a taller head-tube than a ‘standard’ road bike and Merida’s own Flex Stay chain- and seatstays, which are designed to reduce vibrations.

Though its classic race bike 73-degree parallel angles and on-the-money 8kg weight show its aspirations aren’t overly lazy.

Merida Scultura 5000 ride impression

Out on the road the Scultura scores highly for tapping out the miles comfortably and at a decent lick. The geometry, with its short-reach drops and tall, back-friendly seat tube, is ideal if you don’t tend to ride too aggressively.

It’s not that it’s slow, but with a 190mm head tube you’re not getting into a super-slow aero tuck. The Flex Stay technology seems to work too, as rear-end comfort is impressive — and without any unwanted efficiency-fleecing lateral flex we couldn’t get any rear brake rub even when we tried.

If you’re looking for a long-distance bike for reasonably paced rides and you like a slightly more upright riding position, this Merida is a serious challenger to the likes of Specialized’s Roubaix. And at well under £2,000 it also represents very decent value.

Merida Scultura 5000 early verdict

Good value endurance bike scores more for comfort than all-out speed.

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

Simon has been cycling for as long as he can remember, and more seriously since his time at university in the Dark Ages (the 1980s). This has taken in time trialling, duathlon and triathlon and he has toured extensively in Asia and Australasia, including riding solo 2900km from Cairns to Melbourne. He now mainly rides as a long-distance commuter and leisure/fitness rider. He has been testing bikes and working for Cycling Plus in various capacities for nearly 20 years.
  • Age: 53
  • Height: 175cm / 5'9
  • Weight: 75kg /165lb
  • Waist: 33in
  • Discipline: Road, touring, commuting
  • Current Bikes: Rose SL3000, Hewitt steel tourer
  • Beer of Choice: Samuel Adams Boston Lager
  • Location: Bath, UK

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