LIGHT. FAST. ALL ROUNDER.
I recently managed to take ownership of my team, TMC, Road bike via Merida Bicycles... The 2017 Scultura 7000E-Disc. Now although a silent, non racing member of the Team Mitchell Cycles, usually I get my racing kicks through the teams race reports & through the lense come race day. Although; I'm not going to be taking to the Tour De France anytime soon, the odd sportive I may well interest me along with a few road cycling challenges, a few of the Tour stages. Some longer European routes, Lands End - John O'Groats...
EVER HEARD ALL THE GEAR - NO IDEA..
As a Mitchell, I've been surrounded by entry to top bikes since I was born. And with the idea of promotions, video edits and general fitness ... plus that I'm a slightly high maintenance, I can admit it, I had a list - really I wasn't prepared to budge on, the GEAR which was on my want list was:
- Shimano Di2 - either Ultegra or Dura Ace
- Disc Brakes, not the old school centre pull brakes
- a Top level Carbon Frame set
I gave the task to the rest of the sales team and we shortlisted out of two options...
I'm sure that all who read this and see the two options will say that both bikes are of different 'styles' in the sense that one is a "Race Bike" and one is an "Aero Bike". For people who don't know the differences between the two, a race bike is really the traditional geometry styling, with the overall feature is that the frame & fork is as light as possible - the idea that the lighter weight bike will go faster. Where as the Aero bike, is typically heavier, across different ranges - but focuses it's build on aerodynamics, putting the rider into the most aerodynamic position will be faster. Most of the big manufacturer's still have both styles within their line up;
- Giant Bicycles; have the TCR (Race Frame) & the Propel (Aero Frame).
- Merida Bicycles; have the Scultura (Race Frame) & the Reacto (Aero Frame).
The conclusion that Road.cc came to on their "Lightweight v Aero: Which is Best?" recent article (August 2017, written by Mat Brett) was that unless you have lots of money to have a bike for each ride profile or you're a PRO rider, weight saving will help most. But left the conclusion with a quotation from Swiss Side’s Jean-Paul Ballard; "In general, I say that in more than 90% of cases (rides), you would choose the aero setup."
From a person with no racing experience, really just riding bikes and enjoying turning the pedals, I chose the Race style. After demoing both frames - but lower models, I must say I loved both, but swayed towards the Scultura - I loved how light the lower model was, the speed I was able to maintain and that I personally didn't feel uncomfortable, whilst or post getting in the miles!
MEET THE BIKE..
RIDES SO FAR...
Due to the recent weather and sudden snow fall, the bike has only been ridden three times:
- On a short 40 miles around the Cotswolds
- A very cold Thursday night hill-sprints up the old Blunsdon hill - 15.4 miles.
- And a ride in and out of work, 9 miles.
Tallying to just under 65miles (although riding steady due to a knee injury I sustained a few weeks ago).
I'm no PRO, I'm a standard guy who has a passion for fitness and keeping healthy, Cardio for me in a gym is utterly ridiculous - it kills my brain cells. So taking on the road cycling has been brilliant, I've lost weight whilst being able to keep my muscle mass, getting out seeing friends, taking in the fresh country air and Wiltshire views!
For me, the bike is spot on. I'm thoroughly happy with my choice and can't wait to get back out on the bike; from a sales point of view I can certainly stand in front of a customer and feel confident with putting forward a Merida Scultura to purchase! Made even better by the "Naughty Upgrade" above, changing out the Merida Expert Compact H/Bars & Stem for a Pro - Bike Gear Stealth Evo Carbon integrated stem and bar. To date the bike weighs 8.11kg, with the potential on some new wheels from Venn Wheels - check out a previous article on the Venn Wheels by clicking here.
I would strongly advise everyone, when buying a bike, go for a test ride before you purchase! Everyone is different, only you can decide on which bike is the right bike!
- http://road.cc/content/feature/227520-lightweight-v-aero-which-best (written by Mat Brett for Road.cc)