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The new Merida Scultura Endurance: slacker geometry and wide tyres

21 Jul 2020
Verdict:

The new endurance model from Merida can fit 35mm tyres and has more relaxed geometry

Price: 
From £2,000

Taiwanese bike brand Merida has released the Scultura Endurance, a ‘leisure-focussed’ alternative to its lightweight Scultura racing bike, that has been built for riding both on and off-road.

The brand new Merida Scultura Endurance is based on its lightweight counterpart but incorporates a more relaxed geometry and room for 35mm tyres. It also makes exclusive use of disc brakes as Merida looks to produce a bike that is ‘suitable for long-distance rides, handling tarmac equally well as rough pavement or even light fire roads’.

In short, the Scultura Endurance is a true endurance road bike and a wholly different option from the existing Scultura that you will likely see Bahrain-McLaren’s Mikel Landa and Wout Poels racing this summer.

In fact, the Scultura Endurance is a borderline ‘all-road’ bike that Merida is confident can withstand a mix of ‘90% tarmac, 10% off-road’. Merida says it combines the road attributes of the existing Scultura and the off-road attributes of its Silex gravel bike and Mission cyclocross machine.

Slacker geometry, wider tyres

The biggest giveaway that this is an endurance-focused bike designed for comfort and stability are the vast changes to the bike's geometry.

Merida has made the riding position more upright, shortening the reach by around 10mm and extending the bike’s stack by up to 30mm on the Large frame size. 

The Scultura Endurance's more upright riding position is better suited to longer days in the saddle although it does stop short of straying into the more progressive geometries found on full-blown gravel options.

The head tube angle has been slackened too – by half a degree – contributing to a longer wheelbase that has been further increased by 10mm longer chainstays. Merida says this should help promote the Scultura Endurance's handling stability, but it also allows for one of Merida’s other notable changes, tyre clearance.

While the existing Scultura comes with clearance for a conservative 28mm tyre, the Scultura Endurance will be sold as standard with 32mm road tyres and even have the capability to take a chunky 35mm option, too.

The ability to fit 35mm tyres is, of course, facilitated by the fact that the Scultura Endurance will also be disc-only, which is an essential design feature nowadays on endurance/all-road bikes.

The capacity for the rider to take the Scultura Endurance off-road is also evident in Merida's choice to fit 160mm disc rotors as standard and as well as allow for conversion to 180mm rotors, too.

Although, it does seem slightly remiss that despite big disc rotors and 32mm tyres, Merida has neglected to spec the Scultura Endurance with tubeless as standard. None of the four options provided by Merida are set to be offered with tubeless-ready tyres, instead being specced with Continental Grand Prix 4-season or Maxxis Detonator tyres.

Along with the lower price builds, provisions for larger tyres and disc brakes does come a heavier frame. The CF3 carbon layup used in the new Scultura Endurance weighs in at 1,124g for a medium. While 264g more than the Superlite CF4 disc frame used in the top-spec Scultura Disc 10K-E, it is on par with plenty of other endurance models.

And while Merida proudly labels the new Scultura Endurance as the ‘perfect winter bike or commuter’ it hasn't overlooked the importance of aerodynamics, borrowing features from Merida’s existing range known to improve a bike's ability to cut through the air.

The front of the bike offers neat cable integration and cleaner airflow while Merida has also hidden the bike’s seatpost clamp in an attempt to save you some watts.

Specs and pricing

There will be four Scultura Endurance specs to choose from. The top of the tree Endurance 7000-E bike will see be specced with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset and DT Swiss E1850 Spline DB23 alloy wheels.

Both the Endurance 6000 and 5000 will be sold with mechanical Ultegra but with Fulcrum Racing 700 wheels and Merida’s own Expert SL rims respectively. Then, as the most entry-level option, the Endurance 4000 will come with Shimano’s excellent 105 disc groupset and Merida’s Expert SL rims.

All four will be fitted with a compact 50/34 chainset and 11/34 cassette providing a generous 1:1 gear ratio for those steepest ascents.

Pricing for the Merida Scultura Endurance will start at £2,000 for the 105-specced model before working its way up to £3,5000 for the 7000e Ultegra Di2 model. There will also be two choices of frame colour in every spec.

For more information, visit Merida's own website here.

Merida Scultura Endurance pricing:

Scultura Endurance 7000e - £3,500
Scultura Endurance 6000 - £2,500
Scultura Endurance 5000 - £2,200
Scultura Endurance 4000 - £2,000

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