This article originally appeared on BikeRadar.
Australian climber Matthew Lloyd and his Lampre-Merida team find 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's nary an aero profile to be found, at least not in the chassis. The head tube surrounds a tapered 1 1/8 - 1 1/2" 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 chainstays are rather bulbous, too, although 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 we saw at the Santos Tour Down Under, Lloyd's Scultura SL was fitted with previous-generation Dura-Ace Di2 electronic bits in place of the newer 9070 version 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, though, which is somewhat unusual given Shimano's recent move to pushing teams to use its rolling stock and PRO bits, too. 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 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).