While sprinters like Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan are choosing to use new aerodynamic frames which are significantly heavier than most standard professional road frames, Merida is still continuing to develop its top of the line lightweight bike - the Scultura - into the ultimate climbing machine for its WorldTour squad, Lampre-Merida.
Merida's Jürgen Falke acknowledges that riders will have to choose between aerodynamics and weight, but points to the Scultura as the benchmark for a lightweight machine.
Falke describes the evolution of the Scultura in partnership with Lampre's top professionals. The original geometry of the Scultura was too relaxed for the professional riders, who prefer a lower, more stretched out position. They were using one size too small to get their positions the way they wanted.
The Scultura has evolved as a pure climbing bike, but it's so light that it has very little room to slim down. They are already using 0.3mm carbon fibre walls, but any more weight loss might impact performance. The frame uses over 400 individual pieces of carbon fibre of different qualities, offering stiffness where it needs to be, but vibration damping to offer rider comfort.
Take a look inside the Scultura in this video from Incycle, and don't forget to subscribe to the Cyclingnews YouTube channel.