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Taipei Cycle Show: Merida debuts new Ride SL classics bike

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Merida debuted its new Ride SL classics bike here at the Taipei Cycle Show.

Merida debuted its new Ride SL classics bike here at the Taipei Cycle Show. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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SRAM Neutral Support car follows the race-winning breakaway of Flavia Oliveira and Jacquelyn Crowell into the Laguna Seca corkscrew.\

SRAM Neutral Support car follows the race-winning breakaway of Flavia Oliveira and Jacquelyn Crowell into the Laguna Seca corkscrew.\ (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Fender mounts are neatly integrated into both the front and rear dropouts.

Fender mounts are neatly integrated into both the front and rear dropouts. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The new Merida Ride SL uses a tapered head tube. The internal cable routing can accommodate either mechanical or electronic systems - and we expect production versions will also have the option of a flush cap to replace the unused port pictured here.

The new Merida Ride SL uses a tapered head tube. The internal cable routing can accommodate either mechanical or electronic systems - and we expect production versions will also have the option of a flush cap to replace the unused port pictured here. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The stays are dramatically flattened to help them flex over bumps. The top of the seat stays and the back of the down tube are offset for the same reason.

The stays are dramatically flattened to help them flex over bumps. The top of the seat stays and the back of the down tube are offset for the same reason. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Not surprisingly given its intended use, Merida outfits the new Ride SL with a slim, 27.2mm-diameter seatpost.

Not surprisingly given its intended use, Merida outfits the new Ride SL with a slim, 27.2mm-diameter seatpost. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The chain stays start out rather tall at the PF86 bottom bracket but squash down sharply through the middle of the tube.

The chain stays start out rather tall at the PF86 bottom bracket but squash down sharply through the middle of the tube. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The bottom bracket is filled with Shimano's PF86 press-fit cups.

The bottom bracket is filled with Shimano's PF86 press-fit cups. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The front and rear fender mounts are barely noticeable.

The front and rear fender mounts are barely noticeable. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The chain stays may be flattened but they're still quite wide, which should help them from flexing side-to-side under pedaling loads.

The chain stays may be flattened but they're still quite wide, which should help them from flexing side-to-side under pedaling loads. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

Merida unveiled its new Ride SL classics bike at the Taipei Cycle Show. The bike will be used by the Lampre-Merida team, just in time to hit the cobbles of the 2013 Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. As with other bikes in this category, Merida says the frame's purpose-built shape will provide a comfortable ride over the brutal pavé of northern Belgium.

Merida follows a well-proven formula out back on the new Ride SL, with flattened chain stays and seat stays that are expected to yield more readily over bumps. The seat stays and top tube are also offset at the seat cluster, with the idea that the seat tube will flex more easily under rider weight on rough ground. Not surprisingly, Merida fits the Ride SL with a slim, 27.2mm-diameter seatpost.

Up front it's a much more dramatic story, with the rear of the fork legs being radically scalloped out, again to promote flex and increase comfort. Merida fills the space with elastomeric inserts similar to Specialized's Zertz models. However, in this case we couldn't help but notice that they seemed barely attached to the carbon structure, which suggests they're at least partially cosmetic.

Other features include a tapered head tube, convertible internal cable routing, a PF86 press-fit bottom bracket shell, and trick hidden fender mounts at both the front and rear dropouts.

Merida had 25mm-wide tires installed on the show bike and it looked to be a fairly tight fit, although 28mm-wide rubber might still work. Claimed frame weight is around 900g and the complete bike as shown here is about 7kg (15.4lb).

The official consumer release is scheduled for this July but, in the meantime, don't fret too much about the ultra-loud paint job. This bike is destined for the Lampre-Merida team and the consumer version will almost certainly be available in a more subdued color scheme.

For more information on Merida see www.merida-bikes.com.

The scalloped backs of the fork legs