Following Dan Martin (Quick-Step floors) and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) racing the Criterium du Dauphine on new framesets this week, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) continues the trend with the anticipated new Reacto frameset from Merida.
The aero frameset is disguised in a black and white wrap in an attempt to keep the new design features under the radar. Alongside the frameset, Colbrelli is running Shimano Dura-Ace 9150 components, Fulcrum Speed wheels, an SRM crankset and Prologo saddle in Bahrain-Merida team colours.
Four key features stand out through the conspicuousness of the plastic wrap on Colbrelli's frame. Most prominently, the chunky seat stay junction of the current Reacto model seems to be vastly reduced in size, suggesting new carbon composition and lay-up technologies from the Taiwanese brand.
The seat stay tubes themselves also appear to have received development. Whilst the current incarnation of the frameset has oversized seat stay tubing with an oblong profile, the new frameset has thinner tubing that splays out towards the dropouts.
At the front end of the bike, a prominent bulge features at the head of the top tube alongside more subtle changes in the frame's tube profiles. The fork also appears to have received an update with a more integrated fork crown clearly visible. These updates are more than likely updates to the aerodynamic properties of the frame and should allow better airflow over the front end of the bike.
Colbrelli's cockpit also seems to debut an updated integrated handlebar and stem combination from Vision. The Metron 6D handlebars follow on from the existing Vision Metron 5D handlebar system.
Merida had four new framesets approved by the UCI in 2017. All four frames bear the Reacto name, albeit with 'CF2' and 'CF4' variations suggesting different carbon lay-ups or geometry options. As well as the two name variations, each model looks to be available in both a disc brake and calliper version.
As with the new Specialized Tarmac and Trek Emonda, Cyclingnews understands the official launch of the Merida Reacto will coincide with the Tour de France next month.
Take a detailed look at Colbrelli's new Reacto in the gallery above.
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