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Tour de France tech: Rui Costa's Merida Reacto KOM

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The Prologo CPC material consists of tiny silicone tubes

The Prologo CPC material consists of tiny silicone tubes (Image credit: Ben Delaney / Future Publishing)
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As team leader, Rui Costa is the only Lampre-Merida rider to have the new Merida Reacto KOM frame at the Tour de France

As team leader, Rui Costa is the only Lampre-Merida rider to have the new Merida Reacto KOM frame at the Tour de France (Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Future Publishing)
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Costa and the rest of his team have Rotor Power LT cranks, as well as Power2Max power meters

Costa and the rest of his team have Rotor Power LT cranks, as well as Power2Max power meters (Image credit: Ben Delaney / Future Publishing)
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A closer look at the seatpost, which is effectively a 27.2mm post with aero faring's top and bottom

A closer look at the seatpost, which is effectively a 27.2mm post with aero faring's top and bottom (Image credit: Ben Delaney / Future Publishing)
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The ports for internal routing can be swapped between mechanical and electric

The ports for internal routing can be swapped between mechanical and electric (Image credit: Ben Delaney / Future Publishing)
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FSA wants more visibility for its brand, but logo stickers over the top of the handlebar tape aren't exactly ideal for riders

FSA wants more visibility for its brand, but logo stickers over the top of the handlebar tape aren't exactly ideal for riders (Image credit: Ben Delaney / Future Publishing)
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The Reacto KOM shares the EVO's Kamm Tail-heavy aero shaping but uses lighter carbon fibre and a new layup

The Reacto KOM shares the EVO's Kamm Tail-heavy aero shaping but uses lighter carbon fibre and a new layup (Image credit: Ben Delaney / Future Publishing)
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With the direct-mount rear brake tucked underneath the chainstays, engineers were freed up in their design for the seatstay/down tube junction

With the direct-mount rear brake tucked underneath the chainstays, engineers were freed up in their design for the seatstay/down tube junction (Image credit: Ben Delaney / Future Publishing)
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A Vision stem, FSA K-Wing bars and Di2-specific cable port cater for Costa's needs

A Vision stem, FSA K-Wing bars and Di2-specific cable port cater for Costa's needs (Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Future Publishing)
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As befits the world champion, rainbow coloured wheels complete the KOM

As befits the world champion, rainbow coloured wheels complete the KOM (Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Future Publishing)
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The aero S-Post remains, but the is constructed as one piece rather than two, saving 50g

The aero S-Post remains, but the is constructed as one piece rather than two, saving 50g (Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Future Publishing)
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Costa is rider number 111 for the Tour de France this year

Costa is rider number 111 for the Tour de France this year (Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Future Publishing)
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The complete KOM bike sheds around 500g in weight compared to the Reacto Evo ridden by the majority of the team

The complete KOM bike sheds around 500g in weight compared to the Reacto Evo ridden by the majority of the team (Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Future Publishing)
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The Power2Max spider is there as a reference point against which to test data from the Rotor Power LT

The Power2Max spider is there as a reference point against which to test data from the Rotor Power LT (Image credit: Ben Delaney / Future Publishing)

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

World champion Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) is racing the 2014 Tour de France on a Merida Reacto KOM, of which there are only three in existence.

Designer Jurgen Falke told BikeRadar that Merida's aim with the new bike was to create something that retained all of the aero benefits of the Merida Reacto, but also met the UCI’s 6.8kg / 15lb minimum weight limit for bikes. Despite earlier statements that the bike’s aero and dynamic efficiency more than made up for its slightly heavier than average frame, Merida claims that Costa's complete Reacto KOM frame set is about 165g lighter than his previous Merida Reacto.

Falke outlined how some of the weight savings on the new frame were made. The use of different carbon in new layups trimmed 70g from the frame, he said, and another 30g from the fork. The aerodynamic and shock-reducing S-Post seatpost has been constructed in one piece, rather than the previous two, cutting 50g more, and Merida used light aluminium headset cups weighing just 15g.

Falke claimed that the complete new bike is a whopping 500g lighter than Costa's previous Reacto Evo, which we weighted back in February at 7.43kg / 16.38lb, so if, as claimed, the KOM hits the magic 6.8kg / 15lb mark, there has certainly been an intensive diet.

The Reacto KOM retains the truncated airfoil tube shaping of the Reacto, which Merida calls Fastback, and the direct-mount rear brake that is tucked under the chainstays.

Production and availability information is limited at the moment, but don't expect to see one in your local dealer until 2015.

Costa debuted this bike at the 2014 Tour de Suisse, which he won for the third successive year.