Gadgets: How much better is it really a bike that costs 150 000 compared to 10 000? The weekend long reading about a duel which in every way is hard and uneven.
One of the first and greatest insights and new riders will be painfully aware that cycling can be hysterically expensive. But cycling do not need to cost the earth. We took one of the absolute most expensive bikes, and set it against an entry-level bike. A highly disproportionate compared to the core question-what is the difference?
We go straight to the point, and we start with the left ring corner. Here we Merida – the Norwegian-Taiwanese bicycle brand that really was not meant as a custom bike brand from scratch, without the manufacturer for other brands. Merida is very large. And wide.If you sweep through their model range while the eyes of their choice of retailer, they have chosen a strategy that few would dare to make. Namely to be both a cheap option, which can be found in supermarkets – but while a high-end brand that is currently represented in the pro peloton. And where both world champion Rui Costa and the Vuelta a Espania-winner Chris Horner for everyday driving on Merida’s latest flagship Reacto Evo. And the corresponding Merida-stars on the mountain: Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå and José Hermida.
Gaping after a large piece is almost doomed to fail. But Merida is actually on track to meet the impossible balance, something they already succeeded in Norway. Their contribution to our ungrateful challenge called Scultura 901. A bike that cost 9000 SEK.For the money you get an aluminum frame, carbon fork and Shimano Sora components.The frame is an excellent example of the so-called trickle-down effect, which means that cheap after a time developed with inspiration and technology from expensive.
Hydro form called the technology Merida use to form the frame of pipes. Simple terms, the one using water as the high pressure pushes out the exact shape of the tubes by a template. The result is a frame with shapes and details that are very attractive to the eye.And that gives fine properties along the roads.
Handlebar, stem, saddle and seatpost are usually examples of components that are removed priority for cheaper bikes – with the hope that no one will care or notice anything. But we think that Merida is a consistent line throughout Scultura 901-ball and we can not point to any hidden discount dumps in component selection.
In the saddle we turned both of which often characterizes cheap bikes, but also properties that significantly more expensive bikes offer. The former is about the brake feeling that is unnecessarily tough and where most of it is about cables and casings are too long. The moderation accurate wire length to the gears and brakes is important for the function, feel and look. And it is not about any space science. Cut off as much as you can. But do not cut more than you can make full steering angle in both directions.And where the wires run along the frame to the casing to be in great arcs so that there are no sharp bends.
Shift cables at Meridan is indented along the handlebars which reduces the aesthetic impression and give a taste of the 90s when the STI controls were new. Unfortunately, even the shape of the brake handles the 90-century-taste and is not as comfortable to hold hands around when standing up and bikes.
According to e Bicycle Lights, the bike is highly neutral in its geometry, which is logical entry level bikes must work to a wider audience. It behaves nice and straightforward, but the flavor of discount. And we think that cycle in its original format show a great deal of comfort when it comes to how it treats bad asphalt.
Overall represent Merida Sculturan 901 the kind of bikes that actually make us happier nowadays. To build a bike with good properties is not that difficult with the help of money. But to build a cheap bike with driving pleasure and performance is nowhere near as easy. Here we would definitely say that Merida is one of the few brands that can do it really well.
Had we been the owner of the 901 Scultura we would start to cut all cable housings to the right length for both to get a better feel and function. The cost is zero kronor and takes about ten minutes. Possibly we would bet 150 crowns on a little better brake housings, to reduce friction and improve the braking force by less flex. We would also tighten up the wheels a little extra, so that the bike responds better. And if Scultura 901 were our only two-wheel relationship we would bet a penny on better wheels to use for fine occasions. But otherwise we would not bother. Or whine. Just ride.
Right-ring corner: King Rolo
I’m hard fascinated by people with excessive passion for their tasks. Especially when the same people also manages to blend his devotion with an equal distance to his calling. If I cards would describe driving force behind the Swedish Rolo from the company A2J talking about sick penchant for extreme bikes and related interest to create something that challenges everything else on two wheels. Personally I would have a hard time calling it an economically viable business concept. At least not as the business looks like now where a framework for 69 000 are single product. But when I hear that there is a fork, seatpost, stem (with built Di2 box) and a complete commutercykel on the drawing board, I understand that there is a much larger game plan in binoculars. And then I understand also that there is an idea that also includes a supporting economy-even if the target audience is limited, focusing on generous budgets.
I have met many people over the years who have been burdened by his own folly, conviction and theoretical skills – but far too often lack practical understanding. The men behind Rolo can not boast some stage victories in the Tour de France or doctorates in strength and aerodynamics. Their bicycle interest is in general quite young in relation to the brand they created and represents. Therefore I pick routinely a bunch of standard questions that quickly tend to show whether there is substance in the firm or if it is mostly about a neat castles in the air with delicious facades. But I will be both called and run over in my attempt to be uncomfortable. The guys at Rolo has full control. And they have created an extremely heavy network of external expertise that they use when they themselves are not enough. The program associated with people, who are used to calculate stiffness, layups and aerodynamics are optimized. And they have managed to find suppliers of both fabric, resin systems, pitch fiber, carbon injection and prepregs that are so good that several other high-end manufacturers heard of and want to buy by Rolo. In short, they know their stuff. And. They stand for their cause. For they are well aware that there is an absolute truth when it comes to the perfect bike. And just because the setting makes my respect increases.