MERIDA REACTO 8000 VS MERIDA SCULTURA 8000
In this comprehensive review, we're pitting two of Merida's top-tier road bikes against each other: the Scultura 8000 and the Reacto 8000. Both models are highly regarded in the cycling community, but they cater to different styles of riding, making this comparison an intriguing one for enthusiasts and professionals alike.
Use the Bikotic comparison viewer above to visually compare the bikes back to back.
The Scultura 8000 is designed for those who favor a lightweight, responsive ride. Ideal for climbers and sprinters, it boasts a carbon frame that's both stiff and agile, offering excellent power transfer and handling. This bike is about conquering steep ascents with ease and accelerating swiftly on flat stretches.
Meanwhile, the Reacto 8000 is a powerhouse built for speed and aerodynamics. Its design cuts through the air with minimal resistance, making it a favorite for those who thrive on high-speed pursuits. The frame's aerodynamic profile and integrated components reduce drag, providing a clear advantage on fast, flat courses.
Both bikes share Merida's commitment to quality and performance, but their differing approaches to road cycling will be the focus of our comparison. Whether you're climbing mountains or racing against the clock, understanding the nuances between these two models is key to choosing the right bike for your riding style.
1. Price | Weight | Material
2. Frame and Fork
5. Wheels and Tyres
6. Cockpit and Seat
Though the Reacto and the Scultura are twins in geometry, groupset, and saddle, the Reacto distinguishes itself with its aerodynamically refined tube shapes. This isn't just about aesthetics; it's a strategic increase in carbon use, aimed squarely at reducing drag and maximizing performance.
Navigating the specs of the Reacto and the Scultura, we hit a speed bump: Merida hasn't disclosed the weights of these bikes. So, while we can delve into geometry and components, their heft remains a mystery, leaving us to speculate on how this factor might play into their performance.
The Reacto and the Scultura, while sharing many similarities, diverge subtly in their seat stay designs. These variations, though minor, are a nod to their distinct character and performance nuances.
Do the Reacto's larger chainstays contribute to better power delivery? While this design suggests improved efficiency, the actual impact on performance is a matter open to further investigation.
The Reacto's seatpost stands out with its deeper, aerodynamically profiled design, contrasting the Scultura's conventional round seatpost. This distinction notably enabled Matej Mohorič to equip a dropper post during Milan-San Remo, a tactical choice that proved pivotal in his victorious descent of the Poggio.
Both the Reacto and Scultura incorporate their brake hoses seamlessly into the stem and headtube via the FSA SMR ACR stem. This integration, while enhancing the bikes' sleek aesthetics, could potentially lead to longer maintenance times due to its more complex setup.
Both the Reacto and the Scultura utilize Merida's in-house aluminum handlebars, likely a decision influenced by cost considerations.
Both the Reacto and the Scultura ride on the highly acclaimed Continental Grand Prix 5000S TR tyres, which have garnered impressive ratings on Bicycle Rolling Resistance. It's a logical choice for the Reacto to opt for the 25mm version, favoring aerodynamics, while the Scultura might lean towards the 28mm for enhanced comfort. However, it's unclear whether they come set up tubeless, as is standard with some brands like Giant, or if they're equipped with traditional tubes.
Beyond the frame variations, another significant distinction lies in their choice of wheelsets. The Reacto is equipped with Reynolds AR60 carbon wheels, featuring a 60mm rim depth, and priced at £1150.00 RRP. These wheels weigh in at 1640g for the set and have a 21mm inner width. Conversely, the Scultura rolls on Reynolds AR46 carbon wheels, also priced at £1150.00 RRP but slightly lighter at 1604g for the set, offering a 36g weight advantage. One might argue that the Scultura deserves a lighter wheelset, to set it further apart from the Reacto. Both wheelsets share the same 21mm inner width.
To wrap it up, the Reacto 8000 and Scultura 8000, both with Ultegra Di2, sit comfortably in Merida's mid-range for performance road bikes. The Reacto leans towards aerodynamic design, while the Scultura is more about being a lightweight, all-rounder, especially for climbing. They've both been solid performers in professional races for some time now.
That said, it's a bit annoying that Merida doesn't list the weights of these bikes. When you're talking about lightweight bikes, not knowing the weight is a downside. I like both bikes and think they're good options, depending on what kind of riding you're planning to do. Though, for the Scultura, I'd personally prefer a lighter set of wheels to really set it apart from the Reacto.