Just ahead of the Tour de France, Merida have unveiled a new Reacto. Originally launched in 2011 their aero bike has seen a series of changes over the years. While the 2011 version of the Reacto preceded the ‘trend’ of aero bikes in the peloton, the aero-shape of the fork, seat tube, seat post and rear frame was a nod towards the development of this new trend. All cables were already internal at that point and a dedicated Di2 version was also available.

The design was updated over the years, with the S-FLEX seat post bringing unknown levels of comfort to the aero segment in 2012, and version II in 2013 for the Lampre Merida team, as purebred aero bike particularly aimed at sprinters and breakaway riders.

The Reacto II had the 2nd best aero-values at the largest aero-bike wind tunnel test in 2014, initiated by German TOUR-magazine. It also impressed with great head tube stiffness and amazing power transfer. The weight and the comfort were always noted as impressive for an aero bike.

The Reacto in 2018

What's better than the Reacto II? The Reacto III! The lightest, fastest and most comfortable aero road bike in Merida's history. Merida state that their intention was to improve aerodynamics even further, make the frame lighter without losing stiffness, offer a disc brake option and besides all this keep the bike easy to maintain and service – making a real step away from over-complicated aero bike designs. In short, simplifying aerodynamics without sacrificing performance.

The Reacto 9000-E

Merida claim a 5% improvement in aerodynamics and weight saving thanks to a new carbon layup. The top CF4 frame has headset cups optimised to use the Vision 5D stem and bars for integrated aero performance.

With a stiffer bottom bracket, integrated fork and frame design, and a narrower headtube the new Reacto really should suit the aggressive riders looking to get off the front of the race, the powerful riders after an edge in the sprint - or riders chasing those flatter KOMs.

Have Merida created a lighter, faster and easier to maintain aero road bike? Well we can't say without throwing a leg over one, or going through the process of setting one up and maintaining it - which we hope to soon.

Merida Australia will be importing 8 models:

·         Reacto 4000: CF2, Shimano 105, Merida wheels

·         Reacto 5000: CF2, Shimano Ultegra R8000 mechanical group, FSA crank, Merida wheels. Disc version available.

·         Reacto 6000: CF2 frame, Shimano Ultegra R8000 group set, Fulcrum aero alloy wheels

·         Reacto 7000-E: CF2 frame, Shimano Ultegra Di2 with FSA crank, Disc version available, Fulcrum alloy aero wheels.

·         Reacto DA LTD: Details not available: but more than likely CF4 frame and a Dura Ace group set.

·         Reacto 9000-E: CF4 frame, Red eTap, Vision Metron 55 wheels, disc version available.

·         Reacto Team-E: CF4 frame, Dura Ace Di2, disc version available, Fulcrum Speed 55 wheels.