Bike engineers are like top athletes: they are constantly driven by the will to achieve a new performance high. And like in any other sport, for the development of a new top bike it can be said that the better the “old” project was, the thinner the air becomes. With the SCULTURA, a high-end carbon racer has been part of the MERIDA portfolio since 2006 that has set the bar of modern requirements of a road bike extremely high, particularly in its third evolutionary phase. Superb stiffness for quick acceleration and highest steering precision met outstanding saddle comfort, allowed any task, no matter how long it lasted, to be accomplished with flying colors.
However, as an innovative brand it is precisely this aim that drives the MERIDA engineering department on: the pursuit of the next step. So it is not without pride that we are able to present for model year 2016 the SCULTURA 4, which manages to outshine its predecessor once again.
The bare figures alone of this new working tool of our UCI WorldTour TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA are impressive: 740 grams frame weight*, less than 1,000 grams for the set including our newly developed fork! The basis for these new dimensions is a new carbon production process, which MERIDA is now focusing on for the first time. A synthetic positive core, specially produced for all frame sizes, allows for the optimized arrangement as well as the use of less material when the individual carbon mats are put together manually – the result: less weight and more performance.
However, this new evolution with its radical diet has of course not forfeited all the impressive qualities for which the previous SCULTURAs have been known – on the contrary! The now wedge-shaped down tube shows our flow-optimized “NACA Fastback” tube profiles, borrowed for example from the WARP TT, and it has an extra-wide connection to the Pressfit-386 bottom bracket for increased power transfer. The head tube too, which was trimmed down to fit a tapered 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 fork for optimized airflow, is markedly stiffer for superior tracking even at the highest speeds.
“Speed” itself was the top topic throughout the development of the new SCULTURA range. With aerodynamics not yet in the engineers focus for the models up to 2015, extensive wind tunnel sessions became a requirement for the newcomer.
In addition to the partially optimized tube shapes, it is apparent “minor details” that ensure that the improved aero-performance of the new SCULTURA moves considerably closer to that of the explicit aero racer REACTO. For instance, the internal cable routing of the drivetrain and the brakes was optimized. The rear brake was even relocated to the bottom bracket area. In addition to airflow optimization, this comes with a highly pleasant “side effect”: the omission of the little bridge connecting the seat stays enables higher horizontal flexibility and thus even higher saddle comfort.
Speaking of “comfort”, while 23-millimeter tires – mainly used in racing circles up to now – were still used for the SCULTURA up to model year 2015, the new version uses 25 millimeter-wide tires, thus underlining its aspirations toward the road bike world of tomorrow. However, our engineers did not have to sacrifice the markedly short chain stays of just 400 millimeters length for maximum agility and sharp handling – a further indication of our R&D department’s aim for technical perfection. Ultra-light, extremely comfortable, faster than ever: life is getting lighter. SCULTURA 2016!
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AN OVERVIEW OF THE HIGHLIGHTS
Less than 1,000 grams! The new SCULTURA* competes
in the league for the world’s lightest serially produced bicycles and thus
creates an outstanding combination of excellent weight, top aerodynamics and comfort.
+ Frame weight: 740 g*
+ Frame set with new fork: 985 g*
+ Internal cable routing fully “Di2-ready”
+ Suitable for tires of up to 25 mm in width
+ Agile due to 400-mm chain stays
+ Direct mount rear brake
* in frame size S/M
“Taking all its fantastic capabilities into account,
the new SCULTURA is without doubt the finest road bike we have ever made.
This is evident upon the first turn of the cranks, and not just for professionals.”
Daniel Schwenk, Senior R&D Manager