23 feb. 2024

Behind the brand: Martin Stütz, Design Director

It takes a team of many people to take a MERIDA bike from an idea to a rideable machine, ready for you to enjoy, with many different roles that shape the final product. Martin is our Design Director and he literally does shape our bikes, creating 2D and 3D designs that are turned from a computer file to the real thing.

He has a special focus on our road range, but he also undertakes special projects, such as custom colours and graphics for the bikes of our racers or taking care of one-off designs. While some people might not like the idea of being in front of a screen, Martin says the opposite: “I really like doing the CAD design, when you are in flow with the work, you can really sink into it!”

Of course, Martin makes plenty of time to ride what he’s helped to create. The best way to enjoy a bike? That’s easy: “Going out for an overnighter with some friends. Just starting on the front door, direction Schwäbische Alb (Swabian Alps) or so, having a nice ride, meeting nice peoples and places you don´t expect, having a fire. The freedom of the human powered two-wheeler.”

Though MERIDA’s R&D department is based in Magstadt, near Stuttgart, his favourite riding spot isn’t too far away, a few hours South in Freiburg, on the border with France. It’s given him plenty of fond memories: “Riding with the road bike to France or into the black forest is great, so many small roads, nice and wide views. And you can do so much more there, it is the versatility of this place.”

While Martin helps to shape our cutting-edge bikes and has access to the very latest designs and components, his partner for many of his adventures is a more modest machine, a 2014 MERIDA RIDE DISC. It’s special for two reasons; firstly it was the very first disc brake-equipped road bike MERIDA made and secondly, this is the first rideable sample frame – making it the first of the first, if you will.

“It is my winter commuter, with mudguards, reflectors, a big front light and a Vincenzo Nibali undercover Fizik saddle. I like it because it has always been very reliable through all the years, no big breakdowns. The disc brake-power was a revelation for me at this time, also so much cleaner in the wet wintertime in comparison to the old rim-brake bikes. That is something that really matters to me, riding in all conditions to work every day!”

One particular trip he shared with this bike sticks in his memory: “My ride to Lake Constance for the Eurobike trade show, that was nice. It always was a commuter, only everyday adventures like right of way taken by car drivers, heavy rain- and snow-showers, boars on the road…”

To keep up with Martin's latest work, you'll just have to wait until it's ready to be released!