I am looking to buy my first road bike and have have narrowed down my selection to the 2019 Merida Scultura 400 and the 2019 Specialized Allez Elite.

From what I can gather they are a similar weight although the Merida has better brakes (Shimano 105 vs Axis 1.0).

I rented a 2018 Merida for a road race last year and really liked it.

As this is my first road bike I would appreciate any input on which model is better. I intend on using it for longer rides (80-100km) and will probably continue to use my Hybrid for commuting to work.

Thanks in advance.


IanEdward [306 posts] 3 months ago

Can't comment on the Merida, but I've got an Allez Elite in black/chameleon as my 'shoulder season' bike (for wet days that aren't icey/salty, the luxury of choice!).

It's great, although tyre clearance/mudguard clearance isn't as great as Specialized would have you believe, 25c tyres are the max you can practically run in there (although they measure up 27mm wide on the DT rims). Thankfully because the rims are quite wide it seems you can get away with lower tyre pressures, so the 25s are pretty comfy overall (70psi, 85kg rider). Mudguards do fit but my SKS Bluemels required a bit of butchery to get the best clearance.

Brakes are fine actually, but since it was my wet weather bike I stuck fancy Swisstop BXP pads on them, probably helps. Also give them a wee squirt of GT85 between the pivots sometimes as the butchered mudguards still let a bit of dirt and grit get to the brakes. Always keeping my eye out for some cheap Ultegras though, would be the first thing I upgraded.

I stupidly swapped the cranks for some cheap Tiagras, just to get my preferred length. Only when swapping did I realise how light the stock Praxis cranks were, definitely keepers! Easy to sell on thankfully.

9.2kg with mudguards and Conti 4Season tyres. Would definitely be my pick if I could only keep one bike.