Merida is introducing road versions of its Mission CX cyclocross bike for 2020. The Mission Road will be available in both carbon-fibre and aluminium models with disc brakes, double chainsets, 32mm tyres and scope for adding mudguards.
"The Mission Road finds its place in the Merida line-up between the Scultura/Mission CX on one side and the Silex on the other," says Merida.
The Scultura is the lightweight road bike in the range and the Silex is the gravel/adventure bike.
"Due to plenty of tyre clearance, you can easily run 700 x 32 slick road tyres, which improve the comfort of the bike enormously in comparison with the already hugely comfortable Scultura," says Merida. "But as it is equipped with real road tyres, it’s more road-focused than the Silex and the Mission CX."
If you want even wider tyres, the Mission Road has enough clearance for 42mm, or 35mm if you fit mudguards. The carbon models have a removable seatstay bridge which offers an extra mudguard fixing point.
"[The Mission Road's] intended use is certainly road biased while it still retains some strong fire road capabilities. In addition, the Mission Road comes with more head tube spacers [than] the Mission CX (45mm instead of 25mm), making the seating position more upright and therefore more comfort orientated."
We always thought it odd that Merida entirely ditched its Ride relaxed/endurance road bikes in 2018 when the Silex was introduced. The Silex bikes are intended to be comfortable and versatile enough for tarmac, gravel and tracks. Merida sees them as being useful for everything from traditional road riding to commuting to bike packing. However, it's definitely the gravel/adventure aspect of the Silex's performance that gets emphasised, giving the impression that there has been a big Ride-shaped hole in Merida's range for the past couple of years. It looks like the Mission Road is intended to at least partially plug that gap.
The Mission Road – in both the carbon-fibre and aluminium guises – uses the same frame as the Mission CX.
"It offers a fantastic and reliable platform for a multitude of uses and has the latest standards integrated into the frame concept," says Merida. "Due to the longer wheelbase and the slacker head tube angle of the Mission CX/ Road frame compared to our Scultura, the customer feels very stable and safe on the bike."
To put figures on it, the large version of the Scultura has a 1005mm wheelbase and a 73° head tube angle while the Mission CX in the same size has a 1029mm wheelbase and a 72° head tube angle.
"With the Mission Road, you can go riding and explore your surroundings, without having to turn around when the tarmac road turns into a dirt road because you are worried about getting a puncture," says Merida. "It is the right bike for more leisure-focused cyclists who want to enjoy their outings and want to be comfortable on the bike, whatever the weather!"
All Mission Road models feature 12mm thru axles (front and rear), flat mount disc brakes and a full-carbon tapered fork.
Three Mission Roads will be available in the UK:
• Mission Road 7000-E, carbon-fibre frame, Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset, £3,600
• Mission Road 4000, carbon-fibre frame, Shimano 105 groupset, £2,200
• Mission Road 400, aluminium frame, Shimano 105 groupset, £1,550
All models will be available from late November 2019.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.