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Check out Fred Wright’s Merida Reacto

Bahrain Victorious rider became British National Road Champion at the weekend and here's the aero road bike he raced to victory...

Fred Wright won the elite men’s title at the British National Road Championships at the weekend and this is the Merida Reacto that he rode to victory.

As well as his fellow competitors, 24-year-old Wright battled heat, rain and hills to take the first win of his professional career, dedicating his victory to Bahrain Victorious teammate Gino Mäder, who died following a crash at the Tour de Suisse earlier this month

2023 Fred Wright © Zac WiLLIAMS (t-a Photography Hub Ltd) - 1.jpeg

Pic © Zac WiLLIAMS (t-a Photography Hub Ltd) 

The Reacto is Merida’s aero road bike, sitting alongside the lightweight Scultura in the range. Bahrain Victorious use both bikes, deciding between them according to the terrain, conditions, and tactics as well as rider preference.

> The comfiest bike in the Tour de France - Check out Bahrain-Victorious' Merida Scultura Team 

The latest version of the Merida Reacto was announced back in 2020, an evolution of the previous model rather than a wholesale redesign.

> Merida’s 2021 Reacto gets aero refinements to save you 4 watts 

There were two big changes at the front end. Whereas the brake hoses and any shift cables used to run partially externally, they’re now tucked away inside, as they are on most high-end road bikes these days, going down the head tube via a cutout in the headset’s compression ring. Merida says that this provides an aero benefit as well as an aesthetic win.

2023 Fred Wright, pic Zac Williams © (t-a Photography Hub Ltd) - 1.jpeg

Pic © Zac WiLLIAMS (t-a Photography Hub Ltd)

The new fork is more integrated into the frame than previously too, the crown being pushed further into the junction of the head tube and down tube. Again, Merida says that this results in a slight reduction in drag so you can hold the same speed with a little less effort.

The seatstays which have been dropped slightly and the seat post clamp is hidden away from the wind, Merida claiming that these features reduce aerodynamic drag further.

The Reacto comes with clearance for tyres up to 30mm wide and it’s fitted with Merida’s S-Flex aero-profiled seat post. Although it looks a constant profile, there’s a large cutaway notch in the carbon fibre at the back of the post, up towards the top. The idea is that this allows a small amount of movement to help smooth the ride.

The Merida Reacto is available in two frame types: CF3 and CF5. The CF3 version is heavier and can take mechanical shift calls while the CF5 – which the pros use – is lighter and is compatible with electronic shifting only.

2023 Fred Wright, pic Alex Whitehead © (t-a Photography Hub Ltd) - 1 (1).jpeg

Pic Alex Whitehead © (t-a Photography Hub Ltd)

Speaking of weight, Merida claims a medium-sized CF5 frame weighs 965g with the fork coming in at 457g. The latest Reactos are compatible with disc brakes only; there are no rim brake options.

2023 Fred Wright, pic Alex Whitehead © (t-a Photography Hub Ltd) - 1 (2).jpeg

Pic Alex Whitehead © (t-a Photography Hub Ltd)

When we rode the Merida Reacto Disc Team-E here on, we found it to be very stiff, very fast, and a whole lot of fun. The low weight (our fully built-up small size weighed 7.5kg) allows you to get up to speed quickly but the Reacto really proves its worth when you’re cruising along on the flat. Climbing is impressive too.

2023 Dauphine Fred Wright Merida Reacto - 1.jpeg

We didn’t get photos showing much of Fred Wright’s Merida Reacto from the British National Road Championships but we did get pics of one of his bikes at the Critérium du Dauphiné recently.

As you can see, Bahrain Victorious use Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets. This bike is built-up with Vision Metron 60 SL wheels which are designed to be fast and stable. They’re also available in 30mm, 45mm, 55mm and 81mm depths. The rear hub uses a 72-tooth ratchet system which means it engages in 5° when you start to pedal

The wheels are fitted with Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR tyres set up tubeless.

> Read our review of the Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR tyres

2023 National Champs Fred Wright © (t-a Photography Hub Ltd) - 1.jpeg

Pic © (t-a Photography Hub Ltd)

Wright uses a one-piece Vision Metro handlebar and stem and a Prologo Scratch M5 saddle.

Check out loads more Bikes at Bedtime here. 

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 technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. 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 over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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