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Take a look at Merida’s sub-£3,000 carbon Scultura Endurance 6000 with Ultegra

Neat touches include disc cooler fins for reduced operating temperatures and a removable seat stay bridge

Merida’s Scultura Endurance carbon bike is designed for comfortable long distance riding. Although intended primarily for tarmac, Merida says that the disc brake bikes can take 700 x 35mm tyres and easily tackle surfaces like fire roads, and so it nicely fills the gap between the brand’s road race models and its gravel bikes. 

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The Scultura Endurance has a longer head tube creating a more upright and comfort-orientated seating position, while the slacker head tube angle and slightly longer wheelbase should help give the bike more stability at speed.

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As well as ensuring comfort with the geometry choices, Merida has taken other steps too. "Specific areas in the chainstays and seatstays have a distinct profile that works like a leaf spring to enhance the natural compliance of the frame material," says Merida. "It helps to add further comfort to the rear end of the bike as well as reduce vibrations."

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At the front end, Merida’s X-Tapered headtube offers the space for a tapered fork to be fitted, which is said to offer superb stiffness and precision for confidence-inspiring steering.

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The frame of the Scultura is carbon and Merida has certainly focused on the details. When creating the individual carbon elements, Merida explains that it uses an inflatable bladder to ensure there are no wrinkles inside the tube as these can add weight and create weakness. “This results in a lighter, stiffer and stronger frame,” says the brand. 

To protect the integrity of carbon frames, Merida also says the fibres are bonded together with an epoxy resin with added nanoparticles, which it claims increases impact resistance by up to 40%.

Another interesting aspect of this bike is the forged aluminium component under the front and rear caliper which allows heat to dissipate through CNC-milled cooling fins. Tests are said to show that temperatures are reduced by around 35% and cooling times are shortened, optimising the performance of the brakes.

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The Scultura Endurance is also a versatile option. A removable seat stay bridge can be fitted for neater and more secure fitting of rear mudguards, but can also be removed for increased mud clearance and a cleaner look. 

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Priced at £2,800, the Scultura Endurance 6000 model sits in the middle of the range. Just above it is the 12-speed SRAM Rival eTap edition which costs £3,400 and immediately below it, the 4000 is specced with Shimano 105 and costs £2,250.

The 6000 spec includes a Shimano Ultegra groupset and Fulcrum Racing 700 wheels with Maxxis Detonator tyres. These stock tyres are a generous 32mm wide and, as mentioned, you can fit slicks up to 35mm. 

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