Manufacturing experience may count as one of Merida’s key strengths, but there is more to the bike maker than just a history of production. Competitive success achieved by the Merida Multivan Team and the committed pursuit of excellence in research and development have seen the brand take on new markets and establish itself as a tour de force in the world of cycling.

Especially so here in Singapore, where many Merida offerings have been bundled in attractive packages—full Shamano XT groupsets with Fox suspension systems with Crank Brothers contact points—all available at a sub-$2,500 price point. Attractive? We sure think so.

Having made our rounds at EuroBike 2012, and sampled a range of demo bikes on Demo Day, we cast our spotlight on Merida’s Big Ninety-Nine and Scultura SL.

Big Ninety-Nine

The decision to create the brand’s first full-suspension 29er was a simple one. Given just how well the original 26” Ninety-Nine and Twentyniner hardtails had proven themselves on the racing circuit, the development of the Big Ninety-Nine was a natural one. The result: a race ready bike with propulsion-orientated geometry, a completely lockable chassis with a pivot point designed to provide sensitive yet balanced performance.

Scultura SL

Enriching the Merida Road range, the new Sculture SL racer has been developed with a host of innovative technologies such as “Double Chamber” reinforcement ribs, “Flex Stay” seat stays or special damping in the form of bio fibres. Weight has also been made light at just 830g and super stiff.

Conforming to UCI (Union Cycliste International) standards, shifter and brake cable integration with Shimano Di2 compatibility, the new Merida Scultura SL is a new standard bearer for Merida’s road range.