This new 2024 Merida Silex gravel bike is faster, more capable, and a much better looking bike than the original Silex. Whether you ride fast gravel or head off on bikepacking adventures, the completely revamped Silex could be a perfect fit for you. And it’s just as affordable as ever in full carbon or even cheaper in aluminum.
2024 Merida Silex versatile gravel bike
In fact, it’s so much better a gravel bike, Matej Mohorič already raced it to a UCI Gravel World Championship win just over a week ago.
And one day before we had a chance to put in some dusty kilometers on both new carbon and alloy gravel bikes.
The Merida team even also raced Badlands on it, too.
While from the outside the new Silex looks completely different compared to its predecessor, much of the simple versatile concept remains. This is and has always been a do-it-all gravel bike with long, stable geometry inspired by mountain bikes, and enough carrying capacity for any type of gravel rides. Some new gravel bikes have begun to differentiate themselves as either fast gravel race bikes or off-road bikepacking adventure bikes. But the Merida Silex remains an all-rounder.
Race it, ride it to work, or head off on an adventure.
The biggest outside shift is the new look – getting rid of the giant headtube of the original Silex. Merida says the Silex has been quite popular for its versatility. But they also admit it’s been a bit of an “ugly duckling” in their line-up. Two things help shrink that headtube.
First off, the new bike gets an all new longer fork. Now with a 415mm axle-to-crown (vs. previous 398mm long fork that went by old school CX fork length standards), there’s increased tire clearance. But also room to put a short-travel gravel suspension fork like the Rudy if you want down the line.
Second, is lowered rider position for a more performance oriented bike fit. That means on my Medium test bike, the 607mm Stack is quite a bit lower than before, but the headtube length is now a reasonable (and good looking) 170mm vs. the giant 200mm of the OG Silex.
Another big shift on those shorter headtubes, is internal cable routing. Utilizing Merida’s Wire Port cable management through the headset, brings compatibility with full 1-piece or 2-piece cockpit, or classic semi-internal bar & stem setups from FSA. It even works for a mechanical internally routed dropper post, if you’re into that kind of thing. And there’s routing for dynamo wiring down inside of the right fork leg.
The longer fork crown also means bigger tire clearance – now officially 700 x 45mm at both ends, which is pretty conservative in our opinion. Also 42mm clearance with regular full-coverage fenders.
New Tech Details
At the same time, newly double dropped chainstays mean big tires and 1x or 2x chainring options. And there’s a removable front derailleur mount and space for road compact chainrings. A new 27.2 seatpost clamp gets integrated. It’s now a wedge-style clamp tucked into the toptube from the top. And the bike shifts to bigger 180mm brake rotors on standard builds with built in disc cooler heat sinks on the carbon bike for extra braking consistency.
On the carbon frames, the main bottle cage mount is now a flush-mount Fidlock setup, but you can still run a regular cage if you prefer. On the alloy frame, it’s standard 3-bolts so you can mount a cage high or low, or an Anything cage (and even rear rack mounts). Plus, there’s another normal bottle cage mount on the seattube, an accessory cage mount under the back of the toptube, a set of toptube bag mounts up top behind the stem, and another set of mounts under the downtube. The new full carbon fork also brings 3-pack anything cage mounts.
Both frames and the carbon fork are designed for full coverage fenders, with the carbon frame using a bolt on seatstay bridge adapter.
Gravel Adventure- & Race-Ready Geometry
The new Silex gets a 1.5° slacker 69.5° headtube compared to the original Silex, while the seattube is now 0.5° steeper at 74.5°. Combined with more than a centimeter long frame Reach and the same 430mm chainstays, the new gravel bike has more than 2cm longer wheelbases across all frame sizes.
That longer wheelbase and the increased stability over loose surfaces, was apparently the single biggest deciding factor for Matej Mohorič choosing the new Silex to race Gravel Worlds over a more racing-focused road, all-road or gravel bike.
It’s still a relatively upright position, but the Medium & Large sized bikes I tried both featured almost 2cm lower frame Stack vs. the original. You can still get a comfortable upright position. But now it’s a better compromise for riders looking for a more performance-focused fit on the bike too.
How light are the new gravel bikes – in carbon or alloy?
Merida’s new gravel bike comes in either carbon or aluminum. Neither are ultralight, but built for comfort and durability. The Silex CF carbon frame is claimed at 1220g or the Silex LITE aluminum frame at 1900g. Both share the same full carbon Silex fork at a claimed 540g. So, that’s just an extra 680g for the alloy bike.
And just a half kilo difference in the real world on my scale.
2024 Merida Silex – Pricing, Options & Availability
The new Merida Silex is available in 6 complete bike builds – 3 in carbon and another 3 in aluminum.
The entry into the carbon bike costs just £2250 / 2700€ for the 2024 Merida Silex 4000, using a low-cost 2×10 Shimano GRX groupset to keep costs low. A £3000 / 3600€ Silex 7000 steps that up to the wide-range new GRX 1x 12-speed group.
Then, at the silly extravagant level, there’s a £8750 / 10,500€ Silex 10k that goes all-in with a full SRAM Red x Eagle AXS build including a powermeter crankset, a AXS dropper post and Reynolds Black Label carbon wheels. It’s a ginormous leap from that GRX build to Red on the same frameset. And I could imagine many budgets in between that could build a more logical & affordable Force AXS setup, but to each his own, I guess?
There is also technically a 4th mysterious Silex 8000 model that’s priced at £5250 / 6300€, but we don’t have any official details on that. Presumably, that’s an electronic shift pricepoint, but the lack of details suggest a new groupset beyond what is already available from SRAM or Shimano. Hmmm…
Or in more affordable aluminum…
On the much more affordable end of the spectrum, a £1275 / 1500€ 2024 Merida Silex 200 gets the aluminum frame and a super budget-friendly Shimano Sora 2x9sp build that could make a great commuter or entry into gravel.
At £1650 / 1980€, you get the Silex 400 though again with that still affordable GRX 2×10 build. Or at £2350 / 2820€ the Silex 700 gets the proper new GRX 12-speed groupset.
It’s quite interesting to me that these 400/4000 & 700/7000 build kits are identical for both the aluminum/carbon frame options, letting the buyer see the real difference in cost. And it means you can pick a carbon bike with a cheap build or an alloy bike with a better component spec for almost the same price, depending on your priorities.
Either way, all six builds are available now from Merida dealers. Just FYI, the € pricing is specific to the Irish market, and will vary a bit country to country across the EU.
First Gravel Ride Impressions?
I had a chance to get in several rides last week on both the new carbon Merida Silex 7000 and its alloy analogue Silex 700. Sharing the exact same geometry, the same spec, and surprisingly close weights – both seemed like great gravel bikes.
Stay tuned for a detailed review breaking down the Silex and comparing the two frame options, soon…