Merida has had plenty of capable road bikes in their range and just sped things up this summer with an all new Reacto. But while they make a great carbon cyclocross bike, they had yet to jump into the gravel market with both wheels. That changes with the new Silex, an all new frame platform for the company delivering all surface adaptability in a new gravel road bike designed to work with either 700c or 650b wheels. With carbon & aluminum versions on offer, comfortable endurance geometry, and enough bosses to bolt on any accessory for an adventure, Merida says the Silex is most versatile bike they’ve ever made…
Merida Silex gravel road bike
Versatile was the buzz word in Merida’s R&D when they were designing the all new bike, building off the idea of developing a bike that was equally at home on or off-road. Build the Silex just as well with drop bars or a flat bar, with 1x or double drivetrains, and 700c wheels or 650b. That way the Silex could adapt to whatever the individual rider wanted out of the all road, all surface adventure bike.
Modern mountain bikes inspired the geometry for the Silex. That means long toptubes with short stems(80/90mm), taller headtubes for a more upright & comfortable position. Merida’s engineers didn’t like to see so many people sacrificing steering stiffness to get the fit they wanted. So they stretched the headtubes out to make spacer stacks obsolete. That way you keep the steering precision that should make the Silex more controllable off-road, ready to tackle any terrain.
Tire clearance is a big part of the versatility of the Silex. It officially fits a 42mm wide 700c tire or 50mm wide in 650b. Take that to 700c x 35mm with full coverage fenders. Those might be conservative numbers though, as Merida says they have fit 2.25″ Schwalbe Thunder Burts on the bike, and even 47mm WTB Horizons with fenders.
Standards wise the Silex is disc brake only with flat mounts, and uses 12mm axles front & rear. The bike uses a pressfit BB386 bottom bracket, tapered steerer, and 30.9mm seatpost (with a wedge-style clamp on the carbon bike.) It gets full rack and fender mounts front & rear, plus bottle cage bosses inside of the front triangle, under the downtube, and one on each fork leg. The bike also includes fully internal cable routing, with continuous guides inside the frame, and a removable braze-on front derailleur mount.
Merida spec’s all of the complete Silex bikes with a semi-slick Razzd gravel tire developed as a partnership between Maxxis-Merida. They also get 160mm rotors, Merida’s Carbon Team S-Flex seatpost, and can be fitted with a customized set of Silex-specific frame & seat bags for bikepacking.
The Silex gravel road bike is available in three carbon models and five aluminum models, that all share the same full carbon fork and geometry. The bare carbon frame weighs in under 950g (1050g with paint for a medium, 500g for the fork.)
While the aluminum frame brings that up to 1500g for a painted frame. The bikes are available in a five size range XS-XL with steeply sloping toptubes for huge standover clearance.
Merida sees the new Silex as a bike looking for an adventure. The Silex looks to be a light and capable gravel road bike for any track less travelled, whether for a mountain biker looking for a road bike up to occasional bouts with singletrack or a roadie looking to get a bit more off the beaten track.