Niccolo Bonifazio is an Italian born professional cyclist whose career began in 2013 when he rode as a Stagaire rider for the Lampre-Merida team. He became a regular member of the squad in 2014 and remained until the end of the 2015 season, when he jumped across to Trek-Segafredo for 2016. For 2017 he returns to his roots and Bahrain-Merida. Niccolo is known as a sprinter; his biggest career win to date would be his 2014 victory at the semi-classic Italian race, Coppa Ugo Agostini.
For 2017, the second-generation Merida Reacto that Niccolo is riding hasn’t changed much from the model’s release during the 2015 season. Perhaps the most striking difference is the bike’s livery – gone are the pinks and greens long associated with this bike, replaced with a classy blue and red combination. Regardless, the Reacto is a full on aero road bike and the Bahrain Merida team at the Tour Down Under is split between a mix of Reacto’s and the all-round Scultura’s – I’ll be featuring one of those soon.
Click on through for more about the Reacto…
The Bahrain Pro Cycling team was founded in 2016 by Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The team is financed by the government of Bahrain to promote the country.
The SRM cranks on the team’s bikes look very similar to THM carbon cranks, rumored to weigh a paltry 99 grams each. The SRM spindle-mounted power meter also features Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 chainrings.
SRM claims to be producing the cranks in-house, but the company has collaborated with THM in the past, so draw your own conclusions.
When you’re a professional rider, you receive you own bike(s), and a slew of staff to help you maintain them.
Niccolo’s stem isn’t slammed all of the way down yet, but that may change later in the season. I can attest to this because I am fortunate to own one of Niccolo’s Merida Reacto’s from the 2015 season, and it is indeed slammed.
FSA continues to supply the team with components such as handlebars and stems, in this case, the OS99.
Niccolo chooses Shimano’s Di2 sprint shifters, a handy shifting option designed for rapid gear changes from the drops.
A couple of years old now, the Reacto is still a slippery bike and looks great in the team’s colors for 2017.
As with just about every other team in the UCI WorldTour, Shimano’s 9070 series Dura-Ace Di2 is prevalent. 9170 has been spotted on the Team Sky bike of Geraint Thomas, but supplies are not expected to reach teams until February.
All the rage a season or two ago, the Merida Reacto is one of the few WorldTour bikes still touting an under the bottom bracket aero brake.
A rare sight – a Dura-Ace 9100 series direct mount brake.
Fulcrum supply the team’s Racing Quattro wheelsets, and the red carbon-specific brake pads to stop them.
With most Continental sponsored teams choosing the Competition Pro LTD tire, the Grand Prix tubular in 25mm is a rare sight. Thus far, Bahrain Merida is the only team who has chosen this tire.
The Reacto’s seatpost features S-Flex – a small cutout with an elastomer which provides a measure of comfort to the rider.
The Reacto features a secure and discreet clamping mechanism to hold the seatpost firmly in place. Helping things stay in place, the aerodynamic seatpost has an anti-slip treatment towards the bottom of the post.
Niccolo sits upon the Prologo NagoEVO saddle with CPC vibration damping technology.
Elite Custom RacePlus Bottle Cage.
Article and photos by Gravel Cyclist. Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.