Merida Ride 300 Road Bike — Review
Merida Ride 300 is Merida’s entry level road bike. Thanks to its more relaxed geometry it’s a great choice for beginners looking into getting their first bike, or for riders who are not flexible enough for full on race geometry. Its main features include a lightweight aluminum frame, carbon fiber fork, Tektro brakes and a Shimano Tiagra drivetrain. The reviewed bike is a 2015-model.
The main specs of Merida Ride 300 include:
- Ride lite Aluminum frame with internal cable routing
- Road Carbon fork
- Full Shimano Tiagra 2 x 10-speed drivetrain
- Tektro brake calipers
- Merida Comp 20 rims
For full specifications visit Merida’s website.
At quick glance
Merida Ride 300 doesn’t give out its affordable price tag and entry level status at first glance. The finishing of the frame is really nice with its smooth welds and overall the bike looks pretty good. Once you pick up the bike you’ll notice its light weight. Thanks to the light frame and Carbon fiber fork and seat post, the bike is surprisingly light. My bike with reflectors and pedals came in around 9.8 kg. It’s not the lightest road bike out there, but for its price, it’s quite good.
Once you hop on the bike for the first time you instantly notice how upright the riding position is. This bike is not going to win you any races, but it’s perfect for less serious rides when comfort is far more important. And don’t get me wrong, it’s still a proper road bike that won’t be holding you back when it comes to going fast.
Merida Ride 300 Tested
After using Merida Ride 300 for a couple of weeks I think I have got a pretty good feel of it. Here’s my take:
Ride comfort and Frame
What stood out most to me in Merida Ride 300, is the ride comfort. Despite running on skinny 23 mm tires (not the stock tires) with high pressure, the bike remains comfortable to ride whether it’s a serious or casual ride. This is mostly thanks to the Carbon Fiber Fork and seat post, which provide some flex and dampen the vibrations and bigger hits. Let’s not forget the more relaxed riding position. The upright position is bad for aerodynamics, but it definitely makes the bike more versatile overall. It’s not a race machine but works well for other types of riding.
Despite offering superb ride comfort, the frame is still very stiff. This translates to good power delivery and handling at higher speeds. The frame has enough clearance for at least 28 mm tires, maybe even wider. The brake calipers run narrower, but with wider calipers, you might be able to run pretty wide tires on this frame. That means even better ride comfort. Another nice feature on the frame is that you can use a large 700 ml water bottle at the back cage without needing a side opening cage.
Drivetrain and Brakes
The Shimano Tiagra sits at the middle of Shimano’s road bike drivetrain line up. Despite being mid range, the performance is still solid. It may not the be the smoothest shifting group set or the lightest, but it’s a good choice for an entry level road bike. The only complaint I have is regarding the front shifter. To be blunt, the action is quite harsh and the lever pull is quite long. I tried adjusting the shifter multiple times, but it seems like this is how it is. There’s none of that smoothness compared to my Trek Superfly 8’s SLX front shifter, but then again it’s not very fair to compare completely different group sets meant for different usage.
The Tektro brakes get the job done, but admittedly it would have been nice to see a full Shimano Tiagra group set on the bike. That’s a sacrifice that has been made to bring the overall cost of the bike down. While they are nothing fancy or blingy, there’s not much to complain about. Except when in wet conditions the best edge of the braking power vanishes, leaving you with fairly mediocre braking performance. But that’s just how rim brakes are, no wonder disc brakes are getting increasingly popular even on road bikes.
Like mentioned earlier, the brake calipers don’t have much clearance for tires. 28 mm tires should fit, but anything wider is pushing it.
Merida Ride 300 is a great entry level road bike which offers great value for the money. It’s a well thought out package with decent specs and a good quality frame. The relaxed geometry means it’s not a race machine, but a perfect bike for long exploration trips when comfort is far more important than shaving a second off those Strava times. Can recommend.
- Good frame paired with a Carbon fork
- Well thought out specs for the money
- Superb ride comfort (especially with wider tires!)
- Mediocre braking performance in wet conditions (typical for rim brakes)
- Not ideal for racing