Great beginner road bike
I use my Scultura 400 too ride once every 1-2 weeks to go 30km each way from home to work. I am 186cm/90kg with a XL bike frame. It is fairly light weight (however I have mine weighed down with a bunch of strapped on convenience bags to carry spare tubes and tools and lock chains). I've had no issues with it so far. It feels reliable and has given me no cause for concern. Gearing and braking is nice and smooth. I've gotten it up to 52kmh but don't think I've used the highest gear yet. Talking to others I've been told that this bike is almost identical to a Giant Contend SL1.
My previous bike was a Reid Condor and at 4x the price, yeah, it definitely feels like an upgrade.
I love my bike!
I'm a runner who needed another option to keep fit while battling an episode of plantar fasciitis. I didn't want to spend the earth as I didn't know how long I'd be riding for. My budget was up to $1500 and I looked at new and second-hand bikes in my area (eastern Melbourne). As a minimum I wanted a Shimano Tiagra groupset.
I tried plenty of bikes, both carbon and aluminium, and experienced a variety of customer service at bike shops ranging from outright bike snobbery to knowledgeable, friendly service. I ended up buying my bike because...of the bike shop - a big thumbs up to 99 Bikes in Blackburn. They were the only place that treated my budget constraints seriously and bothered measuring me up to ensure the bike fitted properly before I took a test ride. At 172 cm I could have chosen a small or small/medium sizing but ended up with the small/medium as there were more of this size in stock. The saleswoman let me take a LONG test ride on a half dozen bikes over real roads, not just around a smooth car park. This was very revealing. So why did I choose the Ride 400? The roads in my area are not fantastic and it became clear that a comfortable ride was going to be very important. The Merida Scultura put a smile on my face but also nearly jarred my teeth out with the transmission of road noise. It also rattled like a Melbourne tram. The Ride felt significantly more comfortable and refined due to the carbon seat post, carbon forks and the Fulcrum wheels which do a mighty job of taking the edge off all the bumps. You can actually see the wheels flex when they hit a pothole to absorb the impact. With 28mm tyres I would ride this bike on some of the gravel trails around here such is the ride quality. The bike is also SILENT which I really appreciate. There's nothing but the gentle whoosh of pedals and wheels when on the road. The Shimano 105 gearing is reliable and shifts perfectly and I love the spacing of the ratios. There is literally a gear for every gradient and I can always find a gear to keep my cadence in the right zone. I've now ridden nearly 2000 km on the Ride 400 and haven't had a single problem to speak of. I can easily average 30 km/hr on the flat and I don't feel like the bike is holding me back in any way. The black, white and pink Lampre Racing Team paint job has grown on me after not being too keen on it initially Several other riders have commented on how sharp it looks. There are a couple of reasons why the bike doesn't get the full 5 stars as it was sold. (1) I realise it's a personal thing but the standard saddle was AWFUL. It was too wide and flat and rubbed on the inside of my thighs. I found a narrower third party replacement pretty quickly and my bum is much more satisfied. (2) the generic Merida brakes were also AWFUL. As I began to ride faster I was less and less confident that I'd actually be able to stop. I tried high end brake pads to no avail, but found braking nirvana by installing proper 105 Shimano brakes to match the rest of the brake set. I'd recommend anybody to do this from the outset - the difference is remarkable. It's not just Merida that cost-cut with brakes, nearly all bike makers seem to scrimp with generic brakes on mid to low end bikes. While I love my bike and hope it provides me with years of service, it's the bike shop that ultimately matters as much as anything IMO. Nothing beats having a bike that fits properly and is set up properly and that should be the number one priority at any price range. Most of the bikes I tried could have been perfect with the proper fit and attention to detail at the shop. For the record I tested a Giant Defy (loved it, hated the bike shop), Orbea Onix (not stocked in my size, loved it though), Orbea Aqua (too heavy), Orbea Avant (wrong size, loved it), Avanti Giro (rattled me half to death) and Merida Scultura (heaps of fun but transmitted too much road noise). My advice would be to ride as many bikes as you can and choose one that makes you want to keep riding!
Questions & Answers
Sorry, there are no questions yet.
Get an answer from our members
Other Road Bikes
ProductReview.com.au has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence our content moderation policies in any way, though ProductReview.com.au may earn commissions for products/services purchased via affiliate links.