- Shimano Ultegra drivetrain
- Comfortable over long distances
- Brakes and wheels a bit below rest of bike's spec
Product:Mekk 3G Potenza SL5.5
Price as reviewed:£1699.99
Until I was asked to test this bike, I had never heard of Mekk. It turns out that Mekk is a collaboration between UK bike industry stalwarts Mark Edwards and Ken Knight (hence the name) who have begun assembling their own bikes that offer great value for money without compromising performance.
The 3G Potenza tested here features Mekk’s second-from-top frame package, a full carbon-fibre frame and fork featuring a tapered steerer, internal cable routing and a classy matt-black finish, coupled with a Shimano Ultegra groupset. Very impressive for a bike costing just £1,699.99!
Costs invariably have to be cut somewhere, though, and in this case it is the budget Tektro brakes and basic wheel package that take the hit. Mavic CXP22 rims are a solid choice and look smart with the red anodised spoke nipples but aren’t the lightest, while the brakes are merely alright, being nowhere near as powerful as an Ultegra brake would be.
Out on the road, first impressions are good. The bike has a quality feel with a sharpness that is dulled slightly by the budget wheels. The bike is very comfortable over longer distances, yet still has the turn of speed that you would expect of a full-carbon machine, a quality that is truly brought to life by a quality set of wheels – as I discovered when I dropped my race wheels in for a few rides.
As a platform on which to upgrade, the Mekk is a fantastic proposition, a classy, well-finished frame and forks with an almost full Ultegra groupset that only really needs a better set of wheels to be a properly fast, high-quality, race-ready bike.