Assuming you're an avid CW reader, you'll recall we last cast our eyes over Merida back in February, when it launched its new Lampre-Merida WorldTour team stable of bikes.
Knowing it can take a while to go from presentation to production, we decided to get astride its Scultura Comp 904.
Sitting midway in Merida's ‘Road Race' range, the Scultura Comp 904 is one of four options all sharing the same carbon monocoque frame platform.
It's dressed in a mix of Shimano 105 shifters and mechs and house-branded brakes with a Shimano chainset, and offers decent value for money especially when you factor in the well regarded Mavic Askiums and colour matching Vittoria Rubino slick tyres.
Out on the road the ride is urgent and responsive. It's a pretty stiff platform, but fitting fatter tyres than the standard 23mm ones and making the most of a tall steerer tube for a higher front end will enhance the comfort factor for some.
If you prefer a racier position, the 17cm head tube on the size 52, which has a 54cm top tube, would be plenty high enough to allow for removal of all the spacers and a cutting down of the steerer for a tidier look, at the same time giving for a comfortable back on all-day rides.
As a whole package, it's a very capable bike and a great platform for a budget road racer.
Yes, the finishing kit and brake calipers are down at the budget end of things but a compromise needs to be struck somewhere and it wasn't in the frameset.
If you are going to struggle to squeeze a pricier ride past the financial controller then this is a solid bike to upgrade.