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by Neal Rogers
June 29, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: UCI clarifies implementation of protocol for calculating time gaps on bunch-sprint stages; Coquard: ‘It hurts not going to Tour de France’; Video: Chris Froome tells Eurosport what he is expecting for Tour de France; Merida unveils new Reacto III road aero bike for Tour de France; Former teammate weighs in on Cardoso’s EPO positive; ‘Pocket lab’ tests blood in 30 seconds, changing how cyclists train; Team Sunweb adds German duo Max Kanter and Leon Rohde to WorldTour roster as stagiaires; Video: Trailer for All For One, documenting first five years of GreenEdge team; Video: Pilot for documentary tracing paralympian David Smith through three spinal tumour operations.
On the eve of the Tour de France, and with Bahrain-Merida making its Tour debut, the team has unveiled a new model — the Reacto III road bike.
The Reacto III builds upon the previous iteration with modest improvements in weight (18.5%), comfort (10%) and aerodynamic performance (~5%). At the same time, Merida has added a disc-brake version of the bike and created two sets of geometry, one that is race-dedicated (dubbed CF4),and another with a taller head tube at each frame size for a more forgiving fit (CF2).
The Reacto III continues to make use of NACA fastback profiles for the majority of the frame, however by slimming down the tubing, lowering the seat stays, and adding an integrated cockpit, Merida have managed to improve the aerodynamics of what was already a slippery bike. Those slimmer tubes also account for some of the weight savings while providing extra compliance for the seatpost.
The upper end of the new Reacto range (8000-E, 9000-E, Team-E) will feature CF4 geometry and the new integrated cockpit along with a choice of rim- or disc-brakes. The remainder of the range (4000, 5000, 6000, 7000-E) will have CF2 geometry and standard cockpit components, however the option for disc-brakes will be limited to the 5000 and 7000-E.
“Cyclists and trainers are starting to become more and more aware about the importance of aerodynamics, even the climbers are starting to ask more questions about it,” said Bahrain-Merida manager Brent Copeland. “You start to find a bike rigid, comfortable and aerodynamic. As more and more races finish in the descent, it is the stability that riders are looking for. Having a bike like Reacto is yet another area where you can improve the percentage.”