The Merida Juliet 300 is a part of their ‘Ride’ collection: racer bikes created for elite athletes looking for some comfort.
Merida write ‘the lightness and comfort would certainly see you happily spending hours on the bike at any one go’ – and I would totally agree with them. I found the Juliet 300 an exceptionally comfortable ride.
Priced at £850, it isn’t a total entry level bike, it is something you would be more likely to purchase after a stint on another cheaper road bike to see how it works for you and how much use you will get from it.
It certainly suited my needs for weekend rides around Richmond Park, longer jaunts out in the country lanes and sometimes just the quick commute to work. It feels like it would stand up well to the test of a week away as well.
The bike has been specifically designed for women, and the ‘Ride’s’ frame higher front end gives a more upright seating position than other road bikes, which was particularly ideal for riding around the city. It is also available in a wide range of sizes from 44cm right up to 54cm making it ideal for those amongst us who are vertically challenged.
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The Merida Juliet 300 also looks great, it is incredibly sleek and strong looking in its black frame and blue racing stripes. Personally, I liked the female touch of the purple writing, although I know some readers might veer away from the idea of a woman’s bike needing those touches of femininity. The stylishness of it made me happy to ride it as a commuter bike too, as it didn’t look totally out of place in the city.
The saddle was very padded, which was great from a comfort perspective – especially if you are out on a longer ride. But it did make me feel a little pushed upwards, which was quite an odd sensation, especially if you are leaning over trying to build some speed.
But I did get used to it quickly, and saddles are an easy thing to change if it doesn’t suit you. Likewise the handlebars are very padded, making them comfortable to grip.
One thing I particularly noted was how smooth it felt riding the Merida Juliet 300. Other road bikes I have cycled I have really noticed every crack in the road but this bike seemed to just glide smoothly along.
I then discovered that the bike has various features to create this. For example, a seatstay that meets the seat tube low down rather than at the junction, and carbon forks to reduce vibrations.
The carbon forks also add to the lightness of the bike, weighing only 9kg. I could instantly feel the benefits of the light weight when I hopped on. The bike felt so agile and speedy, although I was a little worried on a particularly windy day that the whole bike might tip, but thankfully I managed to stay on!
With the smoothness and the weight it was so easy to quickly pick up and maintain speed without the ride feeling taxing. The bike is equipped with Shimano Tiagra groupset which is bang in the middle of the Shimano range. Tiagra offers nice smooth, responsive shifting not causing me a spot of bother throughout the test.
It is definitely spending a little more cash on your bike to get a better groupset – believe me you’ll notice the difference as you up the ante and head out on longer rides.
Verdict: I am not sure I can pick out anything bad about this bike! It was speedy, comfortable and suitable for long rides and I am sure it can be pushed further. If you are a mid-level road cyclist, I would highly recommend it!
Price: £850.00, available from Tredz.