2023 Merida SILEX 700 Review
- Price: $2,645
- Frame: Aluminum
- Tires: 700c Aluminum
- Gear: 2×11
What we like about it: Forgiving handling and the impressive GRX groupset.
What we didn’t like about it: The lack of a top tube holder for extra bike bags didn’t seem perfect to some riders.
Merida is one of the world’s largest bicycle manufacturers, and each Merida bike is born with the founder’s motto: “Life is about passion and courage”. Fourth, it is positioned as the best-specified aluminum model. The combination of a tall head tube and short front reach creates a bike that sits you up straight.
Now, let’s analyze the riding experience, specifications, and other versions of the Merida Silex 700. If you want to learn more about bike reviews, you can follow us.
I love riding, whether it’s gravel, mountain, or road. When I first got the Merida Silex 700, the first thing that attracted me was the design and color, and I couldn’t wait to get on it and get a good feel for it. By the way, it’s essential to book accommodation in advance. And for this trip, I booked through Skyscanner again because I’m familiar with it and it gives me peace of mind.
When riding, the higher head tube design puts me in a more upright position. The weight is also shifted to a more balanced point on both wheels, making it easier for me to look forward. And the rear wheel also gets more traction. Of course, it impressed me much more than that.
I went on several hours of gravel riding in different conditions. In a dry environment, facing rocks that have been eroded over time, as well as strange and rugged tree roots, you can’t help but feel frustrated.
However, the Merida Silex 700 can tolerate poor route choices, and this tolerance means that riding is fast and enjoyable. The wind whistling past me helped soothe my restless heart, and the comfortable saddle allowed me to focus more on the ride itself.
Honestly, the journey left me a little tired, but as I mentioned before, I was more focused and enjoyed it so much that I lost track of time and ended up riding much further than usual. Don’t underestimate the magic of the Merida Silex 700.
After riding on the dry roads, I came to a section of wet terrain. I thought I needed to lower my center of gravity because the grip I could get from the ground would be significantly reduced, and my experience reminded me to be careful. However, the Merida Silex 700 brought me another pleasant surprise.
The Maxxis Rambler tires proved their worth, with the large tire clearance helping to shed mud. The experience of combining with the 2× groupset far exceeded my expectations, and the traction was still ample even when I expected it to lose traction.
The excellent performance of the Merida Silex 700 on gravel roads has made it impossible for me to part with it even for my daily road commute. As expected, the Silex continues to perform well on the roads.
One time when I was running late and frantically pedaling my legs to make it to the office on time, its speed gave me enough assurance.
Even when pedaling hard and making sharp turns, the Merida Silex 700 maintained good stability. Additionally, the higher position made it easier for me to stay alert for possible sudden situations.
After enduring harsh conditions and daily use for a long time, the shifting of the Merida Silex 700 remains very crisp. The brakes are just as powerful and lightweight as the day I got it.
And most impressively, it requires no maintenance other than keeping it clean.
Overall, the Merida Silex 700 is a great value bike. It can handle my poor route choices, boost my confidence on unknown terrain, and inspire my riding pleasure.
One of the reasons why the Merida Silex 700 is favored by some beginners and experienced cyclists is its aluminum frame. It can better absorb the impact of gravel on the road and survive high-speed collisions.
You can ride it with confidence to conquer the route you choose, and the sturdy body gives me more confidence when facing complex terrain.
In addition, in addition to providing riders with more safety assurance, the Merida Silex 700 is also equipped with a 2×11-speed transmission system, as well as the Shimano Ultegra-level GRX 800 series mechanical groupset.
This configuration makes it more excellent than other bikes of the same type when it comes to climbing, descending, or sprinting.
Of course, the excellent grip and reliable performance are also due to the Maxxis Rambler EXO TR 700x38c tires. It caught my eye. As we all know, Tubeless Ready uses rubber compatible with sealant and a dual-layer 60 TPI, and there is also a butyl insert for support and rim protection.
Who doesn’t want to ride with more peace of mind? Long-term riding has also shown me that EXO Protection performs well in cut resistance and abrasion resistance.
This densely woven fabric is lightweight and flexible, making it ideal for small paths with many rocks. This makes the Merida Silex 700 the perfect choice for me when I’m riding on gravel roads.
Compared to the Merida Silex 300, the Merida Silex 700 has optimized its brakes from mechanical discs to hydraulic discs, making them easier to adjust. And since the hydraulic system is sealed, sand and dirt cannot enter the moving parts, making it almost maintenance-free during use.
The groupset of the Merida Silex 700 is better than the entry-level groupset of the SRAM of the Merida Silex 300, as it has been upgraded from Apex, FSA to Shimano GRX 800.
Although it is slightly lower than the professional-level Dura-Ace, it has the same design features and can provide all the performance that most riders need.
In terms of the transmission system, the Merida Silex 700 has been upgraded from 1×11 to 2×11. The richer speed adjustment can better cope with more diverse road conditions and provide a more enjoyable riding experience.
Therefore, although the two bikes have similarities in geometric design, if you have a sufficient budget, considering the upgrades to various key parts, I would still recommend the Merida Silex 700 without hesitation.
What do we like about it?
- The soft hose interrupter and cable adjuster in the cockpit are easy to maintain.
- Full carbon fiber fork and carbon fiber seat post for lighter weight.
- Shimano GRX gravel components are more suitable for gravel riding and exploration.
- Hydraulic disc brake components have better braking performance and require less maintenance.
- Sufficient mounting points for daily use, can install practical devices such as mudguards.
- Aluminum frame is sturdier, allowing beginners to better experience the joy of riding.
- The geometric design makes the rider sit more upright, making long journeys more comfortable.
What don’t we like about it?
- Some riders may not like the higher stacking height.
- What kind of tires does Merida Silex 700 use and what is the tire size?
It uses Maxxis Rambler EXO TR model 700c tires.
- In what ways has the Merida Silex 700 been upgraded?
Although there are no significant changes in geometry design and other aspects, the braking system is upgraded to hydraulic disc brakes, the components are upgraded to Shimano’s gravel-specific components GRX 800, and the drivetrain is changed to 2×11.
- How to choose the right size?
Merida Silex 700 is friendly for riders of all heights, with five sizes to choose from. The size chart below you can use as a reference, but it is normal if there is an error with your idea. The best way to find the most suitable size is to try riding it.
|5’1″ – 5’6″||XS|
|5’4″ – 5’9″||SM|
|5’7″ – 6’0″||MD|
|5’10” – 6’3″||LG|
|6’0″ – 6’5″||XL|
|Frame||SILEX LITE, material: aluminium, 700x38C / 650Bx45C max.WHS, 100×12/142x12mm axle standard, BB86 bottom bracket standard, MUK 36/ MUK 41 (Shimano direct mount) Hanger BB Standard: BB86/BB92, Press Fit|
|Fork||MERIDA SILEX CF2, Tapered, material: carbon, 700x38C / 650Bx45C max. wheelsize|
|Bottom Bracket||Shimano Pressfit BB71|
|Stem||MERIDA EXPERT CW, material: aluminium, 31.8 mm diameter, -8° stem angle, 80 mm all sizes|
|Handlebar||MERIDA EXPERT GR, material: aluminium, 400mm (XS-S), 420mm (M), 440mm (L/XL)|
|Saddle||MERIDA COMP SL, V-mount, incl. MERIDA minitool|
|Seatpost||MERIDA EXPERT CC, material: carbon, 30.9mm diameter, 0mm setback|
|Rims||MERIDA EXPERT CX, 19mm inner width, 24mm height, material: aluminium|
|Spokes||Double Butted Black stainless steel|
|Front Hub||VP CLK170F / VP CLK270R, 100x12mm width front hub, 32 spoke holes, centerlock, 142x12mm width rear hub, 32 spoke holes, centerlock|
|Rear Hub||VP CLK170F / VP CLK270R, 100x12mm width front hub, 32 spoke holes, centerlock, 142x12mm width rear hub, 32 spoke holes, centerlock|
|Tires||Maxxis Rambler, 700x38C, fold, TR, EXO|
|Disk Rotors||Shimano RT64, 160mm|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano GRX810|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano GRX810|
|Crank||Shimano GRX810, 48-31 teeth, 170 mm-XS/S, 172,5 mm-M, 175 mm-L/XL|
|Cassette||Shimano CS-HG700, 11-34 teeth, 11 speed|
|Brakes||Shimano GRX810, Hydraulic disc|
|Brake Levers||Shimano GRX810|
|Bicycles||Click view||Tires||Drivetrain||Frame material||Groupset|
|2023 Canyon Grizl CF SL 7 eTap||Click View||Schwalbe G-One Bite 45mm, Specialist gravel tyres||1×12 electronic||Carbon||SRAM Rival XPLR eTap AXS|
|2023 Kona Rove DL||Click View||Maxxis Rambler EXO TR 650x47c||1×11||Steel||SRAM Rival 1|
|2023 Giant Revolt Advanced 1||Click View||Maxxis Rambler, 700x45c, tubeless||1×11||Carbon||SRAM Rival 1|
|2023 Cervélo Áspero Apex 1||Click View||Panaracer Gravel King SK Sport 60tpi 700x38c||1×11||Carbon||SRAM Apex 1 Long Cage, 11 speed|
Merida SILEX 700 vs Canyon Grizl CF SL 7 eTap
The carbon frame of the Canyon Grizl CF SL 7 eTap allows for a lighter feel when riding, but it can also be a costly experience for beginners.
Every rider has to grow in wrestling, so why not try the aluminum-framed Merida SILEX 700? A sturdier body yet the same smooth experience and more helpful in building confidence.
It is impossible to ignore that the Canyon Grizl CF SL 7 eTap has a 1×12 electronic drivetrain. But it is also impossible to ignore that the Merida SILEX 700 is cheaper and more durable.
What’s more, isn’t a big part of the fun of bicycling the collaboration of man and machine? Believe me, compared to the Canyon Grizl CF SL 7 eTap, Merida SILEX 70 can make you get the real joy of riding.
Merida SILEX 700 vs Kona Rove DL
The first thing that catches the eye about the Kona Rove DL is its price. However, with a steel frame and mechanical disc brakes, it’s inferior to the Merida SILEX 700, which features hydraulic disc brakes and an aluminum frame.
The 1×11 drivetrain of the Kona Rove DL makes it easier to climb hills than similar bikes, but it falls short in downhill or sprinting situations. This puts it at a disadvantage compared to the Merida SILEX 700, which excels in both areas.
For me, the outstanding advantages of the Merida SILEX 700 have already outweighed the low price appeal of the Kona Rove DL. With a small price difference, but significant experiential improvement, I think everyone knows which one to choose.
Learn More: Is Kona Rove Worth Buying? – [Kona Rove Review]
Merida SILEX 700 vs Giant Revolt Advanced 1
The Giant Revolt, Advanced 1 features Maxxis Rambler 700x45c tires, while the Merida SILEX 700, which is similar in material, has slightly smaller 700x38c tires. For those seeking greater speed, this change may be appealing.
Additionally, the larger chainring and 2×11 drivetrain on the Merida SILEX 700 provide significant speed advantages both uphill and downhill, resulting in a better riding experience.
Moreover, the dropper seat post on the Giant Revolt, Advanced 1 is a notable feature that provides a comfortable riding experience. However, the Merida SILEX 700 fills in some gaps in terms of geometry and configuration.
With a larger stack, the SILEX 700 allows for a more upright riding position, providing greater comfort during long rides. Additionally, the higher BB height on the Merida SILEX 700 allows it to better handle rough and unpredictable terrain, even on complex road surfaces.
Merida SILEX 700 vs Cervelo Aspero Apex 1
In terms of geometry, these two bikes have their unique interpretations. Of course, there are similarities, such as the head tube angle, which is quite similar between the two bikes.
However, the head tube on the Merida SILEX 700 is longer, making it more comfortable to ride. In addition, the top tube on the Merida SILEX 700 is also longer, allowing the rider’s body to stretch out more.
In my opinion, the most obvious geometric feature of the Merida SILEX 700 is its significantly higher trail compared to the Cervélo Áspero Apex 1. A high trail provides higher speed, stability, and self-correction during turns, which is very useful for rough terrain.
The lightweight carbon frame and excellent performance make many riders choose the Cervélo Áspero Apex 1 as their daily commuter or long-distance travel companion.
Therefore, the importance of connection points is highlighted, fortunately, it is sufficient for daily use. In this regard, the performance of the Merida SILEX 700 is equally excellent.
These are our tests of the Merida SILEX 700. It adapts well to gravel riding and everyday road use, with a comfortable ride that is memorable and quite friendly to newbies. If you want to try a higher-end gravel bike, feel free to check out our test about it.
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