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We put the Merida Reacto 907 Di2 up against our first ride review

In our first ride reviews, we take some of the world’s best bikes out for a spin over different terrains. View our full archive of bike reviews here including our head-to-head triathlon bike tests.

The Reacto frame was one of the first of the new generation of aero-optimised road bikes, with a deep-bladed seat tube and TT-like back end. The oversized, tapered head tube and neatly integrated fork are signs that this bike is built with one purpose: going as fast as possible from your input of energy. Get on board and as the name suggests, it’s brutally reactive, punching a hole in the air as you fly up to speed.

The Merida excels on the flat. Spin the pedals at a high tempo and the Reacto will pay you back with interest, the aero frame really delivering an extra edge. Add a set of clip-on bars and the Reacto will more than hold its own in the heat of a race. Oversized chainstays and the stout rear end – where the main tubes have a central carbon spine for extra stiffness  – keep it tracking true with no energy-sapping flex.

Despite the added weight of the wheelset, the 50/34 compact chainset and 11-28 cassette means low enough gearing to spin up Alpine ascents. The Ultegra Di2 shifts confidently even under heavy climbing, allowing easy progression on the steepest inclines. The Reacto’s rigidity and sharp steering inspires confidence on twisty descents, where it holds its line and wills you to push that little bit harder.

The downside of a bike this efficient on the flat is that it’s not the most cushioned over longer distances. The bladed aero seatpost does have an elastomer insert to take the sting out of the tail end and the oversized steerer and rigid fork track dull, high-frequency vibrations well, but on bigger road imperfections it crashes rather than cushions. For epic rides there are better options, but for going quickly, the Reacto has few rivals.

Price £4,000
Size tested
Sizes available  50, 52, 54, 56cm
Frame Superlight HM Carbon
Fork Carbon tapered steerer
Saddle Selle Italia SL XC saddle
Handlebar FSA Energy Ergo
Transmission Shimano Ultegra Di2
Brakes Shimano Ultegra
Shimano Ultegra 50-34 compact
Mavic Cosmic Elite Clinchers
Tyres Vittoria Rubino Pro Slicks