2016 Raleigh Merit 3 Review

By R2 Bicycles on

An attractive bike at an attractive price, the Merit 3 brings a lot to the table. If you’re looking for all-day riding comfort and great value, the smooth riding frame and cockpit, matched with a Shimano 105 11-speed drivetrain, will not disappoint.

The smooth-riding alloy frame, has plenty of clearance for the stock 28c Kenda Kwick Roller tyres, plus fenders, should you desire to use the tasteful mounts. It features rear rack mounts, as well, and a long enough wheelbase to support it. The carbon fork is a beauty, with internal routing for the front brake cable. More importantly, it’s rigid enough to track well, without beating you up. The TRP Spyre-C cable-actuated mechanical disc brakes are smooth and predictable, and the Shimano 105 11-speed drivetrain provides the smooth-shifting features of Ultegra, in a more affordable package.

The Merit line also features Raleigh’s Anti-Shock stem and seatpost, which isolate the rider from the harsh realities of road riding by using small elastomers at the saddle clamp and the steer-tube clamp of the stem. This adds to the velvety feel when riding in the saddle. The bottom bracket is a bit squishy by today’s standards, but this bike is not made for sprinting.

What is it made for? Fun! This is a fun bike. Unlike some of the ‘comfort road’ bikes out there, the Merit is agile enough for city traffic, and stable enough to carve through turns at high speed. All-day riding comfort, predictable handling, and everyday versatility are where the Merit shines. That and the flash paint job.

The good: It’s fun, versatile, affordable, super-smooth, and good-looking.

The bad: The wheels are heavy.

Price: $1249.99

Actual weight (58cm complete): 23lb 4oz/10.5kg

4 out of 5*

*Rating guide: This is a purely subjective appraisal of the product as it is used for its intended purpose (i.e. a cruiser is rated as a cruiser, not as a top-tier race bike), by a very experienced test rider with a penchant for steep hills (both up and down), dirt (more so than trail), and a lot of other things that he’s not very good at.


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