I intend to purchase a Merida Silex 4000 for ~$2000. I plan to use it for commute (20km round trip) and for recreation and exercise in my free time. I've only had regular MTBs before and I would very much like to have one of these. I plan to keep it in my apartment and we have special bike parking at the office building. I can't buy more than one with one of my monthly salary. I wanted to get this because I thought a cheaper one might have lower priced components that require more replacements/service and I wanted to know if in the long run, this is worth it.


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    What kind of terrain do you expect to ride? Commented May 1 at 12:44
  • 5
    How secure is the parking at the far end of your commute, really? A dedicated location isn't always well thought through (I've seen a bike shed with electronic door locking, but you could reach through the bars and push the exit button)
    – Chris H
    Commented May 1 at 13:51
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    How a bike feels is not always related to its price or the sum of a bikes parts. Feel can only be determined by riding the bike. It would be great if there were some way you could do some test rides.
    – David D
    Commented May 1 at 13:59
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    Keep in mind that in order to make this a true commuter bike you'll need to spend additional money on fenders, light and a luggage rack. Commented May 1 at 18:14
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    Read up on Carbon frames. IMHO, Alloy is a superior frame material for a commuter, for the same price, you will get a better bike, and alloy is less likely to suffer damage that worries you. Carbon is good, but not good for everyone.
    – mattnz
    Commented May 1 at 21:41

10 Answers 10


No. Not overkill. There’s plenty of quality there with a carbon frame, full GRX groupset and OEM wheels to justify the price at current market prices but it’s not over specified for your proposed use.

You’ll get slightly less efficiency on tarmac than a treadless skinny tyre bike but at 10km per leg it doesn’t really matter.

The main question is will you really use it on gravel and light trails? If not maybe investigate a more road oriented commuter.

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    The OP's main reason for such a pricey bike is to save on long term maintenance of components. With no indication of the OP's plans for recreation and exercise, we're left with a 10km commute each way. In that sense I disagree with your opening.
    – njzk2
    Commented May 1 at 16:49
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    @njzk2 Well, looks like OP selected the answer they wanted to hear from the beginning judging by how the question is framed. Perhaps to show to their spouse: "Look, someone on the internet also said this bike is good for me!"
    – pipe
    Commented May 1 at 19:31
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    OP can only have one bike and initially didn’t specify what “recreation and exercise” meant to them. It’ll make a great commuter with fat tyres and weather proof brakes even if never ridden on dirt. On the other hand the aluminium framed 400 is specced exactly the same so unless there’s corrosion issues to contend with that would be a more economical buy. Commented May 1 at 20:19
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    On the last paragraph, it's a personal opinion, but I see little advantages of endurance road bikes over "race" gravel bikes (but with road tires): gravel bikes have more mounting points, are more sturdy, have more suited gear ratios for most people (read non-pros), with the weight being a drawback. And they can go off-road as well. On the riding position, endurance road bikes and "race" gravel bikes are very close (I checked the Canyon Endurace/Grail and Specialized Roubaix/Diverge).
    – Rеnаud
    Commented May 2 at 7:13
  • @Rеnаud I agree, in fact my endurance road bike (and that's endurance as in the occasional 24hour/400km ride) is my gravel bike just with a second wheelset
    – Chris H
    Commented May 2 at 8:37

What you lose out for going cheaper isn't usually reliability. You can even pay more and get less reliability as components become too light to be robust.

This is certainly true of chain wear. I get through 11-speed chains (newer endurance road / gravel bike) faster in terms of distance than 9-speed chains (old tourer) for the same riding. Chain breakages also seem more common on 11+ speed drivetrains than 8-9 speed, but that's looking at other riders. This can also apply to cassette and chainring wear, but 2×10 is likely to be as hard-wearing as anything else you'll find these days.

Fancier components can also be harder to work on. Hydraulic brakes are a striking example - but realistically you'll get them on pretty much any decent road bike these days, and they are nice to use. This isn't a major issue if you plan on getting everything done by a bike shop, or if you have (or are prepared to get) the tools and skills to maintain it yourself.

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    Just a curiosity on chain wear, what chains are you using? It's hard to find data online, and the consensus for in-lab tests seems to be that material/coating matters more than the number of speeds. In 11-speed, have you tried the Linkglide chains? They are supposed to be optimised for durability (on my personal experience, the least durable chains/cassettes were the 12-speed ones, but it was on a e-bike used as commuter).
    – Rеnаud
    Commented May 2 at 7:12
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    @Renaud KMC X9 for years, so I started using X11 on the new bike. On the 9 speed I tried spending more and the wear was no better
    – Chris H
    Commented May 2 at 8:35
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    And what order of magnitude do you get from a chain? (no reference in 11-speed still, I'm still on the chain that came with the bike - Ultegra, around 1300km road, 200km gravel, but I ordered a Linkglide as a replacement, they are quite cheap and it's not a big comittment)
    – Rеnаud
    Commented May 2 at 10:35
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    @Rеnаud it's hard to say so far, but I'm looking at a bit under 3000km (mainly road but filthy ones a lot of the time) compared to more like 5000 for 9 speed in the same conditions. So that's something like 3/year instead of 2/year. And with the wear seeming to be non-linear, I always leave it a bit longer than I should
    – Chris H
    Commented May 2 at 10:41

Probably overkill, and possibly also under-spec at the same time depending on the details of your commute and what you consider reasonable for maintenance.

As mentioned in a few other answers, a lot of higher-end components are less robust, and therefore more maintenance prone. This sounds counterintuitive at first, but when you consider that many people who are serious about competitive cycling are either paid large amounts of money to do it, or are relatively affluent, it starts to make more sense.

Additionally, some of the aspects are probably beyond mattering for your described usage. The carbon fiber frame seems a bit overkill to me for a commuter bike that’s only going to be doing 20km most days. The internal cable routing is possibly counterproductive for simplifying maintenance, and the benefits are limited unless you’re trying to look fancy or are regularly dealing with very rugged terrain. The 2x10 groupset is possibly overkill unless you’re dealing with lots of steep hills.

But ignoring all of that, this is also missing a number of things that would be at the top of my list for a good low-maintenance commuter. First and foremost on that list are a belt drive and robust internal gear hub. A significant percentage of maintenance on any bike involves keeping the chain, sprokets, and chainrings clean and well lubricated. A belt drive with a good IGH immediately eliminates 99% of that work.

And there’s also nothing saying that you can’t upgrade a cheaper bike to fit your needs better. I’ve actually spent more on upgrades on my own commuter than the bike cost in the first place, but finding an equivalent bike direct from a manufacturer would likely cost me almost twice what I’ve spent on it total and involve a adding large number of ‘features’ that would provide no real benefit to me.

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    That's kind of a paradigm change, but yes, the OP should probably at least consider a belt drive.-- The internal cable routing caught my eye as well (I never had one, so don't think it's necessary.) By the way, the potential lower robustness of high-end components is owed to a different design goal: being light. Commented May 1 at 18:06

a cheaper one might have lower priced components that require more replacements/service and I wanted to know if in the long run, this is worth it.

Nope. As ChrisH indicated, higher end components tend to be more fussy and fragile, if anything.

For a commute bike, $2000 is way overkill, especially if you can't afford to replace it (but get a good insurance in any case).

Commute can mean all sorts of things, and my view (very subjective) is that your commute bike should allow you to:

  • Carry your stuff without a backpack
  • Keep a pace that doesn't make you sweat in most seasons
  • Doesn't need too much hassle (bringing it in the apartment because it's so damn expense and I'm worried to leave it outside is a hassle)

I wouldn't recommend an expensive gravel bike for that. (Also we don't know what you include in exercise and recreation)

If you want to minimize maintenance cost in the long run, internal gear hubs, belts, and cable-actuated disk brakes are the way to go.

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    Around this price (which is above cheap but below amateur competition) there may be a sweet spot even with respect to maintenance. The issue is often seals which are missing on cheaper components' bearings. More expensive may become less robust; much less expensive will get lower design and manufacture quality. Commented May 1 at 18:10
  • The missing accessories (fenders, light, luggage rack (if that's the word)) will add probably 100+ dollars. Commented May 1 at 18:13
  • If OP carries groceries in hilly terrain they might appreciate the better breaking power of hydraulic brakes (which exist as rim brakes or disc brakes)
    – gerrit
    Commented May 2 at 6:44

The fact that price and reliability are not equated has been discussed; but I'll add a personal experience.

I trained, and commuted, for years on a $250 road bike (well, that's what I paid second or third hand, no idea what it was originally but certainly not $2k. This was before bikes skyrocketed in design and price). I'd have to check out in the garage for the specific model; but I can say in all the time, other than brake pads and tires, the only thing I had to replace was the rear cassette. (And I probably could have prevented it from breaking, had I known then a little more how it works.) It never failed me; more that I failed to maintain it as well as I should have.

For your bike, certainly it will do what you need. I'd be more worried about security/theft; I even had mine stolen once from my garage (and returned by the police) and it was barely worth anything at all. One of my older children at uni had a (chained) bike stolen from her fenced back yard. Another student, on campus, had their eBike stolen at knife-point.

Good luck.

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    "certainly not $2k". Please consider that 20 years ago a road bike would have costed ~$1k ... and the same category of road bike would cost today $2k (counting inflation and skyrocketing costs of new bicycles). So you are suggesting to buy a used decent bike for $500, which is a meaningful suggestion
    – EarlGrey
    Commented May 3 at 10:41

I don't know if it's overkill, but it doesn't look like a bike that is suitable for commuting, for the following reasons:

  • It looks fancy, so it will get stolen (a good commuter needs to run flawlessly but look like crap with lots of dust on it)

  • It is expensive, so when it gets stolen, you will cry

  • None of the required commuter bike accessories are present or even possible to install: lights, rear rack, etc.

  • Questionable handlebars.

Commuter bikes are all about practicality and safety in a somewhat hostile environment. Performance is good to have but secondary.

For example to ride in the city you need one finger on the brake at all times, as when you really need to do an emergency braking, the half second you need to move your hand to reach the front brake lever may be the difference between stopping safely and crashing. In addition the "racing style" handlebars force you into racing position when reaching for the brakes, which means you see less of your surroundings unless you bend your neck at an uncomfortable angle all the time. A typical commuter has a more upright position to be able to both have your finger on the brake and have your head high enough to see over parked cars at intersections.

Without a rear rack, you will need to use a backpack to carry your stuff, so you will arrive at work with your back drenched in sweat.

There are no mudguards, so if the road is wet you will also be sprayed with stuff of questionable cleanliness, and god forbid you stick a wheel in dog poo... If you care about weight, you can use plastic mudflaps, basically anything is better than nothing.

If you plan to use it at night more than once, you really need good lights. Even in full sunlight, when the sun is low and blinds drivers, lights are very useful. If a driver's windshield is a bit dirty and they get the sun in their face, and you're riding in the shadow of trees planted on the side of the road, the only thing they'll see is your rear blinkie.

Also for a commuter I like fatter tyres so if I have a choice between a nice small safe road with no cars but old asphalt of dubious quality, and the highway, I can ride on the bumpy road/path just fine. But the fat tyres are slower.

  • Very good comment. I would also add that even if the bike won't be stolen when he will realise the risk he will spend a lot of time looking for a safe place to park it. It will be a hassle. Another point, in many countries in the evening lights are mandatory, so it is not only a safety requirement, probably it is a legal requirement.
    – FluidCode
    Commented May 3 at 19:38
  • Oh yes I once got stopped by the cops because I had no lights on the MTB. I had lights at the start of the ride but... it was pretty bumpy lol.
    – bobflux
    Commented May 3 at 21:50

On the recurrent observations in the answers that high-end components may wear faster than entry level ones, a small note: GRX400 is a rugged Tiagra (equivalent to Deore, although the consensus for road groupsets seems to be that 105/GRX600 has this spot), and I don't think that anyone will call Tigra/Deore high-end, but it's a very good mid-range, that probably presents the best ratio durability/price. It's only after Tiagra/Deore that the ratio starts to be lower (but not on all components — and I'm referring to the ratio, not the absolute durability), but if you stay with Shimano, the real trade-offs on durability are on Dura-Ace/XTR (without gravel equivalent).

But more generally, I also join the other comments that recommend an another kind of bike purely for commuting, if it's the main intent, and detailed my thoughts in another answer here. Of course, if having a commuter (a beater bike, I don't necessarily a fancy commuter) and a week-end bike is not an option and you want to have a dropbar/gravel bike, a gravel/touring is the most sensible choice in this segment.

On the suitability of this perticular bike for commuting: one criticism I have with this bike is that it lacks mounting points to fit mudguards and racks (although there are mudguards/racks now that do not require eyelets — but you'll probably have to choose between mudguards and rack then). The other is the carbon frame: carbon is very sensitive to chipping, so unless your colleagues are very cautious (I wouldn't count on it), and you are as well (bike mounts are typically in metal), wrapping the frame is a minimum.

But I feel obliged to comment on the assumption that a secured workplace parking is safe, as I personally had my commuter stolen in a "secured" workplace parking (the kind where you need to badge twice to enter, and surrounded by a 2.5m high fence). The thief entered in the parking following another bike, and nothing in such parkings is done to prevent people from exiting (mandatory safety rules).


It depends on what you want to do later.

If you can see yourself riding on many other occasions in different terrain and are happy doing all on the same bike, then I would say go for it.

You can customise your bike, Road or MTB or Gravel, to suite your cycling events.

There are many articles recommending Gravel bikes as a good allrounder, so maybe worth researching and considering it.

Which ever way you go, I am sure you will enjoy your next purchase.


I would very much like to have one of these...

... is a legitimate reason to get anything you can pay for and not forbidden by the law. The other "reasons" (excuses) like the quality of parts or their maintenance are of low concern.

That said, for a road commute bike, the tyres are way too fat and their air/rolling resistance will completely negate the sub-10kg overall mass. You will lose way too much power in rolling resistance.

The tyres may be reasonable in poorly-maintained roads, but if this is the case, you may as well want at least front suspension and straigth handlebar (and we are going in MTB direction).


I can't buy more than one with one of my monthly salary.

If this means that you can afford one with one monthly salary, you are doing good ;). Invest the money on a very good bike-insurance.

I would very much like to have one of these

Then go ahead ;)

Ok, a more rational thinking is "what is your current equipment for commuting?".

The bike you present has attachment points only on the front. Maybe this is enough for you. I wonder when it rains and you need to carry a change in addition to your normal load (without mudguards ... and even with mudguards you may need it), how do you carry it? And how do you carry the $200 lock you need to have on such a bicycle?

Regarding service, if you did your servicing on a MTB with disk brakes, a gravel with disk brakes should not be that different. But consider that internal cable routing is a pain in the neck, in general, especially with the newest declination of interanl routing through the headset. Either it costs you time, or time=money from the bike shop.

Frame material: comfort comes from the combination of geometry and the intrinsic properties of the material itself. But price comes from the intrinsic properties only ... so it is hard to judge, it may be that you prefer an aluminium (or even a steel) frame. Rigid forks tends to be stiffer and the dampening of the vibrations you had on your MTB from fork+wide tyres may disappear with a carbon fork on narrower gravel tyres.

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