Help Me Choose a Flat Bar Bike

About to upgrade to a new Flat Bar bike and have (currently) narrowed down to 2.

I ride around 30kms, 3 times a week on paths/road only. Not keen on a drop bar and won't be getting the 'itch' to upgrade so no need to compare with those.

I've ridden both and neither is uncomfortable enough to choose the other.

Would like anyone's thoughts on either the bikes or the brands (positive or negative) or if you have another standout within my budget of $800.

Thanks in advance.


  • +2 votes

    One thing to keep in mind here is that both of these flat bar roadies use MTB groupsets (Acera, Altus, Tourney), which while not necessarily a problem, means that your gearing options were designed with mountain bikes in mind. A lot of those gear ratios are for monster climbs, or really unfit people, whilst sacrificing top end speed. You can always change out cassettes but I'm not sure the MTB ones have options that are best suited to the road.

    Both have 8 speed rear derailleurs which are also a bit limiting, although probably bulletproof. I have a 9 speed flat bar roadie and cassettes are getting harder to find, I don't think 8 speed is any easier.

    That said, the Sirrus has a 50/34 front chainring which is better suited for road use than the Merida's 48-38-28.

    So out of those two, probably the Sirrus. But I would look to see if you find a flat roadie with a road bike groupset on it that's 10/11 speed in your price range.


      Thanks, and chainrings/groupsets is pretty much where I get lost.

      • +1 vote

        All you need to know is road groupsets will be more efficient than mountain biking ones.

        Is it super important? Not really.

        But it becomes one of those things where, if you're riding casually every now and then forget it, but the more you ride, the more the little bits of improvement start to add up.

        I find merida speeders to be the best value (higher end groupsets for the price compared to other brands).

        I just bought a 2018 merida speeder 400 for $600 second hand. Has a 105 group set which is one of the upper grade road groupsets. Night and day difference over my merida crossway 100 which has altus/acera.

        Try get something like a speeder 200, sora group set, mid-entry level but better than the acera/altus/tourney that goes on low end bikes (e.g speeder 10, 100)



        • +1 vote

          All you need to know is road groupsets will be more efficient than mountain biking ones.

          It true. Each system is as efficient as the other. The difference is with the available ratios. This will depend on what chainrings and cassette are specified.

          I have a flat bar road bike with MTB groupset on the. It does have a closer ratio cassette than a standard MTB cassette (11-28) but the chainrings are 48-36 and it is suitable for pretty fast riding. I did consider upgrading to a road chainrings setup but haven’t found the need. 50 will not make a significant difference to the your speed.

          Spending on your fitness having a front triple chainring vs double will make it easier to climb. I cut the small chainring off my crank and occasionally on a steep hill will wish it was still there, but apply Rule 5.

  • +2 votes

    The Sirrus is nice I have tried it but in the end I got a Giant Cross City 1 which is in a similar price point.

    Each of the ones you mentioned are good, there is no wrong answer and down to personal choice.

  • +1 vote

    Of the two I’d possibly pick the Merida. Seems slightly better spec. Carbon fork, 9 speed.

    FWIW I have a similarly spec’d bike build on a custom frame after I bought a Giant Roam with a damaged frame. It rides well(but that’s mostly the frame) and the equipment suits me fine and runs well.

    For reference I am a bike nerd, but my budget only allows one expensive bike and that’s my MTB. The flat bar exists because I was regularly commuting and wanted a more efficient bike than the MTB.


    Pay abit more for a minimum the Shimano Deore groupset and if you have the $$$ go for XTR groupset. You'll enjoy your commute on higher grade components.
    Or get a second hand top quality bike, don't get carbon fiber frame as they are very hard to determine if the carbon fiber has been compromise without Xraying the frame.

    • +1 vote

      Practically speaking there is very little difference between Deore and lower level stuff. Maybe the number of gears on the cassette, but otherwise it is just Deore from a few years ago. The tech trickles down.

      A budget of $800 does not have the money. XTR is a waste of money unless ylu as an elite level racer. Sure it is nice, but it will wear out a lot quicker and cost a bulb to replace. For a flat bar roadie if you want to spend up big it will probably take is just a have a road groupset on it anyway, it a MTB groupset. If you want to spend up big for a flat bar roadie get an internal gear gun and belt drive and forget about maintenance for 5x as long.

  • Top