Mekk Poggio 2.0
Meh or Mekk? you choose
Andy takes his Mekk to relationship counselling and finds they have more in common than they thought: shared experiences and some mutual respect
Not meh. Not Merckx. But Mekk. Yes, when I bought the Mekk Poggio 2.0 in 2014 as my entry level carbon road bike it was a new one on me too. But it suited me and that’s the point. Price point was good. It felt right on first ride. It looked fine with a nice red, white and black finish and decent kit too – well some were decent, like the Ritchey headset. I liked the story too. My local independent bike shop had connections with the team behind Mekk – Mark Edwards (ME) and Ken Knight (KK). Did you see what they did there? In fact, that is a clue about the manufacturer, distributor and the bikes (not just mine). Edwards and Knight are known for introducing, championing and developing brands in cycling in the UK like Castelli and (even) Specialized.
The Mekk Poggio 2.0 is a good ride. Full carbon, so the ride is on the firm side, but it is quick, easy to handle and it is light. Mine is a 58cm frame coping with my ninety-odd kilo weight slogging up and down Cotswold hills. It has successfully allowed me to pilot it through Provence and Corsica, round Devon and Yorkshire and occasionally Wiltshire.
It suits me, I like it. I am fond of it. But I don’t love it. I struggle to put my finger on why really. It’s not like a first girlfriend or boyfriend or a first car: fond memories, but you know really, it was not such a great decision. It is a deeper relationship than that. I have a strong bond to the Poggio 2.0. it is just that it needs a lot of attention.
That could be because I have grown with it and therefore my care of it has improved. But it has spent inordinate amounts of time being tweaked, bits removed, bits added and numerous ‘tuning’ experiments. Down the bike shop the Mekk is fondly (key repeat phrase there) known as Trigger’s Broom – only the headset, brakes and seat are original (the frame cracked in 2014 under guarantee, which is why the photos are of a blue bike, not a red one).
Things rub. Gears twitch. Chains leap and play like young bear cubs in a David Attenborough film of salmon fishing by brown bears. I like a gear change that does what it says. One sprocket at a time. Now, OK, I have crashed it, bashed it and probably adjusted it poorly myself. But there’s an argument that says that the Mekk Poggio 2.0 blank carbon frame is not quite as good as the marketing; for example, the inner cabling is just not that hot. Or it might be me. Mekk has developed a good series of bikes and developed a brand. How good? Not sure.
Today we discovered the rear hanger is out of alignment, bent really. The higher gears now beat a rhythm worthy of Buddy Rich (or maybe Dave Grohl).
Having said that, after 60km or so today I’d had a great ride. That for me trumps all the freakish sounds, rubbing and changes needed to keep it on the road. The Mekk Poggio 2.0 is a good bike. I like it. I’ve owned it since 2012. I just wouldn’t buy another one, not now. But would my older wiser self still recommend it to me back five years on? Let’s take it for another go around and just ride it.
Bike test facts
Bike: Mekk Poggio
Drivetrain: Shimano Tiagra
Weather: Sunny, cold and muddy
Test terrain: road (with potholes), road (without potholes)
What do we think of…the Mekk Poggio…in 50 words or less
A great first foray into carbon, for someone who wants to come into cycling at a higher level than entry, or for a second bike where lightness is starting to become an important factor, so sportives or light racing. But it only goes so far.
Mekk have gone for a very crowded part of the market place. The new Poggio is the SE 03, and is a fixed price of £1000, which gives it a very definite price point in the eye of the consumer. Whilst carbon at this price is a bargain, it's not necessarily what consumers want or need, if they have to compromise with componentry, and blank frames, bought off-list from a far east factory. Given that aluminium is no longer the poor-man's choice. We're not sure it's about the value being offered once you let go of the carbon-fixation. That's not to say it's terrible, far from it, just that it's a fierce area to go for. And Mekk simply won't have the buying power of the big brands.
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