Our latest guide to the world of Merida mountain bikes
Merida has built up a reputation for sensibly specced and priced bikes covering all major cycling disciplines. Check out all these Merida mountain bikes.
Merida might be one of the world’s largest producers of mountain bikes but their presence in the UK is still pretty low key thanks, in part, to the brand not being found in any of the major bike shop chains in the country.
Now you might expect such a large company as Merida to produce a bewildering number of different bike ranges and models. And at first glance at the company’s website this seems to be the case. But once you get past this initial impression you will notice that in reality there are only four hardtail models and four full suspension models (plus a handful of eMTB versions).
Merida also make it a much easier process to decode the models thanks to (mostly) a pretty simple naming and numbering system. Each hardtail and full suspension model has up to three divisions through the range. Bikes with a double digit after the name have the most basic of frame and component specifications, those with triple digits receive a higher quality aluminium frame and parts and finally, models with 1000+ at the end of the name receive carbon frames. And obviously, the higher the number, the better the bike.
Just to add a slight spanner in the works Merida also has a few Team or Limited bikes that are either high end race team replicas or one-off special editions.
What type of mountain bike are you looking for?
Chances are you already know what style of mountain bike you want. Whether that be hardtail, full suspension or e-bike. If you don’t yet know what type of mountain bike you want then head on over to our feature What to look for in a mountain bike. Once you do know what type of bike you’re after, read on…
What type of riding are you interested in?
let’s make one thing clear, all mountain bikes are versatile, adaptable and capable of many differing types of riding. That’s what makes them the best sort of bike in fact. So don’t worry that you’ll never be able to go to a bike park if you buy a XC bike. Having said that, you’ll have a better experience if you buy a bike that best suits the type of riding that you do the majority of the time. Don’t buy a that downhill beast if you only ride uplifts three times a year and spend the other 49 weekends slogging it around the local woods.
With your bike type chosen and your riding type chosen, all there’s left to choose is a budget. Choose one and stick to it.
Simple? Right, let’s have a look at the bikes then…
Hardtail Merida mountain bikes
Merida has four hardtail models, each covering one of the four main wheel sizes; 26″, 27.5″, 27.5+” and 29″. The Big.Seven, Big.Nine and Matts models are all recreational/cross country oriented machines. If you fancy a more capable hardtail, one that will cope with more technical trails and trail centre use, then the Big.Trail will be a better option. It has slacker geometry and a longer travel fork to instill confidence when the trails get harder.
With ten different bikes to choose from and ranging in price from the £500 Big.Seven 20-D to the £2,600 Big.Seven 6000, if nimbler handling 27.5″ wheels are your thing then this is where to look. All models get a 100mm suspension fork at the front and even the entry level Big.Seven 20-D has hydraulic brakes and a fork lockout. At the top end, light and stiff carbon frames and better components create capable cross country machines.
The largest choice of bikes can be found in the Big.Nine range. Rolling on bigger 29″ wheels, the Big.Nine is the fastest of Merida’s hardtail ranges. In the most part the range mirrors the Big.Seven bikes but it also includes a Team edition bike at the very top of the range. This is a replica of the bike used by the Merida XC team and as such has the sort of high end exotica that warrants the £5,250 price tag, including a SRAM XX1 Eagle drivetrain, Fulcrum carbon wheels and an all up weight similar to many road bikes!
Big tyres, big travel and big fun is where the Big.Trail sits in Merida’s hardtail line-up. An all together more trail capable hardtail, if you want to ride more trail centres but still prefer a the lightness and simplicity of a hardtail then this is where to look. Four bikes make up the range, ranging in price from £1,350 to £2,850.
26″ ain’t dead for Merida. Okay, there are only two models in the range but if you are looking for your first foray into off-road riding and are on a strict budget then the £380, V-brake equipped Matts 6.10-V or disc brake equipped Matts 6.15-MD for £425 are the most reasonably priced bikes Merida produce.
Full suspension Merida mountain bikes
Just like the hardtails, Merida also produces four models of full suspension bike. Each name refers to the amount of rear wheel travel the frame has, so it should be relatively simple to work out the intended use of the bike by this. The Ninety-Six has 96mm of travel and this, along with the lightweight spec, carbon frame and steep geometry, tells you it is very much a cross country race machine. Both the One-Twenty and One-Forty are trail oriented models. The One-Twenty is for someone wanting the extra capabilities longer travel can bring without it becoming to far removed from a cross country bike that can be ridden all day. The One-Forty has slacker angles and a 150mm suspension fork to make it a bike that will not only cope with all day but also capable of tackling trail centre black runs.
With 160mm of rear travel and a 170mm suspension fork, the One-Sixty is the longest travel bike Merida produce. Definitely in the all-mountain/enduro category, it’s more at home on bike park trails and steep downhills than pedalling up hills.
Currently only listing two models of the Ninety-Six (does this mean there might be a new one on the way?) Each has a full carbon frame and is available with a couple of different wheel options dependent on frame size. Both small and medium frames are available with either 27.5″ or 29″ wheels.
Two aluminium framed and two carbon framed One-Twenty bikes are available. All of which have a 130mm suspension for plugged into the front and feature 1x drivetrains. Each model is a available in S, M and L with 27.5″ wheels or M, L and XL with 29er diameter.
Modern geometry and 2.6″ tyres brings the One-Forty bang up to date. Three bikes are available, all with aluminium frames and 150mm suspension forks. Starting with the Shimano SLX and Manitou Mattoc equipped One-Forty 600 at £2,200 and culminating in the RockShox and SRAM GX Eagle 12 speed One-Forty 800 for £3,000.
With five bikes to choose from in the range, there are plenty of options. Three aluminium framed One-Sixty bikes are available and two high end carbon machines. All come with a 170mm fork and piggy-back RockShox shock.
E-MTB Merida mountain bikes
Merida has electric equivalents for not only the Big.Trail hardtail but also the One-Twenty and One-Sixty full suspension platforms. So easy to comprehend the key features as long as you have read about the non-electric versions above.
Packing the same features as the standard Big.Trail, i.e. 2.8″, plus sized tyres, 130mm of front suspension and slacker angles for harder riding on more demanding trails. The eBig.Trail adds Shimano’s excellent Steps motor system and externally accessed battery to provide the pedal assist. Whopping 203mm disc rotors handle the stopping. The single bike range eBig.Trail currently retails at £4,000.
Three versions of pedal-assist eOne-Twenty trail full suspension bikes appear this year. All share the same aluminium frame with cast motor bracket and Shimano Steps motors. Price ranges from £4,300-£6,150.
A proper, long travel trail killer, with pedal assist. The eOne-Sixty’s two bike range caters for the rider who wants an in-built uplift. Like the eOne-Twenty, both bikes share the same aluminium frame and Shimano Steps motor. The top of the range eOne-Sixty 900E matches this with Fox Factory level suspension and Shimano XT Di2 electronic shifting. Prices range from £4,700-£6,350.