Merida’s new One Sixty VPP enduro bike (Robin Wilmott/Bikeradar)
Taiwanese bike association Merida launched their 2012 operation this week on a Spanish island of Mallorca. Head of bicycle pattern Jurgen Falke took centre theatre to betray their new towering bikes, including an updated track bike, a new enduro supply and a title 29er full-suspension cross-country racer.
Making a many waves was a Big Ninety-Nine 29er, that aims to build on a success of a 26in Ninety-Nine and offer cross-country and marathon racers a big-wheeled alternative. An aluminium antecedent was on uncover during a launch; a bike is rideable and undergoing final tweaks before
the final CO prolongation version, that a Multivan Merida Biking Team are assisting to develop, is
launched in time for 2013.
Jurgen explained that he believes 120mm of transport is too many for a 29er full-sus, since there’s singular circle and tyre
clearance when a cessation is entirely compressed, so this pattern offers a
maximum of 106mm, around a 38mm-stroke shock. With a trend towards 2×10 drivetrains, a chain of a Big Ninety-Nine’s main focus is optimised for use with tiny chainrings (down to a 24-tooth middle ring) though a bike will still accommodate a triple chainset if preferred.
Tube cross-sections have been increasing compared to a Ninety-Nine to cope with a additional highlight put on a support by a incomparable wheels, though Merida have still managed to replace a seatstay overpass though compromising stiffness. Combined with a winding chair tube, this provides clearway for adult to 2.3in rubber. A 12/142mm through-axle helps conflict torsion during a behind hub. Spec will be possibly SRAM 2×10 with RockShox XX cessation or Shimano 3×10 with DT Swiss. Remote lockouts for front and behind cessation will come as standard.
As if to entirely exam a new machine’s mettle, Mallorca sanctified a exam float with complicated snow. The bike now felt secure and solid, permitting us to tub into
tricky sections with confidence. The common 29er traits of softened rolling
performance, traction and fortitude were clear in spades, and a singular travel
of a Big Ninety-Nine means it climbs like a hardtail, even without
locking out a behind shock. When issuing by corners, it breeds speed, and
even accelerating from low speeds is reduction of a duty than common due to a light weight and unbending frame.
Struggling to see clearly by a pushing snow, a line choice was distant from optimal, heading to several moments that competence have dismantled a smaller wheeled machine, though a 29er usually engrossed them and let us crack it behind on line. Suspension incline was roughly non-existent, and there was no snippet of toe overlap. The Big Ninety-Nine has a intensity to surpass a capabilities of a 26in Ninety-Nine and turn a marathon racing benchmark.
At a other finish of a scale comes an further to Merida’s sobriety enduro/all-mountain stable, a One Sixty. Building on a success of a One Twenty and One Forty track bikes, this uses a VPP cessation pattern protected from Santa Cruz Bicycles to give a plush float with a low centre of gravity. As a name suggests, it offers 160mm of transport front and rear, from a sub-3kg hydroformed aluminium frame.
Merida fit a One Sixty with a RockShox Reverb Stealth tractable seatpost. The wire from its bar mounted remote is routed internally by a down tube and chair tube so there’s no wire loop to get in a approach when dropping a seat. In fact, with a Reverb fitted, a usually outmost line is a behind stop hose. Other dropper posts can be propitious by using a wire externally.
Our exam route, nonetheless tough, had zero to unequivocally pull a bounds of a bike’s performance, though what we found was promising. With many weight and cessation bucket nearby a bottom bracket, a One Sixty feels planted and changes instruction well, feeling nimble for a bike with 2.4in rubber.
It has a neutral feel when pedalling in a saddle, with roughly no bob. We returned with a laugh and
wanted more, so demeanour brazen to a destiny full test. The One Sixty is now during a pre-production theatre and member specifications are being finalised – it’ll be offering with 3 apparatus levels.
Other full-suspension bikes
The One Twenty track bike, a One Sixty’s small brother, has had a cessation geometry reworked to maximize serviceable travel. It continues to be accessible in both CO and aluminium, with a latter braggadocio an impressively light sub-2.5kg support weight. With countless specs available, it could be all a bike you’ll ever need, either you’re into racing or all-day track rides.
The Ninety-Six set a bar for cross-country competition bikes when it was launched in 2008, and with a development
of a Ninety-Nine Merida have lifted it again. Optimised for a 2×10 drivetrain, and with 100mm transport of travel, claimed finish bike weight is usually 8.9kg (19.6lb) though pedals. Despite this, a Ninety-Nine boasts implausible support and bottom joint stiffness. Available in carbon
and aluminium framed versions, it should keep Merida competitive.
Not to be lost are Merida’s hardtails. The O.Nine carried Jose Hermida to his universe championship feat in 2010 and will be a bike of choice for many of a Multivan Merida group in
their follow for Olympic success this year. It’s unbending and lightweight, with approved support weights as low as 940g, though has buzz-damping flexible seatstays and a spare 27.2mm seatpost to keep tired during bay. Optimised for a 2×10 drivetrain, and with a BB30 bottom bracket, it stays devastatingly fast.
Given a plea of formulating a 29er with similar
performance to a O.Nine, Merida have come adult with the Big.Nine. Bottom joint rigidity is even aloft than on a O.Nine and a likewise low racing position has been retained, along with a sub-1,100g support weight. The 2012 Big.Nine Carbon Team-D will
come with a SRAM X0 delivery and DT Swiss fork, and is stunningly
agile for a large-wheeled machine.