Merida has always been the frontrunner in launching their 2019 range of bicycles in India, and they have lived up to that for this year as well with the launch of the complete range of 2019 bicycles. The Big series are Performance-focused race ready MTB’s which come in both 27.5” and 29” models. We got the opportunity to test ride the Merida Big Nine 40 D (2019) and here is what we thought.
Weight: 15.3 kgs
The Merida Big Nine 40D is built on an aggressive and strong alloy frame. This frame has a slanting top tube which makes the stand over height bigger than most standard hardtail MTB’s. This helps the bicycle climb and roll over harsh trails without the frame taking a hit at the bottom bracket area. The top tube and bottom tube are fused together at the top near the headset, this makes the frame stronger in that area which usually experiences a lot of vibration of the surface when ridden on trails.
The Suntour XCM front suspension fork came with a massive 100mm travel which made sure the bumps on trails were rolled over without any difficulty. The suspension lockout was easy to use and helped with riding faster on flatter surfaces.
The bicycle which I test rode came in a full neon green frame with black graphics in a gloss paint shade. The dotted line pattern on the edges of the top tube, bottom tube and seat stay gives a refreshing new outlook to the frame graphics. The colour coded graphics on the suspension fork, rims and saddle all make the bicycle look uniform in design. The bulky treads on the tire add to the much needed rugged look of this MTB.
The Big Nine 40D is equipped with Shimano Altus at the front and rear as derailleurs. The mid-level Shimano Altus front derailleur with a 3x9 Speed range is the perfect setup for fast and efficient trail riding. The 27-Speed drivetrain gave that extra bit of speed for the rider and also enough range for steep climbs. The ST-EF505 Shimano EZ shifters were easy to operate.
The name D in the Big Nine 40D stands for Hydraulic Disc brakes. The Shimano Hydraulic Disc brakes were powerful and balanced during the test ride. These brakes are the best in line that can be found on MTB’s at this price range and makes this bicycle capable of handling the wettest and roughest of trails.
The Merida CC 690mm handlebar was wide and comfortable to hold on to but like the previous year the 2019 edition also has a 15mm rise. A fully flat handlebar would have made the riding posture aggressive, aligning with the aggressive frame geometry.
The Merida Big Nine 40D rolls on a pair of stock Merida K1080 29” x 2.2” tires. These tires were treaded heavily and perfectly suited for the rough and wet trails. High-speed turns and jamming of the brakes were transformed well into a balanced reaction on these pair of tires.
The Merida Sport Comfort stock saddle was shaped ergonomically with the perfect length and width. The grip patches on the widest part of the saddle on both sides were useful and made it non-slippery. The overall ride quality was fast and comfortable on trails.
This 29” hardtail MTB is built for performance and it did that well during the test ride. The hydraulic suspension lock out and the smooth gear shifting on the 27-Speed Altus drivetrain, made it easy to accelerate on flatter trails. At 15.3kgs this is a strong MTB which can withstand the hard hitting of the trail surface. Priced at Rs.43,490(as on 8th January 2019) the Merida Big Nine 40D (2019) is an ideal choice for anyone looking to buy an MTB for leisure trail rides and amateur/semi-professional trail races as well.
Prices are subject to change by the brand, without due notice.