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Merida was the first international brand to hit the Indian market. The Big series are performance focused MTB’s in both 27.5 inches and 29 inches models. We got the opportunity to test ride the Merida Big Seven 20 MD (2018) and here is what we thought.
The Merida Big Seven 20 MD is built on an aggressive and strong alloy frame. This frame has a slanting top tube which makes the stand over height much more than standard hardtail MTB’s. This helps the rider be safe on the jumps on trails. The top tube and bottom tube are joint at the top near the headset, making the frame stronger in the area , which might experience maximum vibration from the surface.
The Suntour XCM front suspension forks came with a massive 100mm of travel which made sure the bumps on trails were rolled over without much difficulty. The suspension lockout helped make the forks rigid to get extra speed on flatter patches on the trails.
The bicycle which I test rode came in a full black frame with green graphics. The striped pattern and green graphics gives a refreshing new outlook to the bicycle. The colour-coded front suspension fork, rims and saddle all make the bicycle look uniformly designed. With neat tread patterns and chunky frame tubes, this bicycle looks like one strong hardtail MTB.
The Big Seven 20 MD is equipped with a Shimano Tourney front derailleur and a Shimano Acera rear derailleur. The entry-level Tourney front derailleur and the performance focused Acera rear derailleur act well together and provide a good combination of gears for quick shifts on trails. The 24-speed drivetrain gave that extra bit of speed for the rider. The EF500 Shimano EZ shifters were easy to operate.
The “MD” in the Big Seven 20 MD stands for mechanical disc brakes. The Promax MTD mechanical disc brakes worked well during the test ride. These cable-powered brakes provided enough stopping power for safe and balanced stoppages on trails.
The Merida Speed 690mm handlebar was wide and comfortable to hold on to but I expected to see a fully flat handlebar rather than a handlebar with a 15mm raise. A fully flat handlebar would have made the riding posture more aggressive, aligning with the aggressive frame geometry.
The Merida Big Seven 20 MD rolls on a pair of Merida K1080 27.5” x 2.1” tires. These tires were treaded heavily and perfectly suited for the roughest of trails. High-speed turns and extreme braking were absorbed well by these tires.
The Merida Speed Comfort stock saddle was shaped ergonomically with the trail riding sitting posture in mind. The grip patches on the widest part of the saddles were useful and made it non-slippery. The overall ride quality was balanced and comfortable on trails.
This 27.5 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 made it easy to accelerate on flatter trails. At approximately 15kgs this is one strong MTB, which can take a hard hitting on the trails. Priced at Rs.31,990 the Merida Big Seven 20 MD (2018) is an ideal choice for anyone looking to buy an MTB for routine trail riding on challenging trails.