Merida was one of the earliest brands to get their 2018 range to India for sale and we didn’t waste any time in getting our hands on them. An entry-level bicycle from any brand is usually the most important segment of bicycles to get everything right. From the 2018 range we got the opportunity to test ride the Merida Matts 10V (2018) and here is what we thought.
The Merida Matts 10V (2018) is built around a strong aluminium frame. The race lite 6061 aluminium frame comes with a Merida typical shotgun type with an ATTS down tube. This system helps keep the size and shape of the down tube aerodynamic while still maintaining the strength of the frame. The geometry of this frame allows for a comfortable riding posture making it easy to ride on both urban roads and trails.
The front suspension on this entry level MTB from Merida was the highlight during the test ride. The SR Suntour 26 XCT suspension fork came with a massive 100mm travel, which literally makes it possible for this MTB to get on rough and challenging trails. Such a quality suspension fork on a supposedly entry-level MTB is a big positive.
This hardtail MTB which I test rode came in a full black frame with blue graphics. There wasn’t much change in graphics from last year but looked refreshing enough. The matte finish paint job was smooth and definitely contributed to the good looks of the Matts 10V. The front suspension fork and the saddle were colour coded with a black finish and blue graphics. On the whole this bicycle sure does score well in the design front.
Being an entry level MTB in the Merida range this bicycle did come with entry-level Shimano MTB components. The Matts 10V comes with Shimano Tourney at the front and Shimano Altus at the rear as derailleurs. These derailleurs were both smooth and quick in operation during the test ride. All it took was 1 or 2 pedal rotations for the gears to fall in place and this was impressive for a budget hardtail MTB.
The Merida Matts 10V comes equipped with linear V-brakes at the front and rear. These brakes were the most basic and thus worked enough to handle moderate flat trails. Braking on fast turns and jamming the brakes on muddy terrains weren’t the most balanced and required some level of precision interval braking to control the MTB’s speed.
The Merida steel handlebar on this MTB is 620mm in length with a 30mm raise. This raise in the handlebar made the riding posture comfortable. The handlebar grips weren’t the best gripping and might require gloves on a hot and sweaty trail ride.
The Merida stock 26“ x 2.1” MTB tires were impressive, these tires were heavily treaded and handled the trails well even during high speed turns.
The Merida Sport 5 stock saddle on the Matts 10V was shaped well keep the sit bones in place during the bumpy trail ride. The overall ride quality was comfortable on a mix of flat and bumpy trails.
This hardtail MTB was comfortable to ride on moderate trails with a smooth drivetrain and well-treaded tires. The relaxed frame geometry and a raiser handlebar this bicycle can also be ridden on urban roads. Priced at Rs.24,990 the new Merida Matts 10V (2018) is a good performance focused entry-level MTB.