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Merida is a Taiwanese International Bicycle brand with German R&D and engineering brains behind it. Merida’s MTB strength truly lies in its full suspension MTB’s for varied trail rides. From their 2019 range we got the opportunity to test ride the Merida One-Twenty 9.500 (2019) and here is what we thought.
Weight: 14.8 kgs
The One-Twenty 9.500’s frame is a 6066 Aluminium, triple butted and hydroformed frame. This frame features slightly basic tube shapes and a simpler, straight head tube. At the middle, instead of placing the rear shock onto a fixed position shock mount within the front triangle, the bottom of the shock is instead connected onto an extended chain stay, which remains constantly in motion with the suspension. This frame geometry is aggressive yet comfortable and features a generously swooped top tube for increased standover clearance.
The Suntour Raidon 34 front suspension fork when tested with a heavy push saw us blow through the full 120mm of available travel. The rear suspension is the most critical component on a full mountain bike. Here, the SR Suntour name on the UNAir rear suspension may not share the same appeal of RockShox, but it allows Merida to provide features such as the air spring, remote lockout and rebound adjustment that wouldn’t be achievable otherwise for this price. The suspension lockout is manual and not remote which was surprising for a bicycle at this price.
The bicycle which I test rode came in a full Black frame with minimal Green graphics. The gloss paint job was of good quality and was shiny as well. The internal cable routing made the bicycle look neat and also protects the cable from wearing out sooner. The curved top tube along with wide handlebar and heavily treaded tires made the One Twenty 9.500 look aggressive yet classic with its full black frame.
This One Twenty 9.500’s is a performance-focused enduro-trail bicycle and meant for fast paced rides. Shimano’s Deore at the front and Deore Shadow+ at the rear were quick and precise in shifting during the test ride. The 2x10 Speed drivetrain had enough range for both accelerations and climbing those steep rocks on trails. The Rapid Fire Deore shifters had easy and fast spring action for smooth gear changes.
Shimano’s MT-200 Hydraulic Disc brakes on the Merida One-Twenty 9.500 were not just powerful but also balanced when used extensively during the test ride. The transfer of action from the brake levers to the brake pads is precise which gives the rider control over the braking power required.
The Merida Expert CC MTB handlebar was 720mm in length which is wide enough for total control over the bicycle on fast and bumpy trails. The handlebar grips could have been better to absorb vibrations of the trails, making it easy on the palms and wrists.
The Merida One-Twenty 9.500 2019 rolls on a pair of Maxxis Forekaster 29” x 2.35” MTB tires. The dual compound technologies on these tires make the rubber in the center long-lasting and gripper rubber on the sides for cornering. These tires with spaced out treads make them fast rolling.
The Merida Comp CC Saddle is ergonomically designed keeping the trail rider in mind to make sure the sit bones are placed comfortable on the roughest of trail rides. The Merida Expert TR is a Hydraulic Dropper post with a remote on the handlebar which allows the rider to get the saddle out of the way when the gradient gets steeper, giving him/her more space to manoeuver and control over their bicycle.
This full suspension MTB is packed with performance components including the Shimano Deore/Deore Shadow+ 20-Speed drivetrain and the Shimano MT-200 Hydraulic Disc brakes. The massive 120mm front suspension fork and adjustable rear shocks make the roughest of trails safer and comfortable. Priced at Rs.1,55,940 (as on 15th February 2019) the Merida One-Twenty 9.500 (2019) is the ideal choice for anyone looking to buy a full suspension MTB for hardcore trail rides and endruo trail races as well.
Prices are subject to change by the brand, without due notice.