Updated: 30th March 2018
A cross-country focused hardtail mountain bike, the Merida Big Nine is available in a wide range of models. From entry level bikes that are ideal for recreational riding, right up to full-on cross-country bikes built for racing, we review the full Big Nine range.
All the Big Nines roll on 29” wheels and have a 100mm travel suspension fork with a lockout. There are both carbon and aluminium frame options with different technologies offering a different ride feel as you go through the range.
The Merida Big Nine is available with five different frame options across the range. The 15, 20, 40 and 80 get a double butted 6061 aluminium alloy frame with a relaxed geometry that is ideal for recreational off-roading. Butting is a process that removes material from low stress areas to reduce weight while maintaining strength. This means that you are getting a high-performance frame even on the entry level models. The 300, 500 and 600 frames are also made from double butted 6061 alloy but gets a more stable geometry that is ideal for single track riding. These frames also get smooth welds for a clean organic look, and internal cable routing and a tapered head tube for improved steering control.
Moving up through the range, the Big Nine Limited 29er gets a 6066 triple butted aluminium frame with a racier geometry for rapid singletrack riding. The 3000 and 6000 both get a lightweight full carbon frame with pure a cross-country race geometry. At the top of the range, the Big Nine Team is built from the very highest quality carbon fibres, this is the same frame that Merida’s Pro XC racers use. These top three frame options all feature rear Flex-Stays which work like a flat leaf spring to absorb surface bumps and reduce vibrations for a smoother ride.
The Smart Entry cable system clamps the cables under tension to prevent rattling
100mm of suspension travel is ideal for cross-country single-track adventures
Each bike in the Merida Big Nine Range gets a suspension fork that offers 100mm of travel to smooth the bumps on the trail. Every model gets a lockout switch on the fork. This is ideal for riding more efficiently on smooth surfaces as well as climbing out of the saddle. All the carbon framed bikes get a remote switch, so you can lockout the fork without taking your hands off the bars.
The 15, 20, 40 and 80 get a coil sprung SR Suntour fork. You get a lighter air spring as you move up through the range which offers a wider range of spring rate adjustment for riders of all sizes. The high-end alloy bikes get a Manitou fork with their distinctive reverse crown design for improved lateral rigidity. All the bikes from the 600 upwards get a 15mm thru axle which further improves stiffness, for more precise steering control. The Big Nine 6000 features the plush suspension control of a Fox 32 fork while the range topping Big Nine Team gets a RockShox SID, the winningest cross-country race fork ever.
Shimano components offer the reliable performance you need on long cross-country rides
Each bike in the Merida Big Nine range gets a wide range of gears which is ideal for all the ups and downs on the mountain. The 15, 20, 40 and 80 get a triple chainset combined with an eight, nine or ten-speed cassette. Offering easier, more intuitive gear shifting the 300 and 500 feature a double front chain ring with a wide range 11-36t cassette. All the bikes from the 600 upwards get a one-by drivetrain with just a single front chainring. With an extra wide range 11-50t cassette, the one-by system still offer a very wide gear range. Changing gear is much easier to use as you only need to use one gear shifter for every gear option.
Stopping duties are taken care of by Shimano and you get disc brakes on every model. Disc brakes work consistently well in all weather conditions, so you can ride with confidence whatever the weather. The entry level Big Nine 15-MD gets cable actuated brakes but every other model in the range is fitted with hydraulic disc brakes for improved control.
All the Big Nine bikes roll on 29” wheels. This is now the most popular mountain bike wheel size for cross-country racing as 29ers carry speed better over rough terrain. A larger tyre contact patch is a feature of 29” wheels, and this offers more grip without increasing tyre width, which adds any rolling resistance. This wheel size is especially good for taller riders as these wheels work best with a larger frame size. Shorter riders may prefer the 27.5” wheels of the Merida Big Seven as these are nimbler and work best with smaller frame sizes.
Merida are one of the biggest bike manufacturers in the world and make bike frames and wheel rims for many other top brands. This enables Merida to offer higher quality at lower prices. All the bikes get Merida’s own brand rims laced to quality Shimano hubs. As you move up through the range the wheels get lighter for faster acceleration and easier climbing.
29” wheels are fastest over rough terrain
A versatile mountain bike the Merida Big Nine is ideal for everything from days out with the family to cross-country trail centre adventures. The lightweight frames, wide range of gears and lockout on the suspension fork make the Big Nine a fast, fun and efficient bike. At the top of the range the Ltd alloy and carbon bikes are great for longer off-road adventures as well as XC racing.
Explore further off road and enjoy the thrill of the trail on a cross-country focused Merida Big Nine.
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