First Look: MERIDA BIG.TRAIL Trail-Hardtail

Proving that it isn’t always fully or go home, MERIDA are launching a veritable rival for serious fun on the trails. After all, this new plus-size hype clearly doesn’t just work to the benefits of fullys, with certain brands taking it upon themselves to revive the trail hardtail market. As one of the key players, MERIDA are now launching three models onto the market. We’ve gathered all of the crucial details with regards to the MERIDA BIG.TRAIL.

MERIDA BIG.TRAIL 900 | Gewicht: 13,08 kg | Preis 3.499 €
MERIDA BIG.TRAIL 900 | Weight: 13.08 kg | Price € 3,499

The idea behind the MERIDA BIG.TRAIL

As MERIDA’s team of bike developers set about drafting the BIG.TRAIL, they stood united about one fact: this would be a hardtail, capable of inspiring confidence and whipping up fun. The remaining ingredients for a decent trail bike were easy to come by, and its playful geometry, 130 mm front travel and a focus on delivering a strong downhill performance should be key to an outstanding trail hardtail. For MERIDA, the progress of plus-size tires was simply the catalyst for the re-introduction of a hardtail with a serious affinity for trails. As the chunky tires boost stability and traction, reminiscent of a full suspension bike, the rigid rear end guarantees direct handling and easier maintenance.

The RockShox PIKE RC with 130 mm Boost is stiff and forgiving.
The RockShox PIKE RC with 130 mm Boost is stiff and forgiving.

Playground

Unlikely to sit and collect dust, the BIG.TRAIL is intended for daily loops on your home trails, for the ever-growing number of flow trails and even the odd shredding session in the bike park. According to MERIDA, you might even find it giving your fully a good run for its money.

The MAXXIS Rekon+ in 2.8
The MAXXIS Rekon+ in 2.8″ with the grippy 3C Maxx Terra rubber compound is a good choice for the MERIDA BIG.TRAIL.

Geometry

Long, slack and low – nope, not the beginnings of a bad joke, but the characteristics of the MERIDA BIG.TRAIL 27.5+ hardtail. Unlike ‘regular’ hardtails, this model boasts even more similarities, such as the aggressive 67.5° head angle and ultra short 427.5 mm chainstays; two figures that are more than promising on paper.

Frame Size S M L XL
Seat Tube 390 mm 440 mm 490 mm 540 mm
Top Tube 594 mm 616 mm 639 mm 662 mm
Head Tube 105 mm 115 mm 125 mm 135 mm
Head Tube Angle 67,5° 67,5° 67,5° 67,5°
Seat Tube Angle 73,5° 73,5° 73,5° 73,5°
Chain Stay Length 427.5 mm 427.5 mm 427.5 mm 427.5 mm
Bottom Bracked Drop 60 mm 60 mm 60 mm 60 mm
Wheel Base 1122 mm 1146 mm 1170 mm 1194 mm
Reach 405 mm 425 mm 445 mm 465 mm
Stack 637 mm 646 mm 656 mm 665 mm

The MERIDA BIG.TRAIL’s spec

A fusion of tried and testing meeting new standards, MERIDA have kitted the BIG.TRAIL out with Boost standard hubs, internally routed cables, an ISCG 05 chainguide mount and post-mount brake caliper mounts for 180er discs. The BIG.TRAIL models are all 1x compatible and feature certain in-house components from MERIDA, such as the bars and stems on each model, as well as the wheels with 35 mm inner diametres. The more affordable models features their own dropper posts as well. On the top of the range model, it’s a who’s who of components, with the BIG.TRAIL 900 playing home to DT Swiss XM 1501 SPLINE wheels and the RockShox Reverb seatpost. The frame weighs in at 1,965 g, and the complete BIG.TRAIL 900 bike tips the scales at 13 kg.

All three spec versions feature MERIDA’s own cockpit with a 35 mm clamp.
All three spec versions feature MERIDA’s own cockpit with a 35 mm clamp.
Nachgewogen: 13 kg gehen für das Merida Big.Trail Trailbike voll in Ordnung.
On the scales: 13 kg is more than decent for a trail bike like this.

BIG.TRAIL 900

Fork: RockShox PIKE RC mit 130 mm Boost
Brakes: SRAM Guide R 180 mm
Drivetrain: SRAM XO1 1×11
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth 30.9
Stem: MERIDA Expert SS 35
Handlebar: MERIDA Expert 35 760 mm
Wheelset: DT Swiss XM 1501 SPLINE 40 mm Boost
Tires: MAXXIS Rekon+ 27,5 x 2.8
Weight: 13.08 kg
Price: € 3,499

Simple 1x: All of the BIG.TRAIL models are 11 speed with no front derailleur.
Simple 1x: All of the BIG.TRAIL models are 11 speed with no front derailleur.

BIG.TRAIL 800

Fork: RockShox Yari RC 130 mm Boost
Brakes: Shimano M506 180 mm
Drivetrain: Shimano SLX/ XT 1×11
Seatpost: MERIDA Expert Dropper 30.9
Stem: MERIDA Expert SS 35
Handlebar: MERIDA Expert 35 760 mm
Wheelset: MERIDA Expert TP 35 mm
Tires: MAXXIS Rekon+ 27,5 x 2.8
Weight: n/a
Price: € 1,899

The DT Swiss XM 1501 SPLINE 40 mm Boost wheels provide enough stiffness and are visually matched to this trail bike.
The DT Swiss XM 1501 SPLINE 40 mm Boost wheels provide enough stiffness and are visually matched to this trail bike.

BIG.TRAIL 600

Fork: RST F1RST 130 mm Boost
Brakes: TEKTRO Gemini Hydraulic 180 mm
Drivetrain: SRAM NX 11
Seatpost: MERIDA Expert Dropper 30.9
Stem: MERIDA Expert SS 35
Handlebar: MERIDA Expert 35 760 mm
Wheelset: MERIDA Expert TP 35 mm
Tires: MAXXIS Rekon+ 27,5×2.8
Weight: n/a
Price: € 1,499

Super promising after just a short introduction it, we can barely wait to get our hands on the MERIDA BIG.TRAIL 900 to hammer it through the woods. Go big and stay tuned for an extensive test review!

More information soon on the MERIDA website.


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Words: Florian Schön Photos: Max Philipp Schmitt

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