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For as long as we can remember, hardtails have been the backbone of Merida. The hardtail is for many, the first step into the exciting world of off-road riding. The last generation hit the trails on 29er wheels, with 140 mm of fork travel and progressive hardtail geometry. Loved by the international cycling press and hardtail riders alike, the Big Trail has made a name for itself and enjoyed great popularity.  However, similar to the short-travel full-suspension bikes, riders are looking to tackle even more challenging trails on their trail hardtails. Here’s what Merida had to say about the All New Merida Big Trail;


Originally developed on the back of a napkin by our R&D team, Merida UK and some of the UK’s most knowledgeable dealers, the Big Trail had a rather unconventional start to life.
The aim was to create a super capable trail hardtail with progressive geometry, featuring 29er wheels, long travel forks, dropper posts and trail-ready components. The result is more affordable, easier to set up and requires less maintenance than a full suspension bike. Entering the world of trail riding, the Big Trail featured a slack 65.5° head angle and a steep seat angle, both of which made it a solid descender even when the trail was littered with roots and rocks while maintaining impressive climbing ability due to the central seating position over the bottom bracket. It featured internal cable routing, bottle bosses for two bottles, trail-ready tyre clearance, and long insertion depth for dropper posts, paving the way for upsizing or downsizing, allowing riders to find the perfect size for the riding characteristics they were looking for.



As well as bringing the frame size into line with the existing MTB range, the Big Trail’s already progressive geometry has been refined to further improve handling on steep and challenging terrain. Comparing size to size (e.g. the outgoing Medium to the new Mid), the reach has increased, as tests have shown how much impact this has on the stability of a trail bike. In line with the extended reach, we have increased the stack, allowing the front wheel to be easily popped without making the bike feel too stretched. The seat tube remains short for a super low stand over height and is now straight for maximum insertion depth, allowing long travel dropper posts to be fitted, even on smaller frame sizes. This gives the rider more room to manoeuvre over the bike; a huge advantage when the terrain becomes more challenging.


A key factor in the development of the outgoing Big Trail was that it should offer impressive performance, handling and capability at a great price. With the introduction of new frame features and updated geometry, the Big Trail will continue to offer amazing trail performance at an affordable price.


The original Big Trail design brief had several key elements; impeccable trail performance at an aggressive price point with everyday versatility thrown in. The bike was aimed at customers who enjoy challenging trails and tracks but don’t want to stretch their budget or prefer the simplicity and easy maintenance of a hardtail. The Big Trail undoubtedly catered well for this customer group, as demonstrated by the long list of top test results, magazine and website recommendations and awards. The new Big Trail continues to deliver on the trail with updates that make it even more capable, versatile and fun to ride.


+ Extra-long chainstay and seat stay protection
+ Possibility to add a long fender
+ Tested to exceed Zedler Advanced for ASTM category 4 (Trail and enduro use, including racing)

+ Frame grows mainly in reach and the seat tube remains relatively constant
+ Long head tube for a more upright position despite the long reach. The higher front end allows the rider to sit more upright on the bike, making it easier to see further ahead
+ Short seat tube keeps stand over height low, allowing shorter riders to go for a longer, more stable frame size
+ Riders can choose between frame reaches – depending on their riding preference.

+ Trail Mount fixing point underneath the top tube allows additional tools and spares to be attached to the bike
+ Two fixing points for water bottles on the downtube
+ Hidden fixing points for a rear rack, rear fender (Merida long rear fender) and a kickstand
+ Merida V-Mount Multitool under the saddle
+ 4/6 mm Allen key

+ Improved internal cable routing through the Wire Port
+ Reliable ACROS headset (also allows easy bearing exchange through specific 2-piece top cap configuration)
+ Focus on service and interchangeability for the specs (e.g., SRAM UDH, BSA BB)

+ New two-component chainstay protector and additional inner seat stay protector
+ Noise-reducing cable routing through foam sleeves
+ ISCG05 guide mounts offer extra chain security if needed


Wire Port
Most cables, including gear, rear brake and dropper post cables, enter the frame through a specifically designed 2-piece headset cover, creating a clutter-free cockpit and reducing cable rattle. The ACROS parts of the Wire Port system offer impressive longevity due to their sophisticated seals allowing quick and easy bearing replacement and cable maintenance when the time comes.
Trail MountThe addition of a Trail Mount provides an extra mounting point under the top tube.
Sram UDH
Now a standard on modern mountain bikes, the SRAM UDH hanger is readily available, aids shifting and is ready to work with the latest SRAM drivetrains.

Tyre clearance
Up to 2.4″ wide trail and enduro tyres can be fitted, providing plenty of grip, traction and comfort. Brake mount and axle standard 148×12 mm Boost axle is standard and 180 mm Post Mount direct rear brakes are well protected inside the rear triangle.
Rider protection
For additional frame and rider protection, the optional long rear fender, as seen on the One-Sixty, can be fitted to the wishbone section of the rear triangle.
Moulded 2-component chain stay protector
Trail hardtails are particularly sensitive to chain slap on rough trails. As a result, riding on a demanding trail
can be a noisy affair. To make the Big Trail one of the quietest trail hardtails on the market we’ve gone the extra
mile, developing an elaborate, highly effective chainstay protector. This is made from two different plastics; a
hard one provides shape and rigidity enabling it to be fitted to the chainstay without glueing, and a softer material on the outside for more damping when the chain hits. In addition to the soft outer material, we’ve added air pockets to further increase the sound-deadening abilities. The rear of the chainstay protector minimises heel rub which can be an issue for riders with larger feet, particularly when using flat pedals.
Built in versatility
Whilst at home on tracks and trails, the Big Trail is also perfect for everyday use such as commuting to school or work. With this in mind, hidden fixing points for fenders (available separately), a rear rack and even an off the shelf kickstand.

Shop The All New Merida Big Trail II Range At – Available To Pre-Order NOW