The New Merida Big Trail

21 January, 2021

The BIG.TRAIL is a hardtail which is designed for trail riding. Geometry, suspension travel and features of this model are optimised for hitting the trails. But why would you use a hardtail when everybody is saying a full-suspension is the better choice? There are a few reasons: it’s more affordable, easier to set up, and it needs less maintenance than a full-suspension bike. So, if the budget is small, it’s probably the better choice than a very entry-level dual suspension bike.

It also has the benefit that it requires more riding finesse which in turn improves the riding technique and makes you a smoother rider than with an ‘all-absorbing’ full-suspension. This is due to the fact that the rider has to make smarter choices on the trail and that ‘going straight over everything’ with a hardtail is simply not the best idea. So especially for the young riders out there, a trail hardtail is a great bike to start and to hone your skills on. A one-time learned clean riding technique will always stay with you!


The BIG.TRAIL geometry is made for trail riding. It features a 65.5° head angle which is what a lot of current enduro bikes are based on. Also, reach and seat angle are much more aggressive compared to our cross country bikes. A longer reach gives more space to manoeuvre on the bike, and the steeper seat angle makes climbing easier. Furthermore, the long 140 mm fork makes life much easier on downhills and demanding single track sections. Another aspect that gives the rider more confidence and space to manoeuvre is the short seat tube and super sloping top tube. Because of this, a super low stand over height can be achieved, and long travel dropper posts can be fitted. With the super low stand over height, the rider is encouraged to choose the frame size based on the preferred riding characteristics, rather than body height. The only question is if you wanna go crazy fast or super agile. If you are looking for increased stability at speed, take the longer (larger) size, if you are looking for agility, take a shorter (smaller) size.

For the BIG.TRAIL it is also important that 29er wheels, specced with trail-ready 2.5“ wide tyres fit into the frame. With a hardtail, the tyre choice is even more important, and it has a big influence on the trail performance. The bike is designed around a 55 mm chain line which allows for ample tyre clearance. This is important so that even during extreme manoeuvres or in super muddy trail conditions, the tyre doesn’t touch the chain or seat stays. The further advantage about using a 55 mm chain line is that it doesn’t require the need for a new wheelset, for example, a ‘super-boost’ wheelset. The fitted crank offers more off-set and allows for conventional boost wheelsets to be fitted into the BIG.TRAIL.

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