Review Merida Big.Trail 600 – MTB – Bikes

Previously best known for its road and cross-country bikes, Merida’s trail bikes have really impressed us in recent years. The new Big.Trail 600 is a bike with a big bag of tricks.

Frame Merida Big.Trail 600

The double butted 6061 aluminum alloy frame is sleek with its lowered top tube and smooth welds.

A host of cool features make the Big.Trail a very versatile bike. These include two bottle cage mounts and an gear rack under the top tube, so you can load it up for all day epics.

There are also discreet racks for the luggage rack and fender, in case you want to overtake it on a commuter or adventure bike. The increased rear hub spacing will make any wheel upgrade easier.

The frame is limited to 2.5-inch tires, although the clearance seems sufficient. It has a small base protector to curb chain slamming.

The range figures are conservative – only 455mm on our large frame. However, the short seat tubes (430mm on the taller) allow you to size up if you want more stability at high speeds.

The Big.Trail’s efficient 75.5-degree seat tube angle is stiff and modern, and the 65.5-degree head angle allows for confident handling on a wide variety of trails.

Kit Merida Big.Trail 600

The Big.Trail 600 offers a performance package, but the price tag seems high.

The Marzocchi Z2 fork gives you the basics to adapt it to your weight and your riding style.

You get Shimano Deore 12-speed gears, paired with Race Face Ride cranks and an upper guide bar. Shimano MT410 brakes only have two pistons, but you get lever reach adjustment.

Merida’s Expert TR wheels have an internal width of 29mm and are shod with 29 × 2.4 inch Maxxis Dissector tires.

The finishing kit is also own brand, with a 780mm bar, 50mm stem and 150mm dropper.

Merida Big.Trail 600 trip impressions

The Big.Trail is comfortable to sit on. We’ve removed the stem spacers to lower the bar height, and that puts you in a straight and relaxed position when you pedal seated.

That doesn’t make him a bad climber, however – its steep 75.5-degree seat angle gives you a solid position on the bottom bracket for pedaling.

It also helps keep your weight forward, keeping pressure on the front wheel to keep it going on steep climbs.

Some riders with flat pedals might find the chainstays prone to heel rubbing, but that wasn’t a problem.
Andy Lloyd / Immediate Media

Whether seated or standing, the Big.Trail is a proficient climber, so if all-day adventures are your cup of tea, it won’t lay you in a painful position.

Some flat pedal riders have found the chainstays prone to heel rubbing, but that wasn’t a problem for me as the pipe was clipped in.

While the Merida feels relaxed in her sitting position, she is anything but tame when the going gets tough.

Thanks to its low bottom bracket and standover height, short seat tube and long dropper post, the frame and saddle don’t get in the way on descents.

This gives you plenty of room to maneuver the bike as you tackle tight turns and technical sections of the track. While it’s not as nimble as some of the best trail bikes, it’s definitely no slouch.

The 140mm travel Z2 fork has sufficient sensitivity and progression for small bumps, helping to give confidence up front, while the Maxxis Dissector tires provide a good balance of grip and support, without being too harsh and reducing comfort.

Male cyclist in white top riding the Merida Big.Trail 600 hardtail mountain bike on rough terrain

While the Merida feels relaxed in her sitting position, she is anything but tame when the going gets tough.
Andy Lloyd / Immediate Media

The 1 × 12 Deore drivetrain performs predictably well, delivering crisp and precise gear changes both up and down the cassette, and has the feel and performance edge over the offerings. SRAM equivalents.

Its 10-51t cassette, here associated with a 32t chainring, offers a wide range of speeds to tackle the steepest climbs and not slip away on the fastest descents.

Under the saddle is an 11-function multi-tool, as well as a stand under the top tube to carry essential spare parts.

With its 34mm stanchions and 140mm of travel, the Marzocchi Z2 fork inspires confidence to tackle the big blows.

The 2.4 inch Maxxis Dissector tires provide good grip and support.

Geometry Merida Big.Trail 600

How we tested

The £ 1,500 mark has become a very competitive price for hardtail mountain bikes in recent years, with many brands offering versatile builds that offer good value for money.

We tested four trail-focused hardtail around the £ 1,500 mark to see which came out on top.

All four bikes we tested are built to withstand some abuse, so while they might not be as fast over rough terrain as a more expensive full suspension platform, they shouldn’t be less fun. to drive.

While the RIBs tested here all serve a similar purpose, individual brands often prioritize different ride characteristics, giving each machine its own feel. These reviews and our in-depth buying guide to the best hardtail mountain bikes should help you narrow down your choices.

Other bikes in test

  • KTM Ultra EVO DIM
  • Saracen Zenith Trail Elite LSL
  • Trek Roscoe 7

Final result of the Merida Big.Trail 600

My only issue with the specs (other than the value) are the MT410 brakes, which are decent in the dry, but lack punch in the wet.

Taking everything into account, the Big.Trail 600 is a compound ride with handling that has never been too demanding.

Wiley C. Thompson