When Merida first introduced the Big.Trail, it served as the brand’s entry into the world of 27.5+. Recently though, in an effort to create a hardtail mountain bike worthy of more challenging terrain, Merida says that their R&D team met with some top UK retailers to discuss the future of the platform. Unsurprisingly, the result is an all new frame design that moves on from 27.5+ to 29″ wheels with meaty tires, a long travel fork, and modern trail geometry – plus a few other trick features.
Starting with an aluminum frame, the Big.Trail is built for big trail fun on a budget. Designed around a 140mm travel suspension fork (though compatible with 120-150mm) and with clearance for 29 x 2.5″ tires, the frame sticks with Boost 148mm hub spacing and a 55mm chain line.
Frame details include internal cable routing, a BSA threaded 73mm bottom bracket, 30.9mm internally routed dropper post, and is specified as 1x only and includes a seat tube mounted chain guide.
It also features the SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH), which we first saw at the end of last year. As a refresher, the design is pretty intriguing and is an attempt at a truly universal derailleur hanger standard. Even though the hanger is SRAM’s design, the Big.Trail will only come equipped with Shimano drivetrains.
The Big.Trail also includes a number of accessory mounts with a Double Bottle cage mount on the downtube, a Trail Mount under the top tube for accessory storage, plus hidden rack, fender, and even a kickstand mount. The high end Big.Trail also gets their multi-tool with saddle box which stashes the multi-tool under the back of the saddle.
Designed with a low standover height, slack 65.5° head tube angle and steep 75.5° seat tube angle, the Big.Trail follows trail geometry trends with longer reach numbers and room for bigger droppers.
The Big.Trail will be offered in four builds with prices ranging from €849-€1,599.