In 2019, a few UK customers met Merida's MTB Product Manager Rey and over a few beers and together hashed out a wish list for the perfect UK specific hardtail mountain bike - a trail focussed 29er with 140mm fork, 1 x transmission, Boost standard bolt through axles and a dropper post. Then it was over to Rey, a very handy rider himself, to develop the ideas into a workable production bike.
That wishlist became a family of models of which the Big Trail 500 is part of - featuring a slack enduro inspired 65.5° head angle and a 140mm fork delivers a fun confidence-inspiring bike. The long reach and short seat tube give plenty of space to manoeuvre on the bike and a really low standover height.
Merida has used long dropper posts to achieve a short seat tube, an advantage of this geometry is that depending on your riding style, most sizes will work for most body sizes.
The only question is if you want to go crazy fast or super agile? For speed take the longer size, for agility take a shorter size.
While clearly a trail loving long-travel hardtail, the new BIG.TRAIL also offers built-in versatility through the hidden rack, fender and kickstand mounts in case you like to turn the BIG.TRAIL into a ‘SUV’ commuter.
Ability to fit two water bottles into the frame without making the bottles difficult to reach. Perfect for long marathon races and extended trail sessions.
TYRE CLEARANCE BIG.TRAIL
BIG TRAIL rolls on 29er wheels and has tyre clearance for up go 2.5" trail tyres. The combination of 29er wheels and 2.5" tyres offer plenty or corner and climbing grip, while the big tyre volume and the 29er 'rolling over ability' give trail hardtails extra comfort and stability.
The new 'Trail Mount' is positioned underneath the top tube/seat tube junction and these ingenious fixing points makes fitting an additional tool or a pump a breeze. The 'Trail Mount' offers a real advantage if you prefer to keep the weight off your back or if you are heading out for an extra-long outing where you might need to carry additional gear.
INTERNAL CABLE ROUTING
Merida features internal cable routing on all models. Cables are routed through the frame, entering and exiting through smooth sockets. Only a clever system for their internal guiding and fixing guarantees reliable and rattle free routing, whilst the cables are protected from moisture and dirt and gives the bike a cleaner look.
MODERN TRAIL GEOMETRY
A long reach, paired with a slack 65.5° head angle and a steep seat angle makes BIG TRAIL a solid descender even when the trail is littered with roots and rocks, while maintaining impressive climbing abilities, due to the central seating position over the bottom bracket. The extra short seat tube and low standover hight help to create lots of space to manoeuvre the bike when the trail gets demanding but also allow for long travel dropper posts.
All BIG TRAIL models offer Boost technology at the front and rear. The shallower axle standard of 110 mm (front) and 148 mm (rear) allows for a wider spoke angle, resulting in a stiffer and stronger wheel, hugely beneficial on these bikes given the impacts they endure.
Sometimes called ‘double pass welding’, a second pass over the weld gives a clean organic look to the frame. At first glance, you will be convinced it is carbon.
INTERNAL CABLE ROUTING
Cables are routed through the frame, entering and exiting through smooth sockets. The bike looks neat, whilst the cables are protected from moisture and dirt.
Merida's X-Tapered headtube offers the space for a tapered fork to be fitted. Tapered forks offer superb stiffness and precise and deliver confidence-inspiring steering.
DOWN TUBE EXIT
Ensures that internally routed cables and wires can’t move freely and remain easily accessible for servicing.
TFS - TECHNO FORMING SYSTEM
Technoforming is a mechanical forming process, shaping the tubes by using negative moulds, at times combined with an internal metalcore.
RACELITE 61 ALUMINIUM
Merida uses a minimum of 6061 aluminium. The payback is that it’s possible to make lighter and more advanced frames buy using additional heat treatment and double-butted wall thicknesses to produce light and stiff frames.
Merida Big Trail 500 (2021)
TFS - 6061 series double butted and technoformed aluminium tubing with smooth welding. Modern trail bike geometry. Class-leading, premium technologies such as Boost axle standard, tapered head tube, inboard disc mounts, internal cable routing.
Rock Shox Recon Silver RL, 140mm travel, Tapered, 42mm fork offset
Front: Shimano MT400-B, 110x15mm, 32 spokes, Centerlock
Rear: Shimano MT400-B, 148x12mm, 32 spokes, Centerlock including removable lever with 6mm Allen key
Merida Comp TR, 29mm inner rim width, Tubeless ready
Note: Tubeless tape and valves not included
Maxxis Dissector, 29" x 2.4", Kevlar bead, TR EXO Dual
Shimano Deore M5100, 32T with Mr. Control CH-CM1 chain guide
Shimano Deore M5100
Shimano Deore M5100 Shadow+
Shimano Deore M5100, 11-51, 11-speed
KMC X11 NPBK
Shimano BR-MT200 hydraulic, Shimano RT10 180mm rotors**
Merida Expert TR, aluminium, 780mm wide, 20mm rise
Merida Comp EC
Merida Expert TR, 35mm diameter, 0 degree rise, 50 mm
Merida Comp CC
Merida Comp TR, 30.9mm diameter, in-line
S: 125mm drop - M/L/XL: 150mm drop with Shimano SL -MT500-IL lever
VP Components, VPE-891
Whilst we do actively try to keep on top of all the details, manufacturers do occasionally change model specifications so anything detailed above is subject to change.
** Some stock may come with an equivalent Tektro HD-M275 hydraulic disc brake setup due to a shortage of parts from Shimano following the pandemic.
Big Trail Size Guide
||152 - 163 cm
||5'0" - 5'4"
||163 - 173 cm
||5'4" - 5'8"
||173 - 183 cm
||5'8" - 6'0"
||183 - 193 cm
||6'0" - 6'4"