Bikemagic's month of 29ers: Merida Big.Nine Carbon Team - Bike Magic

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Bikemagic’s month of 29ers: Merida Big.Nine Carbon Team

Merida Big.Nine Carbon Team

Merida used the full capability of their sponsored riders and large research and development team to produce the Big.Nine Carbon Team, their full carbon race-ready 29er hardtail.

What makes it so special?

Using the latest carbon fibre technology Merida have designed a frame that weighs a scant 2.42lb (1.1kg) making it one of the lightest currently available, but features like the BB30 bottom bracket, Double Chamber Technology and Nano Matrix Carbon ensure it delivers on the stiffness front.

The front end remains low due to a very short head tube, the chain stays are tapered and the curved seat tube, in combination with the Direct Top Mount front mech, moves the rear wheel as close to the bottom bracket as possible, keeping the wheelbase short.

We chat to Merida’s head desinger Juergen Falke about the Big.Nine

Bikemagic: What were your design and performance aims for the Big Nine?

Juergen Falke: To improve the already great performance of our 26in top-level frame O.NINE in terms of stiffness, keeping its great rear-frame comfort, adding some new features  and finally creating a modern and stylish frame-shape using internal shifting cables etc, while the O.NINE’s tube-design is more “form follows function” oriented.

BM: How long from first drawing to production did the Big.Nine take?

JF: It took about one year from the initial geometry comparing of the best competitors, design-sketches, fixing of details and building alumina function carrier/prototypes, until our pro-riders got the first ride able carbon pre-production bikes.

BM: What was the key aim with the Big.Nine’s geometry?

JF: Testing well performing competitors bikes from the US, which were claimed being the reference so far and comparing all geometry figures of these leaders; adding our own feed-back and ideas, building alloy prototypes, riding, modifying.  We just started the carbon-tools, after we were convinced that we made our homework in terms of geometry properly.

Already our Twenty-Nine Lite models of MY12 got some top-level test results at several, leading European bike-magazines for their well-balanced geometry, being on-line with top-competitors 29ers, such as Specialized, Niner or Trek.

More at www.merida-bikes.com

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More tomorrow…

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