First unveiled at the Multivan Merida Biking training camp in Majorca recently, the Merida O.Nine is the company’s latest carbon fibre hardtail and follows the launch of the featherweight Ninety-Six carbon full-susser last year.
The Merida O.Nine replaces the Carbon FLX hardtail at the top of the pile, a frame which has 15 World Cup victories and five World and European Championship titles to its name, giving the replacement a lot to live up to.
And Merida have certainly succeeded. The O.Nine weighs a claimed 930g (2.1lb – for an 18incher), some 200g lighter and is said to be 20% stiffer to boot. The frame is also available with the increasingly popular BB30 standard which is claimed to be even stiffer with the smallest of weight penalties (30g).
Despite the increase in stiffness, which will appeal to the racers who will be campaigning the O.Nine throughout the season, Merida reckon it’s also more comfortable, due to ‘flex stays’ and tapered seat tube and 27.2mm seat post. Given how light it is, you’d expect a maximum rider weight, and you’d be correct. But it’s an impressive 120kg, and Merida is confident enough to supply a five year warranty.
Don’t get too excited just yet though, Merida isn’t making it available to the buying public until 2010. Which probably means sometime this summer then…
More at www.merida-bikes.com