Unless you’re a close watcher of women’s World Cup XC racing or an industry insider, you may not have heard of Merida. It’s a huge bike manufacturer, but most of its work is for other people – they make Carrera bikes for Halfords, own a big chunk of Specialized and manufacture bikes for all sorts of other people. What it’s not done in the UK so far is put out a range of bikes under its own name, but now Merida’s looking to “do a Giant”, coming out of the contract manufacturing shadows and emerging, blinking, into the branded sunlight.
In a unique move, Merida’s going to be selling both direct to consumers and to the trade through www.mukshop.com. Bikewise it’ll be bringing in a small range of high-end bikes including magnesium hardtails as raced by 2003 World Cup Champion Gunn-Rita Dahle and LRS full suspension bikes in short and long-travel flavours.
Also available are Ike Carbon products (named after Merida founder Ike Tseng) including a road frameset and carbon MTB bars, and Italian Mango helmets – silly name, but they look good and they’re very respectably priced.
We’ll bring you tests of all this kit as it becomes available. In the meantime, wander over to www.mukshop.com and have a browse around…