Mountain Bike Rider

MERIDA NINETY-SIX 8000

The Ninety-Six felt lively and active on small bumps but never bucked on bigger hits

£6,200 / 29in / merida-bikes.com

Merida’s Ninety-Six has been a stalwart of the XC and marathon race scene for many years now. It was the whip of choice for XC legends Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå and José Hermida on the gnarlier tracks of the World Cup circuit, as well as hugely popular among privateer racers in countries like Hermida’s native Spain. For 2020 it’s had a timely revamp; the old model was getting long in the tooth and was hamstrung by outdated geometry, a clumsy remote lockout and even a front derailleur mount (remember them).

For the new model, Merida has modernised the geometry, refined the remote, binned the front mech, deleted the old seatstay pivot and

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