As an Internet nerd I spend quite a lot of time sat on my backside on my computer. The unfortunate result is that I do not get a great deal of exercise and have put on a few pounds! As the summer has finally arrived (sort of) I thought I would get myself a new bike and get back in the saddle.
I used to go cross country riding and have been known to thrash my bike through my local woods and hills so I knew a good mountain bike was the only way to go. The model of choice was the Merida matts 850-D and I have been thouroughly testing it for two weeks now.
I started off purely on the road to build up my fitness and the bike handled it well because it is light and the tyres have quite a shallow tread. The Rock Shox forks have a lock out system on them which is great for road riding and allows you to maintain a good pace.
The sloped frame is more than accommodating for the smaller person (I am only 5.6) but will easily hold a 6 footer as well! After a week or so I was able to take the bike on to some rough stuff in my local woods and the 850 handled it well. The Rockshox recon forks handled the rough terrain well and were more than adequate for my use. Pro riders have informed me that the 850 is good at handling the rough stuff apart from chaos drops. However this is a trial bike and was never intended for that in the first place!
The shimano xt gears and quick shift is ace and I have no problems with them whatsoever as they change so smoothly. The disc brakes are equally as sweet and provide excellent stopping power without the drama of bikes without quality breaks.
The main thing that I love about this bike is that it is light and looks great, the equipment is high spec and delivers a great trial ride. I will keep you posted on the 850 and let you know how it performs on the really rough stuff in a few weeks.