2021 Merida Ninety-Six | Everything You Need to Know.

To cope with the increasing demands of marathon and cross country courses, Merida have gone back to the drawing board with the Ninety-Six.

In a similar vein to the Specialized Epic and Orbea Oiz, the 2021 Merida Ninety-Six is a modern day cross country and marathon machine with two distinct offerings fine-tuned to suit both disciplines with an increased emphasis on descending capability.

Key features:

  • CF5 and CF4 carbon frames
  • 29″ wheels
  • BSA 73 mm bottom bracket
  • 30.9 mm seat post
  • Fully integrated headset
  • 148×12 mm Boost rear
  • 190×42.5 mm shock
  • Sram UDH hanger
  • Flat-mount disc brakes 160 mm (rear)
  • 1x specific

All you need to do is look at the World Championship cross country course in Leogang to see that race tracks aren’t the big ring around a field as fast as you can for five laps, you need to be able to get to the top quickly, but you’re not going to get to the bottom fast on the old breed of race bikes.

In comes the new Merida Ninety-Six. Two levels of carbon frame are available, the top tier CF5 lay-up and the lower spec CF4. You also get two different styles of bike, the Ninety-Six RC with a more race-oriented spec, 100mm fork, smaller front brake and a racy front tyre; and the Ninety-Six with a 120mm fork, bigger front brake and a bit more tread out front as well.

The 100mm rear suspension is actuated by a rocker from a flex pivot designed to help reduce frame weight, the rear brake is a flat mount and takes a 160mm max rotor size. The frame will take two water bottles and dual lockout for those monster missions. The wire port headset keeps things tidy in the cockpit too.

Suspension progression sits at 7% which is more progressive than the outgoing mode, designed to give good small bump compliance and mid-stroke support while controlling the small air cans of most modern cross country bikes.

Geometry

Geometry has been revised considerably. The RC now comes in 1.5 degrees slacker and the Ninety-Six a full 3 degrees slacker than the outgoing offering. There’s a lower BB and standover across the range too.

Merida Ninety Six

On the medium Ninety-Six RC, you a reach of 453mm combined with a 440mm set tube. Head angle is 68.5 degrees with a 76.5 degree seat tube angle. A 435mm chainstay is fixed across the range with wheelbase on the medium at 1146mm.

Pop a 120mm fork on the Ninety-Six and head tube angle drops to 67 degrees with a 75 degree seat tube. Reach drops slightly to 440mm which now matches the seat tube length. Chainstays are the same at 435mm but the wheelbase grows by 10mm to 1156mm.

2021 Merida Ninety-Six models

Merida Ninety-Six 8000

Key features:

  • Rockshox SID 120mm fork
  • Rockshox SIDLuxe shock
  • SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drive
  • Shimano XT 4-piston front brake, 2-piston rear
  • Reynolds TR 309 carbon wheels
  • Merida Expert TR dropper
  • £6,200 RRP

Merida Ninety-Six RC 9000

Key features:

  • Fox Factory float 32 SC 100mm fork
  • Fox Factory Float custom shock
  • Shimano XTR 12-speed drive
  • Shimano XTR 2-piston brakes
  • DT Swiss XRC 1501 carbon wheels
  • Fox Transfer Factory dropper
  • £7,300 RRP

Merida Ninety-Six RC XT

Key features:

  • Fox Performance 32 Float SC 100mm fork
  • Fox Performance Elite Float custom shock
  • Shimano XT 12-speed drive
  • Shimano XT 2-piston brakes
  • Merida Expert TR Light wheels
  • Merida Expert TR Light dropper
  • £4,200 RRP

Merida Ninety-Six RC 5000

Key features:

  • Rockshox Reba 100mm fork
  • Rockshox SIDLuxe shock
  • Shimano Deore/XT 12-speed drive
  • Shimano SLX 2-piston brakes
  • Merida Expert TR Light wheels
  • Merida Expert TR Light dropper
  • £4,000 RRP

You can check out the full Merida Ninety-Six range over on Merida’s website here.