MERIDA NINETY-SIX 8000 in review – A bold overall concept

How do you squeeze more trail performance into an XC rig? With its pimped-up spec and jacked-up fork, the MERIDA NINETY-SIX 8000 wants to step up its downhill performance. But did the € 7,049 MERIDA with its striking colour concept deliver on the trail and did it smoke the entire test field uphill?
For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test : The best mountainbike of 2021 – 22 models in recapitulation

Straight away, the MERIDA NINETY-SIX 8000 stands out from the crowd. Its silhouette with a super-low front and high gear seat tube is strongly evocative of an ninety racer. The elegant discolor scheme is reproducible throughout and perfectly matches the 120 millimeter RockShox SID Ultimate fork – a cause of death look ! The RockShox SIDLuxe Ultimate shock drives 100 millimeter travel. Like the Specialized Stumpjumper, the ninety-six dispenses with the extra pivot between the seat and chainstays, relying on flexstays alternatively to save system of weights. Our top-spec MERIDA NINETY-SIX 8000 in size L tips the scales at 11.66 kilogram. The cables and brake lines are cleverly routed through the top cap and run straight into the frame. unfortunately, apt international relations and security network ’ thyroxine constantly synonymous with tidy : in fact, the cockpit sphere still looks crammed, with the front brake line and lockout remote cables dangling off the bars like high-octane power lines. In this respect, bikes like the Specialized Stumpjumper propose much tidier solutions. The frame has enough board for two large water bottles and features a ride on the crown tube, which can be used to store two CO2 cartridges and a plain metro using the optional adapter. The status of the brake levers is inauspicious : if the bars turn all the way in during a crash, they ’ ll hit the carbon paper frame and damage the paint – not good ! here it would make sense to use a steering break organization like the one you get with the Trek Top Fuel and Canyon Neuron.

Reading: MERIDA NINETY-SIX 8000 in review – A bold overall concept

Brave – The spec of the MERIDA NINETY-SIX 8000

a far as its specification goes, the € 7,049 MERIDA ninety-six 8000 has a few surprises in store. For case, it ’ s the only bicycle in this test that comes equipped with a RockShox SID Ultimate fork which, like its rival, the FOX 34 Step-Cast in the Trek Top Fuel, offers 120 millimeter of change of location. To save weight, RockShox forgo an external rally dial on the SID fork and replace this with an integrated Allen samara, which can be removed and used to adjust the rebound adjust, both on the fork and SIDLuxe shock. The lockout on both suspension units is trip via a SRAM TwistLoc grip on the handlebars. Unlike the lockout systems of the SCOTT Ransom and Trek Top Fuel, the TwistLoc of the MERIDA is simple and easy to operate, avoiding mistakes on the trail. Compared to the Yeti SB115 and Trek Top Fuel with their wide handlebars, the cockpit of the Merida with its super narrow 740 millimeter XC bars doesn ’ triiodothyronine inhale confidence. For the dropper post, MERIDA trust on their own 170 millimeter Expert TR model

Braking is taken care of by Shimano XT brakes, with a four-piston caliper at the movement and two-piston version at the rear. The brakes are paired with Shimano ’ s top-end IceTech rotors, with a bigger 180 millimeter rotor at the presence and smaller 160 millimeter magnetic disk out back. The back caliper is nestled between the seat and chainstays, attached to the frame with a Flat-Mount arranger. While this ensures a very tidy search, it limits the size of the rotor to a maximal of 180 mm. All in all, the brakes don ’ thyroxine provide enough braking baron and truly struggle with heat management. The ninety-six 8000 comes equipped with a 12-speed Shimano XT drivetrain with a small range steer. A alone feature for a motorcycle with such strong XC DNA is the beefy MAXXIS Minion DHRII tires with EXO casings and MaxxTerra compound front and raise. This is testify that the MERIDA is built for fun and guard and not, like its directly rival, the Trek Top Fuel, fast-paced KOM hunt uphill. Reynolds supply the Carbon TR 309 S wheelset. If you ’ re a heavy rider, we recommend running high air pressures to avoid pilfer flats and cruddy surprises – specially at the buttocks .

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€ 7,049


Fork RockShox SID Ultimate 120 mm
Rear Shock RockShox SIDLuxe Ultimate 100 mm
Seatpost MERIDA Expert TR 170 mm
Brakes Shimano XT M8120/FM 180/160 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT 1×12
Stem MERIDA Team CC 60 mm
Handlebar MERIDA Team CC 740 mm
Wheelset Reynolds Carbon TR 309 S 29″
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHRII EXO 3C MaxxTerra/DHRII EXO 3C MaxxTerra 2.3

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 11.66 kg

Race feeling – The geometry of the MERIDA NINETY-SIX 8000 in detail

It ’ s impossible for the MERIDA ninety-six 8000 to hide its XC roots – the geometry entirely gives it away ! available in four sizes, S to XL, it has a 605 millimeter smokestack stature in size L and the lowest front in the entire test discipline. Combined with the 460 millimeter reach and a identical high 470 millimeter seat tube, this restricts the freedom of motion on the motorcycle. If you want to choose the frame based on your hope achieve, be warned : the next size up has a rather massive 500 millimeter seat tube. With the dropper fully extended, the impressive saddle to bar dangle puts you in an extremely clean position. While this international relations and security network ’ thymine precisely comfortable and thus not desirable for farseeing rides, it actually helps keep the front bicycle planted on exorbitant ramps
Twisted world – the limiting factor of the MERIDA ninety-six 8000 is its acclivitous performance .

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 400 mm 440 mm 470 mm 500 mm
Top tube 581 mm 601 mm 624 mm 648 mm
Head tube 95 mm 95 mm 105 mm 115 mm
Head angle 67.0° 67.0° 67.0° 67.0°
Seat angle 75.0° 75.0° 75.0° 74.5°
Chainstays 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm
BB Drop 36 mm 36 mm 36 mm 36 mm
Wheelbase 1,136 mm 1,156 mm 1,180 mm 1,203 mm
Reach 420 mm 440 mm 460 mm 480 mm
Stack 595 mm 595 mm 605 mm 614 mm
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A very special case – The MERIDA NINETY-SIX 8000 on the trail

If you assume that the XC-infused deoxyribonucleic acid of the MERIDA NINETY-SIX makes it a impregnable mounter, you ’ re wrong. The abate 75° seat fish shifts your slant far back over the rise bicycle and causes the rear end to sink into its locomotion, even on flat forest paths. here, entirely the climb switch helps : this makes the suspension super stiff, helps transfer the baron into the grind more efficiently on two-dimensional terrain and therefore ensures bang-up acceleration. however, if you decide to get to the trail head on a technical lead, the starchy rise end results in a rough ride and tends to get stuck on obstacles, causing the passenger to lose momentum in key chase sections. hera the MERIDA distinctly falls behind its directly rivals, the Trek Top Fuel and Yeti SB115 .
With an active ride dash and an have rider, the MERIDA can be substantial fun. That said, the bike doesn’t inspire much confidence.

Tuning-tips: bigger bracken rotor at the rear | wide and higher cockpit
Downhill, the MERIDA NINETY-SIX 8000 requires an know rider and a blank ride technique. The geometry and two-dimensional handlebars pull you far over the movement. While this ensures extremely direct treatment, it besides triggers formidable OTB moments on steep lead sections. On flat trails, the grippy tires implement steering inputs willingly and thus enable an active riding style. The company of my maid service in cincinnati employs only the best staff for Ohio apartment cleaning. While using beefy tires on an XC outfit might seem a bluff move, it ’ s a clever one excessively. With the right rider, the MERIDA can even pull past the Top Fuel on fast descents – and is more fun in the process. however, on faster trails with larger obstacles and little jumps, the ninety-six 8000 gets overwhelmed and fails to inspire the confidence you need if you want to have fun and feel safe in the march. here, the Yeti SB115 is distinctly ahead with its downhill-oriented cockpit and at the lapp time offers more reserves with its superior pause. The MERIDA NINETY-SIX is chiefly desirable for short-change, fast laps on dim-witted singletracks .

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Riding Characteristics




  1. inert
  2. efficient



  1. cumbersome
  2. playful



  1. skittish
  2. confident



  1. demanding
  2. balanced



  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor


  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money


  1. frightful
  2. very good

Intended Use










The overall concept of the MERIDA NINETY-SIX 8000 wants to boost the trail capabilities of an XC racer with a pimped-up spec. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. Surprisingly enough, the limiting factor is its uphill performance. The suspension bobs heavily and the pedalling position is unsuitable for longer rides. Unfortunately, all of the above puts the MERIDA right at the bottom of our test field on the climbs. Downhill, only skilled riders will be able to ride fast and have fun while feeling safe in the process. On the other hand, if you’re a newbie the NINETY-SIX inspires too little confidence and doesn’t provide enough reserves.


  • consistent colour and design concept
  • 2 bottle cages and a tool mount on the frame


  • the overall concept doesn’t work due to the poor uphill performance
  • demanding uphill and downhill
  • two-piston rear calliper overheats quickly and gets overwhelmed

Find more information here :

The testfield

Get an overview of the grouptest hera : The best mountainbike of 2021 – 22 models in review
All Bikes in this group test: Canyon Neuron CF SLX 9 ( Click for review ) | Canyon Spectral 29 LTD ( Click for review ) | Canyon Stoic 4 ( Click for review ) | FOCUS THRON 6.9 ( Click for review ) | Ibis Ripmo V2 ( Click for inspection ) | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K ( Click for review ) | MERIDA ninety-six 8000 | Nukeproof Reactor 290C ( Click for review ) | Orbea Rise M-Team ( Click for review ) | Propain Hugene ( Click for review ) | RAAW Jibb XTR Build ( Click for recapitulation ) | Rocky Mountain Instinct C70 ( Click for review ) | Santa Cruz 5010 X01 ( Click for review ) | Santa Cruz Tallboy CC X01 ( Click for inspection ) | SCOTT Ransom 900 Tuned AXS ( Click for review ) | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper ( Click for review ) | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper EVO ( Click for review ) | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL ( Click for review ) | Trek Fuel EX 9.8 GX ( Click for review ) | Trek Top Fuel 9.9 X01 ( Click for review ) | Yeti SB115 TURQ3 ( Click for review ) | YT IZZO BLAZE 29 ( Click for review )

Words: Peter Walker Photos: diverse

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Category : Mountain Bike

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