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Merida Ninety-Six is a mountain bike racer. The lightweight alloy frame comes with nineties-style handlebars that make steering rather problematic. However, the bikes have wheels with good grip and solid depth of control. This bike is suitable for racing, but perhaps not for trails that rely a lot on steering.
Merida Ninety-Six is yet another mountain racer from the brand. The specs seemed rather standard to us at the start, but we liked the model after a few test runs for our review. First of all, we have to say that these bikes come with lightweight alloy frames that are stiff in just the right amount. The frames are not that impressive, but do have well sorted remote control suspension. We were impressed with the 2×11 gearing that was rather wide ranging. Also, this model comes with both 650b and 29er versions, so the buyer can pick.
We rode these bikes on typical mountain trails. The bikes have handlebars that are rather retro. Typically you usually find these types in nineties bikes. The handlebars, combined with an upturned stem and a 70-degree head angle, made steering a bit unstable. However, we did manage to find solid depth of control. Still, the steering could have been less snappy.
We really likes Continental tiers and the custom designed Step Cast fork that came with the frames. The fork provides significant grip, which is necessary considering the twitchy steering. The tires have significant grip. It’s not big, but still, notable. The wheel placement makes up for the bad steering, almost. We found this model to be rather standard, but a reliable performer. We do have to complaint about the single bottle cage mount, when a mountain bike could really do with more.
- Tires have significant grip
- Good wheel placement
- Good depth of control
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- Unstable steering
- Only one bottle cage mount
Merida Ninety-Six can be described as primarily a race bike suitable for mountain trailing as well. We are not fans of the handlebars or the steering ability of these bikes, but we liked the grip and stability the wheelset provided. It’s a good bike overall if you can overcome the steering.