Completely overhauled for 2021, the new Merida Ninety-Six features a brand new carbon frame, a new suspension platform, revamped geometry, and a load of clever features that improve its all-round versatility
What’s New With The 2021 Merida Ninety-Six?
Everything! The new Ninety-Six has been totally reengineered from the inside-out. While the new bike does share a similar layout to the old model, it receives an entirely new carbon fibre chassis that is sleeker, more modern and more practical than its predecessor. It also takes a hefty step up in the looks department too.
Rear suspension travel now sits at 100mm (up from 96mm) and all four frame sizes are built around 29in wheels – even the Small. Merida says the rear suspension is more progressive than before, and most models feature a custom Fox Float DPS shock that sees the cable lockout hidden from view through the top tube.
The fork and shock are linked up via cables to a RockShox TwistLoc remote, allowing you to lock out both simultaneously with the flick of a wrist. The TwistLoc remote allows for a proper under-the-bar dropper post lever, and on that note, every Ninety-Six model is spec’d with a dropper post as standard – a welcome and forward-thinking move on Merida’s behalf.
There’s a little more tyre clearance, so you can now fit up to 2.3in wide rubber in the rear. And as with the majority of XC full suspension bikes on the market, the Merida Ninety-Six has also eliminated the pivot at the dropout. The one-piece carbon swingarm relies on flex through the seatstays instead, resulting in a lighter and simpler layout.