Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Merida MTA 510A - A quick review

Couple of weeks back I had the opportunity to take the 27 speed MTA 510 (17 inch frame) test bike for a 40+ km ride, part tarmac and part trail. Me and Karthik rode from Kondapur to Osman sagar via khanapur. On the way back, karthik guided me through a trail which I think lasted for around 4-5 km. While it was all fine on the tarmac, the bike actually sprung into life when we hit the trail.

A good bike is a combination of a good frame and good components. So lets talk about the frame first. The frame , which Merida calls 'advanced alloy frame', is very light, but still gives a solid feel. The frame geometry is however vastly different from the Merida Matts 20/40 series bikes. The top tube is a on the shorter side, providing the rider a more upright position. From people who have test rode this bike in TBA, we have seen beginners generally enjoy a relatively upright posture and hence like this bike a lot. That probably also explains the plush and broad saddle. This could also be a very good frame for people with shorter torso. Although the bikes doesn't come with any disc brake, the frame is disc compatible.

The components - they are very very good for the price. And together they make the ride very very smooth. Me and Karthik( who was riding a firefox target) swapped our bikes for a few km, and in his words "Wow ! Its is liking riding a honda city after a maruti 800". To me, apart from the deore shifters and derailleur’s, what makes this bike stand out are the RST Gila Pro Suspension Fork and the FSA headset. These two together combine to make this bike very responsive. Handling this bike is a pleasure, particularly on the trails, and gives the feeling of "Always in Control". Gear shifting was smooth and without trouble too. Unlike the Acera Rapid Fire shifters(that comes with Merida Matts 40 series bikes), the Deore shifters do not have the number marks to let you know which chainring/cog you are on , but this is something which is just about getting used to. The bike also comes with truvativ cranks, and CST tyres.
Overall, I found the bike a pleasure to ride. At less than 30K , this bike is steal for people comfortable with its frame geometry.

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