I want a new mountain bike

Welcome to my first foray into writing a blog. This one is a slightly techy one, though more to do with a wish list and bike porn than head angles and crank lengths!

I’ll start with a brief bio and why I want a new mountain bike.

I’m nearly 60, I live in France and I’m going on a long ride. Involving 12,000 metres of climbing (a bit more downhill) my adventure will take me from Clermont Ferrand through the Auvergne to Montpelier.

Why the Auvergne … because I love the music of Joseph Canteloube!

So here’s my issue. Weight. I’m not well heeled enough to be especially obsessive on this but I reckon that if everything including me comes to more than 90 kilos, it’ll be too much.

Which brings me to the new bike and the fun of working through the compromises.

Oh mama have I looked into this! Carbon frame bikes are light but at my price point probably lack quality kit. So it has to be aluminium. And I prefer 29ers. When I first thought of this the Boardman Team 29er was going to be the one at just over 11kg, nice paint job, 120mm of front suspension travel, SRAM gear and currently only £800 with Halfords. Really good reviews.

Then I saw the Marin Nail Trail 7. Dropper post included, internal cable routing, nice frame geometry, long fork travel, and like the Boardman it has a single front chain wheel. You can shop around and find one at the moment for £1120. That’s a bit steep for me.

Which brings me to the Merida Big 9 Limited. Less than 12 kilos, internal routing, lovely clean geometry, massive cassette which might come in useful. And the price? In France, €1119 or about £900 and I can get it from a local shop. There’s lots to be said for buying it from a guy who might at some point do some work on it.

So there we are for the moment, I’ll be updating soon with more news on my trek and if I actually buy the Merida.