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'13 Merida Matts Lite XT H/T

SIX36's picture

By SIX36 - Posted on 22 October 2012

So i have had my Merida Matts Lite XT for a few weeks now and love it and has been great on some of the soft local trails around Narrabeen lakes and a few of the smoother trails off the Wakehurst parkway... but on Sun i took it for a run around Manly Dam was still good but i could see how much easier the dual suspension bikes were handling compared to me bouncing all over the place with my hard tail...

My Q is did i buy the wrong bike for these types of rides, i.e Manly Dam, Oxford Falls, Cascades, Red hill etc

Cheers for any advise

Scottboy's picture

unless u bought a 29er hardtail ? If you bought a 26" wheeled bike you didn't get asked the question b4 u bought it did you ? Where u were planning to ride the bike ?


Pete B's picture

In short, yes! For those trails.

But don't let that make you think you've bought the wrong bike for all the other trails in and around Sydney. I've always had hard tails and wouldn't have it any other way.

Try Ourimbah and Awaba, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

SIX36's picture

Yeah mine is a 26", i did get asked but was unsure to exactly what tracks were around as i am new to the area.
I guess i plan on riding a few different types of tracks and obviously as i have found out some are much harder and rougher than others.
But still wondering if a dually will be better suited to cover all my needs.
I am lucky the store i bought mine from has a 30 day swap over period if im not happy with my choice, i have spoken to them already this morning and all is sweet if i want to switch to a new dually.

Scottboy's picture

If had the option take a dually out for a spin if you like to soak up the bumps a dually is the go , do it sooner than later like right now lol

SIX36's picture

2 options in my price range are

Norco Fluid 6.1 2013
Norco Sight B3 2013

Any advice and which is a better choice to cover most types of tracks?

Tommy's picture

Gonna make you a better rider.

If you can smash out the Dam etc on a HT, you will rock on a dually. Mind you I'm only marginally quicker on my dually vs my hard tail........both 26er's.

Does it really matter if you bought the wrong bike or not???...........don't beat urself up man, get out there and ride!!

SIX36's picture

It just felt like i was punishing the bike in the rough stuff like it wasn't designed for it.

Zoom's picture

Just get a dually. What usually happens is a beginner rider doesn't want to spend too much on a bike because they're not sure if they'll like MTB riding or not. And sure enough, they won't like it, because they're riding a crappy bike. Get a top of the range dually and you'll love it!

Chitts's picture

.....29'er if possible.

I have a 26 inch dually (scott spark), 29er hardtail (Giant carbon), and 29er dually (Giant aluminium).
Places like the dam and red hill are heaps more fun on the 29er dually.
The 29er hardtail is a race bike. Uncomfortable but fast for the 100km races.
26 inch dually has not been getting much loving as it kind of feels like it is neither the fastest, nor the most comfortable when the going gets rough.

Make sure you get set up tubless and get clipless pedals in my opinion.

SIX36's picture

Don't get me wrong i loved riding the H/T through the dam made me really choose my lines but felt i wasn't in as much control as i wanted as i was bouncing and skipping the rear over and down obsolescent instead of rolling...

jbsp1's picture

I have a Spesh enduro and a Dale carbon flash 29er. Enjoy the Spesh around the dam and Red Hill a whole lot more, even though it 4.5kg heavier. Just think that it's way more suited to the terrain. But for Cascades the HT gets out of the stable. Smiling

Pete B's picture

Dually 's are for old men with bad backs and poor line choice, stick with the HT and cruise past your dually riding mates as you power up the hills as they bob their way to the top. Eye-wink

MrMez's picture

You kinda have to ride a HT to fully appreciate a dually.
It all depends on how and where you ride as to what is best.

Im pretty fit (compared to my mates), so pedalling efficiency means nothing to me. Mountain biking for me is not slogging up and down fire trails or power line tracks all day, so a 29er or HT is not the bike for me.

The trails I ride I'm using all 5" of travel, all i can with my arms and legs and even crushing the rear tyre onto the rim on many landings. Doing that on a HT would break me or the bike sooner or later.
On the downhills I get to have my fun and bomb everything in sight, on the uphills I get to work a little harder which makes me fitter in the long run.

I put it to you, that HT's and 29ers are for old men who aren't fit, strong or brave enough to keep up the pace, handle a more manoeuvrable bike, or try jumps Eye-wink

Simon's picture

It perhaps should be do you want an All Mountain or XC bike? Much of the beaches is technical with lots of ledges and not a lot of dirt.

My All Mountain hard tail with a 160mm Fox 36 TALAS eats Red Hill (jumps and drops) and has the benefits of a hard tail. I just recommend a remote seat post so you legs can do some work and a rear tyre with dual casing. It is a different skill set to land it when there aren't nice landers. I used to ride an All Mountain dually.

I got rid of my XC hard tail as I was going to break it. I wanted to ride it like my dually.

But then the XC hard tail was fine on XC single track and fire trails. As with any hard tail you get used to jumping the rough stuff and riding the fork through corners. Don't be too worried if the back end is bouncing around, just stay relaxed - it tends to follow the front.

I don't know anything much about the B3 but looks interesting.

Scottboy's picture

get a Scott spark 29er it has full lock out front & rear so you have a ht or a dually or full rigid bike in a 29er ..

Andy Bloot's picture

I bought a hard tail when I first started and to be honest, it was a mistake (if you're looking at Red Hill etc as I was)
Line choice improves with practice, but hard to practice when you've got so much shit in your pants or walking treacherous lines
The hard tail has nothing to make up for mistakes. People say that makes you a better rider
Well, what made me a better rider was ditching the bone rattler and getting a dually

Note that a HT will have a better spec than a dually of the same price
But I'd swap and go the fluid
From a quick look, it just looked a better spec than the sight ie: the fork and shock
The fluid is 120mm of travel compared to the 140mm Sight (140mm would be more versatile - esp for the more techy trails)
So if you can spare a bit more coin go a 140mm, but the next price point up

Lock out your suspension if you feel you need some skills/ line choice practice

DudeistPriest's picture

If you buy a Specialized with a Brain Shock you'll get the best of both worlds.

Zoom's picture
Burt de Ernie's picture

Unless you are planning to do 24 hr races.....29`ers are old news in the MTB and are terrible for any sort of gravity riding....

I would seriously think about 650b (27.5") from scott. (see review below)

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