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We’ve been hanging with Merida and checking out the impressive new range of on and off-road bikes for 2015.

It’s impressive stuff across the board, but a few things leapt out at us and you can expect to see some of them in the showroom in the months to come as we plan to augment the hire fleet. It’s also going to mean more demo models on hand to try before you buy.

First off, Merida has decided to join the growing number of brands courting controversy with disc road bike offerings. Road riders are gradually coming round to the idea of disc stoppers, which undeniably offer superior braking power on wet UK roads.

The Merida Ride Disc 3000 sells at £1350 and the higher spec 5000 is £1900. Both bikes feature full carbon frame and forks.

Merida Ride Disc

Merida have also catered well for female road riders and we love the lack of pink across the gender-specific range! Favourite for us is the Juliet Scultura 4000 all-carbon road bike. It comes race-ready at £1350.

Merida Juliet Scultura 4000

Off-road, the Juliet 40 is a great entry-level, women’s specific hardtail rolling on 650b wheels and selling at £474.99.

Merida Juliet 40

For the fellas, staying with hardtails, £1500 buys you entry to lightweight, carbon riding with the Big Seven 1000, which arrives specced with Shimano Deore and XT drivetrain and shifting kit, or you can go aluminium for half that price with the Big Seven 500. Both bikes feature XC-friendly 100mm forks.

Merida Big Seven 500

If full-sus is your bag, we’re loving the look of the One-Twenty XT edition, which for £1800 is specced with – natch –  XT chainset and Shadow+ derailleurs front & rear. 120mm is the number for travel at both ends.

Merida One Twenty XT edition