Merida mountain bikes are made from aluminium, carbon and latterly magnesium and may have optional front suspension, aka 'hardtail' or front and rear suspension aka 'full' or 'dual' suspension. This extensive range of bikes consists of pedigree front suspension bikes aka 'hardtails', dual suspension bikes and urban bikes. Where suspension is used it keeps the wheels on the ground to increase traction and therefore control but also cushions the rider from the sudden impact of obstacles such as tree roots on a forest path or rocks on a mountain path. Technically, suspension makes the bike is easier to control, reduces fatigue and usually make the ride more comfortable. Braking is achieved either disc brakes ( hydraulic or mechanical - cable ) or 'v' brakes. The drive-train ie chain and gears is usually, but not exclusively, made by one manufacturer - Shimano of Japan. SRAM, one of the newer manufacturers are viewed as an immerging and distinct alternative to Shimano.
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