Which is better

Krims7
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Which is better

Postby Krims7 » Thu Jan 04, 2024 10:25 pm

A friend wants a new bike and she is weighing up these two.

The Norco seems to have better hardware and wider clearance/tires, Merida has carbon forks.

I'm not sure though, you guys are the experts!

https://www.99bikes.com.au/merida-22-sc ... lack-green

https://www.99bikes.com.au/norco-indie- ... black-2021

Cheers

AndrewCowley
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Re: Which is better

Postby AndrewCowley » Fri Jan 05, 2024 8:58 am

Sora (Norco) vs. Claris (Merida)

Sora is theoretically the better of the two.

Krims7
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Re: Which is better

Postby Krims7 » Fri Jan 05, 2024 9:43 am

Yeah thanks, any thoughts on the carbon forks though? I thought they might be worth it with a tire upgrade (would end up being the same price). Only thing is the extra gear on the Norco could be useful

AndrewCowley
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Re: Which is better

Postby AndrewCowley » Fri Jan 05, 2024 9:54 am

On this level of bike, I don't think carbon forks add much.

A carbon seat post would be better since it offers comfort, but neither has that.

The other big difference between the two bikes is the brakes. Rim (Merida) vs. disc (Norco). On a bike like this, rim breaks are probably better since they are far easier and cheaper to maintain.

Andy01
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Re: Which is better

Postby Andy01 » Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:48 am

Unless something is defective or fiddled with, Tektro mechanical disc brakes are virtually maintenance free and cost very little to keep running. On my first hardtail (cheapie) I replaced the disc pads once in 14 years (admittedly only rode once a week).

On my Norco hardtail I replaced the pads once as well, and that was simply because the bike came with metallic pads on the cheap Tektro disc brakes and they were very "grabby" (either on or off). I replaced them with some Shimano B-01S resin pads and never touched them for the next 3,300km until the bike was written off by a SUV, and the pads are still in good condition.

My wife's Liv hardtail has had Tektro mechanical discs (they were resin pads) from new and I have not touched them since new (over 4 years) and the bike has done 5,500kms (and the pads have plenty of life left).

Worth noting that in my experience, replacing the pads is maybe a 10-15 minute job at most and the only tools needed from memory are pliers to squash the split pin to remove, a screwdriver or similar to spread the split pin when re-fitted and hex-keys to adjust (to avoid rub) for the new pads - really simple.


To me the drivetrain bits, brakes and probably tyres on the Norco look better (unless weight is an issue and you want to trade off the comfort and puncture resistance of the Marathon 32mm for the Maxxis 25mm). I would think the Norco is better for gearing as well since it is 9 spd vs 8spd and goes to 1:1, which the Merida doesn't.

AndrewCowley
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Re: Which is better

Postby AndrewCowley » Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:58 am

Fair enough. If you ride a lot then disc brakes are a hassle. All that stopping power, especially in the wet, comes a price (both cost and time).

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ldrcycles
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Re: Which is better

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Jan 05, 2024 12:10 pm

Absolutely go with the Merida. I've owned a Scultura with Claris and it was a great riding bike. Claris might be the entry level group but it shifts extremely well, better than Sora I felt. The aluminium forks on the Norco are a deal breaker for me, you don't see many aluminium forks because they're horribly harsh compared to carbon (there's a weight difference as well but that's not really significant). The 34-28 bottom gear will get you up some very steep climbs, and if you still want more the Claris derailleur will take up to a 34 tooth, and you can get an 8 speed 11-34 cassette for under $30.
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Andy01
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Re: Which is better

Postby Andy01 » Fri Jan 05, 2024 3:58 pm

AndrewCowley wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:58 am
Fair enough. If you ride a lot then disc brakes are a hassle. All that stopping power, especially in the wet, comes a price (both cost and time).
It would interesting to hear from riders that do a lot of mileage (not that the OP indicated this was going to be a high-mileage bike).

Hydraulic, not mechanical, but my Giant Roam 1 Shimano brakes are now over 7,000km, so not high mileage but not super-low either, and I have never touched them and the pads appear to have plenty of life left in them. A new set of pads is about $12 at Pushys, so if I have to spend 15 minutes to replace them every 12-15,000km (I am guessing because I have never worn out a set), it really isn't a big deal for me.

But I will acknowledge (not from personal experience thankfully), that some types of disc brakes appear to be a lot more trouble than others, but my experience with 3 sets of Tektro mechanical discs (total probably around 16,000km) on cheaper bikes has been reasonably positive (with resin pads) from a maintenance and cost of operation point of view. They certainly don't have the feel or stopping power of my current bike's Shimano hydraulic discs though.

am50em
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Re: Which is better

Postby am50em » Fri Jan 05, 2024 4:11 pm

Just changed the front pads on my Shimano 105 and checked the rears which were still ok. About 10 minutes work. Bleeding hydraulic brakes a bit more fiddly and time consuming but only had to do a few times on my other bikes.

The mechanical tektro disks brakes on my wifes bikes have only needed a tweak since new and work really well. Not high mileage but I don't think the maintenance will ever be an issue.

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Duck!
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Re: Which is better

Postby Duck! » Sat Jan 06, 2024 11:18 pm

AndrewCowley wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2024 9:54 am
On this level of bike, I don't think carbon forks add much.

A carbon seat post would be better since it offers comfort, but neither has that.

The other big difference between the two bikes is the brakes. Rim (Merida) vs. disc (Norco). On a bike like this, rim breaks are probably better since they are far easier and cheaper to maintain.
The carbon fork makes a big difference, even at this level to take a lot of the road buzz out that would otherwise go straight through to thge rider's hands & arms. On this front, the Merida trumps the Norco, and the fact that Norco use aluminium rather than steel for their fork is a big fat black mark against it; in order to minimise the fatigue inherent in aluminium, the thing needs to be very over-built, which translates to a very rigid ride, and the rider feels every stone in the bitumen. On all other fronts the Norco is the better bike.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

Mike Ayling
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Re: Which is better

Postby Mike Ayling » Sun Jan 07, 2024 5:56 pm

Just a thought, the pictures show a bum up head down situation.
Can you get the bikes with longer stems?
Recreational e bikes - for the sick, lame and lazy!

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