There's always been a divide between enduro and XC riders and the bikes differ vastly in terms of geometry, suspension travel and weight. Privateer rider Fergus Ryan and Merida's Jeremy Bigg headed out to the Forest of Dean with Will Greenfield to ask the question, 'can an XC hardtail keep up with an enduro bike?'
Hardtail vs Full Suspension | Mountain Biking in Forest of Dean!, by Will Greenfield
And the answer, impressively, is yes. Fergus is no slouch on a bike, so the fact that Jeremy on his Merida Big.Nine can keep up with him on his Privateer 161 enduro bike is a testament to both Jeremy's skill and Merida's XC hardtail.
To touch on the bikes, the Big.Nine is Merida's cross-country featherweight which received an update late last year. Alongside the full on XC builds, the brand also offers a 'downcountry' model, the TR, that gets more suspension travel and a dropper post, and as we can see that the saddle is well out of the way on Jeremy's bike, it's safe to assume that it's a Big.Nine TR.
As for Fergus's rig, well this looks to be like a bit of a leak on Privateer's hotly anticipated Gen 2 161 that the brand has been teasing heavily over the past few months. However, this is the first time we've seen it painted, so this is probably the best look you'll get at the bike ahead of its launch later this month.
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