SPD Pedal Store

Friday, July 29, 2011

Merida Matts TFS 300 (2011) Entry level mountain bike

I was at Lim bicycle shop opposite Sunshine Square Bayan Baru at noon with my friend who wanted to look for a mountain bike with a price range below RM2500. Mr Lim who I think is the owner's son recommended us a few mountain bikes that is within the range of my friend's budget. I find this model Merida Matts TFS 300 looks quite good for the price and the components that comes with it.

The frame is double butted aluminium which increases the stiffness of the bike.
It has Tektro Draco hydraulic disk brakes which is an entry level disk brake. Although it's entry level brake  the stopping power is good.

This bike has Shimano SLX rear derraileur that will contribute to smooth shifting for the rear cogs.

Finally, the suspension fork that comes with the bike is the SR Suntour XCM which is very common for entry level mountain bike. Not much can be said about this entry level suspension fork.


  1. Hi I found your posts on MTB very informative. I have a budget of RM 2k and may i know what brand/model have the best C/P? not planning for serious offroad but mainly jalanraya and taman riding, possible minor off road.

    here is a list I have compiled by surveying on forums that suit my budget:

    GT Agressor 1.0 Disc
    Merida matts 40 2012
    Merida TFS 300
    Raleigh Elite Pro 2012
    Raleigh Gravity
    Polygon Broadway 3.0 roalink
    Fuji Nevada 2.0
    Fuji Absolute 3.0
    Nexus Element Elite
    Specialized Hardrock sport disc
    Scott Aspect 55
    Jamis Trail X2
    Jamis Trail X3

    Thank you.

  2. Hello,
    Thanks for your comment. I would suggest you narrow down to a few brands. 3 or 4 preferably.

    For start, you might want to filter out those with 27 speed first. Forget the ones with 24 speed as they are going to be phased out.

    Survey those that have 27 speed. Visit a few bike shops and ask questions. Look at the actual bike. If possible, bring a friend who has been cycling for sometime.

    The bikes that I know of that have good components are around 2K are:

    Fuji Nevada 2.0
    Merida Matts 300 (slightly over your budget of 2K)
    Raleigh Elite Pro
    Focus Whistler
    Scott Aspect 2.0 (slightly over 2K)
    Exitway KSX (30 speed)

    Hope this helps.

  3. Thank you for he reply.

    been comparing Merida TFS 300-D and Specilized RockHopper...



    Based on your opinion which one is better C/P. Specilized seems more popular abroad but Merida is more popular in M'sia, beside Giant...


  4. Hello,

    Base on facts, Matts TFS 300 comes with better components than the RockHopper. But Rockhopper frame is of better quality.

    Do you do plan to get more involved in cycling in the future? If you do, the RockHopper would be better overall.

    I would suggest take both out for test ride then buy the one that is nicer to ride.

    Hope this helps you to make a better choice :)

  5. Hi Soon-Aun;

    I'm beginner as well and currently looking for entry level mountain bike. I went to Lim Bicycle last week and the sale person recommend me Merida Matts 40 which price is slightly lower than 2k. What do you think about this model? Thank you!

  6. Hi Singlong,
    Thanks a lot for your question.
    I would say it is not worth it. The main reason is it has 24 speeds. 24 speed bikes are going to be phased out and now mid range 27 speed mtb bike spare parts are getting rare and need to order.

    My suggestion is go for 27 speed if you have RM2K. Feel free to ask if you need further help.

  7. Very informative!
    Am a beginner here, hope you be able to share your thought on below. Which one to go.
    Merida TFS 300
    Merida TFS 500
    Giant Roam XR1
    Giant Roam XR2
    Exitway KSX Pro XT

    Besides, am not sure should i get a Hybrid bike or MTB(change to slick tire for road ride)

    Thank you!!

  8. Hello,

    Base on the data that i can find XR1 comes with better components then XR2.

    I'm not sure of the price and performance as the Giant retailer nearby didn't carry this bike in their stock as it's not popular.

    Merida TFS 500 is better than the TFS 300. Firstly TFS 500 it comes mostly with Shimano Deore components with 30 speed and. The TFS 300 comes with mix of Alivio with 27 speeds. TFS 500 suspension fork is Rock Shox XC whereas TFS 300 comes with Suntour XCM. Rock shox is better as it is much tougher then the Suntour.
    In my view, the TFS 500 is better there is no need for major upgrades in the future when your riding needs grow.

    The Exitway is value for money. My friends buy them for the components. Then they change the frame and suspension fork. It then becomes a completely new bike. :)

    A hybrid or MTB will depend on where you like to ride. If you ride mostly on road and pathways a hybrid is sufficient.
    For off-road (dirt path) the hybrid might not be suitable. However, with mountain bike, you can swap tires, ie slick tires for road use, large broad tires for off-road use.

    I hope this helps. Feel free to ask if you need more info.

  9. Hi Soon-Aun;

    Thank you very much for the useful info in your blog. As a beginner, I've learn something new from you. The more I read your blog, the more choices I have now and thinking of increase my budget ^^. Anyway, I still not make up my mind yet...

  10. Hello,

    Thank you very much for your valuable (+fast) advice.

    TFS 300 is about RM2.2k
    TFS 500 is about RM3.2k
    Exitway KSX Pro XT is about RM2.5k

    "Fair price"?

    Few more questions....;-)
    If start off with Exitway then upgrade later...i guess, it would comes to >RM3k. Would it worth the money compare to getting TFS 500 right away?

    Which frame is better in term of quality, Exitway vs TFS 500?

    Any advice on Merinda quality?

    i would say the budget is around RM2k, but looks like need to increase now....so, still shopping around, gathering more advice, buying time to increase my budget...;-)

    Thanks in advance!!

  11. Hello Singlong,
    No problem. Take your time to survey and find one that you like suits your riding. Right now 2012 models should be coming (some already arrived early).

  12. Hi,
    Yes by upgrading, the KSX it will definitely cost more or almost close to the price of TFS 500, depending on what upgrades you do.

    However, most beginners won't upgrade until after few months of riding. They will start upgrading once they gain knowledge and when they feel it is worth to upgrade.

    The advantage of upgrading is you could have a slightly better/lighter bike than the TFS 500 amid spending a bit more.

    On frame quality TFS wins over Exitway.

    I've asked a few Merida users, they told me they are satisfied with the bike. :) However, they do add some minor upgrades along the way but the frame stays the same.

    Hope this helps. Feel free to ask if you need more info :)

  13. Thank you very much Soon-Aun. Very helpful information. Will definitely get back to you, coz i'm still surveying and surely more questions will pop up.

    Keep on sharing your experience :-)...

    Thanks again!!

  14. Good day Soon-Aun;

    FYI, I already bought TFS 500 two weeks ago. I'm quite enjoy to ride on it. So far no regret ;)
    I have uploaded my TFS 500 photos to my blog


    Thanks again for advice ^^

  15. Hello Singlong, you are welcome :)
    Hope you enjoy riding it. Maybe one day we will be able to meet in a event. :)

  16. HI good day all,

    I am new here... after read all comments, why no people talking about Raleigh? I am comparing Merida TFS 300 vs Raleigh Race. Any comments which one is better?


  17. Hello,

    Raleigh race has better components than the Merida Matts TFS 300. You get almost complete Shimano Deore 10 speed groupset with Shimano hydraulic brake.
    No component upgrades are needed in my opinion if you are new.

    The Raleigh also comes with Rock Shox coil suspension fork a better suspension fork than the Suntour XCM.

    Hope this helps.

  18. Hi...

    I'm planning to get a mountain bike with budget <RM2k. It's just for casual ride most probably on road or pathway. I don't think I will invest further on the spare parts in the future; therefore, I'm looking for something that's more reliable and steady. I don't have any specific brand or spec in my list at the moment. Would really appreciate if you could provide some recommendations.

    Thank you.

  19. Hi,
    There are a lot of brands you can get with that budget. A few good ones that I can recommend are

    Scott Aspect
    Giant Revel/Talon

    Drop by a few bicycle shops and note down what they have to offer then choose the ones that have the most value for money.

    Hope this helps..:)

  20. how would you recommend between Merida tfs300(rm2.25k), scott aspect 20(?) and giant revel/talon(rm2.8k)
    thank you

  21. Hi Eco8,
    All of the bikes above comes with almost similar accessories. The best is you try out each of the bike and find the one that you like. Each of us might have different opinion on which bike suits us best.

    Next you might want to consider the after sales service that the shop provides. If the after sales service of the shop is known to be bad and not reliable it is worth to buy from that shop. Pay a bit extra to a shop that offer good after sales services. You won't regret it.

  22. Hi Soon-Aun,

    What is your view on comparing Giant Talon 0 YR2012 with Kona Caldera YR2012.

    thank you

  23. Hi,
    In my point of view, both bikes are almost in the same league. Both comes with Rock Shox Recon Silver air suspension fork.

    However, the Caldera comes with 27 speed vs Talon's 30 speed. The talon also comes with Shimano SLX and XT. Whereas the Caldera don't have SLX parts on them.

    On the frame, both are almost equally as good.
    If you ask me I will take the Talon over the Caldera so I don't have to spend much $$ to upgrade it to 30 speed.

  24. Thanks Soon-Aun.

    By the way, 30 speed really make a lot of different compare to 27 speed?
    Really need 30 speed for MTB?

    Thanks in Advance.

    1. Hi,
      It does make a difference if you are riding a long uphill or off-road trails. On flat tar road, you won't see/feel the differences.
      It's worth it in case you plan to take part in Mtb jamboree in the future. 30 speed will come in handy as most are off-road trails.
      Hope this helps.

    2. hi Soon Aun,

      I am new here and plan to get a MTB at the range of RM3,000K. The bike I am considering is the Scott Scale 60 and Merida TFS500. Whats your view on both this model and which Giant model is comparable to this range?
      Thanks in advance

    3. Hello,
      I will go for the Scott Scale 60 as it has a better suspension fork compare to the merida tfs500.
      Furthermore, the frame is lighter and it is build for xc racing.

      For Giant, i think Talon will fit nicely on your budget.

  25. hi

    What is your view between Matts 70 (Sram+10speed)VS TFS 300 (Shimano+9speed)(both also about 13.3kg)? The salesman told me TFS frame is better but component loses to M70. Price offered to me Matts 70 2.4k, TFS300 2.2k. Should i choose 70 in stead, because of its 10speed and Sram? Which one you think has a better resell value in future? Sorry for long answer, coz i just want to spend it wisely.

    1. Hi,

      It's true the Matts TFS frame is better. It's made with a geometry which is hard to explain. Once you ride it, you can feel it's different.

      Although M70 the component's loses to TFS300, they can be upgraded. Over here Shimano component's is easier to sell compare to SRAM. But if purchase new, SRAM is more expensive.

      If you do plan to resell and upgrade, M70 it's a bit hard to tell. If you check out bicyclebuysell.com, rarely there is m70 2nd hand.

  26. Hi Soon Aun, may I know which shop in Butterworth or Penang island is selling Scott Scale 60? I would like to visit them. Thanks

    1. You can visit Chin Aik at Lebuh Carnavon.

  27. Do you know weight of Scott Scale 60 and Merida TFS 900? Which one is better choice?

    1. Both bikes will weigh approx 11kg +/-. Which one is better, it depends on personal choices :)

      For me the Scott Scale frame is better but Merida TFS 900 comes with a better suspension fork and groupset.

      Furthermore they are not apple to apple comparison. If you take Scale 50 it's a much closer match against TFS 900

  28. Hi,
    Given the 24 speeds will be phased out soon, do you see the 27 speeds heading that direction as well? Cuz, most of the 2012 models offer 30 speeds and also the increasing popularity of the 2x10 drivetrain seem to attract more people. Thanks.

    1. Hi, that is very hard to say. In my opinion, there is a possibility that 27 speed will be phased out eventually but not so soon.

      Given the technology advancement, if they manage to come out with 33 speed then I will say 27 speed will definitely follow 24 speed :).

  29. HI, which one do you think is a better choice? am so confused on which to choose.. the Matts 70, TFS 300 or the Fuji Nevada 1.0? PRice wise, is very close...in terms of weight? and quality..which one would u say is a better choice?

    1. Hi,
      I would suggest the Fuji Nevada 1.0 as it is the only one with 30 speeds in the list you mentioned.

      The Fuji Nevada have almost complete Deore groupsets except the crank.

      Most bikes around that price will weigh above 13kg.

  30. Hi Soon-Aun, do you know where can I buy Kona, Fuji and Exitway MTB in Penang or northen region?

    Thank you.

    1. Fuji are quite hard to find in Penang. Last year CCI has Fuji bikes but hey have stopped.
      You can try Sim Bicyle shop for Kona.
      Exitway, it's now very common in most bicycle shops.

  31. Hello there,
    Good day!
    Saw your response over newbies above, found plain useful.

    I'm looking forward to purchase 29er MTB within budget of below 2k. However, found Merida TFS 300 slightly over my budget, however i believe its comes with nice frame but with average 27" gearsets compare with EXITWAY Peak 9 (Link : http://www.usjcycles.com/new-arrival-exitway-mtb-peak-9-30spd/) might with normal frame with hi-end gearsets with 30" speed.

    Kindly advise which is the best factor for good and comfortable rides at both on and off roads, whether the FRAME or Hi-End Gearsets?

    Does weight of the MTB make sense for perfect right? (Merida TFS 300 with 14KG and Exitway Peak 9 with 13.4KG?

    1. A good frame will help a lot for comfortable rides. My suggestion would be getting the Exitway. Ride it for a while then decide.

      A good gearset comes in handy when you want to climb and you will use it a lot during off road rides. They are much smoother when changing up and down.

      In my opinion, upgrading a gear set is much more complicated compare to changing a frame :) You can now get good quality second hand frames with discount prices. So I would advice you to go for a group set.

      Weight does make sense in places where you can't ride and you need to push your bike. With a lighter bike you don't need to use a lot of energy. Hope this helps, happy riding

    2. Hi Soon-Aun,
      Thank you kindly for valuable feedback. I will proceed with purchase on exitway bike, however still looking for the shop that can offer best price. Any idea or recommendation over the shop that can offer good deal around Penang/Kedah?

    3. You can try Ozecycle at Simpang Ampat. A lot of positive comments saying he gives the best price.

      If you are from Penang, you can try Lim Bicycle opposite Sunshine square.

      Kedah, you can Sooi Hin at Pekan Lama.

    4. Hi Soon-Aun,
      Managed to get Exitway 29er at Sooi Hin, Pekan Lama with awesome deal. Thanks for the guides.

    5. Cool. hope you enjoy your bike. Happy RIDING.

    6. Hi Soon-Aun,
      Good day!
      I'm planning to invest little amount to upgrade current bottom bracket to good one for more comfort biking.
      Appreciate if you could advise me whether any model that suite me? alternatively, do you have any suggestion over upgrade the spare parts for better biking except frame :-).

      My MTB specs :-

    7. Hello Matrox,

      On the BB the best and smooth ones are ceramic BB. It cost about RM200 - RM300.
      And it is very light compare to normal BB. Token, Enduro, GUB, Hope are excellent brands.

      Other suggestions i can offer are changing the hubs. Hope and Chris King brands are fantastic.

      Finally the suspension fork can be upgraded to a air fork which is lighter. Suntour epicon is a good choice if you want value for money. If you have budget you can go for Fox Float or DT Swiss

    8. Hi Soon-Aun,
      Thank you kindly for your valuable advise.

  32. Hi. Find a lot of useful info here. Thanks. By the way, planning to get a bike for off road up hill riding. can I know what is the benefits having 29er?

    1. Hi, Very sorry,
      I've never rode a 29er. The benefit that I feel while testing my friend's bike is it is very stable due to the big wheels.
      It's also fast when moving on straight road.

      I would suggest you go to a bike shop and test ride a 26 and 29. Try and see which one u like. :)

    2. Thanks for the suggestion. Newbie here, planning for off road, and now really confuse which brand should I choose. In Ipoh, most of them promoting Exitway, but I donno whether that's genuine comments. Online info leading me to Exitway Sub Gear as well. Can I get your comments on Sub Gear, or any other suggestions?

    3. Hi,
      Exitway sub gear bike is ideal for beginners. It is a value buy for those who just started cycling and want to go for 29er. Mostly they promote Exitway because it comes with very good Shimano components. However, if you were to compare with Giant, Merida or other brands, it will cost a lot more.