Merida launched a pair of new bikes – the enduro-focused One Sixty and the trail-ready One Forty.
These two bikes are said to be the most adaptable and radically shaped mountain bikes Merida was ever built. brag Geometry straight from the long, low, and slack playbooksuspension designed to tick all the boxes and a host of stylish finishes aimed at making the bikes as adaptable and easy to live with as possible.
The One Sixty and One Forty share the same alloy or carbon frames, with differences in the shock strokes that change the Travelwhile building kits define the ride characteristics of the two bikes.
Merida One Stone is a full-bore aircraft Enduro bike, with either a 162 mm (29 in) or 171 mm (mullet) rear wheel, paired with a 170 mm strut 38 forks. Additional short, short and medium bikes will be shipped as a mulletwhile the long and extra bikes will be 29ers on the shop floor.
Merida One Forte is modern trail bike, features 143mm of travel in the rear (153mm if run as a bord), with 150mm forks 35 or 36mm attached to the head tube. Bikes will be available as standard as 29ers.
Merida has developed a sizing system, called the Agilometer, for bikes, pairing short seat tubes and stack heights with longer spans, allowing you to choose a long, stable bike without compromising the dropper shaft, or opt for a shorter, leaner bike if you wish.
This is paired with the adjustable Merida last dropperWith up to 230mm of adjustable travel.
Both bikes use Merida’s new FAST suspension linkage, with size-specific kinematics to better suit riders of different heights.
Merida One Sixty and One Forty joint frame details
The One Sixty and One Forty share the same tires, with the One Sixty getting a longer shock 65mm, and the One Forty getting a 57.5mm shock. This is then paired with longer or shorter prongs.
Merida uses CF4 carbon and LITE aluminum for both frames. They share the same geometry and suspension feel, but the carbon model has a bit more flex in its offering, as well as a lighter weight.
Carbon models benefit from inner frame storage, in the form of long sleeves that slot into the downtube via a “Merida Service Port,” which is also used to access the internal cable routing under the BB. There are also a pair of heads near the front shock mount for additional storage.
Alloy bikes’ access to the inner steering is in the same place, but a smaller hatch is used, and no indoor storage is provided.
All tires use the Wireport headset, in which cables go into the tire under the stem, reducing the number of holes required in the tire tubes. The carbon frames benefit from internal full-sleeved routing, while the alloy bike’s internal hoses and cables are covered with foam to prevent rattling.
Cables and hoses going toward the rear axle are routed through the main rear axle. By doing this, Merida reduced the amount of cable growth that was achieved as the bike moved through its ride. This improves the reliability of the mechanical gears and reduces wear and interference to the suspension.
The pivot bolts are largely tightened with Torx 30 bolts, which are accessible from the non-motor side of the bike, to aid in ease of maintenance. The rear axle lever can be removed from the axle, exposing 4mm, 6mm and T30 bits.
The rear axles are protected by integrated fenders, while there are bolt holes on the seat mount bridge and inside the seatposts to accept a longer version of the fender, which should add splash protection for the passenger as well.
Chainslap protection and chain guides on all bikes provide safety and silence on the road. The down tube is also protected by rubber fenders along most of its length.
Merida built the tires to withstand Class 5 testing. This, essentially, means extended use of the motorcycle. Looking at One Sixty’s build kits, Merida offers a five-year warranty on the larger bikes. The One Forty is given a lifetime warranty from the original owner.
Merida One Sixty and One Forty Review Details
Merida used the Flexstay design for rear suspension, where the rear seat and chain mounts are flexibly integrated, replacing the rear axle. The swingarm link directs a shock that falls under the top tube.
Doing so, according to Merida, improves rigidity and reliability, while reducing the amount of maintenance needed.
Merida says the system has been modified from what is in Ninety-six XC bikesto reduce the angular change between the stays, further reduce stresses and reduce the effect of flex on suspension feel.
While carbon is well known for its ability to safely flex in this way, Merida says the lower angle change also allows this design to be used safely and reliably with its alloy frames.
Kinetics of every size are tuned to the expected rider weights and styles, while coil shocks can also be used on bikes, if desired.
In The One Sixty, Merida has increased the suspension’s kinematics advance to work better with air shocks and higher volume shocks. Bigger tires also get more traction. This is because the average rider will either be heavier or more likely to ride with more force, and therefore increased bottom-out protection is needed.
Adding more headroom on larger bikes provides more support at the end of their travel, or in more dangerous situations.
On a size XS, the progression is about 6 percent, while on an XL it is about 14 percent.
The anti-squat suspension is set at about 105 percent on sag, dropping to less than 100 percent near halfway through the bike ride. This, according to Merida, gives it a stable platform for the pedals at sag or just below, before a more sensitive stroke and less backlash from mid to mid.
It’s a similar story with the ride damper – the braking effect on the suspension. In the early part of the mid-stroke, such as on steep or fast-flowing trails, there is a little bit of lift resistance, which helps keep the bike level under braking. However, in the depth of the stroke, the spike damper drops, which enhances traction and suspension ductility.
Merida sixty and forty-one details
Merida may have had a reputation for slightly conservative engineering, but that goes out the window with the new One Sixty and One Forty, with completely progressive shapes used on both bikes.
The brand didn’t want to compromise on fit, so it built its geometry around short seat tubes, lower stack heights and a longer reach.
The idea is that short-legged riders can choose between “regular” sized tires and those slightly longer, without suffering from an overly high front end. Taller riders benefit from the taller joists and taller dropper shafts, while the higher spacers and rails can be used to compensate for the lower front end.
The short and extra-long bikes get an 18mm-high bar, while the medium, long and extra-long bikes get a 30mm-height bar.
This concept is called the “Agilometer” scaling system. Riders in the mid-height of the bell curve can choose from three sizes: a smaller, leaner bike, a “regular” size bike, or a longer, more stable bike.
Key to all of this is Merida’s TR team dropper functionality. It is adjustable in drop, from 30mm to 230mm, which means most riders should be able to drop the post as low as possible in the frame, allowing as much of the fall as possible for the desired saddle height.
The dropper shaft used on the One Sixty has a no-offset head, while the One Forty comes with a 10mm offset head to maintain desired geometry.
The flip-up slide in the suspension linkage, marked as 27.5-inch or 29-inch, is mostly there to give the same geometry between mullet bikes and full 29-inch bikes, rather than being a geometry-tuning feature.
It can be used to change the geometry, although you may have issues with tire and crank clearance, as well as alter the bike’s desired ride characteristics.
The geometries for both bikes are shown below.
Merida One Sixty and One Forty Specification Details
Since both bikes share tires, most of the differences between the bikes come from the build kits.
As you might imagine, the enduro-focused One Sixty comes with a heavier and heavier kit, while the One Forty is lighter, with more trails and all-mountain geared components.
The One Sixty comes with 38mm bolster forks from Fox and RockShox, with 170mm of travel. It also comes with shocks on the back, which have extra oil volume to better handle heat buildup on long slopes.
Conversely, the One Forty bikes have either brand 35 or 36mm bolster forks, with 150mm of travel, except for the entry-level bike, which gets 140mm fork travel. These bikes come with single-box air shocks, which are lighter in weight.
When it comes to rubber, One Sixty receives DoubleDown chassis tires from Maxis – Assegai in the front and Minion DHRII in the back. Engineered to provide maximum stability, durability and damping at the cost of weight.
One Forty models will get an EXO+ casing analyzer in the back, and a lighter EXO hood than the Minion DHF at the front. Merida chose these tires, she says, to save weight and improve rolling resistance.
Merida One Sixty and One Forty collection and pricing details
There are six One Forty models on offer, from the entry-level One Forty 400 to the One Forty 10K.
The Merida One Forte 400 entry-level (£2,250 / €2,750) gets the SR Suntour XCR34 fork with 140mm of travel and RockShox Deluxe Select + shock. It also features a Shimano Deore drivetrain (with Race Face crank) and Tektro 4-pot brakes.
The Merida One Forty 700 (£3,100 / €3,860) is a top-of-the-line alloy bike, with Marzocchi Z1 forks, Shimano SLX drivetrain and brakes, and Maxxis tires.
Step up and you’ll get a Merida One Forty 6000 (£4,500 / €5,600), with a carbon frame and design kit almost identical to the One Forty 700.
At the top sees the Merida One Forty 10K (£8,000 / €10,650) factory-grade Fox suspension, SRAM X01 AXS drivetrain and Shimano XTR brakes.
Merida One Stone
Five One Sixty models will be offered, from the Alloy One Sixty 500 to the Carbon One Sixty 10K.
The Merida One Sixty 500 (£2,750 / €3,350) comes with a RockShox Yari kit, Shimano Deore kit and matching 4-bowl brakes.
The Merida One Sixty 6000 (£4,600 / €5,760) is the cheapest carbon bike. It comes with a RockShox ZEB Select fork, SLX drivetrain and associated SLX brakes.
Rounding out the range is the One Sixty 10K (£9,000 / €11,900). This has the ultimate level suspension system – ZEB and Super Deluxe, both of which feature electronic control hostess damping; The SRAM X01 drivetrain and Shimano XTR brakes provide stop-and-go.