Merida One Sixty 7000 Review
March 27th, 2017
Product Full Name | Merida One Sixty 7000
Retail Price | £4500
Available From | Merida Bikes
Merida One Sixty 7000
Merida have been in the two wheeled world of cycling for a very, very long time.
A not-so-shouty brand who despite not being at the forefront of many people’s thoughts when it comes to aggro trail bikes, they’re still silently beavering away building a tonne of other brand’s frames for them. With possibly the most established frame manufacturing plant in Taiwan, there’s a high chance your very bike rolled out of Merida’s factory…
Merida’s early entrance to the 160mm market was a middle of the road effort. It wasn’t the prettiest looking bike, and suffered from chain growth – but offered good value and suggested where they might be going.
Thankfully, the brand new Merida One Sixty a very, very different bike!
Merida have removed the clunky and inefficient linkage design of years gone by and replaced it with what could be confused at a fleeting glance with with a Trek full floater. The lines of the bike are improved dramatically and you can also carry a water bottle with ease.
The angles on the Merida One Sixty have changed for the better too – a slacker head angle at a smidge over 65 degrees; a reach figure of 445mm (size medium) and a seat angle approaching 76 effective. Annoyingly the seat tube is still touch long, preventing many riders such as myself sizing up or running longer dropper posts.
The smooth carbon main frame is linked to the durable alloy back end, which at 430mm in length ensures its on the money for snappy handling and very much in line with its competitors. Another nice addition and one in keeping with current trends and progressions is the boost back end. I’m still undecided on the benefits for 27.5 wheeled bikes but its good to see some future-proofing on the Merida either way.
The Merida One Sixty 7000 is one down from the top of the range specced 8000 model, and is dripping in great kit. Full XT 1×11 drivetrain and brakes; lightweight and strong DT Swiss Spline wheels with Maxxis wide trail Minion DHR’s, an entry level 170mm Lyrik fork and Rock Shox’ sexy new Trunion Super Deluxe RC3 rear shock.
Weight with pedals is a very acceptable 13.5kg – a pleasing number for a bike of this travel and intentions.
Out On The Trail
Riding the Merida is a hell of a lot of fun, its poppy, tight, snappy, agile and uber-competent. My current testing ground of Nelson, NZ, provides some of the best test conditions available. A variety of steep, loose, off camber, super- rough, pedally and pumpy – it has it all.
Having now ridden the Merida on nearly all of the local trails, I can honestly say it handled them all with aplomb, coming firmly into its own on the rougher tracks. The full floater rear end compressing the new Super Deluxe shock provides some seriously supple suspension action. Running approx 33% sag which provides some of the best small bump sensitivity I’ve ridden – it pretty much has bike sag when sat on its own!
Even under big hits I’m still yet to find a harsh mechanical bottom out, suggesting the linkage curve is nicely progressive – an issue often overlooked by other brands. I will honestly say it’s one of the best back ends I’ve ridden in a long time! The trade-off is a little pedal bob, but the compression lever on the Trunion Monarch shock removes it entirely.
It shralps corners with minimal flex or fuss, gas to flats are dealt with smoothly with good level of ramp up and the rougher it gets, the better it feels. Put simply, the new Merida One Sixty is possibly one of the best all round trail bikes I’ve ridden in a while, very capable, a good price point and real world build kits, you could do far worse than have one sat in your stable. The 125mm dropper post spec on all models bothers me though – as riding progresses, things are changing and it’s not quite enough, meaning reaching for the Allen key – defeating the point of the post a lot of the time!
The Merida One Sixty is a really well considered bike, and a departure from their lacklusture bikes from the past. It’s bang on point when it comes to handling, and the combo of a very good suspension platform and the seemingly frictionless Rockshox Trunion mount shock offer an amazing suspension action.
At £4500, it represents decent value for money too – bar the 125mm dropper post, there isn’t anything to grumble about!