First Look: Merida One-Sixty 7000

by
July 3, 2017

Next up on the chopping block at Singletrack Towers is a murdered-out carbon enduro beast made by Merida. Called the One Sixty, this bike (unsurprisingly) possesses 160mm of rear wheel travel, while being paired to a 170mm travel fork and 27.5in wheels. It’s brand new as of last year, with a new frame, new suspension design, and reworked geometry. It replaces the virtual-link version before it that Barney had previously tested and reviewed here.

merida one-sixty full suspension
The Merida One-Sixty is all new this year.

Much like Giant Bicycles, Taiwanese brand Merida is both a manufacturer and a brand unto itself. The Merida name hasn’t been associated with high-end mountain bike product in the past, but a new direction from the brand’s Stuttgart R&D team has seen the introduction of a more contemporary feel to the latest generation of hardtail and full suspension models. The One-Sixty is one such model to embrace the new design ethos, and if both looks and numbers on paper are anything to go by, it is a very promising bike indeed.

merida one-sixty full suspension
The One-Sixty 7000 sits in the middle of the 3-model range.

Merida One-Sixty Features

  • Long travel full suspension enduro bike
  • Carbon fibre mainframe, alloy swingarm
  • 160mm rear travel travel
  • Float Link suspension design
  • RockShox Super Deluxe RC3 DebonAir shock
  • 27.5in wheels
  • Designed for 170mm travel forks
  • 65.3° head angle
  • 76° effective seat tube angle
  • 430mm chainstay length
  • Boost 148x12mm thru-axle
  • PF92 bottom bracket shell
  • Internal cable routing=
  • Sizes: Small, Medium & Large
  • Bike RRP: £3300 – £5500
merida one-sixty full suspension
Featuring a carbon fibre mainframe and alloy sub-frame, the One-Sixty is a 160mm travel enduro bike.

The One-Sixty platform is currently only available in a carbon frame option. There are three models, starting at the base-model 5000 spec, and going up to the top-end 8000 spec. The 7000 sits in between, and it’s equipped with a mostly Shimano Deore XT 1×11 groupset with a RockShox suspension package and DT Swiss Spine E1700 wheels.

screen-shot-2017-07-03-at-10-26-37
Merida One-Sixty Frame Geometry

There are only three size options for the One-Sixty. If you’re smaller than Small, or larger than Large, then unfortunately you’re out of luck with this bike. Merida being a humungous volume-based producer, this decision has likely been made based on predicted demand and the resulting effect on costings. As a result, there are only nine different SKU’s for the One-Sixty range. Compare that with a brand like Specialized or Trek that often produce multiple wheelsize options, 4-6 sizes, colour choices and numerous spec options for a given model (resulting in a SKU range that can sometimes approach triple figures), and you can see the difference in Merida’s conservative approach.

merida one-sixty full suspension
Pumped up with a 170mm travel Lyrik RC3 fork.

Directly next to the old One-Sixty platform, the new version has made a significant push into dedicated enduro territory. There’s a 170mm travel RockShox Lyrik RC fork up front, with a head angle that hovers just over 65°. Enduro Sensibility™ has been employed elsewhere on the One-Sixty platform also, with a piggyback rear shock spec’d along with tough wheels and tyres. Although the mainframe is crafted from carbon fibre, the back-end is all alloy for the inevitable scrapes and thumps the bike is likely to be subjected to.

maxxis dhr minion merida
Aggressive Maxxis Minion DHR II rubber. No paper-thin sidewalls or overtly fast-rolling Californian tyres here.
merida one-sixty full suspension
15x110mm thru-axle dropouts for the Lyrik RC fork bolt onto a DT Swiss straight-pull CNC machined hub shell.
merida one-sixty full suspension
Shimano Deore XT stoppers feature finned brake pads and a lower-spec’d stainless steel rotor.
merida one-sixty full suspension
A slightly smaller 180mm rotor for the direct-mount rear brake, with a Boost 148x12mm thru-axle.
merida one-sixty full suspension
The seat and chainstays on the One-Sixty frame are made from hydroformed alloy to save costs over using carbon fibre.

The 1×11 drivetrain on the One-Sixty 7000 comes from the Shimano Deore XT stable, with a decent spread of gearing from the 11-46t rear cassette, and anti-chainslap duties carried out by a Shadow Plus rear mech. Routing for the rear derailleur runs through the carbon downtube, before making a path through the drive-side alloy chainstay.

merida one-sixty full suspension
The 46t sprocket serves as a low-range climbing gear.
dt swiss minion maxxis
E1700 Spline wheels from DT Swiss use alloy rims with stainless steel eyelets and a 25mm internal rim width.
merida one-sixty full suspension
Changed over the previous One-Sixty, the new frame is built around a metric sized shock complete with trunnion mounting.
merida one-sixty full suspension
Clevis joints connect the alloy seatstays to the welded rocker linkage.
merida one-sixty full suspension
The rear shock ‘floats’ between the rocker link and chainstay.

The rear suspension represents the biggest change on the new One-Sixty platform. Gone is the virtual link design of old, and in its place is a more simplistic single pivot suspension design that uses a four-bar arrangement and a rocker link to drive the rear shock. Look a little closer however, and you’ll see that the lower shock eyelet mounts directly to the chainstay. Much like Trek’s Full Floater platform, this means the rear shock ‘floats’ inside the rear suspension linkage, with no fixed mount between it and the mainframe. The goal is to increase control over the rear suspension’s kinematics, and more specifically, to control the ramp-up at the end of the 160mm of travel.

merida one-sixty full suspension
Shimano Deore XT cranks with a 32t chainring and MRP 1x upper guide to provide added security over the non-narrow/wide tooth profile.
merida one-sixty full suspension
Nice stick-on rubber damper for the driveside chainstay.
merida one-sixty full suspension
Large removable cable ports at the head tube purportedly help with installation and removal, while also providing a secure clamping force on the cables so as to eliminate rattling and vibration of the cables inside the frame.
merida one-sixty full suspension
Very short little 35mm long stem.
merida one-sixty full suspension
Merida takes care of the cockpit with its own lock-on grips, alloy bar and stem.
merida one-sixty full suspension
Prologo saddle for perching one’s bottom.
merida one-sixty full suspension
Stealth-routed dropper post, but only with 125mm of travel.
merida one-sixty full suspension
Based on aesthetics and spec alone, the One-Sixty looks to be a cracker of a bike, though we’re eager to find out if that’s the case.

For the full spec’s of the Merida One-Sixty 7000, check out the list below, and keep your eyes on singletrackworld.com for the upcoming review to find out just how good this bike is for the money. And for more details on the rest of the One-Sixty range, jump on to merida-bikes.com for all of the info.

2017 Merida One-Sixty 7000 Specifications

  • Frame // Carbon Fibre, 160mm Travel
  • Fork // Rockshox Lyric RC, 170mm Travel
  • Shock // Rockshox Super Deluxe RC3, Metric w/Trunnion Mount
  • Hubs // DT Swiss Spline E1700, 110x15mm Front & 148x12mm Rear
  • Rims // DT Swiss Spline E1700, Tubeless Ready
  • Tyres // Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4in 3C MaxxTerra EXO Front & Rear
  • Chainset // Shimano Deore XT M8000 32t
  • Chain Device // MRP 1x TR Upper Guide
  • Front Mech // N/A
  • Rear Mech // Shimano Deore XT 11-Speed
  • Shifters // Shimano Deore XT 11-Speed
  • Cassette // Shimano Deore XT, 11-46t, 11-Speed
  • Brakes // Shimano Deore XT, 203mm Front & 180mm Rear
  • Stem // Merida Expert 3D Forged Alloy
  • Bars // Merida Expert Alloy, 760mm Wide
  • Grips // Merida Lock-On
  • Seatpost // RockShox Reverb Stealth, 30.9mm Diameter, 125mm Travel
  • Saddle // Prologo Nago Evo
  • Size Tested // Medium
  • Sizes available // Small, Medium, Large
  • Claimed weight // 13.79kg
  • RRP // £4500

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First Look