New Merida One-Sixty FR goes up to 171

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Merida One-Sixty FR gets more travel up front, coil sprung shocks and ‘mullet’ mixed size wheels around a tough aluminium frame and an overall eye on VFM.

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  • LITE aluminium frame
  • Mullet
  • 171mm coil sprung rear
  • 180mm fork
  • FAST kinematic suspension system gives more progression as frame sizes increase
  • AGILOMETER sizing allows riders to choose frame handling independently of leg length
  • Four-piston brakes with 220 mm front rotor as standard
  • Long travel dropper posts
  • ISCG chain guide mount
  • New DVO Onyx38 fork
  • Five-year warranty for toughest Category 5 usage
  • One-Sixty FR 600: £3500
  • One-Sixty FR 400: £2800

Merida One-Sixty FR press release:


Call it a super enduro bike, call it a park bike – we just call it fun. The new Merida ONE-SIXTY FR harnesses the proven aluminium LITE frame technology of the ONE-SIXTY and boosts it to create a bike park-ready ripper that’s robust enough to lap from dawn til dusk.

More travel up front, coil sprung shocks and ‘mullet’ mixed size wheels around a tough aluminium frame and sorted suspension system mean it’s built to last with a go-big attitude that’s ready to shrug off the hits, time after time.

We know that value is important to rippers of all ages, so we’ve focussed the budget on getting the best suspension, tyres and brakes as possible, rather than a fancier derailleur or lightweight kit that’s not going to stay the course.



The ONE-SIXTY FR is designed for getting amongst it in the bike park, sending jump lines and having good times – on repeat. It’s built to be tough, pairing downhill bike stability with mid-air pop and poise that’ll have your grin will still be visible under a full face helmet. It needs to be downhill bike capable but trail bike fun, so stable but playful handling and party-time mullet setup is the order of the day.

It’s designed to be robust and affordable, focusing on maximum suspension and braking performance rather than trimming grams. That means extra travel, coil springs and powerful brakes. While uplifts and bike parks are its natural playground, it’s also the perfect choice for heavy and hardcore riders that need a machine that keeps pace with how they push.

It takes the proven chassis and design of the ONE-SIXTY, but boosts the downhill capability even further. Think of it as an enduro bike with the dial turned up to 11 or think of it as a downhill bike that’s more about fun than shaving off seconds – it doesn’t matter. The ONE-SIXTY FR is built to send.



Bike parks are appearing all over the globe and it’s resulted in a huge shift in progression for many riders, helping them push their limits further than could have been imagined. The proliferation of these parks means there are plenty of tough man-made trails that need a long travel bike, but have trail features where a full-on downhill bike wouldn’t be responsive enough to pop and play on.

These parks also tend to feature jump lines that would have only been seen at world-class freeride and slopestyle comps 10 years ago, but are now common across the world, requiring a bike that can deal with big hits. Some would call it abuse, but it’s just day-to-day use for these riders.

While the ONE-SIXTY is a modern, high-performance long-travel bike, the equipment it’s fitted with is designed primarily to excel in enduro style riding where, as well as outright downhill prowess, pedalling performance, efficiency and overall weight are important concerns.

The ONE-SIXTY FR has a different focus: it’s built to suck up the punishment that comes with progression, with a tough frame and kit that places the priority on giving you the tools to get the job done without giving up. Solid, sorted suspension paired to predictable but poppy handling, all tied together with a tough frame and five-year Category 5 warranty that even covers the most extreme bike park use – something few of our competitors have the confidence to offer.



The bike park is the natural stomping ground for the ONE-SIXTY FR, with the robust frame, responsive handling and tough kit meaning it’s the ideal choice for riders that keep doing laps until the light fades, but it’s also a brilliant match for riders that want to take on the most demanding descents without having to resort to a downhill bike. It’s also a match for the young guns that want to push and progress their riding, but don’t have the budget for a fancy enduro bike – or want the compromises that come with a bike designed to race against the clock, whether that’s from the enduro or the downhill scenes.

The robustness and high value will also mean the ONE-SIXTY FR is perfectly suited to the demanding world of bike park rentals, where it can cope with day-in, day-out use without complaining.




‘First up, while the standard ONE-SIXTY runs full 29″ in larger sizes we’ve kept it business up front and party at the back with a mullet mixed wheel setup across all sizes of the ONE-SIXTY FR. We’ve also turned the volume up all around by bumping the front travel up to 180 mm with a 29″ wheel. That is then paired to 171 mm of coil-sprung travel at the rear for super supple, fade-free performance.

The back end uses our proven FAST kinematic suspension to provide plush yet controlled support. It uses a low-maintenance flexstay design that gets rid of the seat stay pivot to reduce weight and maintenance. The kinematic also increases in progression as you move up the frame sizes, so that taller, heavier riders have increased bottom-out support and extra control.

The switch to a linear coil sprung shock rather than the air shocks fitted to ONE-SIXTY models works extremely well with the FAST kinematic in this application; the softer initial travel gives excellent small bump grip at the expense of pedalling efficiency, while the progressive curve gives excellent mid-stroke support for pumping through turns and the faces of jumps, while the highly progressive ending stroke resists bottom-out forces.

The bike also uses the AGILOMETER sizing concept that allows riders to choose their handling characteristics independently of leg length thanks to low standover frames paired with our 230 mm travel adjustable dropper post. Go long for stability, go short for agility – or choose a balance of both. It’s your party.

Spec-wise, we have aimed to deliver a huge value package, but one that prioritises the quality of suspension and braking components over the drivetrain. Derailleurs, chains and cassettes wear out or get damaged, but high-quality brakes and suspension will last the lifetime of the bike and have a huge positive impact on how the bike rides.

That means four-piston brakes with a large 220 mm brake rotor at the front for consistent and powerful braking, time after time. It means high-end, damping adjustable forks and coil shocks on all models.

We’ve also made sure the standard rubber is ready to rip, with dual casing/downhill and tubeless-ready tyres fitted as standard. The same goes for the wheelset, which comes in for a beating every time the bike hits the trail – we’ve gone for tough, reliable kit that’ll suck up flat landings, cased lips and berms that want to tear the tyres off.

The ONE-SIXTY LITE frame has been proven out in the real world, but it’s also been tested at the renowned Zelder Institute labs, with the P-FLEX flexstay design passing even the hardest fatigue tests with flying colours. That’s why we’re confident enough to give it a five year warranty at the hardest Category 5 use category, something very few other manufacturers do, even for their downhill bikes.

While many would assume that our chosen frame material would not be able to withstand the deflection over time, extensive testing, on the ONE-TWENTY and on our longer travel ONE-SIXTY aluminium frames by the Zedler Institute, which went well beyond industry standards, has eliminated any doubts in its long term durability.

Merida One-Sixty FR 600: £3500
Merida One-Sixty FR 400: £2800



  • Adjustable from 30 – 230 mm


  • Size-specific spring rates
  • Pedal platform for improved pedalling performance


  • Soft compound
  • DH casing for the ultimate puncture resistance


  • Powerful 4-piston brakes, Downhill World Cup proven
  • Reliable and easy to service
  • The most consistent brake bite point in the market


  • Very robust and modern 38 mm fork for the roughest terrain, tried and tested by the DVO freeride team
  • Featuring key adjustments like LSC and rebound but tries to keep the complexity for the rider to a minimum


  • Soft compound for best ratio of grip and durability
  • ENDURO casing, as extensive testing has shown, is durable while also providing a more subtle riding feel


Why would I buy an FR over a regular LITE?

Both bikes are more than capable on tough terrain, but the FR offers a more supple suspension feel thanks to the coil sprung rear shock and increased fork travel, though this comes with a minor weight penalty. The FR also comes with mixed wheel sizes across all frame sizes, rather than the full 29″ setup on sizes Long and above with the regular bike. We have also focussed on higher specification suspension components rather than drivetrain equipment on the FR.

What weight coil springs will different sizes come with?

The standard fit coil spring weights are below:

XSHORT and SHORT 300 lb/in MID: 350 lb/in
LONG: 400 lb/in
XLONG: 450 lb/in

Note that as per our FAST kinematic design, the progression increases with frame size.

Replacement coil springs are available from your national DVO distributor, including LS lightweight springs. We use 3.0″ spring lengths but a 2.5″ length spring with spacer will also work.

Can I ride this as a full 29er?

Yes, thanks to the wheel size correction flip chip, but we think the mixed wheel size setup is the best choice for this intended use.

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Orange Switch 6er. Stif Squatcher. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. Ebikes are not evil. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

More posts from Ben

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  • New Merida One-Sixty FR goes up to 171
  • Mugboo
    Full Member

    How do you pop once in mid air?

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