Updated: 3rd May 2017
A do-it-all trail bike. We review the Merida One-Forty range, which is a full sus mountain bike built to tackle all kinds of terrain. It is a versatile trail bike with 140mm travel in the rear and between 140-150mm in front, which sets it perfectly for all day mountain adventures. The One-Forty rolls on 27.5” wheels for fast speeds and nimble handling.
All three Merida One-Forty models, the 500, 600 and 700, feature lightweight alloy frames with up to date MTB geometry that is capable of climbing with the best of them, while giving you a smile all the way down on descents.
At the centre of the One-Forty’s performance is the 6066 alloy frame. Triple butted and hydroformed tubing make the frame lightweight and strong, while the tapered head tube increases front end stiffness. In the rear, a 142x12mm thru-axle adds stiffness and control to the back, and semi-internal cable routing keeps everything nice and neat.
With a 67 degree head angle, the bike is perfectly balanced for climbing and descending, being slack enough to inspire confidence, while steep enough to climb with ease. The trail oriented geometry is longer and slacker than previous models to allow for greater stability and playfulness on the mountain.
A playful, yet stable character means the One-Forty is up for any kind of riding.
With fully active suspension front and rear, the Merida One-Forty is set for serious mountain riding. The 140mm in the rear is controlled via Merida’s Virtual Pivot Kinematics (VPK) platform, and makes sure that braking and drivetrain forces do not affect the suspension, while it maintains sensitivity to the terrain. All models get the superb Fox Float DPS Performance shock for ultimate control.
On the 600 and 700, you get a 150mm travel fork, in the shape of a Manitou Mattoc Comp on the 600 and a Fox 34 Float Performance fork on the 700. The 500 gets a slightly reduced 140mm that matches the rear, and is a RockShox Sektor Silver air fork. All of the forks have 15mm thru-axles and tapered steerer tubes.
Merida’s VPK suspension platform is great for isolating the drivetrain and braking forces from the suspension, making it all the more sensitive.
Wide range gearing for any incline and SRAM and Shimano drivetrains give reliable and consistent shifting.
No matter the climb, each One-Forty has the gearing to get you up to the top, and will send you back down with plenty of energy to spare. The One-Forty 500 gets a 10 speed Shimano Deore 2x drivetrain with a Shadow+ rear derailleur to keep the chain in place, and Tektro MA hydraulic disc brakes keep speed in check.
The 600 gets SRAM’s NX 11 speed 1x drivetrain, that features a single chainring in front and a wide range cassette in back. SRAM Level T brakes match perfectly, to give smooth control when descending. On the range-topping 700, you get a Shimano XT 11 speed 2x drivetrain with a wide range cassette out back, that covers every gear ratio you could ask for. Shimano XT disc brakes finish off the groupset. Every model gets the Merida Expert dropper seatpost to get the most out of the descending ability.
With 650b (27.5”) wheels, the Merida One-Forty offers nimble handling on challenging trails, and is able to tackle technical features. They get up to speed quickly and give a great balance between 26” and 29” wheels. The 500 and 600 models both get Merida wheelsets. The Expert TR rims found on all three models provide a wide 29mm internal width. This give the tyres more support, which helps stability in the corners. The 700 benefits from Shimano XT hubs, so quick engagement and rolling.
Merida haven’t forgotten about tyres, and the Maxxis rubber on all three models shows that they had big intentions for this bike. Out back you get a 2.35” Maxxis Forecaster tyre for fast rolling. In front you need maximum grip, so the choice of a Maxxis Minion DHR II leaves nothing to chance. All tyres come as tubeless ready (TR) and with EXO protection, which helps avoid punctures in rocky terrain.
Merida’s Expert wheels match perfectly to Maxxis tyres, getting the most out of the rubber.
There’s few trails in the world that the Merida One-Forty won’t be capable of tackling. An all-round mountain bike that's great for a huge variety of trails, to say that the One-Forty is versatile is an understatement. Its lightweight frame is strong and stiff, giving confidence to the rider to take on the trails.
It’s as happy cruising XC trails, racing to the top with friends on hardtails as it is chasing enduro bikes down the tough tracks. The Fox shock out back is hard-working, allowing for mistakes and the forks on every model is more than up to the task of steering and bump absorption. The Merida One-Forty full sus MTB’s are especially reasonably priced for the kit and capabilities of the bikes, and would be a great entry for beginners looking to get more serious.