Updated: 26th February 2018
A versatile do-it-all trail bike the Merida One-Forty has been completely redesigned for 2018 and is now one of the best alloy framed trail centre bikes on the market. Perfect for red graded trail centre loops, the One-Forty has enough hard-hitting capability for taking on more challenging trails as well. Not limited to waymarked tracks, these bikes are efficient climbers and lightweight enough for cross-country adventures.
Offering a confident and playful ride quality, the Merida One-Forty range we review here, consists of three models that are all incredibly well spec’d for the money. The revised suspension system combines with modern geometry for a confident ride. This helps the One-forty punch above its weight on steep and technical tracks, while still maintaining the nimble efficiency you need to extract the most fun out of mellower, flow trails.
The One-Forty features a completely new frame design for 2018. The modern trail geometry features a slack 66.3-degree head tube angle, low bottom bracket height and relatively short chainstays, for confident handling on challenging trail sections. The cables are all routed internally with easily accessible Smart Entry ports. These clamp the cables in place under tension to prevent them rattling about inside the frame.
Merida are one of the largest bike manufacturers in the world. They make frames for some of the most well-known bike brands, so it should come as no surprise that the One-Forty is made to the very highest standards. The tubes are hydroformed from the best quality aluminium alloy, which delivers incredible strength with minimal weight. Double pass welds offer a very slick look which enhance the clean lines or the frame.
If you’re looking for a tool to dismantle the trickiest trails, and you don’t have bundles of cash to throw around, then this bike should be right up there on your test-ride list. – Flow Mountain Bike
The new Merida One-Forty features a float link rear suspension design which allows the lower shock mount to move with the system. This delivers plenty of support in the mid stroke while still giving plenty of small bump compliance. The overall effect is a feeling that you have more than the 140mm of rear travel available without feeling like you have more than you need. Each bike in the range gets a Fox Performance Float ear shock so you get the same great suspension feel on every model.
Up front each bike gets a 150mm travel suspension fork which offers a well balanced overall feel. The entry level One-Forty 600 gets a plush Manitou Mattoc while the other two models get the recently revised RockShox Revelation fork. This uses the same externals as the highly regarded Pike so you know it will offer accurate steering control when you are pushing the limits in the corners.
'Outstandingly connected yet still playful ride quality +++ Superb suspension and tyres +++ One of the best mid-travel bikes we've ridden'. - MBUK
It’s fantastic to see SRAM Eagle appearing on bikes at attainable price points now! Big points to Merida for going with Eagle – the 500% gear range and quiet performance makes this groupset a winner. – Flow Mountain Bike
With one-by drivetrains on every model, the One-Forty offers easy shifting and a wide gear range, without the worry of dropping your chain on rocky descents. The range topping One-Forty 800 gets a 12 speed SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain with a massive 500% gear range, so you can take on the steepest of climbs and still have plenty of gears for the very fastest trail sections. The other two bikes both get slick shifting Shimano 11-speed drivetrains. While you get a slightly narrower overall range, the chainrings and cassettes on these bikes have been carefully chosen to give you similar low ratio climbing gears on each bike.
You get powerful brakes on the One-Forty, especially on the 800 with the SRAM Code’s that give you DH levels of stopping power. The Shimano brakes on the 600 and 700 offer more modest speed control but are more than powerful enough for trail riding. Each bike is fitted with a dropper post which allows you to make the most of every trail without needing to stop and fiddle with your saddle height.
Unlike many mountain bikes at this price point the One-Forty gets top-spec tyres. At 2.6” wide the Maxxis Minion and Recon combination are bigger than you will find on most trail bikes too. These wide tyres give you more grip when you need it most, so you can take on more challenging trails with confidence. The reinforced EXO side walls offer extra protection on rocky tracks, which especially reassuring when riding tubeless.
Like the tyres the 27.5” (650b) wheels are the same on each bike in the range, apart from the rear hub which is of a better quality on the 800. The wide 29mm internal width of the rims offers excellent support for the tyres so you can really push the limits in the corners. Sealed cartridge bearings offer long lasting reliability and will be especially welcome when riding in winter conditions.
The Maxxis combo found on the One-Forty, with the wide 30mm rims, is a pearler. There’s a huge amount of braking, cornering and climbing grip on tap. – Flow Mountain Bike
Lively, confident and fun to ride, the Merida One-Forty is a great bike for riding UK trail centres. The high-volume tyres and powerful brakes, combined with the dialled trail geometry and bottomless feel of the suspension system extend the range of the bike onto more challenging natural enduro trails.
The high-quality frame and well-chosen component spec deliver an engaging ride across the range. You will be hard pushed to find a better performing bike anywhere close to the price points of the Merida One-Forties.
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