Updated: 11th May 2017
A trail bike to spend all day in the mountains. We review the Merida One-Twenty range, finding a mountain bike in its purest form, and made for you to just get out there and ride. With 120mm of travel in the rear and 130mm in front, it strikes a perfect balance between climbing ability and descending prowess.
The One-Twenty 7.500, 7.XT-Edition and 7.800 models all run on 27.5” wheels and come with lightweight alloy frames and modern geometry. The One-Twenty 9.7000 and 9.8000 models have 29” wheels and super lightweight carbon frames.
The foundation of the 27.5” Merida One-Twenty is a 6066 alloy frame. The triple butted and hydroformed tubes reduce any excess material in the frame, while also making it strong and capable of taking on rough trails. The 29” models have a featherweight carbon frame that features special nanoparticles that strengthen the carbon layup of the frame.
At the front of the alloy and carbon frames, a tapered headtube increases stiffness, helping with steering precision, and the 142x12mm thru-axle in the rear further increases stiffness and helps with handling. The internal cable routing for the derailleurs and stealth seatpost keep everything neat and tidy, while the externally routed rear brake makes for easy maintenance. With 68 and 69 degree head angles on the 27.5” and 29” models, the One-Twenty is poised for excellent climbing ability, yet stable and confident descending.
All of Merida’s engineering know-how results in a frame that feels punchy and reactive to both sudden direction changes and pedal-induced accelerations. - MBR
The Merida One-Twenty has, you guessed it, 120mm of rear wheel travel. It is controlled using a single pivot suspension platform, featuring a floating system, where the shock is attached at both ends to the swingarm. This gives the feeling of having even more travel, making efficient use of the suspension.
The entry level 7.500 model gets an SR Suntour Epicon Lorp shock, while the three middle models, the 7.XT-Edition, 7.800, and 9.7000 get a Fox DPS Performance shock. The range-topping 9.8000 gets RockShox’s Monarch RT3 rear shock. Up front, the fork matches the rear shock on all models. The 7.500 gets an SR Suntour Aion RL-R with remote lockout, while the 7.XT-Edition, 7.800, and 9.7000 get Fox forks. Topping off the range, the 9.8000 gets a RockShox Pike fork. The forks on all models come with 130mm travel.
Its balanced geometry and progressive rear end gave us the confidence to tackle new lines, skip over off-camber sections like they were flat, and generally push our limits. – Enduro MTB
SRAM’s new XX1 Eagle 12 speed drivetrain gives new meaning to wide range, with a massive 50 tooth cog for mountain tackling ability.
The Merida One-Twenty range is not lacking in the drivetrain department. Starting at the base model 7.500, you get a 2x10 speed Deore drivetrain, that is the workhorse of the Shimano MTB range. Both the 7.XT-Edition and the 9.7000 have Shimano 2x11 XT drivetrain, which offers a huge range of gearing for any scenario.
The 7.800 and 9.8000 models get SRAM drivetrains, with the range-topping 9.8000 being treated to SRAM’s new XX1 Eagle 12 speed groupset. There is a massive 500% gear range, allowing you to conquer any mountain climb and have all the gears for a speedy descent. Shimano and SRAM hydraulic disc brakes cover the stopping duties for every model.
The Merida One-Twenty range comes in either 27.5” (650b) or 29” wheels. The smaller wheels offer nimble and quick handling, allowing for a more playful bike. The 29” wheels, on the other hand, offer faster rolling and a more stable ride, being able to roll over bigger obstacles easier.
Merida wheels adorn all models but the range-topping 9.8000. They offer strong and reliable rolling. The 9.8000 gets DT Swiss Spline E 1700 Two wheels, which are lightweight and deliver superb quality. Features of the wheels include the DT Swiss ratchet hub system, straight pull spokes and tubeless ready rims.
Reliable Merida and DT Swiss wheels in 27.5” and 29” options give riders the option of riding styles.
Merida designed the One-Twenty as an XC trail bike. It is most at home on local trails, taking on loops all day long, or going on longer journeys into the mountains. The 120mm rear and 130mm front travel make it a hugely capable bike and could take on very rough trails under the right hands.
It is easily accessible too, so riders looking for their first full sus mountain bike would find it an easy bike to get along with quickly. At a range of price points and great spec at each one, the Merida One-Twenty range appeals to many different riders.