Price:£1,500.00 - £3,300.00
Finance from:£83.34/month (0% APR)
- Dialled trail geometry
- One-by drivetrain on every model
- Bottomless suspension feel
- No dropper post on entry model
- Limited 27.5” wheel options
- Only one carbon framed model
Usage:Trail and XC Adventures
Fun, playful and efficient, the Merida One-Twenty is a great bike for anyone that just wants to go mountain biking.
Updated: 28th February 2018
With a brand-new frame for 2019, the Merida One-Twenty now offers a more playful modern trail bike feel. Descents and flowing singletrack are where the fun is to be had and it is here that the new One-Twenty really excels. The lightweight efficiency of the previous models has been retained however, so you can still fly up the climbs. These are versatile full sus mountain bikes for both long distance and trail riding.
In this Merida One-Twenty review we look at all the models in the range. There are four 29ers and two 27.5” wheeled bikes. The top-of-the-range bike is built around a carbon main frame while the other models in the range have an aluminium frame made from Merida’s highest quality alloy.
Both the 29ers and the 27.5” wheeled bikes feature a slack head angle for stability at speed with short chainstays to keep things nimble in the tight. Stand over height is also nice and low, so it is easy to move around on the bike. The geometry is similar to longer travel trail bikes which gives you a confident ride when the going gets tough. The lightweight short travel suspension design makes things more playful than big hitting bikes however, especially on mellower trails.
Merida are one of the largest bike manufacturers in the world. They make bikes for many other top brands, so it should come as no surprise that you get the highest quality at affordable price points. The top of the range 29er, the One-Twenty 6000, has a carbon main frame which features ‘Nano Matrix’ which increases the impact resistance. The rest of the bikes in range, along with the rear stays of the 6000, are made from triple butted 6066 aluminium alloy. This is the very best quality alloy so you are getting a top quality frame on every bike. Another great feature is the thought that has gone in to making easy to work on. All key frame bolts can be adjusted from one side of the bike with a Torx 30 key, and you don’t even need to take the chainset off the bike to access the main pivot bolt.
Until a few years ago we would have recommended a bike with 120mm of travel mainly for marathon races and Alpine crossings — but these days it’s a different story and the sleazy touring bikes have evolved to become nimble trail rigs. MERIDA’s ONE-TWENTY is the perfect example of this change. Enduro MTB
The 120mm of rear wheel travel is delivered through a floating link suspension design. This compresses the shock at both ends, which has allowed the engineers to optimise the suspension curve. This gives you good mid-stroke support, with plenty of small bump compliance. The overall effect is a feeling that you have more than the 120mm of rear travel available, without getting bogged down with more suspension than you need. The rear shock is trunnion mounted for 2019. This has enabled the designers to make the rear end stiffer while the larger pivot bearings will improve longevity.
A RockShox Deluxe RL shock controls the rear suspension on most models. The only exception is the Suntour Unair shock found on the base level One-Twenty 400. Up front all the bikes get a 130mm travel suspension fork. The 6000 and the 800 both get a RockShox Revelation RC fork with stiff 35mm upper tubes. Ideal for tackling more demanding terrain. The 600 also gets a RockShox fork with the more XC oriented Sektor fork. The 400 gets a Suntour XCR24 fork to match the Suntour rear shock. Tapered steerers and 15mm thru-axles on every model add stiffness for precise steering control.
the suspension is a highlight with a supportive mid stroke that’s great for pumping speed, resisting blowing through the travel and feeling sporty, without any loss of grip or comfort off the top. MBR
The wide bars, short stem and dropper post are ideal for tackling the more technical sections on trail centre loops
It is great to see one-by drivetrains on all models. Without the need for a front derailleur the gear shifting is intuitive and the chain will stay in place on even the very roughest tracks. The 6000 and 800 both get a SRAM GX Eagle 12 speed drivetrain with 10-50t cassettes. This gives you a massive 500% gear range, enough for every trail on the mountain. The 600 also gets 12 speed with SRAM NX Eagle. This has the same low ratios as the GX equipped bikes with just slightly less in the high range. The 400 has a Shimano SLX 1x11 speed drivetrain with one less low range gear.
Short 35mm stems and wide bars on every bike help to offer the confident control that you need on technical trails. Braking duties are taken care of by Shimano with MT-500 or MT-200 hydraulics each with 180mm rotors. Except for the 400 each bike gets a dropper post, so you can make the most out of every trail section without having to stop and adjust your saddle height.
Merida have shifted the focus of the One-Twenty towards 29ers for 2019. This wheel size is ideal for a short travel trail bike as the big hoops roll much faster over rough terrain. Once you’ve ridden a short travel 29er you will see why they are so popular. Smaller riders may find the 29” wheels a little too cumbersome so Merida are also offering the 600, and 400 with 27.5” wheels in small and medium frame sizes.
The One-Twenty 6000, 800 and 600 feature Merida’s own brand Expert TR rims. These are tubeless ready and have a 29mm internal width that offers great support for the tyres. These wheels offer exceptional performance levels for the price. Merida aren’t a brand that skimp on rubber, so every model is fitted with high-quality Maxxis dual-compound tubeless ready tyres.
...a true first-class trail bike which convinced us with its playful handling. If you’re not exclusively hitting demanding trails but also like spending long hours in the saddle you should definitely take a closer look at the MERIDA ONE-TWENTY. Enduro MTB
Fun, playful and efficient, the Merida One-Twenty is a great bike for anyone that just wants to go mountain biking. The revised geometry and trail focused component spec makes the bikes perfect for for blue and red trail centre loops. In capable hands the One-Twenty can even take on more challenging enduro trails. These bikes are also lightweight and efficient enough for long distance cross-country rides. Epic all mountain adventures await.
If you want to extract the most fun out of your ride, without carrying too much suspension travel on the climbs, then the performance and value of the Merida One-Twenty is be hard to beat.
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