2023 Merida ONE-SIXTY and ONE-FORTY Flex Enduro & Trail Muscle

Merida has announced the overhaul of their ONE-SIXTY and ONE-FORTY full suspension mountain bikes for 2023, and they look absolutely fantastic. Seriously, this is no mere update. Merida has done away with the Horst-Link suspension platform utilized by previous generations, replacing it with a more sophisticated version of the P-FLEX system seen on their lightweight NINETY-SIX cross-country bike. It’s now a linkage-driven single-pivot layout, but leans on flexible seat stays to help drive a 230mm x 65mm shock on the ONE-SIXTY, and a 230mm 57.5mm shock on the ONE-FORTY.

Indeed, the two bikes run the same front and rear triangle, and the same links; switching between the two requires only a new shock and fork. The ONE-FORTY is a complete 29er and, with its shorter stroke length shock, delivers 143mm of rear wheel travel paired with a 150mm travel fork.

2021 merida 140 cf 10k model chameleon green

The most you can pay for the 2023 Merida ONE-FORTY is £8,000; that gets you the Carbon 10K model with Fox Factory suspension

Meanwhile, the ONE-SIXTY can be set up as a complete 29er or as a mixed-wheel mountain bike. With the 29″ wheelset, it delivers 161mm of rear wheel travel and is paired with a 170mm fork. Alternatively, its mixed-wheel configuration runs 172mm of rear wheel travel.

2023 merida 160 10k black

The most you can pay for the 2023 Merida ONE-SIXTY is £9,000; that gets you the 10K model with RockShox Flight Attendant suspension

For sure, these new bikes are very adaptable. They also get integrated tool storage, a 30mm-230mm travel infinitely adjustable dropper post across all frame sizes (XS-XL), and size-specific suspension. Feature-packed, or what? And, they are available in both Carbon and Aluminum.

I don’t know about you, but the new Merida ONE-SIXTY and ONE-FORTY are ticking my boxes at a rate of knots.

2023 Merida ONE-SIXTY

2023 merida 160 cf green one-sixty carbon enduro mtb

  • Intention: Enduro
  • Fork Travel: 170mm
  • Rear Wheel Travel: 161mm / 172mm
  • Head Angle: 64°
  • Seat Tube Angle: 79°
  • Wheel Size: 29″ / 29″ F & 27.5″ R
  • Frame Material: Carbon (CF 4 III) or Aluminum LITE
  • Starting Price: £2,750

The new Merida ONE-SIXTY is available in sizes XS-XL; that’s Extra Short to Extra Long, a subtle change in nomenclature that is a nod to the Merida “Agilometer” size guide, which suggests bike size based on rider height and their preference for stability versus maneuverability. In essence, Merida are keeping seat tubes short (425mm in Mid) to allow riders to pick the size based on their riding style as opposed to just their height. The generous standover clearance combined with the 30mm-230mm infinitely adjustable dropper post is right on the money.

merida-one-sixty-team-tr-dropper-post-infinite-adjust-travel

Drop length of the Merida Team TR Dropper Post can be easily adjusted between 30mm and 230mm; simply compress the dropper to half mast, unlock via the NDS Allen bolt, adjust the post to its new top-out position, then lock the Allen bolt back

 The ONE-SIXTY can be set up as a full 29er, or in a mixed-wheel configuration. The XS-M bikes are shipped with the 29″/27.5″ set up, while the larger sizes come with a 29″ wheelset. You’re not stuck with that, though. A flip-chip at the rocker link-seat stay interface allows for the geometry correction required with a rear wheel size change. 

2023 merida 160 flip chip wheel size change

The flip-chip is not to be used to adjust the bike’s geometry outwith the context of a wheel size change; for example, switching the flip-chip to the 27.5″ mode with a 29″ rear wheel runs the risk of the tyre colliding with the back of the seat tube at full compression.

Merida pitch the ONE-SIXTY as their no-compromise enduro bike, made to “shrug off the demands of ever harder tracks”. With that in mind, their 5 year frame warranty extends to Category 5 use; that covers racing, as well as anything you might find in a Bike Park, too. Build options reflect that intention, featuring piggy-back shocks, 38mm stanchion long-travel forks and double-down casing tires front and rear.

And, its geometry is befitting of those intentions, too. It has a 64° head angle, and reach figures span a healthy range of 415mm to 525mm, coming in at 470mm on the Mid. The bottom bracket drop is 27.5mm on in 29er mode and 7mm in mullet mode. Merida have shown due care and attention to how the 160 climbs, too; seat tube angles are trending steeper for good reason and we’re pleased to see Merida are into it. The SA on the ONE-SIXTY comes in at a fairly upright 79°.

2023 merida 160 geometry

2023 merida one-sixty 160 rear wheel travel enduro bike aboyne trails aberdeenshire

Shot in Aberdeenshire, on trails built and maintained by the volunteer-run Aberdeenshire Trails Association.

2023 Merida ONE-FORTY

2023 merida 140 carbon trail bike 150mm fork

  • Intention: Do-it-all Trail Riding
  • Fork Travel: 150mm
  • Rear Wheel Travel: 143mm
  • Head Angle: 65°
  • Seat Tube Angle: 80°
  • Wheel Size: 29″
  • Carbon on Aluminum LITE
  • Starting Price: £2,250

The ONE-FORTY is Merida’s “super capable trail weapon”, designed to tackle big mountain terrain without fatiguing the
rider or feeling sluggish on extended climbs. As such, build options include less hefty 35mm and 36mm stanchion forks, and lighter casing, faster-rolling tyres.

2023 merida 140 all mountain bike carbon 10k fox float dps factory shock

It runs the very same frame as the ONE-SIXTY; it’s only the shock stroke, fork length, and spec list that differ. With the shorter 150mm fork, the front end is lower, making the bike is a little steeper both at the head tube (65°) and at the seat tube (80°). That stretches the reach out, too, coming in at 480mm on the Mid.

All of the 140 frames ship with a complete 29″ wheelset but of course, the mullet option remains. Actually, switching out the 29″ rear wheel for a 27.5″ wheel does increase travel from 143mm to 151mm.

2023 merida one-forty geometry 140

Merida’s FAST Kinematic

2023 merida 160 enduro mtb linkage driven single pivot pflex

Big news for the new Merida 160 and 140 bikes is the switch to a linkage-driven single-pivot suspension design that makes use of flexible seatstays. This flex system is present on both the carbon and aluminum frames. Relative to the chainstays, the seatstays bend through a total of 2°.

Noteworthy here is that the suspension’s behavior differs across the frame sizes. This is Merida’s new FAST (Flexstay Adjustable Size Tuned) Kinematic. Basically, they have engineered more progression into the larger frame sizes as compared to the smaller frame sizes, based on the assumption that people who want to ride longer bikes are a) taller and heavier, and b) enjoy more straight-line ploughing. In either case, those riders tend to need the additional support provided by a more progressive suspension platform.

2023 merida one-sixty size specific suspension progression

As you go up through the frame sizes, the top tube shock mounting tab gets longer, therefore positioning the front of the shock lower; this is what delivers the added progression on the larger frame sizes 

So how much more progressive are the larger frames? Quite a bit, it seems.

merida one-sixty progressive fast kinematic explained

Left; 2023 Merida ONE-SIXTY leverage curve for sizes XS-XL, Right; A comparison of the leverage curves for the Mid frame in 29er and mullet modes.

As you can see in the graphs above, the progression offered by the linkage on the XS is quite different to that on the Mid frame size; 6% versus 9.3%. Those numbers pertain to the progression between the sag point and 95% of the travel. For all frame sizes, the leverage curve becomes regressive toward the end to allow riders to squeeze every last millimeter of travel out of air shocks.

Indeed, all of the Merida ONE-SIXTY and ONE-FORTY bikes are sold with air shocks, though the brand do say there is sufficient progression to allow for coil shocks; the Rockshox Super Deluxe Coil, as well as coil shocks from DVO, are all confirmed to be compatible with the bikes.

CF or Aluminum LITE?

2023 merida 160 alloy mtb enduro bike

The top-end aluminum Merida ONE-SIXTY 700 retails at £3,300 and weighs a claimed 16.65 kg in a size Mid

The ONE-SIXTY and ONE-FORTY are offered in carbon and aluminum frames. While the geometry and suspension kinematic are identical, the bonus features and frame weights are really quite different. In the Mid size, the Merida CF4 III frame weighs a claimed 2,468g, while the so-called Aluminum LITE frame weighs a claimed 3,660g. 

For each bike, there are five Aluminum LITE Builds to choose from, and five Carbon CF4 III builds to choose from. For the ONE-SIXTY, the most expensive Carbon 10K build weighs a claimed 15.01 kg, while the top-end ONE-FORTY Carbon 10K build weighs a claimed 14 kg. 

The new bikes have numerous handy frame features and add-ons, most of which are shared between the carbon and aluminum frames. 

Merida ONE-SIXTY and ONE-FORTY Frame Features Present on CF Models? Present on Aluminum LITE models?
Integrated FIDLOCK Bottle Cage Mount Yes No
Downtube Service Port Yes Yes, but a lot smaller
Guided internal cable routing Molded Guides Foam Sleeves
Cables routed through headset Yes Yes
Rear fender Yes Yes
Molded chainstay protection Yes Yes
4mm and 6 mm Allen key lever on removable rear axle lever Yes Yes
Tube Base Plate Yes Yes
 
merida one-sixty acros headset internal routed cables

All of the Carbon models get an Acros headset that routes cables internally though the upper headset bearing; nice for race plate visibility, but not everyone’s cup of tea

meria 160 tube base plate cf frame

On the carbon models, there is a Tube Base Plate that bolts onto the underside of the top tube. Here you can secure an innertube, CO2 cartridge and tyre levers with the use of a strap. On the alloy models, Merida offer a Tube Base Plate that affixes to the downtube via a bottle cage style mount

merida onesixty onefirty mtb integrated fidlock bottle cage mount flush recessed

The carbon frames have a recess in the downtube that accommodates a FIDLOCK water bottle cage perfectly flush with the frame, allowing even the smallest frame sizes to fit a 600ml bottle

merida 160 140 bikes infinite travel dropper post

All frame sizes and are models of the Merida ONE-SIXTY and ONE-FORTY bikes get the ultra adjustable Merida Team TR Dropper Post

A saddle-mounted multi-tool can be purchased aftermarket

A saddle-mounted multi-tool can be purchased as an add-on

2023 merida onesixty dowtube service hatch

The carbon frames have a large Service Port that allows access to cable, and also storage of a tool roll that be affixed to the inside of the door. We are tld there is sufficient room for a mini-pump, CO2 cartridge, plugs and plugger.

merida onesixty rear fender

All models get the integrated rear fender, an extension for which can be purchased as an add-on

merida 160 2023 enduro bike allen keys in rear axle lever

All models get a removable rear axle lever that incorporates a 4mm and a 6mm Allen Key – all you need for tightening the bike’s pivot bolts

2023 merida onesixty post mount finned heat sink reduce brake fade

Merida bolt a 200mm post mount to the inside of the chainstay. Note the finned nature; we are told this gets pretty hot, helping to pull heat out of the brake caliper to reduce brake fade on long descents

Frame Details

• BSA 73 mm bottom bracket (including ISCG05 Adapter)
• 34.9 mm seat post
• Fully integrated headset
• 148mm x 12mm Boost rear end spacing
• Clearance for up to 20″ x 2.5” rear tyre
• SRAM UDH hanger
• Post Mount 200mm direct rear brake (180mm will be available)
• 1x specific with 55 mm chainline

Pricing & Availability

For now, you cannot purchase the new Merida as a frameset. However, the following 10 complete bikes will be available as of October 2022.

MODEL: RRP £: Guide price €:
ONE-SIXTY 10K £9,000 €11,900.00
ONE-SIXTY 8000 £6,600 €8,460.00
ONE-SIXTY 6000 £4,600 €5,760.00
ONE-SIXTY 700 £3,300 €4,080.00
ONE-SIXTY 500 £2,750 €3,350.00
     
ONE-FORTY 10K £8,000 €10,650.00
ONE-FORTY 8000 £6,500 €8,350.00
ONE-FORTY 6000 £4,500 €5,600.00
ONE-FORTY 700 £3,100 €3,860.00
ONE-FORTY 500 £2,600 €3,160.00
ONE-FORTY 400 £2,250 €2,750.00

For a full lists of specs for each model, head over to the Merida Bikes website.

merida-bikes.com

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Deputy Dawg
Deputy Dawg
9 days ago

These tick so many boxes, until the trail bike has an eighty degree STA. Too far down the rabbit hole for me!

ShopMechanic
ShopMechanic
8 days ago
Reply to  Deputy Dawg

Ooof, good point on the STA. If you couldn’t get the position you wanted pushing the saddle all the way back in the clamp you could go for one of these: https://www.fairbicycle.com/product-page/drop-best

At the price these Meridas are offered at, spending an extra $115 seems more than fair to get the position you need.

ShopMechanic
ShopMechanic
8 days ago

Too bad these bikes aren’t offered in the US.

Jason D West
Jason D West
8 days ago
Reply to  ShopMechanic

Definitely a bummer =_=