Merida has given their already capable and affordable alloy enduro bike an extra-travel One-Sixty FR freeride upgrade with new DVO suspension to tame steeper bikepark riding. A big brother to the standard 160, the 160 FR goes freeride with 10mm extra suspension up front with an all-new DVO Onyx 38 gravity fork, a bit more coil-sprung rear wheel travel with the easily tunable DVO Jade rear shock, powerful brakes, and some solid drivetrain that won’t slow you down, yet won’t break your heart if you smash it in a crash…
Merida One-Sixty FR alloy bikepark enduro bike
Knowing that most bikepark riders could benefit more from a proper gravity bike as opposed to a conventional enduro bike, Merida decided to give their popular One-Sixty a bit more travel, and some burly suspension components up to the punishing task of turning hot park laps. They started with the more affordable alloy 160 frameset, with a mixed wheel mullet combo. They gave it a tunable coil rear shock and beefy, longer travel 180mm fork. And they kitted it out with high-performance 4-piston brakes, but a budget drivetrain, still up to the task. Priority was given to durability and easy tunability over weight savings.
Hit a bunch of jump lines, send it off of massive drops, or just smash down the steepest, roughest tracks you can find. It’ll even pedal back up to the top, as long as you aren’t in a giant hurry.
The Merida One-Sixty FR gets the stock flex-stay Aluminum LITE frameset that launched last year – available in five sizes (XS-XL). That’s an alloy frame that was already certified to Category 5 DH standard, with a five-year warranty that even covers the most extreme bike park use! In the mullet-only configuration, that gives the 160 FR 171mm of rear wheel travel, managed by the DVO Jade X D2 coil shock. Even though all of the original bikes last year were spec’d with air shocks, Merida designed the suspension with coil shocks in mind for riders looking to go bigger.
Up front, the bike gets a 180mm fork, 10mm longer than standard, slackening the head angle by 1/2° to 63.5°. Don’t worry though, you’ll be pointing this thing downhill so much, deep into the suspension, that it will feel familiar. Two specs are available. One features the all-new stiffer DVO Onyx 38 D2 fork, and the other with an SR Suntour Durolux 38 fork.
Merida One-Sixty FR – Pricing, Options & Availability
Two specs of the special bikepark edition One-Sixty FR are on offer – each in two color options. The Merida One-Sixty FR 600 is the top-tier build at just £3500 / 4200€ with the full DVO suspension setup, TRP Trail Evo brakes, and a Deore 1×12 drivetrain. The Merida One-Sixty FR 400 is even more affordable at £2800 / 3360€, keeping the DVO Jade X coil shock, but swapping in the 180mm SR Suntour Durolux up front. It opts for TRP Gemini brakes, and an extra-durable Shimano Cues 1×10 LinkGlide drivetrain.
The two new bikes will be arriving in global Merida dealer bike shops in a couple of weeks. Then, they should be available everywhere in October.
First Ride Impressions
I got a chance to put in some hot shuttle laps on the new One-Sixty FR, and immediately got the sense that the bike wanted to get rowdy, and go fast. The 160 platform already was quite capable and predictable, and the bigger freeride build just takes it to another level for riders who really are going to do more uplift & shuttling than pedaling up.
The more snappy, mullet wheel setup seems well-complimented by the coil shock out back. And that more poppy feel seems to balance the slightly slackened feel of the longer travel front end. The new DVO fork feels noticeably stiffer than most 36mm platforms. And I personally appreciated the simplicity of its balanced air setup. Out back, I did require a stiffer spring for my heavier weight (85kg) on a size L (Long). But the DVO shock will fit most aftermarket springs, so that’s an easy swap. I’m intrigued by the unique air-adjustable bladder in the Jade X piggyback, that effectively allows you to tune internal shim stack valve performance with a simple shock pump. I didn’t really have a chance yet to fiddle with the pressures, yet. But it’s an easy trailside tune that could make it easy to swap from bikepark to enduro modes very quickly.
Go full send with the new Merida One-Sixty FR!