In For Test: Merida’s Affordable One-Sixty Alloy Enduro Bike

We are checking out Merida's One-Sixty enduro mountain bike, in an affordable aluminum build.

Metal skies for a metal paint job on this alloy frame.

We here at Singletracks are stoked to be getting hands and feet on Merida’s One-Sixty 700 long travel enduro bike. This will be our first review whip from the renowned Taiwanese frame giant.

The One Sixty 700 build is a 27.5″ alloy frame with 165mm of rear wheel travel squishing a RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ shock, and a 170mm RockShox Yari RC fork on the steering end. It’s interesting that Merida chose to undersell the suspension numbers by calling the bike a One Sixty, instead of a One Sixty Five. That tall fork leans back to a cool 65.3° headtube angle, followed by a relatively standard 75° seat tube angle, a shorter 440mm reach on this size medium, and 430mm chainstays. The bike’s wheelbase is 1189mm at full stretch, which should make for a fairly playful ride.

The 6016 alloy frame is adorned with some good looking kit, including a Shimano XT shifter and derailleur, an SLX chain and cassette, M7120 series 4-piston brakes, and Race Face Affect cranks. In keeping with the gravity direction of the bike, a stock MRP 1X CS chain guide is included to manage any attempted ejections.

The Float Link rear suspension design is Merida’s take on a classic Horst Link. “The lower shock mount moves with the system to deliver sensitive response characteristics. Our engineers can precisely influence the transmission ratio, and progression meaning a ‘Float Link’ rear suspension system appears to offer more travel than the model name suggests.” Even more travel than 165mm? Sounds like good fun.

Clean cable routing is clearly a priority on the One Sixty frame. Both the derailleur housing and brake hoses exit beneath the BB, and are kept largely out of sight as they reach the rear of the chassis. The dropper post housing is entirely internal, following its plunge into the frame. I’m not looking forward to seeing how the dropper housing makes its way past the BB, but I’ll give it a go prior to the longterm review. Merida’s “Smart Entry” cable clamps hold the housing and hoses tight to reduce rattling inside the frame, and they can easily be swapped out for Di2 wiring.

Like a lot of well-built bikes these days, the One Sixty 700 has a cockpit aimed to calm the nerves of folks who appreciate clutter-free controls. The house brand stem and alloy bar are wrapped with Merida grips and a solitary Shimano SLX clamp on one side.

Wisely, this bike was specced with a proper set of descending tread. The rear casing could be heavier for our trails, but the tread selection is spot on. Like any 27.5″ frame, the One Sixty leaves loads of room for mud to pass through.

This dark grey and black frame is covered in thoughtful and helpful characteristics and components. For example, the Merida Expert TR dropper post is tightened by a pair of clamp slots at either side of the frame, rather than a single slot at the rear of the seattube. This small detail might help to keep some of the rear wheel spray from entering the frame below the seat post clamp. Additionally, under the house brand saddle, a sealed case holds a handy multitool at the ready to make most repairs or adjustments on the bike. As long as your butt gets along with this saddle, you’ll never have to worry about remembering a tool on the One Sixty.

Here is a closer look at the decidedly subtle colorway.

That’s it for now, but we’ll be back with a full report after we wear some tread off these tires.