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Trail and Enduro Bikes

Merida One-Sixty 8000 – Review

We loved the e-mtb version of this bike - so does the non-assisted model impress us?

This is the first time I can say that I have ridden and loved an assisted version of a brand’s bike before riding the ‘pedal powered’ version, but with the Merida One-Sixty 8000 this is the case.

Words: Ieuan Williams  Images: Steve Jones

After spending a large amount of time on the E One-Sixty last winter and the start of this year there was no doubting that this bike should be a goer.

One thing is for sure and that is the design team at Merida have been busy; there is a really clean and slick look to this bike compared to previous models.

Shape and fit

With the in house cockpit being the first point of engagement they have a good feel to the shape, not to much sweep or rise. But just a little on the narrow side at 760mm after riding most bikes with an 800mm.

There are just three sizes of the One-Sixty on offer – small medium and large. In this case the large was the only option for us.

The Merida sizing isn’t far off though. With a reach of 475mm it is not to far shy of some XL bikes such as the Production Privée that we’ve just tested and even with this it still felt a little short but super playful.

Suspension and chassis

There is a full arsenal from RockShox on display with the Lyrik RCT3 170mm travel fork giving a great platform to build off the with the stiffer platform to the pike and the extra travel.

With a metric RockShox Super Deluxe RC3 rear damper and an all new rear suspension design to the older bike this seems set to impress. And of course this gives 160mm of rear travel.

Feeling

Silence is truly golden, one thing that I do feel there is no excuse for now with the clutches and noise protection on offer. The Merida is a quiet bike though, no chain or cable noises makes riding enjoyable.

The carbon chassis feels spot on, the engineering team have got the stiffness flex balance on the money with no real issues over high frequency bumps. The rear stays have been constructed from aluminium. This give some more peace of mind when giving the bike some real abuse and may contribute to the rearward compliance.

The lightweight build of the Merida allows for a super fast pickup off the mark when charging out of the gate! This helps when you need to nip up a short climb on a track of just sprint past someone.

Limitations

There is not much to say here really other than a few size issues. Even with the reach being adequate on paper the Merida does come in on the smaller side of things when out on the trail. Anyone over the six foot mark would surely need a larger frame to make things more comfortable?

This also goes for the seat dropper that is fitted to the bike. It could do with a 170mm post to get the seat higher for the climbs. I don’t feel that a dropper post should have to be raised in the frame when climbing, sort of defeats the object of having a dropper post in the first place.

Verdict

With this green machine coming in at over the five thousand pound mark and having some seriously hard hitting components, a super supple and fluid suspension system there really isn’t much to say other than positive things. If this silent lightweight trail bike was just a little bigger then I would have it as part of my arsenal without doubt.

With a class build including the DT Swiss EX 1501 wheelset to the SRAM Eagle X01 gearing there is plenty to rely on. Care needs to be taken on sizing but only those over six foot need to worry because in short it’s silent, fast, at a great price with those killer components. A brand that has gone to the next level in a short space of time challenging others that are in their comfort zone. 

PRICE: £5500

merida-bikes.com

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