Joy and sorrow are often interrelated. During the final test ride with our long-term test bike, the Merida One-Sixty 1800, bad luck came along. After a severe tree-contact, we were left with a wrecked frame, and the Merida was disqualified from the race.
But it is exactly this mess that makes us look back on a long, exhausting, dramatic but fun, impressive, and glorious season on this bike. The Merida entered this season with rock-solid equipment. The RockShox Monarch plus RC3 HV, Lyrik R 2P and build kit components gave no reason for complaint, mastering the entire long-term test without damage. Only the set of Fulcrum wheels were slightly affected after countless flat tires due to the rocky terrain around the Italian Riva; they were therefore replaced by a set of Sun Ringle Charger Pro SL wheels.
The Merida felt at home in any environment and with its well-balanced geometry in frame size L (head angle 66° / seat angle 74°), was the perfect companion for up- and downhill sections. While we initially had to a become accustomed to the looks of the three-dimensionally remodeled aluminum tubes, the bike not only grew on us aesthetically, but also with the many scratches it had to take, all of them telling their own little story. There is one scratch on the swingarm from the shuttle in Riva, a hole in the saddle due to a failed wheelie in front of the ice cream shop, and as mentioned before, the dent in the frame.
We can conclude that we had an extremely durable and potent vehicle at our disposal with the One-Sixty, which we exploited relentlessly on trails at home and at races. We are now eager to find out if Merida & Centurion Germany will be able to send the milestone One-Sixty 1, 2, and 5 from the south of Germany out into the world during the 2014season.
You can read an in-depth feature about the long-term test and our conclusions in the previous ENDURO issue! As usual it’s free & only digital for iPad, Android-Tablets and Online-Viewer: Issue #007
Text: Patrick Sauter | Fotos: Fabian Rapp