MERIDA are clearly a dab hand at producing bikes, and the Taiwanese brand are one of the industry’s biggest frame producers. We’ve put the MERIDA ONE SIXTY 5000 on test to see just how good its own R&D department is.

Merida ONE-SIXTY 5000 | 170/165 mm (f/r) | 14.12 kg | € 3,899

With its lithe carbon frame and internal cable routing, the MERIDA’s design alone is enough to make you putty in its hands. Right now, the bike only comes in three sizes (S, M, L), but MERIDA have stated that an XL version will drop this fall/winter. The rear is built around a floating link design with a trunnion-mounted RockShox Super Deluxe and 160 mm of travel. Up front, there’s a RockShox Yari fork with 170 mm of travel. The rest of the spec is fairly price point, but it all performs well. However, the spec isn’t perfect: the dropper post is limited to 100 mm of drop, and the Shimano M506 brakes lacked strength and consistency on long descents. MERIDA have paired the entry-level NX drivetrain with a 10-42 cassette, which widens its gearing so you won’t feel compromised.

“A solid foundation is laid with the carbon frame, but there’s definitely room for improvement with the spec.”

With a comfy position and efficient pedaling, climbing is quick whatever the gradient. With a 35 mm stem, you might be wishing for a little more length while descending so that you can shift your weight more centrally and get more weight over the front wheel. Steering is responsive at all speeds, and it’s more rapid than a hare through tight turns. The high bottom bracket isn’t ideal when trying to pitch the bike into corners and berms at speed; lower would be better.

The slack 65.3° head angle on the ONE-SIXTY gives the goods when the trail steepens. Packing so much travel, the suspension works well together and even though the rear isn’t the plushest, it does give sufficient mid-stroke support, plus good feedback and traction while braking.

Helmet Giro Montaro | Glasses Oakley Radar | Jersey iXS VIBE 6.1 | Shorts Alpinestars Pathfinder

The MERIDA ONE SIXTY 5000 in detail

Fork Rock Shox Yari RC 170 mm
Shock Rock Shox Super Deluxe R 165 mm
Brakes Shimano M506
Drivetrain Sram NX
Seatpost MERIDA Expert Dropper 100 mm
Stem MERIDA Expert TR 35
Handlebar MERIDA Expert TR 760 mm
Tires Maxxis Minion DHR II TR EXO 3C / Minion DHR II TR EXO Dual
Wheelset MERIDA Expert TR

Potent
The MERIDA ONE-SIXTY is boosted by the efficiency and feedback of the RockShox Super Deluxe working at the back. The rear isn’t as planted as some other bikes, but it keeps fully active even while braking.
No-Go
The MERIDA’s dropper post only has 100 mm of drop, which means you’ll have to lower the saddle manually for tough trails.
Peace at last
Internally routed cables that are pinched into place effectively – once set up correctly, enjoy the ride in peace!
Ample
A fancy rear mech is always nice, but the NX shifts well across all the gears. It’s not as snappy as the more high-end models, but it’s not a deal-breaker – especially not on the descents!

The geometry of the MERIDA ONE SIXTY 5000

Size S M L
Seat Tube 400 mm 430 mm 470 mm
Top Tube [A] 563 mm 597 mm 632 mm
Head Angle [D] 65.3 ° 65.3 ° 65.3 °
Seat Angle [B] 68.5 ° 68.5 ° 68.5 °
Chainstays [C] 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm
BB Drop [J] 6 mm 6 mm 6 mm
Wheelsbase [E] 1166 mm 1201 mm 1237 mm
Reach [G] 415 mm 445 mm 475 mm
Stack [H] 592 mm 601 mm 614 mm
Wheel Size [F] 27.5″ 27.5″ 27.5″

Conclusion

With a frame and geometry that are wholly on point, the MERIDA ONE-SIXTY 5000 serves up a great option for those looking for a versatile, fun bike. Keep your budget in mind though, as you’ll have to shell out for a longer dropper post and more powerful brakes.

Strengths

– Fun, balanced handling
– Amazing-looking frame
– Potent rear suspension

Weaknesses

– Short dropper post
– Braking power


For more info head to: merida-bikes.com!

The test fleet

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: SOOOOO F#%$&NG ENDURO: 11 Enduro Bikes under € 4,000 in Review

All bikes in test: Bergamont ENCORE 9.0 | Canyon Strive CF 7.0 Race | Giant Reign 1.5 LTD | Propain Tyee CF Free | Radon SWOOP 170 10.0 | Rose UNCLE JIMBO 3 | Specialized Enduro Comp 29 | Trek Remedy 9 Race Shop Limited | VOTEC VE ELITE 2017 | YT CAPRA CF PRO

PS: Readers' Survey 2017 - Give feedback, win awesome prizes: We're giving away an exclusive Trek Slash 2018 in top spec! Click here to take part now!

Try it out for yourself!


Nothing beats trying before buying!
Click on one of the buttons to test this Merida for your self.