Who says you should have less powerful brakes when riding with less travel? The Merida ONE-TWENTY 8000 goes against convention in more ways than one and delivers a versatile trail rocket that turns even the most boring trails into a playground.

For an overview about the test field click her: The Best Short-Travel Trail Bike – 6 Mountain Bikes in Test

Merida ONE TWENTY 8000 | 130/120 mm | 12.8 kg | € 6,799

The € 6,799 Merida has the unenviable position of the second most expensive bike in this test but there are so many great features that we have to admit the money has been well spent. The 120 mm travel carbon frame is a work of art, with flowing lines and seat stays that are thin vertically and thick horizontally to improve vertical compliance while maintaining lateral stiffness. Mechanics will appreciate that all the frame hardware is serviceable from one side using big T30 bolts and that the internal cables are firmly anchored – it’s this painstaking attention to detail that demonstrates Merida’s high quality approach. Sadly the thin and delicate paint means it’s easy to spoil the beautiful finish. The Merida ONE-TWENTY 8000 packs a 130 mm RockShox Pike fork which has far more torsional stiffness than the Step Cast Fox 34 fitted to the other bikes in this test and we were delighted to see a full SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain – outstanding!

The Merida ONE-TWENTY is a bike for all abilities. Comfortable and confidence inspiring for beginners, and an absolute weapon in experienced hands.

Helmet MET Roam MIPS | Glasses Oakley Race Jacket PRIZM | Jersey Fat House Bolt | Shorts VOID Orbit

The Merida ONE TWENTY 8000 in detail

Fork RockShox Pike RTC3 130 mm
Shock RockShox Deluxe RT3 120 mm
Brakes SRAM Code RSC 180/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle
Seatpost KS Lev Integra 150 mm
Stem Merida Expert TR 50 mm
Handlebar Merida Expert TR 760 mm
Wheels FSA Gradient LTD
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHRII / Forekaster 2.35″

Fast off the mark
The lightweight carbon FSA Gradient LTD wheels accelerate quickly, even when fitted with the excellent but more robust Maxxis Minion DHR II front tyre. Speed and control.
Best in the business
Merida should be commended for not bowing to convention and fitting the best brakes to their bike. SRAM Code RSCs smash the competition in this group.
Off axis
On long climbs, the seat-tube angle feels slacker than the 75.5 degrees would suggest. That’s especially the case for taller riders due to the kinked seat tube.
Perfect suspension
The Merida ONE-TWENTY makes the most of its 120 mm of travel, only using it when needed and providing a playful ride rich in support and fun
Neat cable routing
The cable routing on the frame is clean with no taps or rattles from the cables within the frame
Size S M L XL
Top tube 572 mm 592 mm 614.4 mm 636.8 mm
Head tube 95 mm 95 mm 105 mm 115 mm
Head angle 67.3° 67.3° 67.3° 67.3°
Seat angle 75.5° 75.5° 75.5° 75.5°
Chainstays 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm
BB-Drop 40 mm 40 mm 40 mm 40 mm
Wheelbase 1,140.7 mm 1,160.7 mm 1,184.6 mm 1,208.4 mm
Reach 415 mm 435 mm 455 mm 475 mm
Stack 607.1 mm 607.1 mm 616.3 mm 625.5 mm

The Merida ONE TWENTY 8000 on the trail

Both up- and downhill, the Merida’s stiff and direct carbon frame feels powerful and lively. Even the smallest turn of the cranks results in an urgent rush of acceleration. However, it’s the full-floater suspension that is the real highlight. The bearings in the upper shock mount ensure sensitivity to small bumps, which is complemented by the outstanding mid-stroke support, feeling very much in harmony with the playful ethos of the bike. The progressive feel ensures there is no wallowing and instead the Merida loves to pump and pop off even the smallest lip. The SRAM Code RSC brakes are a revelation in this group test. Powerful and offering huge amounts of modulation, they slow down the 12.8 kg Merida effortlessly with more control and precision than any other bike here. Similarly the lightweight carbon FSA Gradient LTD wheels spin up and accelerate quickly, even when with the excellent but heavier Maxxis Minion DHR II front tyre.

Tuning tip
We would spend some time wrapping the frame with protection tape as the paint finish is not the most durable

Together that makes light work of undulating trails where you are hard on the power, then hard on the brakes. We found the Merida ONE-TWENTY 8000 certainly punches above its travel numbers and we enjoyed putting pressure on bigger bikes whenever the opportunity arose. It’s a bike that excels at post-work, two-hour shreds, or fast laps of the local trails. Adding some spacers under the stem to make the ride position less aggressive improved comfort on long tours and big mountain epics. What impressed us most is the cohesive and sensible specification that leaves nothing to be desired or upgraded. A worthy winner of our Best In Test award.


Like a high-end electric guitar, the Merida ONE-TWENTY 8000 is best enjoyed by a skilled rider. With its rewarding ride that gives back what you put in, it’s a bike made for fun, no matter the distance or terrain. If you see every bump as a takeoff and want the best build kit, the Merida is Best In Test.


  • precise handling and engaging suspension
  • great Spec for Trail Fun


  • paint chips easily
  • Prologo saddle unpopular with all testers

Riding Characteristics



  1. sluggish
  2. efficient


  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced


  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor

  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Technical Data


Size: S M L XL
Weight: 12,8 kg
Travel (f/r): 130/120 mm
Wheel Size: 29"
Price: € 6,799

Intended Use

XC 8
Trail 9
Enduro 10
Downhill 11

The test field

For an overview about the test field click her: The Best Short-Travel Trail Bike – 6 Mountain Bikes in Test

All bikes in test: Canyon Neuron CF 8.0 | Specialized Epic Expert Evo | Trek Top Fuel 9.9 | Whyte S-120C RS | Yeti SB100 C GX

This article is from ENDURO issue #040

ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine is published in a digital app format in both English and German. Download the app for iOS or Android to read all articles on your tablet or smartphone. 100% free!

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.

Words & Photos: