2023 Merida One-Sixty Review | A futuristic enduro bike that ticks almost every box

The not-so-minor details


2023 Merida One-Sixty 10K


Merida Bikes



From $3,999 AUD ($13,499 AUD as tested)




- Fantastic contemporary geometry
- Supple & poppy suspension performance
- Huge 230mm travel dropper post
- Wheelsize flexibility
- Awesomely grippy & tough tyre spec
- Loads of frame protection with an effective mudguard
- Great range of build kits with impressive pricing


- Our replacement dropper post failed
- Active suspension bobs while sprinting
- Internal storage needs refining
- Headset cable routing

Flow reviews the Merida One-Sixty

No doubt about it, the Merida One-Sixty is one of the most exciting new bike launches for 2023. Why exactly? The latest One-Sixty has received some huge updates thanks to a brand new frame with a redesigned suspension platform. There’s a fresh approach to geometry and sizing, and it also debuts a whopping 230mm travel dropper post with more adjustment than anything else we’ve seen on the market. Along with the in-built mullet compatibility and integrated storage, the One-Sixty is bursting with contemporary features. Despite all the innovation though, it’s still priced very competitively. That makes it quite the appealing bike on paper, so does it deliver on the trail?

Watch our Merida One-Sixty video review here:

For such a long travel bike, we love how much fun the Merida One-Sixty is to ride. It’s not nearly as big as you’d expect given its 170mm of travel and aggressive rubber. Indeed it feels light, poppy and playful on the trail.

2023 merida one-sixty 10K
The Merida One-Sixty has been redesigned from the ground-up to create a versatile enduro bike platform.

An overview of the new Merida One-Sixty

As the longest travel bike in Merida’s full suspension lineup, the One-Sixty is a fully-fledged enduro bike. Designed to perform on the rowdiest of trails, it’s here to take on rivals like the GT Force, Cannondale Jekyll, Norco Range and Canyon Strive.

Unlike its main competitors, the One-Sixty incorporates some nifty wheelsize flexibility. The larger sizes come setup as a full 29er, and the smaller sizes use a mullet configuration. However, each frame is capable of switching between a 27.5in and a 29in rear wheel. This is achieved via a flip chip in the linkage, which maintains the geometry and ride height between the two settings.

2023 merida one-sixty 10K
The Merida One-Sixty is designed to easily switch between a 27.5in or 29in rear wheel.

Up front is a 170mm travel fork. Rear travel is either 161mm (29in setup) or 171mm (mullet setup), and it’s delivered by a single pivot suspension design.

Compared to the old One-Sixty, the new bike has eliminated its most rearward pivot and instead relies on a small amount of flex through the seatstays as the shock cycles through its stroke. Removing the pivot helps to reduce weight, improve lateral rigidity and simplify maintenance. Worried about sensitivity or durability? According to Merida, there is very little rotation in this area to begin with, making the flex-stay design possible in the first place.

2023 merida one-sixty 10K
Rear travel changes from 161mm (29in) to 171mm (27.5in) when changing between wheelsize.

Merida One-Sixty geometry & sizing

Along with the redesigned frame and suspension, the Merida One-Sixty has adopted a new approach to sizing. Instead of choosing a size based on the frame’s seat tube length and the rider’s height, the One-Sixty moves to a reach-based system.

There are five sizes: X-Short, Short, Mid, Long and X-Long. All frame sizes use short seat tubes and low stack heights, allowing riders to more easily upsize. The larger frames come with higher rise handlebars to lift the effective stack height.

The other big part of the reach-based approach is Merida’s new Team TR dropper post. Found on every One-Sixty model, this dropper features a whopping 230mm of travel that is infinitely adjustable down to 30mm. This a great tool for bike shops fitting up a customer to a new bike, as it allows every rider to have the maximum amount of drop possible.

In terms of the key geometry numbers, the new One-Sixty features a slack 64° head angle and a very steep 79° effective seat tube angle. The chainstays are quite short, with a 434mm rear centre length for the mullet setup, and 437.5mm for the full 29er setup. Check out the chart below for the full geometry specs.

2023 Merida One-Sixty Size Chart
2023 merida one-sixty 10K
The enormous 230mm dropper post can be adjusted all the way down to just 30mm of travel if needed.

Merida One-Sixty price & specs

There are five models in the 2023 Merida One-Sixty lineup. Prices start at $3,999 AUD for the One-Sixty 500, and go up to $13,499 AUD for the One-Sixty 10K that we’ve been testing. You can see the specs and prices of all the models in the Merida One-Sixty first look article.

Our metallic green test bike comes with all the bells and whistles including a SRAM X01 AXS Eagle drivetrain, high-end Reynolds carbon wheels with Industry Nine Hydra hubs, and in a first for Merida, RockShox Flight Attendant suspension.

Since most prospective buyers will be looking at one of the cheaper One-Sixty models, this review won’t be focussing a whole lot on the individual spec. Instead we’ll be concentrating on the key aspects that are shared throughout the range, that being the geometry, handling, frame design and suspension performance.

2023 merida one-sixty 10K
Our test bike is the 2023 Merida One-Sixty 10K.

2023 Merida One-Sixty 10K

There aren’t many 170mm travel bikes we’d take out for a 4-hour ride, but we had no qualms doing so on the One-Sixty 10K.

2023 merida one-sixty 10K
At 175cm tall, Jack found the Mid size to suit him well.

Merida One-Sixty size & fit

To suit our 167-175cm tall testers, we went with the ‘Mid’ size in the Merida One-Sixty.

Despite this bike featuring a whopping 470mm reach, the steep seat angle means the effective top tube length is actually quite short. You’re certainly not stretched out over the cockpit, and along with the 30mm rise bars, the One-Sixty delivers an upright riding position that we found to be plenty comfortable during multi-hour-long trail rides.

2023 merida one-sixty
Em is a little shorter at 167cm, but still got along well with the Mid size Merida One-Sixty.

It’s worth noting that the steerer tube on our test bike has been cut a little shorter than normal. Production bikes will have a longer steerer and 25mm of headset spacers to play with when dialling in the stem position. The stack height is still fairly low across the bigger sizes though, and we suspect that taller riders may find they need to fit an even higher rise handlebar to get the grips up to their preferred position.

We love the concept behind the short seat tubes and the new Team TR dropper post. With the post fully inserted into the frame, Jack was able to enjoy the full 230mm of travel. Given many Medium size bikes on the market typically come with a 150mm dropper post, the One-Sixty offers a distinct advantage.

2023 merida one-sixty 10K
Thanks to the short and straight seat tube, the dropper can be fully inserted into the frame.

Suspension setup

Conveniently, Merida has produced a detailed product guide for the new One-Sixty and One-Forty. This includes information on suspension setup, spare parts and frame specs, along with instructions on how to adjust the dropper post travel.

It’s recommended to set up the rear shock with 30% sag. Merida also has suggested pressures to help get you started.

To support Jack’s riding weight of 75kg, we initially set up the Super Deluxe shock with 180psi. Jack found he was after a touch more support, so he added a bit more pressure after the first couple of rides to end up with just under 30% sag. We set rebound damping on the quicker side with 8/12 clicks, and ran the low-speed compression damping halfway.

2023 merida one-sixty 10K
We found just under 30% shock sag worked well for the Merida One-Sixty.

To balance things out Jack aired up the Zeb Ultimate to 60psi and ran the rebound adjuster a couple of clicks faster than halfway (11/18 clicks). Low-speed compression damping was also set halfway through its range.

As mentioned earlier, we won’t be diving too deep into the RockShox Flight Attendant system. If you’re keen to know more about it, check out our comprehensive Flight Attendant vs Live Valve review.

While Flight Attendant certainly brings some notable advantages to the riding experience on the One-Sixty, we made sure to spend plenty of time riding with the system switched off in order to get a better representation of the suspension performance on the cheaper non-Flight Attendant models.

Given this is a very capable 170mm travel enduro bike, the Merida One-Sixty is impressively light.

Merida One-Sixty weight

Our Merida One-Sixty 10K test bike came in at 15.08kg, which is almost exactly the same as the claimed weight. That is a very competitive figure for a competition-ready enduro bike.

According to Merida, a carbon One-Sixty frame weighs just 3,080g including the shock and hardware. That is quite light for a bike of this travel, and it’s around 1.2kg lighter than the alloy One-Sixty frame (4,257g including shock and hardware).

The Reynolds Blacklabel Enduro wheels certainly contribute to the impressively low complete bike weight. Thanks to their Industry Nine Hydra hubs, straight-pull spokes and carbon rims, these came in at a svelte 1,709g on our workshop scales.

Grams haven’t been sacrificed elsewhere though. Every One-Sixty model comes fitted with heavy-duty Maxxis DoubleDown tyres, with an Assegai (1,367g) on the front and a Minion DHR II (1,112g) on the rear. While these tyres are quite burly, we still fitted an insert into the rear wheel to protect the fancy carbon rims. Tyre pressures were set at 23psi in the front and 26psi at the rear.

2023 merida one-sixty 10K
Maxxis DoubleDown tyres front and rear is an aggressive but welcome choice for this highly capable enduro bike.

What do we dig about the Merida One-Sixty?

For such a long travel bike, we love how much fun the Merida One-Sixty is to ride. It’s not nearly as big as you’d expect given its 170mm of travel and aggressive rubber. Indeed it feels light, poppy and playful on the trail.

Thanks to the huge 230mm dropper post, it’s possible to get the saddle completely out of the way. While it did take us a few rides to get used to, it allows you to take full advantage of the low-slung top tube and long reach, giving you plenty of space to work with when moving around the cockpit.

2023 merida one-sixty
With the saddle out of the way, the Merida One-Sixty offers incredible freedom of movement, especially with the 27.5in rear wheel on our Mid size test bike.

The geometry on the whole is fantastic, and is for sure one of the standout features of this bike. The One-Sixty is well proportioned, with nothing weird that requires adapting to. In particular, the short chainstays and mullet setup ensure that cornering is intuitive and easy, with the smaller 27.5in rear wheel cutting a nice and tight arc. It feels easier to tip into corners compared to a full 29er setup, providing a welcome injection of agility on twisty singletrack.

Once lent over, there’s a heap of grip from the supple suspension and sticky tyres. While the BB isn’t super low to the ground, the One-Sixty offers fantastic weight distribution and balance through the turns. It loves to corner, and it also loves to jump around and play with the trail. This is particularly advantageous on tight trails where you need to hop the bike and flick it around, with the One-Sixty rewarding your willingness to work the terrain and pick the more creative lines on the way down.

2023 merida one-sixty 10k
We’ve loved the playful and poppy character of the Merida One-Sixty.

Flexstay suspension

The suspension on the Merida One-Sixty has also impressed us with its active and plush performance, with the mostly progressive leverage rate providing good pop and bottom-out support.

Diving deeper into the details, it’s worth pointing out that the leverage curve does change between frame sizes. By modifying the forward shock mount, Merida’s engineers have made the suspension more progressive on the larger frames to increase support for heavier riders.

Furthermore, the Super Deluxe shock comes fitted with one volume spacer in the positive chamber and one in the negative chamber. That gives riders plenty of options to tune the spring rate whether they’re chasing more or less progression.

We found no such need to mess around with volume spacers, with the One-Sixty performing beautifully out of the box with minimal faffing required. Small-bump sensitivity is superb, with the rear end generating loads of grip through loose and off-camber turns. The supple action carries on throughout the travel, allowing the One-Sixty to make short work of chunky terrain.

2023 merida one-sixty 10k
Merida has done an amazing job with its new Flexstay suspension layout – this bike is plush and well-supported.

There’s no weird rebound effect from the Flexstay design either, with the suspension feeling predictable and forgiving even on the most violent of landings. In fact, we really couldn’t tell the difference between its Flexstay design and a bike with a traditional pivot at the dropout. You wouldn’t know unless you looked down there.

According to Merida, the new Flexstay platform delivers slightly less anti-rise than the old bike, coming in at just under 100% at sag. This means it’s quite neutral under braking, and indeed we found it to perform seamlessly with no pitching or quirks to speak of.

Along with the long wheelbase, slack head angle and aggressive tyres, the One-Sixty ploughs confidently on rough and rowdy descents. It carries its speed well, managing to maintain momentum without turning into a runaway freight train like some other long travel enduro bikes can do.

2023 merida one-sixty
There is heaps of grip on tap from the chunky tyres and supple suspension.

Any downsides?

While the suspension on the Merida One-Sixty is smooth and sensitive, the neutral kinematics mean it can feel a touch too active when you’re sprinting out of the saddle. If you’re a more dynamic rider, or you’re racing enduro competitively, you’ll be wanting to reach for the climb switch to mitigate bobbing during harder efforts.

Merida claims the One-Sixty has just over 100% anti-squat around the sag point, and it drops off deeper into the travel to help temper chain growth. Paired to the progressive leverage rate and the shock’s light compression tune, the active suspension design prioritises grip and compliance over outright efficiency.

Now we should stipulate here that on the way up the mountain, the One-Sixty is plenty calm and collected, providing that you remain seated. The steep seat angle is a big contributor, providing an excellent climbing position while reducing rear shock wallow when the gradient kicks up. There’s a load of grip on tap, and we found pedal strikes to be few and far between. Indeed for a 170mm travel enduro bike, the One-Sixty climbs well.

2023 merida one-sixty 10k
The active suspension does result in some bobbing when you’re sprinting out of the saddle.

Mullet musings

The smaller 27.5in rear wheel does tend to get caught up on square ledges though, so it can be trickier to navigate more technical ascents compared to a full 29er setup. And if you’re really heaving your weight around the cockpit and stabbing at the pedals, the suspension does tend to bob in the Open position. This will bother some riders more than others.

For this reason, the Flight Attendant system on the One-Sixty 10K model does make a lot of sense. It works exceptionally well, providing more stability and enthusiasm with the suspension automatically flipping between the Open, Pedal and Lock modes where appropriate. The efficiency boost gives the One-Sixty greater versatility, allowing it to effectively straddle the gap between an enduro bruiser and a sprightly trail cruiser. There aren’t many 170mm travel bikes we’d take out for a 4-hour ride, but we had no qualms doing so on the One-Sixty 10K.

2023 merida one-sixty 10K
RockShox Flight Attendant works mighty well, and is a great addition to the Merida One-Sixty for those who are willing to pay for it.

Perhaps the only downside to the One-Sixty’s playfulness is that the mullet setup does sacrifice some stability on wide-open descents at proper off-the-brakes speeds.

When bombing down steep fireroads littered with lots of big loose rocks, the One-Sixty can start to feel a little unsettled. This simply encourages a slightly different approach. After the first few rides, we found it beneficial to use the One-Sixty’s agility to hop over the bigger chunder instead of aimlessly ploughing through. It ended up being just as fast, though it does require a more active riding style.

With this in mind, those riders who are chasing a more passive descending experience with maximum stability will likely be better served by a tank like the Norco Range or GT Force.

Alternatively, there is the option to switch up the One-Sixty’s wheelsize altogether.

2023 merida one-sixty 10K
Despite being a highly capable 170mm travel enduro bike, the Merida One-Sixty is still totally at home on big backcountry rides.

Mullet vs 29er setup

Given the in-built wheelsize adaptability, we were curious to see what the Merida One-Sixty would be like with a full 29er setup. So we sourced a 29in rear wheel and fitted an identical Maxxis Minion DHR II DoubleDown tyre to do a comparative test.

The process to change the flip chip is not as simple as others, particularly compared to Trek’s Mino Link. On the One-Sixty you’ll need to remove the rear wheel and shock, then compress the linkage slightly in order to access the pivot hardware. Tiny spacers sit on each bearing and are a bit awkward to hold in place when tightening everything up again. It’s not that big of a deal though, given a wheel swap isn’t something you’d be doing all the time.

Once changed to a full 29er setup, the One-Sixty felt eerily similar. There were no alterations required to the bar height or saddle position, and we didn’t need to make any adjustments to the rear shock either. This was surprising, since the travel is reduced to 161mm in the 29er setup, and the overall leverage rate is slightly lower. Despite this, we were able to run the same pressure and damper settings, which resulted in a similar feel.

2023 merida one-sixty 10K
Changing the flip chip is a slightly fiddly affair – this isn’t something you’d want to do trailside.

On the trail, the dual 29in setup provided the benefits we expected, with the larger rear wheel increasing stability. There was more grip and rollover on technical climbs, allowing us to scale tricky sections with less hassle. The bike also carried more momentum on the descents, particularly when riding full-gas. This will no doubt be appreciated by the purist racers and those who value maximum stability.

However, the wheel change did sacrifice pretty much all of the attributes that we loved about the bike beforehand. The One-Sixty felt less playful, and it wasn’t as willing to jump around or initiate sharp changes of direction. For our medium-sized tester’s riding style, the big wheels calmed things down a little too much. On top of that, we had a few tyre buzz incidents, the rear tyre making contact with our arse on some particularly steep descents. This was especially noticeable given how much freedom you otherwise have to move around the One-Sixty’s cockpit.

2023 merida one-sixty 10k
We much preferred the Merida One-Sixty with the mullet setup, though it’s cool to have the wheelsize adjustability built in.

With that experience under our belt, we reckon Merida has made the right decision in spec’ing the larger frame sizes with dual 29in wheels, and the smaller sizes with the mullet setup. Still, it’s awesome to have the option to experiment built into each frame, especially when it’s engineered in such a discreet and effective way.

Component highs & lows

While our Merida One-Sixty 10K has mostly been flawless, we did encounter some niggling issues during testing.

2023 merida one-sixty 10K
Production bikes will come with a new headset design that should avoid the issues we encountered.

There’s been a load of creaking from the headset, and the sharp edges on the alloy guide ring has already started eating into the cables and rear brake hose. Merida confirmed that production bikes will come with a new Acros headset that uses a split construction and a plastic guide. As such, we’ll reserve judgement until we get our hands on an updated headset or bike. Still, we’d prefer if the cables just didn’t route through the headset to begin with.

Our original dropper post also turned out to have a pre-production issue with a slightly squishy action and an ineffective travel adjuster. This was replaced by Merida, though unfortunately the new post immediately suffered from a score on the upper tube within the first ride. The action deteriorated over the next few weeks of riding, with there being noticeable resistance to the initial compression. As such, we suspect there’s a mechanical issue with the internal bushing.

Furthermore, when we went to reduce the travel to suit a shorter rider partway through testing, the adjustment mechanism also turned out to be faulty. Since we couldn’t adjust the travel, we swapped the post for a 150mm travel X-Fusion Manic that was luckily in the workshop.

2023 merida one-sixty 10K
The travel adjust mechanism failed on both droppers, and the second post developed a nasty scratch and excessive friction after the first ride.

Looking around at reviews online, it seems we’re the only ones to have encountered an issue with the new Team TR dropper post, so perhaps we’ve just been particularly unlucky. Merida is keen to inspect the post when the bike goes back, so we’ll update this review once we find out the root cause of the issue.

We do love the concept of the travel adjustment, and having 230mm of total drop is fantastic. The Team TR dropper is quite heavy though. Weighing in at a whopping 867g, this chonker is around 100-200g heavier than an equivalent post from OneUp or BikeYoke. In addition to being compatible with any standard 34.9mm post, the frame is compatible with an Eightpins dropper.

The rest of the spec on our One-Sixty test bike has otherwise been solid. The wireless shifting is crisp and accurate, and after a thorough bleed the brakes have been powerful and consistent thanks to the 203mm rotors.

The Reynolds wheels have also proven to be bombproof. We’ve not broken any spokes and they’re still dead straight despite all the abuse that has been hurled their way. The carbon rims offer a precise feel through the turns, and the rear hub provides insanely fast pickup, albeit with a high-pitched buzz that is very much an acquired taste.

We’ve also had zero punctures throughout testing. We must commend Merida for the tyre choice on this bike, which offers loads of grip and predictability in loose and challenging conditions. High-end Maxxis tyres are expensive, so it’s great to see the One-Sixty coming standard with such tough and grippy rubber.

2023 merida one-sixty 10K sram x01 axs eagle
There’s a heap of useful frame protection on the Merida One-Sixty, though the clutch in the SRAM X01 derailleur prevents it from being silent on the trail.

Mostly fine frame details

Merida has also done well to equip the One-Sixty frame with plenty of practical details. The included bolt-on mudguards are fantastic, with the rear being particularly effective at preventing grime from being thrown at the back of the seat tube. It’s also nice to see clear plastic tape fitted to the swingarm from the factory.

2023 merida one-sixty 10k
The bolt-on rear mudguard is incredibly effective. We also like that Merida has applied lots of clear protective tape around the swingarm.

The MRP chainguide and soft rubber chainstay protector are very effective at dampening chain slap, though the AXS derailleur clutch does make a bit of noise during hard compressions. Along with a bit of rattle from the finned brake pads and rear axle lever, the One-Sixty has a bit of room to improve when it comes to general trail noise.

We love the included tube strap and the comprehensive multi-tool that sits underneath the saddle. The tool bits can get gritty and a little rusty if you regularly ride in wet conditions, so it’s a good idea to dry it off and give the bits a clean every now and then.

The downtube port provides useful access to the internal cabling, which we made use of when replacing the dropper post on our test bike. However, the internal storage concept isn’t overly refined. The bottle cage bosses stick out, and the cables are loose in the downtube, which means you’ll need to be careful if you’re trying to shove anything up into the downtube. On that note, we’d really like to see Merida include the optional tool roll with this bike rather than making you pay for it separately.

Also available separately is a blanking plate that allows you to fit a standard bottle and cage. We do like the FidLock bottle, though there is a smidge of play in the mount that may worsen over time and potentially cause some vibration and noise.

Otherwise we’ve been impressed with the overall finish of the One-Sixty frame. The brake mount is specific to Merida, and we like that it puts the calliper above the seatstay where it’s much easier to adjust. You can purchase a 180mm brake mount aftermarket if you wish to downside the rotors.

Along with the threaded BB, conventional Boost hub spacing and UDH, the One-Sixty is designed to be easy to live with in the long run. It’s also worth noting that the frame is compatible with coil shocks and 180mm travel forks, and Merida claims it’s rated for bikepark and DH use. That opens up some interesting possibilities for those who are looking for a more gravity-oriented setup.

Merida One-Sixty vs Trek Slash

As impressive as the Merida One-Sixty is, how does it compare to the competition? Conveniently our tester Jack owns and races a Trek Slash, which has provided an interesting point of comparison.

trek slash
How does the Merida One-Sixty compare to the Trek Slash?

The current Slash came out in 2020, and has grown to become one of the most popular enduro bikes on the market. Despite its age, it features similar geometry and travel to the One-Sixty, with the main difference being the seat tube angle and the fact that the Slash is purpose-built around 29in wheels. You can flip the Mino Link into the high position to run a 27.5in rear wheel, which is how Jack has his Slash set up. Since the range of adjustment is quite small however, it does end up being quite low and slack in this configuration.

Trek offers the Slash in both alloy and carbon variants with a number of spec options to choose from. The pricing is notably higher though, with a top-end Trek Slash 9.9 with Flight Attendant selling for $5,000 more than the equivalent Merida One-Sixty 10K. That’s a big difference! Even the entry-level Trek Slash 7 sells for $1,700 more than the Merida One-Sixty 500, despite those bikes featuring a similar level of spec.

Both Trek and Merida offer a lifetime frame warranty for the original owner, and the overall build quality is comparable. However, the downtube storage is more refined on the Slash, and we also prefer its non-headset cable routing.

2021 trek slash 9.8 x01
We love how plush and controlled the Trek Slash feels, though the frame is starting to show its age alongside the much newer Merida One-Sixty.

On the trail the two bikes are close performers. They share a similar head angle and reach, and both have short chainstays and supportive suspension designs that give them good agility for such burly enduro rigs. With both bikes set up as mullets, the Slash still feels a touch more planted thanks to its proprietary Thru Shaft shock, which is super supple across small bumps and large impacts alike. Paired to the ABP linkage, it handles violent square-edge impacts beautifully, while a slightly lower BB helps to increase stability at speed.

In comparison, the Merida One-Sixty feels more playful and flickable. There’s a little extra pop to the suspension, making it more inclined to get airborne. It’s also a superior climber, with the steeper seat tube angle (79° vs 75.6°) putting you in a far better position. The wheelsize adaptability is a well-considered feature, with the mullet setup producing a cohesive package that doesn’t suffer from compromises in the geometry like the Slash does. Along with its adjustable dropper, size-specific kinematic and reach-based sizing system, the One-Sixty is no doubt the more contemporary bike of the two.

Which Merida One-Sixty model gets our pick?

While we’ve been impressed with the high-tech build kit on our Merida One-Sixty 10K test bike, it isn’t the bike we’d personally pick out of the range.

2023 merida one-sixty 8000
The second-tier Merida One-Sixty 8000 is easily the pick of the range if you can afford it.

The next model down is the Merida One-Sixty 8000, which skips the carbon wheels and Flight Attendant system to bring the price down to $9,799 AUD. It’s built around the same full carbon frame, and it still features high-end RockShox Ultimate suspension, wireless shifting and Shimano XT brakes. If your budget can stretch to that amount, it’s for sure the bike to buy in the lineup.

2023 merida one-sixty 700
For $4,899 AUD, the Merida One-Sixty 700 comes with about everything you could possibly want in an enduro bike.

For a more modest amount of cash, we’d go for the Merida One-Sixty 700. Selling for $4,899 AUD it offers amazing value for money thanks to its alloy frame, Fox Float X shock, Marzocchi Bomber Z1 fork and Shimano SLX groupset. It’s obviously heavier, with the complete bike coming in at a claimed 16.65kg. More importantly though, it features the same geometry, mullet option, 230mm dropper post and Maxxis DoubleDown tyres as the top-end models. That sees it tick every box you could possibly want for enduro racing in a package that is basically unrivalled at this price point.

2023 merida one-sixty 10k
We’ve thoroughly enjoyed testing the Merida One-Sixty over the past few months.

Flow’s Verdict

With its forward-thinking frame design and progressive geometry, the new Merida One-Sixty certainly promises a lot on paper. After a full summer of riding, we’re happy to report that it totally delivers on the trail.

The suspension is plush, active and easy to setup. Along with the brilliant tyre spec, the One-Sixty provides masses of grip and composure on loose terrain.

It manages to balance this smooth ride quality with a poppy and playful demeanour that makes it a very fun and involving bike to pilot over a wide variety of trails. The low-slung chassis, big-stroke dropper and progressive geometry contribute to its intuitive handling, and we’ve particularly enjoyed the mullet setup on our test bike. The end result is a vibrant and terrifically well-rounded enduro bike that’s more than willing to join you on a long day of pedalling in the hills.

It can be a little active when you’re sprinting out of the saddle, and it won’t plough through the chunder like some of the more DH-focussed bikes in this category. However, running it as a full 29er does bring a notable improvement to its high-speed stability. Add in the option to fit a coil shock and a 180mm travel fork, and it’s possible to adapt it into more of a dedicated gravity rig.

While our experience wasn’t spotless, we’ve still very much enjoyed our time aboard the Merida One-Sixty. This isn’t just a great enduro bike, it’s arguably one of the best in its category. Along with the latest Ninety-Six and eOne-Sixty, it’s clear that Merida is very much on the march.

2023 merida one-sixty 10K
With its contemporary geometry and feature-rich frame, the Merida One-Sixty stands as one of the best enduro bikes on the market.
2023 merida one-sixty
There are better options out there for pure ploughing duties, but if you value agility and all-round performance, the Merida One-Sixty comes highly recommended.

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