Joining the string of test bikes that cost less than £2,000 is the Merida One-Forty 600. The 27.5", alloy, 140mm full suspension bike gets the lowest price tag in the One-Forty range and a smattering of what looks like good spec choices. Here's an in depth first look, the review will follow shortly.
Sitting slap bang in the middle of Merida's full suspension offering is the One-Forty range, sandwiched by the shorter travel One-Twenty and the longer One-Sixty. We've got the base spec bike in on test, the Merida One-Forty 600 in a size medium.
The 600 gets what Merida call their One-Forty Lite frame, it's an alloy frame with bolt through axles and internal cable routing. That cable routing gets the brands' 'Smart Entry' system which uses clamps that the cable inlets in order to hold them still and keep the bike rattle free.
Elsewhere there is a press fit bottom bracket and Merida's Float Link suspension. The suspension design is interesting as the lower shock mount, mounted to the elongated end of the chainstay, moves as the shock compresses. It's easier to see how this work rather than explain it in words, check out the video below. Trek use a similar system (called Full Floater) which we really liked when we reviewed the Remedy 7. Merida says that this design allows their engineers to precisely influenced the progressivity of the shock, they say they've aimed for a sensitive initial feel to the stroke with good mid travel support.
Alongside the 140mm of rear travel, the bike gets a 150mm fork, in the case of the One-Forty 600 it's a Rockshox Sektor RL. It's an interesting choice of fork for this trail bike with slimmer 32mm stanchions and potentially more flexible chassis, especially seeing as Merida list this bike in their 'all-mountain' collection. For a burlier fork, you'll need to spend another £650 and get a Rockshox Revelation RC on the One-Forty 700.
At the back, there's a Rockshock Deluxe Select+ shock which gets the brands DebonAir spring, the ability to add volume reducers, a compression switch for climbing and a Trunnion mount. The Trunnion mount uses bearing rather than bushings in the top mount of the shock which should see shock sensitivity increased.
Elsewhere there is a SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain using a 32T chain ring and, on this medium bike 175mm cranks. The small bike gets 170mm cranks but everywhere else there are 175mm ones. The braking comes courtesy of Shimano via MT500 brakes, a better spec choice that we have seen on other circa 2k bikes from other brands. The MT500's get a one finger lever, reach adjust and the brands Servo Wave tech. Servo Wave is a cam-driven leverage system which increases braking power from the lever to the pistons where there is a smaller lever movement for more power.
The bike rolls on Merida own 29mm internal width rims married to Shimano hubs. This set up is paired with Maxxis 2.6" tyres. There's a Minion DHR II at the front and the faster rolling Rekon at the rear. Both tyres get the EXO casing making them lighter but less puncture resistant than EXO+ or DoubleDown casing tyres from Maxxis.
The rest of the set-up is from Merida, there's a Merida dropper post (100mm on the size small, 125mm on the rest of the bikes_, Merida 780mm wide bars, a 50mm stem and a Merida saddle. All this lot weighs in at bang on 32lbs which is exactly as Merida says in the spec sheet.
The geometry of this bike is fairly middle of the road for a trail bike. It gets a 66° head angle, a 75° effective seat angle and, on this medium bike, a reach of 435mm. The reach isn't super roomy but it is in line with similar figures from Specialized, and Trek. The bike features chainstays of 435mm and a wheelbase of 1170mm with a relatively short seat tube of (also) 435mm. It'll be an interesting test to see how the geometry and suspension work together in this trail bike package, check back soon for more.
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