Considered a great bike for committed enduro riders, the One-Sixty’s aluminium construction and 162mm of frame travel made it terrific value when launched last year. A bike capable of pedalling uphill, and frame strength rated for severe downhill and bike park trails.
The new One-Sixty FR features more suspension travel and mixed 29/27.5-inch wheels in all sizes. Mounting 27.5-inch wheels in the rear triangle has freed some room in the suspension kinematics, increasing travel from 162- on the One-Sixty to 171mm on the One-Sixty FR.
An interesting design feature of the One-Sixty FR is its uniform rear triangle, without any pivots, which relies on the inherent properties of the alloy construction to flex and absorb additional terrain impacts. Flex stays without pivots are a popular design solution in cross-country mountain biking, where reducing pivot count saves weight. But it’s a rarity on enduro and freeride bikes, where terrain impacts are more severe. Merida says the rear triangle has tested to 10,000 stress cycles, without issue.
Balancing the enhanced rear-suspension travel is a fork upgrade, with the 2024 One-Sixty FR featuring 180mm of travel up front, an increase of 10mm over the standard One-Sixty. With that 180mm fork up front, the One-Sixty FR’s frame geometry is on the cusp of extreme enduro and single-crown bike park riding, set at a very slack 63.5-degree head angle.
The 2024 One-Sixty FR build kits are in theme with the value that freeride mountain bikers on a budget appreciate. Merida’s One-Sixty FR 400 features a DVO D3 rear shock, SR Suntour RXF 38 RC fork, Shimano’s 10-speed Cues drivetrain with 11-48T cassette and Tektro Gemini four-piston brakes. The One-Sixty FR 400 is priced at £2,800.
Upgrade to the £3,500 One-Sixty FR 600, and you gain a DVO JADE X2 D2 shock featuring three externally selectable compression modes: open, mid and firm. Up front, there’s a DVO Onyx 38 D3 fork, with its adjustable coil-negative spring configuration, great for riders who love to tinker with set-up, but aren’t hugely intuitive regarding all things suspension.
The One-Sixty FR 600 has two more gears than the 400, courtesy of a 12-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain, and better brakes from TRP, with the brand’s Trail Evo four-piston stoppers. All One-Sixty FRs benefit from 220mm front brake rotors.
The 400 and 600 series Merida One-Sixty FRs roll Continental Kryptotal tyres in a 2.4in width, with a downhill casing for the rear and slightly lighter enduro casing up front.
The One-Sixty FR frames have main triangle bosses for mounting a water bottle cage and a small tool kit pod. The One-Sixty FR is a compelling option for riders on a budget who like to go big.
For some first ride impressions on Merida's new bike, head over to our Merida One-Sixty FR 600 first ride review.
You might also like: