While our new long travel FAST platform has generated two very different bikes, the ONE-FORTY very much embodies today’s modern, highly versatile and ultra-capable trail bikes. It is the calm and capable friend you want in your riding gang. Unflappable and fast. Long days in the saddle, rough and steep trails, big mountains and perhaps even bike parks and enduro outings are its natural habitat. Compared to the predecessor, the geometry has grown in length, and it can be ridden as a full 29er or with a 27.5" rear wheel (mullet). The full 29er setup makes the bike lightning fast and perfect for chasing your PB or chasing the clock at an enduro outing! And by choosing a smaller wheel size, the ONE-FORTY transforms into a playful bike that loves jump lines and tight berms.
From the ground up, the intention was to create a fit-for-purpose bike that could withstand the tough job of being ridden hard onto today's demanding trails. The ONE-FORTY tested to the Category 4 all-mountain and enduro standard, and we back that up with a lifetime warranty, despite the demanding usage category.
The ONE-FORTY is aimed at riders that equally enjoy a long and demanding all-mountain trail safari, with plenty of ups and downs, while also dabbling in a bit of tricky trail and perhaps enduro action when the opportunity arises. Its balanced geometry with its steep seat angle makes the ONE-FORTY a goat-like climber, while the slack seat angle and long reach give it outstanding descending qualities even on baby-head-littered trails. In addition, the perfectly tuneable riding position makes for a super comfortable ride, and the outstanding durability and serviceability make it a trusted partner on demanding days on your home trails, in the big mountains or even when the race clock is ticking.
The new ONE-SIXTY is a hardcore, long-travel enduro bike. It’s slack, long and super-fast. Rough and steep trails, big mountains and bike parks are its natural habitat. Compared to the predecessor, the geometry has grown in length, and it can be ridden as a full 29er or with a 27.5” wheel (mullet) in the rear. That makes the bike lightning fast and perfect for racing! And by choosing a smaller size, the ONE-SIXTY transforms into a playful bike that loves jump lines and tight berms.
Extensive testing and a fit-for-purpose design have given the ONE-SIXTY the highest possible category approval - category 5 - and with that, an industry-leading five-year warranty for such a demanding usage category. So, it can be ridden and raced on the toughest trails in the bike park without worrying that your warranty might be affected.
With all this in mind, the ONE-SIXTY is aimed at the most demanding enduro and trail riders and racers out there. You don’t expect any compromises from man or machine, and you are looking for the perfect bike for your preferred terrain and riding style. Over the years, you have learned what you want from your bike, and you appreciate that even subtle differences in geometry, setup and kinematic can make a real difference to your riding experience. While our ONE-SIXTY loves to show its strength between the tapes, its impressive climbing abilities, comfortable riding position and outstanding durability and serviceability make it a trusted partner on demanding days in the big mountains.
When starting the development process of our new long travel platform, it was very much the idea to create two separate bikes that would differ from each other in the amount of travel provided but also in the way they perform.
Both bikes, whether in carbon or aluminium, share the essential ingredients of the AGILOMETER sizing concept, modern geometry and the FAST kinematic suspension.
When it comes to suspension travel, the quantity is the obvious difference between the two bikes. The ONE-FORTY has a 150 mm fork and 143 mm rear wheel travel, while the ONE-SIXTY has a 170 mm fork with 162 mm or 171 mm travel depending on rear wheel size.
More travel offers a greater ability to absorb rough terrain, but it also requires heavier-duty suspension components to control the travel and, in turn, tougher tyres to deal with the rougher terrain and higher impact speeds - all of which has an impact on both weight and pedalling performance.
The key figures for the ONE-SIXTY are the 79° seat angle and 64° head angle. This shifts to a 65° head angle for the ONE-FORTY, due to the shorter travel fork, while the identical 79° effective seat angle is achieved via a 10 mm offset post against the zero-offset post on the ONE-SIXTY. The steeper head angle helps keeps the ONE-FORTY feeling more lively and agile when riding the flatter terrain that an all-mountain bike needs to excel at.
Conversely, the slacker head angle of the ONE-SIXTY gives more control on steep terrain and at speed on rough ground, the natural habitat of the long-travel enduro bike.
We feel 79° effective is the perfect seat angle to give excellent climbing performance without putting too much weight on the rider's hands when on flatter terrain.
The ONE-FORTY runs 29” wheels at both ends in all sizes, but Extra Short through to Mid length ONE-SIXTY bikes come with a mixed 27.5” rear and 29” front, Long and Extra Long come with a full 29” setup. While our flip-chip means geometry is maintained regardless of rear wheel size, the travel is affected, moving from 162 mm with a 29” wheel to 171 mm with a 27.5” wheel.
The smaller rear wheel gives shorter riders extra clearance on the steep terrain a ONE-SIXTY is most at home on, but it also offers up a more agile feel in the turns or in the air. Chainstay length is slightly shorter with the smaller wheel too, helping this sensation.
For reference, it is also possible to run a ONE-FORTY with a mixed wheel setup, and rear travel will change to 153 mm with the smaller wheel.
Rolling stock and suspension are the key differences here. Both bikes use a shock with an eye-to-eye length of 230 mm, but the ONE-SIXTY uses a stroke of 65 mm and the ONE-FORTY has a stroke of 57.5 mm. The longer travel bike also uses piggyback-equipped shocks, which trade a weight penalty off against a higher oil volume that is capable of dealing with higher heat loads before fade becomes an issue.
It is a similar story with the front suspension; the ONE-SIXTY gets 38 mm stanchion forks that have more travel at 170 mm and a more rigid chassis better able to deal with extreme loads, while the ONE-FORTY has shorter travel 150 mm forks with 35-36 mm stanchions that delivery excellent precision for all-mountain use without as much of a weight penalty.
The ONE-SIXTY gets tyres with tougher casings; Assegai MaxxGrip DD in the front, Minion DHR II DD MaxxTerra in the rear. They can take a beating, but they inevitably weigh more - plus the more aggressive tread pattern increases grip but also rolling resistance.
The ONE-FORTY still has a tough rear tyre, with Minion DHF MaxxGrip in Exo casing on the front and a Dissector MaxxTerra with tougher Exo+ casing on the rear. There’s also more of a focus on reducing rolling resistance, especially at the rear, with less prominent tread patterns.
Finally, chain security has been considered with MRP AMG chain guides with bash guards on the ONE-SIXTY 8000 and 10K models and our own MERIDA EXPERT TR upper guide on all other ONE-SIXTY models. On the ONE-FORTY, all CF models get an upper guide, while aluminium models do not.
Without a doubt, there is an overlap between these two machines. While neither of them would be out of place at an enduro race or on a big mountain trail day, if you know what kind of riding you want to do and what terrain you primarily want to hit, then the ONE-SIXTY or the ONE-FORTY offer two very different and highly capable options.
Pick a ONE-SIXTY if:
- You want a competitive enduro race bike
- Most of your riding is on steep, very technical and rough terrain
- Downhill speed is more important than uphill pace
- You ride at bike parks with large jumps, do uplifts and love sessioning tracks
- Overall bike weight is secondary to durability and capability
Pick a ONE-FORTY if:
- You want a highly capable all-mountain bike
- Most of your riding is on moderately technical terrain
- You place equal emphasis on descending fun and uphill ability
- You ride longer distances and enjoy big loops in the wild as well as technical challenge
- Overall bike weight is an important factor