Merida totally redesigns One-Twenty short travel trail bike

Lower, slacker and available in seven flavours for 2019

Now in its seventh generation, Merida’s One-Twenty has been redesigned for 2019 as a do-it-all short travel trail bike, with tweaked geometry, more standover and an updated suspension platform.

In typical Merida fashion, the range of models is fairly vast, with no less than seven models available in both 27.5in and 29in flavours depending on frame size.

The front end gets slacker
The front end gets slacker

Geometry has changed slightly for the 2019 One-Twenty, with the chainstays shrinking to 435mm for the 29er, the head angle slackened out to 67.3 degrees and the seat angle steepened slightly to 75.5 degrees.

Bucking wider trends in the industry, the bike retains the same reach as the outgoing model, sitting at 455mm in a size Large. However, the standover height has been reduced significantly, which should make sizing up easier if you prefer a longer bike.

The suspension layout has been tweaked
The suspension layout has been tweaked

The linkage driven single pivot floating shock layout has been updated with an up-to-date trunnion mount and a lower leverage ratio in a bid to reduce stress on the shock. This has the added benefit of ensuring heavier riders don’t get close to maximum shock pressures.

The bike now also has clearances or tyres up to 2.35in wide, a thru-axle back end, a tapered steerer and built-in chainstay and downtube protectors.

The frameset is available in three different flavours, starting with an entry level all-alloy LITE build, rising to a mid-range CFA frame, which pairs a carbon front triangle with an alloy rear and topping out with the all-carbon CF4 model. The weights for each in a size Medium are as follows;

  • Merida One-Twenty LITE: 3,020g
  • Merida One-Twenty CFA: 2,560g
  • Merida One-Twenty CF4: 2,105g

The CF4 weight is around 400g lighter than the outgoing model. However, the alloy model is a touch heavier, though Merida claims this has been done in the name of improving strength.

Bigger bearing in all pivots also contributes to this claimed improvement of durability.

Looking forward to spending more time on this one
Looking forward to spending more time on this one

I only had limited time during the launch of the new bike (and the Merida’s all-new Mission CX), so it’s too early to draw any conclusions on the new bike, but it’s safe to say this is one I'm looking forward to spending more time on.

Jack Luke

Staff Writer, UK
Jack has been riding and fettling with bikes for his whole life. Always in search of the hippest new niche in cycling, Jack is a self-confessed gravel dork and thinks nothing of bivouacking on a beach after work. Also fond of cup and cone bearings, skids and tan wall tyres.
  • Discipline: Long days in the saddle by either road or mountain bike
  • Preferred Terrain: Happiest when on a rural road by the coast or crossing a remote mountain pass. Also partial to a cheeky gravel adventure or an arduous hike-a-bike.
  • Current Bikes: Custom Genesis Croix de Fer all road adventure wagon, Niner EMD 9.
  • Dream Bike: A rigid 44 Bikes Marauder, all black please.
  • Beer of Choice: Caesar Augustus
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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