Merida have their 2021 bikes on the shop floor already, with bikes going out the door about as quickly as they land! The new Big.Trail range of hardtails has been well-received, and given the new motor and battery in the updated Merida eOneSixty and eOneForty eMTBs, you can be sure they'll be selling like hotcakes as well!

The Merida OneTwenty 8000 we tested in 2019 was a blast. The 120mm of travel had us thinking it was a long-travel XC bike, but the burly parts package and capable suspension matched the trail bike label on the packing. Still, it gobbled up the Port to Port MTB Stage Race in 2019 and tackled the local trails with ease.

The 2021 Merida OneTwenty 7000 is a bit scaled back on the price point, coming in at $5699. And for that price you get a carbon mainframe, alloy swing arms, Fox suspension package, complete Shimano Deore XT 12-speed group set, and a quality Merida branded 29mm internal wheel set on Deore XT hubs. The wider rims support the Maxxis tyre combination, and are holding air tubeless perfectly - albeit after fitting tubeless tape. It's crazy to think that bikes at this price point aren't coming with tubeless tape from the factory in 2021!

The OneTwenty 7000 has a long 170mm dropper post in the large size, and a reasonable reach of 455mm in this size. This means the bike isn't as long as some of the bikes at the more progressive end of the market, but with a 67.3 degree head angle and 44mm fork offset the Merida stays planted when it needs to, but is happy to pop to a different line when needed.

In fact, in a market where bikes are long, low and slack, it is quite refreshing to ride a bike that you can get on for a 2 hour trail ride targeting the descending trails just as happily as a multi hour pedal with friends. 

I've got some suspension fine tuning to do, but so far the OneTwenty has been a pleasure to get out and ride. Whether it's from the carpark and straight into the trails, or from the garage to take the long way to the singletrack, the Merida OneTwenty 7000. The OneTwenty might fall short for the sort of bike you'd like for the bigger bike parks in Australia, or around the world. But sometimes it's worth thinking about the trails you're riding week in and week out, and hiring a bike for the yearly or bi-annual trips.

My full review will be in Issue #185, on sale in late October. If you subscrube, you can save some money and never miss an issue!

RRP: $5699

From: Merida Australia