Merida One-sixty 800

Cycling Plus (Malaysia) - - BIKE OF THE YEAR 2018 -

With an im­pres­sive spec and de­cent ge­om­e­try, the One-sixty looks ap­peal­ing, but in the hills it’s a tale of two halves. On flat­ter trails, where car­ry­ing speed is key, its su­per-sup­ple sus­pen­sion keeps the rear wheel stuck to the trail, dulling some of the live­li­ness and fun we want from a bike like this. It also bobs quite a bit when you’re mash­ing the ped­als on steep climbs, mak­ing us thank­ful for the com­pres­sion lever on the shock. But get the Merida to the top of a steep, rocky trail lit­tered with square-edged hits and awk­ward turns, and the con­trol and speed it con­jures up on the way down is quite as­tound­ing. With a tweak to the shock tune, it could be more of an all-round threat.

£3,150 www.merida-bikes.com

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