It comes as no surprise that Merida have jumped aboard the 650b bandwagon with their One Forty trail bike range for 2014. And why not? Mid-size wheels mean more grip, better roll-over and more speed carry in the rough stuff.
But the big shock is the amazing price of their entry-level bouncer, the 5-B.
The bike gets a massive hero-gram in the current issue of What Mountain Bike – but their team of testers are a notoriously picky bunch and the tasty £1500 pricing alone isn’t going to cut the mustard with them.
As it turns out, what you get in the Merida 140 5-B is an unbelievably well-priced steed coupled with blistering trail-slaying performance.
Dishing out a whopping four-and-a-half out of five stars in their review, What MTB said: ‘This is a machine for swooping traverses and technical and/or fast descents. Woodland, moorland, hills, mountains, roots, rocks – it does it all.
‘The One Forty B is a brilliant trail bike. Not just for the money, but good full stop. The best thing about this bike is that it has character – it’s just top fun. Job done.’
Job done indeed!
The One Forty 5-B comes with Deore brakes, shifters and mechs, and a very capable Rockshox Sektor fork takes care of bump absorption. At £1500, it’s all you need to begin your all-mountain adventures.
If you’re looking for a higher-spec steed, the 1-B features XT components and a Fox TALAS fork. It retails for £3000.
Read the What MTB review below and see our full Merida mountain bike range here.