It’s a well-known fact that the coolest kids always rock up late to a party – and this seems to be the case with the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY. While most manufacturers have been hyping their full-suspension bikes to tear up the E-MTB dance floor for the past few years, MERIDA have taken their time. So now comes the question: are they bringing the party, or did they get lost en route?

“Good looking, muscular, nice complexion.” If the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY were a guy, then we reckon he’d get more than just a few admiring looks from some girls in a club. But, seeing as it’s really an E-MTB, this fact just broadens its fan base to include all of the men in our office too.

Merida eONE-SIXTY 900 E | 160 mm / 150 mm(v/h)  | 22,10 kg | 5.499 €
Merida eONE-SIXTY 900 E | 160 mm / 150 mm (front / rear) | 22.10 kg | € 5,499
The new Kid on the Block – Ob das MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 900E die Party rockt?
The new kid on the block – But is the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 900E going to bring the party?

The Big Pimpin’

With its distinguishing design, powerful tubes, and burly plus-size tires, the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY rocks up to a club and makes the doormen look like matchsticks. It’s a statement bike with the accessories to match: the DT Swiss XM 1501 SPLINE ONE wheels might not ‘shine bright like a diamond,’ but they’re just as stable and timeless; the superb FOX suspension, with 160 mm of travel, has plush responsiveness that more than lives up to its golden stanchions – plus, its willingness to gulp up hits would put any party-starter to shame. However, the party mood is spoilt a little with the arduous headache-inducing task of setting up the X2 rear shock. The cockpit consists of 760 mm bars and a short 35 mm stem, which feels great and gives good control for throwing moves.

The Merida eONE-SIXTY in detail

Forks FOX 36 FLOAT FACTORY 160 mm
Rear shock FOX FLOAT X2 150 mm
Motor / Battery Shimano DU-E8000 504 Wh
Brakes Shimano Saint
Drivetrain Shimano XT Di2
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth
Stem Merida Expert SS 45 mm
Handlebar Merida Expert 35 760 mm
Tires MAXXIS DHR II 2,8″
Wheels DT SWISS SPLINE ONE

New Benchmark The compact display is well protected behind the bars and displays all the necessary info in a clear and structured manner. We approve!
New benchmark
The compact display is well protected behind the bars and displays all the necessary info in a clear and structured manner. We approve!
Kopfweh Das Setup des FOX X2 beschert unerfahrenen Fahrern schnell Kopfzerbrechen. Ein Setup-Guide erleichtert jedoch die Einstellung.
Headache
Setting up the FOX X2 can be a royal headache for less experienced riders. There is a guide to accompany the rear shock, so use it.
Even the trickiest, steepest sections won’t unnerve the Shimano Saint brakes and their huge rotors. There’s a great braking performance in every situation.
Strong
Even the trickiest, steepest sections won’t unnerve the Shimano Saint brakes and their huge rotors. There’s a great braking performance in every situation.
With a powerful 500 Wh battery, the eONE-SIXTY won’t be the first to bed.
Staying power
With a powerful 500 Wh battery, the eONE-SIXTY won’t be the first to bed.
merida-eone-sixty-900e-geo-int

„All eyes on me – this bike commandeers attention!“

Helm Troy Lee A1 MIPS | Jersey Fox Indicator Jersey | Shorts Specialized Enduro Pro
Helmet Troy Lee A1 MIPS | Jersey Fox Indicator Jersey | Shorts Specialized Enduro Pro

Throw the moves and have fun

But enough about its appearance; what use is a pretty face if it doesn’t have the moves to match? Fortunately, the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY feels great from the first pedal stroke thanks to its ultra-comfortable and upright position. In ‘boost’ mode, the Shimano Steps MTB motor has more kick than your average Red Bull-spiked cocktail, and picks up the pace with aplomb. As the motor is still in a prototype phase, its ‘trail’ mode resembled a weak wine spritzer, and we’d have appreciated more support, or just an additional mode. A redeeming feature comes in the form of its handling, which is akin to a pro breakdancer – it throws shapes from left to right without batting an eyelid, retaining its stability and smoothness at high speeds.

Bang, boom, bang… the MERIDA knows how to have a good time!
Bang, boom, bang… the MERIDA knows how to have a good time!

The suspension delivers direct and thorough feedback. It has a super-slack 66.5° head angle, and longer legs than Heidi Klum with its 460 mm reach – for the size L frame, you can’t deny it’s pretty leggy. The MAXXIS Minion DHR II 2.8″ tires providing tons of grip. On descents these team up for traction and control, serving to nicely round off the bike’s package.

Repeat date or one-night-stand?

We’re putty in the hands of the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY, falling for both its image and its charm. A top handling package, great spec, and stylish looks: what more could we ask for? Well, what about value for money? Fortunately, with a price tag of € 5,500, we’d declare the eONE-SIXTY and its top performance a worthy bargain!

Strengths
– Brilliant and cohesive spec
– Stylish image
– Great price

Weaknesses
– Motor tuning is unfinalised

For more information head to merida-bikes.com

Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer

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Nothing beats trying before buying!
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