The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 900 E is anything but a wallflower, rocking up to this group test with some serious brawn on its plus-size tires. It looks as solid as a rock, and promises to be unfazed no matter how high the drop or how steep the climb. Time to push its limits, then!

MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 900E | € 5,499 | 22.10 kg | Shimano

With a spec that reads like a who’s who, we’d be hard-pressed to pick fault with any of the high-end components on the eONE-SIXTY. First off, MERIDA have kitted it out with the mighty Shimano STEPS motor, electronic Shimano XT Di2 shifters, and sturdy DT Swiss XM 1501 SPLINE ONE wheels with aggressive MAXXIS Minion DHR II tires with a 2.8″ width. Acknowledging that decent brakes are essential on E-MTBs, MERIDA have wisely adopted Shimano Saint stoppers. There’s a partially integrated downtube-mounted 500 Wh battery which is super-simple to remove when necessary.

The eONE-SIXTY has a fairly upright riding position, although comfort is the word of the day and it’s definitely prompted by the smart decision to team the long frame with a super-short 35 mm stem. This combination – alongside the slack 66.5° seat tube angle – lends the bike superb accuracy and great handling. For those who prefer a more aggressive, stretched-out position, just switch the stem to a 50 mm model. The chainstays have been kept nice and snappy at 439.5 mm, giving the bike a healthy dose of agility and enabling it to carry out some rapid turns without asking for excessive exertion. While there’s masses of stability on the eONE-SIXTY when the going gets gnarly, it’s a bike that’ll appeal to experienced riders as well as newer entrants to the sport. The superb FOX suspension lends a hand here with exemplary damping and a forgiving ride. The MERIDA has proven to be the ultimate weapon to take on whatever lies ahead on the trail, whether it flattens off and mellows or does the opposite.

Helmet Specialized Ambush | Jersey Race Face Podium-Jersey 2017 | Shorts 100% Celium-Shorts | Backpack USWE AIRBORNE 15l

The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 900E in Detail

Fork FOX 36 FLOAT FACTORY 160 mm
Rear shock FOX FLOAT X2 155 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
Bars MERIDA Expert 35 760 mm
Tires Maxxis DHR II 2.8″
Wheels DT Swiss XM1501 Spline One

Lustworthy
The FOX FLOAT X2 rear shock might be the current best air-sprung shock on the market, but it’s one for the experts when it comes to setting up this lustworthy object.
Best in Test
The MAXXIS Minion DHR II in the 2.8″ width bring as-yet-unencountered levels of grip and puncture resistance to the trails. With decent rolling resistance as well, they’re miles ahead of the competition.
Super-short
The short 35 mm stem translates into super-accurate handling and eliminates any sense of going headfirst over the handlebars when the gradient is scarily steep. If you tend to keep to mellow trails, you can switch this for a 50 mm model to generate a more stretched-out position and slightly less direct handling.
Gear range, baby!
The huge gear range on the XT’s 11–46 cassette is enough for the steepest climbs.

The geometry of the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 900E.

Conclusion

With the eONE-SIXTY we reckon MERIDA could write the E-MTB handbook! The geometry is sorted, the spec ticks all the finest boxes, and they’ve built it around the market’s current best motor. No other bike in the test fleet rode as impressively as the eONE-SIXTY on the technical trails, while still convincing the test riders of its merit on leisurely rides. Then there’s its screaming value for money, which can only mean one thing: the eONE-SIXTY rolls off with not only the Test Win but also our Best Value Tip! The winner takes it all!

Strengths

– Very stable handling
– Well-chosen spec
– Shines in all situations

Weaknesses

– None

For more information head to merida-bikes.com!

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: What is the Best E-MTB of 2017? – 14 Models in Test

All bikes in test: BULLS E-Core Di2 FS 27,5+ | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 Action Team | FLYER Uproc7 8.70 | FOCUS JAM2 FACTORY | Giant Full-E+ 0 SX | Haibike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 | Lapierre Overvolt AM 900+ Carbon | NOX EDF 6.7 Hybrid | ROTWILD R.E+ FS PRO | SCOTT E-Genius Tuned 700 Plus | Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Expert 6Fattie | STEVENS E-Sledge+ ES | Thömus Lightrider E1

Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer

Try it out for yourself!


Nothing beats trying before buying!
Click on one of the buttons to test this Merida .


About the author

Christoph Bayer