The brand new MERIDA eONE-FORTY looks strikingly similar to the recently introduced eONE-SIXTY. Nevertheless, it’s a completely different beast on the trail. We’ve had the exclusive opportunity to take it for a test ride and we’ll tell you what it’s capable of.

The brand new MERIDA eONE-FORTY looks strikingly similar to the recently introduced eONE-SIXTY.
MERIDA eONE-FORTY | Shimano E8000/504 Wh | 140 mm/133 mm (f/r) | 21.92 kg | € 7,199

Just a few weeks ago, MERIDA blew us away with the presentation of their new eONE-SIXTY and now they’re rounding off their portfolio with the eONE-FORTY. Like its big brother, the newest model in the line-up features a carbon frame with the distinctive cooling fins at the head tube, a Shimano STEPS E8000 motor with an integrated but removable 504 Wh battery and a 29″ wheel up front paired with a 27.5″ wheel at the rear. The rear suspension of the bike offers 133 mm of travel and it comes with a 140 mm fork.

The new MERIDA eONE-FORTY has the same distinctive head tube as its big brother
This inviting looking button in the top tube switches the bike on
The compact 504 Wh Shimano BT-E8035 battery is integrated into the downtube
There is space for a bottle cage in the front triangle

The eONE-FORTY comes with all the same clever details that MERIDA already presented on their eONE-SIXTY. Be it the battery cover and the chainstay protector, which both effectively minimize noise, the beautiful on/off button in the top tube or the charging socket in the down tube. A KnockBLock in the headset limits the steering angle, preventing the fork from hitting the frame. It doesn’t affect the bike’s handling on the trail, but it can be somewhat annoying when you’re packing the bike into your car.

The eONE-FORTY is powered by a Shimano STEPS E8000 motor
The specially developed battery cover…
… should effectively suppress any annoying noises together with the chainstay protector
MERIDA have developed their own mudguard for the eONE-FORTY and the eONE-SIXTY
There is a charging socket at the bottom of the down tube allowing you to charge the battery on the bike if you don’t feel like taking it out

The geometry of the MERIDA eONE-FORTY

The similarity between the eONE-FORTY and eONE-SIXTY is no coincidence. Both bikes are based on the same frame and the difference in travel is achieved primarily by speccing a shock with a shorter stroke length on the eONE-FORTY. But if you think that’s all that MERIDA have done, you’re mistaken. The development team has given a lot of thought to the intended use and the target group of the different bikes.

What they’ve come up with is a concept where the official size of the eONE-FORTY is always one frame size smaller than the same size eONE-SIXTY. For example, the large eONE-FORTY has the same size frame as the medium eONE-SIXTY. This might sound strange at first, but it makes a lot of sense. The shorter travel fork results in a steeper head tube angle, which also results in an increase in reach on the same frame size (the distance between the rider and the handlebar). However, since the eONE-FORTY is meant to be a more agile and playful bike than the eONE-SIXTY, an increase in reach would be counterproductive. If you compare the geometry, you’ll notice that the large eONE-FORTY has a reach figure of 449.5 mm, putting it in between the medium (440 mm) and the large (460 mm) eONE-SIXTY.

You can clearly see that the eONE-FORTY is shorter with steeper seat and head tube angles

In general, the geometry is aimed more towards agile handling and more efficient climbing characteristics. The seat tube angle is 0.9° steeper and the front end is 34 mm shorter compared to its longer travel sibling.

The geometry of the MERDIA eONE-FORTY at a glance:

Seat tube 405 mm 420 mm 440 mm 470 mm 500 mm
Top tube 561 mm 582 mm 603 mm 626 mm 648 mm
Head tube 110 mm 115 mm 120 mm 135 mm 150 mm
Head angle 66.4° 66.4° 66.4° 66.4° 66.4°
Seat angle 76.4° 76.4° 76.4° 76.4° 76.4°
Chainstay 440 mm 440 mm 440 mm 440 mm 440 mm
BB Drop 24.4 mm 24.4 mm 24.4 mm 24.4 mm 24.4 mm
Wheelbase 1,160 mm 1,182 mm 1,204 mm 1,231 mm 1,257 mm
Reach 410 mm 430 mm 450 mm 470 mm 490 mm
Stack 622 mm 627 mm 631 mm 645 mm 658 mm

Without compromise – the componentry spec of the eONE-FORTYY

Fortunately, the times when eMTB were specced with the same components as their non-motorised counterparts are over. MERIDA have also come to understand the importance of speccing robust and sturdy components made to withstand the demands of eMTBs. So, all models come specced with 200 mm disc brake rotors, stiff forks and aggressively treaded tires. The eONE-FORTY will be available in a total of four builds ranging from € 4,599 for the eONE-FORTY 400 to € 7,199 for the eONE-FORTY 9000, which we got to test.

Fork DT Swiss F535 ONE 140 mm
Rear shock FOX FLOAT DPS Factory 133 mm
Motor/Battery Shimano E8000/504 Wh
Drivetrain Shimano XT 12-Fach
Brakes Shimano XT 4-Kolben 200/200 mm
Handlebar MERIDA EXPERT eTR 780 mm
Wheels DT Swiss HX1501 Spline 27,5″
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHF/DHRII EXO 2,6″
Weight 21.92 kg
Price € 7,199

The flagship MERIDA eONE-FORTY 9000 comes specced with DT-Swiss’ high-end F535 fork
You also get 200 mm rotors front and back
Perfect ergonomics: the E7000 remote pairs very nicely with traditional dropper post levers
For the tires, MERIDA chose a 2.5″ MAXXIS Minion DHF up front and a 2.6″ MAXXIS Minion DHR at the rear. Both tires come with the EXO casing.
The rear end offers 133 mm travel. What you can’t see here is that the shock has an internal limiter that stops it from using up all of the available stroke length.

The new MERIDA eONE-FORTY on the Trail

The fun begins before you even set off on the new MERIDA eONE-FORTY as you get to push that inticing on/off button in the top tube. With a rider height of 180 cm, we went for the size L. The upright riding position is nicely balanced and very comfortable. Long days in the saddle shouldn’t be any problem and we never had the feeling over being too far over the back of the bike, no matter how steep the climbs got – perfect. As with all Shimano driven eMTBs, the eONE-FORTY has three riding modes, but we spent the majority of our time on the bike in Trail-Mode where the output of the motor adjusts automatically to rider’s input. If you want to extend the battery life as much as possible, you can switch Eco-Mode.

So fährt sich das neue MERIDA eONE-FORTY auf dem Trail
On the climbs, the MERIDA eONE-FORTY performed very well. The front wheel stays firmly planted on the ground.

Riding along forest service roads, the bike feels very relaxed and stable, offering good-natured and intuitive handling. The suspension performs sensitively, and together with the large volume tires, it simply irons over all irregularities. If you decide to take on more technical climbs, the central and upright riding position means you’ll always have enough weight on the front wheel. You’ll come to appreciate this on tight and twisty sectons. Though the rear wheel traction isn’t the best, it’s good enough and the rear suspension doesn’t wallow or get hung up on holes or roots.

Das neue eONE-FORTY E-Mountainbike in freier Wildbahn
Going downhill, the riding position is central and the compact geometry for agile handling
The eONE-FORTY loves to manual and catch air

The MERIDA eONE-FORTY convinced us with its lively and playful character on the descents. It doesn’t take much to get it airborne and manualling it is very easy too. When changing direction, the bike feels very agile and precise. However, as soon as you pick up speed, you’ll soon notice that you’ve only got 140 mm of travel at your disposal. The handling becomes noticeably harsher, not able to absorb all of the impacts coming your way. Having said that, the bike never feels nervous, it’ll just let you know when it’s time to get on the brakes. The low slung top tube gives a lot of freedom of movement in steep terrain and thereby instils you with confidence.

Thumbs up! The new MERIDA eONE-FORTY will definitely put a smile on your face.

Our conclusion on the new MERIDA eONE-FORTY

The new eONE-FORTY is a successful addition to MERIDA’s product portfolio, offering a lot of comfort for long days in the saddle as well as a very agile and playful character on the trails. It features the same smart details and beautiful design as its big brother. In case you’re wondering how the eONE-FORTY compares to the eONE-SIXTY, you’ll have to wait for the release of the next issue of E-MOUNTAINBIKE where we’ll have the bikes battle it out on the trails.

MERIDA eONE-FORTY vs. eONE-SIXTY – you’ll find all the details in the next issue of E-MOUNTAINBIKE. For free, of course!

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Words: Photos: Christoph Bayer, Reynaldo Ilgana