The MERIDA eONE-FORTY EQ with its Shimano EP8 motor is a thoroughbred eMTB designed for trail riding. However, with its coherent everyday spec, it has managed to sneak into our E-trekking bike group test. Read our review to find out whether the concept works and how the eMTB fares against the competition.

MERIDA eONE-FORTY EQ | Shimano EP8/630 Wh (504 Wh in size S) | 140/133 mm (f/r)
25.24 kg (size M) | € 4,799 | Manufacturer’s website

That eBike is part of our big trekking eBike group test. There you can find an overview of the test fleet and all information on the latest generation of trekking eBikes.

Trail performance for trekking? The MERIDA eONE-FORTY EQ in review

Originally developed as an eMTB, the eONE-FORTY EQ approaches our trekking group test from a different angle. With its everyday spec, MERIDA’s trail-oriented full-susser could also cut a great figure on trekking expeditions. To find out how versatile it is, we tested the bike on countless trails, exciting trekking tours and on our daily commute to work. Our test bike in size M weighs 25.2 kg, retails for € 4,799 and has a central and compact riding position. Unfortunately, MERIDA weren’t able to send us a size L, which would have offered better freedom of movement. The trail-oriented geometry shifts your upper body far forward over the handlebars, ensuring a sporty pedalling position. On long rides, this puts lots of pressure on your hands, forearms and chest, requiring more physical effort than the more upright position on other bikes like the CENTURION Country R2600i. If you’re patient enough to get used to the active riding position, the MERIDA will reward you with excellent traction up front and superb control, provided you know what you’re doing. The extra leverage of the wide 780 mm handlebars ensures precise steering, allowing you to manoeuvre the MERIDA with clinical precision. With good riding skills, you’ll be able to negotiate challenging descents on trails and handle tricky off-road sections without breaking a sweat while having lots of fun in the process. If you’re a novice or can’t get to terms with the active riding position, it’ll take some time to tame the eONE-FORTY.

No, thanks!
MERIDA rely on a rudimental SC-E5003 remote/display setup which doesn’t offer any connectivity features and takes some getting used to in terms of ergonomics. Apart from the separate light switch and low price, it only has disadvantages compared to the Shimano SC-EM800 display and SW-EM800 remotes.
Trekking essentials
A multi-tool should be included as standard with every bike. MERIDA always hide one under the saddle, where it’s easy to access on the trail. Cool!
Plenty of power
Four-piston brakes with big 200 mm rotors front and rear are an excellent choice not only for eMTBs but also E-trekking bikes. MERIDA are well aware of this and equip their eONE-FORTY with Shimano MT420 brakes
Some say that the perfectly-integrated Hermans H-Cargo rear light inspired Justin Timberlake to write his song SexyBack. The curved shape of the light ensures a cool look and makes you clearly visible from the side. Hopefully, it will inspire other bike manufacturers to find similar solutions.
Road legal light
The Lezyne Power STVZO E115 is the big sister of the E65, which can be found on the Centurion Country R2600i. It has the same, well-defined beam but is significantly more powerful. However, without a high beam, it can’t match the performance of the Supernova M99 PRO on the Riese & Müller Homage.
Rhythm stick
The rickety kickstand rattles incessantly on rough terrain and joins the loud clunking concert of the Shimano EP8 motor.
Is more always better?
Not always! The SR Suntour RS-EDGE shock controls 133 mm rear travel and performs rather well. That being said, the suspension of the MERIDA doesn’t offer the same level of comfort as the Riese & Müller Homage, which has only 105 mm travel.


€ 4,799


Motor Shimano EP8 85 Nm
Battery Shimano BT-E8036 630 (504 in S) Wh
Display Shimano SC-E5003
Fork SR Suntour ZERON35 140 mm
Rear Shock SR Suntour RS-EDGE 133 mm
Seatpost MERIDA COMP TR 100 – 150 mm
Brakes Shimano MT420 200/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano DEORE 1x11
Stem MERIDA Expert eTRII 50 mm
Handlebar MERIDA Expert eTR 780 mm
Wheelset Merida Comp Tr 29"/27.5"
Tires MAXXIS Rekon 2.4"/2.6"

Technical Data

Weight 25.24 kg
Perm. total weight 140 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 114 kg
Trailer approval yes
Kickstand mount yes

Specific Features


Like driving through a pedestrian zone in a Porsche
Of course, the MERIDA performs on simple forest paths, but only really comes to life off-road

Tamed performance – Riding safety onboard the MERIDA eONE-FORTY EQ

The slack head angle, short chainstays and MX wheel setup all originate from eMTBing. While the 29” front wheel of the MERIDA offers better rollover characteristics, the smaller 27.5” rear wheel ensures a more agile rear end, which becomes particularly evident off-road. The eONE-FORTY doesn’t shy away from more challenging descents and always encourages you to pick a dirt track over smooth tarmac. Here it follows steering input with clinical precision and makes it possible to flick the rear wheel around corners, provided you know how it’s done. On level terrain, the low position of the panniers ensures a low centre of gravity, minimising the impact of the extra weight of the bags. The Shimano MT420 four-piston brakes with 200 mm rotors always deliver reliable deceleration, even under heavy load. For better modulation, we would prefer one-finger brake levers. While the short lugs of the MAXXIS Rekon tires brake effectively on dry hardpack, on soft, soggy forest ground, they fail to match the excellent traction of more aggressive tires like the Johnny Watts on the Riese & Müller Homage. If you’re bold enough to tackle steep climbs, you’ll have to shift your weight between the front and rear end to keep the front wheel tracking and prevent the wide 2.6″ tire on the short rear end from drifting out of control. With a bag on the pannier rack, you’ll have to shift your weight around even more. Beginner-friendly? No! Fun? You bet!

Helmet Sweet Protection | Shirt Rapha | Shoes Five Ten Freerider | Socks Stance | Watch Garmin Forerunner 245 | Pannier ORTLIEB Sport-Roller City

The riding comfort of the MERIDA eONE-FORTY EQ

Getting on and off the MERIDA is fairly easy. However, despite the pronounced kink in the top tube and dropper post you’ll have to lift your leg higher than with Trek Powerfly FS to get on and off the bike. If you want to embark on long day trips with the MERIDA eONE-FORTY, you’ll have to compromise on comfort. The sporty and front-heavy pedalling position ensure precise handling but aren’t suitable for long tours. For the suspension, MERIDA rely on an SR Suntour ZERON 35 fork and RS-EDGE shock, controlling 140/133 mm travel front and rear respectively. Small vibrations are taken care of by the high-volume tires while the suspension deals with bigger hits from potholes and curbs. Only with fast consecutive hits i.e. when riding over rough paths, does the suspension fail to match the excellent performance of the most comfortable ebike in our trekking ebike test, the Riese & Müller Homage. In terms of ergonomics, the Shimano SC-E5003 remote control with its built-in display is rather rudimentary. The remote protrudes slightly from the handlebars and if you position the display more horizontally for better legibility, you’ll end up with the buttons pointing upwards, making them more difficult to reach.

The MERIDA eONE-FORTY EQ is an eMTB wolf in a trekking sheep’s clothing. Under the mudguards and pannier rack hides lots of riding performance”

Little choice with Shimano – The poor connectivity of the MERIDA eONE-FORTY EQ

The Shimano SC-E5003 display offers poor ergonomics and a limited range of functions. Moreover, Shimano’s rudimentary display only shows key riding data and can’t be connected to a smartphone or GPS device. If you want to adjust the characteristics of the support levels using the Shimano E-Tube Project app or track your rides in the E-Tube Ride app, you’ll have to upgrade to one of Shimano’s Bluetooth displays, like the SC-EM800. We recommend doing this through a Shimano dealer, who will charge you € 300 for the display and remote plus labour. Even then, you’ll still have to use an external navigation system because the Shimano display doesn’t have one. The EQ spec leaves significantly less room for criticism. Robust metal mudguards protect you from mud and flying debris. The MERIDA pannier rack doesn’t have a platform but makes for a sporty look while ensuring a low centre of gravity with the bags attached. The HERRMANS H-Cargo taillight is integrated into the end of the rack, ensuring a clean look and good visibility even from the side. For good visibility, MERIDA rely on a Lezyne E-Bike Power STVZO E115 light, which has the same shaped beam but is far more powerful than the smaller E65 version fitted to the CENTURION Country R2600i. It is powerful enough for full-on night riding but doesn’t have a separate high beam. Our only criticism goes to the rickety Atranvelo kickstand. We recommend swapping it for a more stable and quieter model, or taking it off altogether, which would be perfectly in line with the sporty character of the MERIDA.

Fun written all over her face
Legend has it that tester Leonie left her grin on the last trail she rode with the eONE-FORTY EQ. After all, that’s exactly where the MERIDA comes to life, while showing some weaknesses on longer tours.

Tuning tip: remove kickstand | install the Shimano SC-EM800 display and SW-EM800 remote

The sports car amongst the bikes in our test field– The MERIDA eOne FORTY EQ in detail

The MERIDA eONE-FORTY is an eMTB disguised as a trekking ebike. The bulky tires hidden under the mudguards and pannier rack and the harmonious silhouette ensure a sporty look. MERIDA have also done a great job with the cable routing. All cables run through the handlebars and headset straight into the frame, ensuring a clean cockpit. The integrated 630 Wh battery can be removed from the down tube for charging using a 4 mm Allen key, which is included in the multitool hidden under the saddle or in the rear axle. In size S, the smaller frame only allows for a 504 Wh battery. At the heart of the eONE-FORTY, a Shimano EP8 motor is sleekly integrated. With its sensitive yet sporty character, the motor fits in with the overall concept of the bike extremely well.

The MERIDA eONE-FORTY is a trekking ebike for experienced riders and everyone who wants to become one. If you get on with the demanding handling, you’ll have a great time onboard the MERIDA, especially off road.”

MERIDA eOne-FORTY EQ conclusion

On tours, the MERIDA eONE-FORTY EQ sticks out from the crowd in our E-trekking bike test with its strong riding performance, encouraging you to explore new paths, preferably off-road. The spec is well-chosen too. However, riding fun never comes for free. The lively character requires good riding skills, making the MERIDA the right trekking ebike for mountain bikers and anyone who wants to become one. For beginners and hobby trekkers looking for comfort, the strong mountain bike genes of the MERIDA can be a handful and restrict the range of applications significantly.


  • top riding fun and precise handling on paths and trails
  • tidy cockpit
  • multi-tool under the saddle


  • no connectivity
  • demanding handling

For more information head to the manufacturer website

The review of the Trek Powerfly FS 9 Equipped is part of our big trekking eBike group test “The best trekking eBike of 2021 – 8 modern eBikes for touring in comparison”. We’ve tested four different concepts and eight bikes to tell you what modern trekking eBikes are capable of and which one is the best to buy.

Test bike overview

CENTURION Country R2600i | FLYER Goroc3 6.50 | Greyp T5.2 | Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced + | MERIDA eONE-FORTY EQ | Niner RLT e9 RDO | Riese & Müller Homage GT Touring | Trek Powerfly FS 9 Equipped

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Words: Rudolf Fischer Photos: Valentin Rühl

About the author

Rudolf Fischer

In his previous life Rudolf was a dab hand at promoting innovation, putting his brain behind big-ticket patent assessments that easily ran into six-or-seven-plus figures. These days, the self-confessed data nerd’s role as editor at DOWNTOWN and E-MOUNTAINBIKE is no less exciting. Given his specialism in connectivity, Rudolf’s often placed on the front line of future mobility conversations, but he’s also big into testing new bikes–both on the daily as a committed commuter and intensively for our group tests. The business economist graduate is as versatile as a Swiss penknife, and that’s no hyperbole. Away from two wheels, his background in parkour means he’s a master of front, side and backflips, plus he speaks German, English, French, Russian and a touch of Esperanto. Japanese remains woefully unmastered, despite his best home-learning attempts. Good to know: Rudolf’s sharp tongue has made him a figure of fear in the office, where he’s got a reputation for flexing a dry wittiness à la Ricky Gervais... interestingly, he's usually the one laughing hardest.