The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY is an old acquaintance having secured several E-MOUNTAINBIKE group test victories in recent years. For 2020, it’s been redesigned from the ground up, bringing it bang up to date with a strikingly designed carbon frame, integrated battery and numerous improvements. Can the new MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K reclaim its place at the top?
Click here for an overview of the best eMTB 2020 group test.
The price of the new MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K is in its name. The carbon eMTB with its Shimano STEPS E8000 motor is yours for a little less than ten thousand euros (€ 9,799). While the aluminium rear triangle and the FOX Factory suspension of the 160 mm travel bike haven’t changed much, most of the innovation can be found in the completely redesigned front triangle. As a result of their partnership with Shimano, MERIDA were one of the first manufacturers to use the new, slimmed-down BT-E8035 internal 504 Wh battery. If you need more range, MERIDA have already got you covered: the eONE-SIXTY 10K comes with an EVOC FR TRAIL E-RIDE backpack and a spare battery included.
Components, weight and technical details of the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K
The new eONE-SIXTY gives up on the days of wide 27.5″ x 2.8″ tires. Up front, MERIDA spec a 29″ wheel mounted with a super-grippy MAXXIS ASSEGAI tire. Despite being a mullet bike, using a 27.5” wheel at the rear, MERIDA have opted against the use of a fat 2.8″ tire, instead going for 2.6″ Minion DHR. It inflates to about the same width as the front tire, but unfortunately, it is only available in the more puncture prone EXO+ casing. Considering the delicate DT Swiss HXC 1200 carbon wheels, this is a dangerous combination for heavy or aggressive riders. In all other details, both the frame details and componentry on the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K have been given a lot of thought, offering the highest quality components that are well suited to the intended application.
MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K
Motor Shimano STEPS E8000 70Nm
Battery Shimano STEPS BT-E8035 504Wh
Display Shimano STEPS E8000
Fork FOX 36 E-Bike+ Factory 160 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT X2 Factory 150 mm
Seatpost MERIDA Expert TR 125 - 170 mm
Brakes Shimano XTR 4-piston 200/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XTR 1x12
Stem MERIDA Expert eTR 40 mm
Handlebar MERIDA Expert eTR 780 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss HXC 1200 SPLINE 30 29"/27.5"
Size XS S M L XL
Weight 22.16 kg
Perm. total weight 120 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 97 kg
Trailer approval yes
Kickstand mount no
EVOC FR Trail E-Ride backpack with additional battery included
Geometry and size of the MERIDA
The geometry of the eONE-SIXTY has also been given a major update. With 470 mm reach, it is very roomy up front. The cockpit is equally tall with a stack figure of 650 mm, making it ideal for steep, demanding trails.
|Seat tube||410 mm||420 mm||440 mm||470 mm||500 mm|
|Top tube||563 mm||584 mm||605 mm||629 mm||652 mm|
|Head tube||110 mm||115 mm||120 mm||135 mm||150 mm|
|Chainstays||440 mm||440 mm||440 mm||440 mm||440 mm|
|BB Drop||18 mm||18 mm||18 mm||18 mm||18 mm|
|Wheelbase||1,168 mm||1,190 mm||1,212 mm||1,239 mm||1,265 mm|
|Reach||400 mm||420 mm||440 mm||460 mm||480 mm|
|Stack||629 mm||633 mm||638 mm||652 mm||665 mm|
The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K on the trail
With its tall front end and relatively slack seat tube angle, the pedalling position on the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K is comfortable on flat terrain. However, we’d advise shifting the saddle as far forward as possible for a more balanced pedalling position on steep climbs. Otherwise, you’ll have to lean far forwards to keep the front wheel on the ground. Fortunately, the suspension generates a lot of traction and prevents the rear wheel from spinning out, whether you’re standing up or leaning forward. Unfortunately, no matter how you adjust the saddle and position yourself on the bike, the MERIDA doesn’t climb as well as the best technical climbers in the test field, such as the Orbea WILD FS or Moustache Samedi Trail 27. However, its climbing capabilities are more than sufficient for less demanding ascents.
No other bike on test manages to combine composure and stability at high-speed, with agility and fun, quite as well as the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K.
As soon as the trail starts heading back down, the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K plays in an entirely different league. Its handling is agile, fun, very precise and defined. The new eONE-SIXTY 10K’s ability to combine composure and agility is second to none in the test field. The handling is extremely predictable in technical terrain, whether you’re going fast or slow. Thanks to the tall front end, you always feel in control on steep descents and the grippy tires and powerful brakes instil you with the confidence to charge through everything. However, the MERIDA is not as well balanced on flat trails, requiring you to weight the front of the bike. Nonetheless, the rear suspension is more than supportive enough for you to get your weight forward in the corners. The fork and shock never give up more travel than required and you can quickly generate speed by pumping the eONE-SIXTY 10K through rollers and berms. The eONE-SIXTY gives you a lot of pop over jumps too, making it easy for you to collect frequent flyer miles. Big jumps and drops are just as much fun on this bike as hammering over roots or gliding down flow-trails. Bonus: the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K is one of the quietest eMTBs we’ve ridden to date.
Tuning tip: slide the saddle all the way forward | fit a tire with MAXXIS’ more robust Doubledown casing on the rear
Anyone looking for razor-sharp handling and maximum performance on the trail will find what they’re looking for with the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K. It descends better than the Best in Test Specialized Levo, making it one of the best options for enduro riders, but it can’t keep up with the better climbing bikes in the test field. In terms of looks and build quality, MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K is right there with the best of them.
- outstanding on the descents
- agile yet composed
- super quiet: no chain slap or cables rattling
- no skid plate
- wheelset too fragile for aggressive use
You can find out more about the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K at merida-bikes.com.
The test field
You can find everything you need to know about our test for the best eMTB of 2020 right here!
All bikes in test: BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 | Cannondale Moterra 1 | Canyon Spectral:ON 9.0 | COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM 2020 | CONWAY XYRON 927 Carbon | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC | FANTIC XF1 180 Race | FOCUS JAM² 9.9 DRIFTER | Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro | Haibike XDURO Nduro 10.0 | Liteville 301 CE MK1 | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K | Moustache Samedi 27 Trail | Norco Range VLT C1 | NOX Hybrid Enduro 7.1 | Orbea WILD FS M-LTD | Pivot Shuttle 29 | Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 90 Rally Edition | ROTWILD R.X750 ULTRA | SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax | Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo | Trek Rail 9.9 | Whyte E-180 RS V1 | YT DECOY CF Pro Race
Relaxed and comfortable riding on surfaced roads, both uphill and downhill.↩
Easy climbs up trails with few obstacles, wide turns and a moderate incline.↩
Active and playful descents on easy trails with few obstacles, wide turns and a moderate slope.↩
Single-track climbs on challenging terrain. Loose ground, steps, roots, tight corners and occasionally extreme inclines.↩
Singletrack descents on challenging terrain. Loose ground, steps, roots, tight corners and small jumps as well as some very steep descents.↩
High speed descents on sometimes very rough trails with large jumps and obstacles that you can’t roll over.↩
The rating used for riding characteristics refers to the bikes in the group test and the current state of development of eMTBs. The best bikes managed to blend supposedly opposite riding characteristics, feeling both lively and stable at the same time. The handling describes the balance of the bike on downhill sections. The information regarding motor-power refers to the ride-feeling in the overall context of the bike and not exclusively to the motor – that’s why the same motor can present different values.↩
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Words: Felix Stix, Robin Schmitt, Jonas Müssig Photos: Finlay Anderson, Robin Schmitt, Felix Stix, Markus Frühmann