Not long ago, the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K secured victory in our Best eMTB of 2021 group test. However, not everyone wants to spend € 10,000 on a bike. So what about a cheaper model? In our budget group test, the € 5,599 MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 700 had to prove what it’s capable of on the trail.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2021 for € 5,500 – 7 budget eMTBs go head to head

MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 700 | Shimano EP8/630 (504 in XS) Wh | 160/150 mm (f/r)
23.92 kg in size L | € 5,599 | Manufacturer’s website

Not long ago, the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K flagship model was able to assert itself against 25 of the most exciting bikes of the season in our Best eMTB of 2021 group test. This makes the cheaper eONE-SIXTY 700 model one of the hottest candidates of our budget group test! The MERIDA offers 160/150 mm travel and relies on an aluminium frame with mixed wheel sizes. Weight is 23.92 kg in size L. In terms of integration, the MERIDA doesn’t have to envy its fancier top-of-the-range counterpart: the 85 Nm Shimano motor and 630 Wh battery are neatly integrated into the downtube, forming a solid unit with the frame. Moreover, the speed sensor is safely tucked away in the dropout and the electronic cables of the motor run inside the handlebars, ensuring a tidy cockpit, even with the additional cable for the light on the stem! There’s also a multi-tool hidden under the saddle. All of the above, together with the generous maximum payload of 116 kg, trailer approval and a kickstand mount add considerable value both in terms of integration and everyday suitability, without affecting the bike’s trail credentials.

The spec of the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 700

For the suspension, MERIDA rely on a 160 mm Marzocchi Bomber Z1, which uses the same proven GRIP damper found on many FOX forks. At the rear, a FOX DPX2 Performance shock controls 150 mm travel. The brake levers, shifter and dropper post remote are all supplied by Shimano and can be adjusted individually, ensuring good ergonomics and a tidy look. Watch out! At first glance, it’s easy to think the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 700 comes equipped with a fancy XT drivetrain. However, on closer inspection you’ll notice that the expensive XT rear derailleur is actually combined with cheaper DEORE components, including a heavier cassette with a matching chain and a basic shifter without the practical Multi Release function. Cheeky! We didn’t like MERIDA’s in-house wheelset with Expert TR rims and Shimano SLX hubs either. We had to service them halfway through the test. On the other hand, we were very impressed with the tire setup: here MERIDA combine a 2.5” MAXXIS ASSEGAI with the soft 3C MaxxGrip compound at the front and a 2.6″ Minion DHRII with the slightly harder 3C MaxxTerra compound at the rear. Both tires offer excellent grip and come in the robust DoubleDown casing, which ensures good puncture resistance and excellent support.

The look and feel are just as excellent as its trail performance – the MERIDA eONE SIXTY 700 combines all of the characteristics of a great all-rounder.

XT on the outside, bodged on the inside
MERIDA combine a fancy XT rear derailleur with cheaper DEORE components. The DEORE cassette, chain and shifter can’t deliver the shifting performance you’d expect at first glance.
That’s the way!
The robust DoubleDown casings of the tires are spot on! MERIDA pair an ultra-soft 2.5” ASSEGAI 3C MaxxGrip at the front with a 2.6” Minion DHRII with the slightly harder 3C MaxxTerra compound at the rear.
The advantages of alloy
Our only criticism about the best eMTB bike of 2021, the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K: the seat tube is too long and restricts the choice of frame size. The eONE-SIXTY 700 does it better! The seat tube of the alloy frame is significantly shorter than the top-end carbon frame.


€ 5,599


Motor Shimano EP8 85 Nm
Battery Shimano BT-E8036 630 (504 in XS) Wh
Display Shimano SC-E7000
Fork Marzocchi Bomber Z1 Ebike+ 160 mm
Rear Shock FOX DPX2 Performance 150 mm
Seatpost MERIDA Expert TR 125–170 mm
Brakes Shimano SLX M7120 200/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT/M6100 1x12
Stem MERIDA Expert eTRII 40 mm
Handlebar MERIDA Expert eTR 780 mm
Wheelset MERIDA Expert TR / Shimano SLX 29"/27.5"

Technical Data

Size XS S M L XL
Weight 23.92 kg
Perm. total weight 140 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 116 kg
Trailer approval yes
Kickstand mount yes

Specific Features

Lezyne lights
Multi-tool underneath the saddle

There’s still one (small) drawback
The integration of the Shimano EP8 motor is exemplary. Unfortunately, bits of the acoustic foam stock out from the edges of the motor housing, spoiling the otherwise clean look of the bike. However, this is criticism at the highest level!
Always at hand!
MERIDA hide a practical multi-tool under the saddle of the eONE-SIXTY 700. We love it!
Stiffness meets traction
The DPX2 shock harmonises perfectly with the kinematics of the eONE-SIXTY 700. The suspension is well defined and offers lots of support and reserves while generating excellent traction.
Nice and quiet… almost
The massive chainstay protector prevents chain slap but doesn’t eliminate the loud clunking noise that comes from inside the EP8 motor.

The advantage of the alloy version – The geometry of the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 700

In our review of the MERIDA eONE SIXTY 10K flagship model, our only criticism went to the seat tube, which is too long and restricts the choice of frame sizes. Luckily, that’s not the case with the eONE-SIXTY 700, because MERIDA have shortened the seat tube of the alloy frame by 2 cm. This allows you to choose the frame size based on your riding style and preference instead of the length of your legs. In combination with MERIDA’s in-house 170 mm Expert TR dropper post, the short seat tube ensures plenty of freedom of movement on the bike. The eONE SIXTY 700 is available in five sizes, XS to XL, where the short down tube of the XS frame only allows for a smaller 504 Wh battery. MERIDA pair a relatively compact reach (460 mm in size L) with a very high front end (642 mm stack in size L). While at 75.5°, the seat tube angle is rather steep, the pronounced kink in the seat tube makes for a rear-heavy pedalling position. Particularly riders with long legs should push the saddle all the way forward to ensure a more comfortable riding position – even on flat trails. Thanks to the comfortable suspension and robust tires that allow you to run low air pressures, the MERIDA is also suitable for long tours.

Size XS S M L XL
Seat tube 405 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
Head angle 65.5° 65.5° 65.5° 65.5° 65.5°
Seat angle 75.5° 75.5° 75.5° 75.5° 75.5°
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
Helmet POC Kortal Race MIPS | Glasses POC Devour | Jersey POC Essentials DH LS
Shorts POC M’S Infinite All-Mountain | Kneepad POC VPD Air Legs
Shoes Specialized 2FO DH | Socks POC Essential Mid

The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 700 on test – The best all-rounder?

On moderate climbs, the MERIDA winds its way up the trail with ease and encourages you to play with the terrain, rewarding your efforts with a fun ride. Steeper climbs expose the issues with the kinked seat tube. Taller riders in particular end up with their weight further back, meaning the MERIDA requires an active riding style to keep the front wheel tracking and on the ground. On technical climbs the bike has to admit defeat to the Haibike AllMtn 4 and SCOTT Ransom eRIDE 920, placing in the middle of our test field. If you’re still determined to conquer steep technical trail sections, we recommend dropping the saddle and shifting your weight forward to prevent the front from lifting. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about the rear wheel spinning out, because the composed suspension, paired with the grippy rear tire, always generates enough traction, despite the shock remaining high in its travel. Uphill, beginners won’t be able to play with the trail as much as experienced riders as this requires good skills and an active riding style. If you are experienced though or just want to get to the trail in a relaxed fashion on a fire road, there’s nothing to worry about.

An excellent balance between composure and agility makes the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 700 the king of the trail!

Tuning tips: push the saddle all the way forward | a masterclass in wheel truing

Drop the seat, stand up and have fun! Downhill the MERIDA is in a class of its own! No other bike is as versatile as the eONE-SIXTY 700, which manages to combine seemingly opposing characteristics such as composure and agility. Whether you’re cruising on easy flowing trails, ripping at full speed on man-made bike park tracks or challenging yourself on steep technical descents, the eONE-SIXTY 700 doesn’t get overwhelmed easily! MERIDA have managed to create a bike that is predictable, good-natured and yet extremely precise. Weight is evenly distributed between the wheels, allowing even inexperienced riders with poor riding skills to negotiate open corners with ease. It is also easy to jump and generate speed on flowing trails. On steep and technical descents, the upright riding position integrates you between the wheels, inspiring huge amounts of confidence and leaving you free to scan the trail ahead. Aboard the MERIDA, you feel like a king on his throne! Like the sceptre of a ruler, the eONE SIXTY 700 puts you in charge. Depending on your mood and riding skills, you can choose to rip your way back down into the valley like a pro or cruise through the forest like a master of flow. Faced with an aggressive riding style, the Marzocchi Bomber Z1 fork lacks support, limiting the high-speed performance of the MERIDA – that said, this only applies to very advanced riders.

Riding Characteristics



  1. sluggish
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. stable


  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Riding fun

  1. boring
  2. lively

Motor feeling

  1. digital
  2. natural

Motor power

  1. weak
  2. strong

Value for money

  1. poor
  2. top


Forest road


Flow trail uphill


Flow trail downhill


Technical single trail uphill


Technical single trail downhill


Downhill tracks



A master in all categories. The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 700 strikes a fine balance between composure and agility, delivering an impressive performance on all types of descents yet still offering lots of comfort on long rides. Regardless of your riding skills, the MERIDA eONE SIXTY is an excellent all-rounder and only reveals some weaknesses uphill. The Shimano EP8 motor is neatly integrated into the well-thought-out and high-quality frame. If you want to spend € 5,500 on your next eMTB, the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY offers the best overall package. A well deserved Best in Test!


  • fast, safe and fun for everyone
  • confidence-inspiring
  • everyday functionality meets trail performance
  • tidy, ergonomic cockpit


  • mixed drivetrain
  • wheelset quality
  • demanding uphill

You can find out more about at

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2021 for € 5,500 – 7 budget eMTBs go head to head

All bikes in test: Canyon Spectral:ON CF 7 (Click for review) | FOCUS JAM² 6.9 NINE (Click for review) | Haibike AllMtn 4 (Click for review) | INFRONT IF-2.1 Fully (Click for review) | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 700 | Propain Ekano AL 29 (Click for review) | SCOTT Ransom eRIDE 920 (Click for review)

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Words: Photos: Jonas Müssig & Peter Walker