It’s a well-known fact that the coolest kids always rock up late to a party – and this seems to be the case with the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY. While most manufacturers have been hyping their full-suspension bikes to tear up the E-MTB dance floor for the past few years, MERIDA have taken their time. So now comes the question: are they bringing the party, or did they get lost en route?
“Good looking, muscular, nice complexion.” If the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY were a guy, then we reckon he’d get more than just a few admiring looks from some girls in a club. But, seeing as it’s really an E-MTB, this fact just broadens its fan base to include all of the men in our office too.
The Big Pimpin’
With its distinguishing design, powerful tubes, and burly plus-size tires, the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY rocks up to a club and makes the doormen look like matchsticks. It’s a statement bike with the accessories to match: the DT Swiss XM 1501 SPLINE ONE wheels might not ‘shine bright like a diamond,’ but they’re just as stable and timeless; the superb FOX suspension, with 160 mm of travel, has plush responsiveness that more than lives up to its golden stanchions – plus, its willingness to gulp up hits would put any party-starter to shame. However, the party mood is spoilt a little with the arduous headache-inducing task of setting up the X2 rear shock. The cockpit consists of 760 mm bars and a short 35 mm stem, which feels great and gives good control for throwing moves.
The Merida eONE-SIXTY in detail
Forks FOX 36 FLOAT FACTORY 160 mm
Rear shock FOX FLOAT X2 150 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
Handlebar Merida Expert 35 760 mm
Tires MAXXIS DHR II 2,8″
Wheels DT SWISS SPLINE ONE
„All eyes on me – this bike commandeers attention!“
Throw the moves and have fun
But enough about its appearance; what use is a pretty face if it doesn’t have the moves to match? Fortunately, the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY feels great from the first pedal stroke thanks to its ultra-comfortable and upright position. In ‘boost’ mode, the Shimano Steps MTB motor has more kick than your average Red Bull-spiked cocktail, and picks up the pace with aplomb. As the motor is still in a prototype phase, its ‘trail’ mode resembled a weak wine spritzer, and we’d have appreciated more support, or just an additional mode. A redeeming feature comes in the form of its handling, which is akin to a pro breakdancer – it throws shapes from left to right without batting an eyelid, retaining its stability and smoothness at high speeds.
The suspension delivers direct and thorough feedback. It has a super-slack 66.5° head angle, and longer legs than Heidi Klum with its 460 mm reach – for the size L frame, you can’t deny it’s pretty leggy. The MAXXIS Minion DHR II 2.8″ tires providing tons of grip. On descents these team up for traction and control, serving to nicely round off the bike’s package.
Repeat date or one-night-stand?
We’re putty in the hands of the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY, falling for both its image and its charm. A top handling package, great spec, and stylish looks: what more could we ask for? Well, what about value for money? Fortunately, with a price tag of € 5,500, we’d declare the eONE-SIXTY and its top performance a worthy bargain!
– Brilliant and cohesive spec
– Stylish image
– Great price
– Motor tuning is unfinalised
For more information head to merida-bikes.com
Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer