As the winner of last year’s eMTB budget group test, the Merida eONE-SIXTY 975 takes on the competition with very promising hard numbers. Retailing at € 7,249, it comes equipped with a Shimano EP8 motor, 750 Wh battery and countless everyday features. Does performance always come at a price or can the MERIDA outsmart its expensive opponents?

MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 | Shimano EP8/750 Wh | 160/150 mm (f/r)
25.3 kg in size L | € 7,249 | Manufacturer’s website

Just like a 90s VW Golf Country, the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 is refreshingly understated: simplicity and practicality meet solid technology. Like Volkswagen’s 90s crossover trailblazer, the MERIDA blends into the background, and has already proven in the past what it’s capable of. MERIDA describe it as their “jack of all trades”, but in our test field it looks more like the underdog. We found out whether the plucky golf… errr, Merida can keep up with its high-end opponents.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2023 – 30 models in review

Performance over prestige – how does the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 compare to the competition?

Alongside the FOCUS Jam², the FOCUS⁠ Sam² and the Moustache, the eONE-SIXTY 975 is one of the few bikes in this test with an alloy frame, which the Taiwanese manufacturer painted in a discreet black finish. However, next to some of the outrageously eccentric competitors, like the UNNO Mith and Ibis Oso, the MERIDA looks a little outdated. In return, it’s refreshingly functional. The eONE-SIXTY ⁠relies on a proven Shimano EP8 motor, which churns out 85 Nm of torque. With the help of a rather bulbous-looking battery cover, MERIDA managed to squeeze in a big 750 Wh SIMPLO battery instead of the smaller 630 Wh model. The battery can be removed from the down tube without tools, but if you want to charge it on the bike, you’ll have to get familiar with the flimsy rubber charging port cover first.

Proven technology
The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 relies on Shimano’s proven EP8 motor, which, at 85 Nm torque, churns out plenty of power. The display shows all important information.
The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 relies on Shimano’s proven EP8 motor, which, at 85 Nm torque, churns out plenty of power. The display shows all important information.
Shine on
The MERIDA comes standard with a permanently integrated Lezyne E-Bike Power E115 headlight, which feeds off the main battery and provides enough light for late night commutes and moderate trail riding.

As you might already know, the Taiwanese manufacturer doesn’t mess around with the spec of their bikes. As a result, the eONE-SIXTY 975 is trimmed uncompromisingly for trail performance and can easily keep up with bikes twice as expensive, at least in terms of componentry. The RockShox suspension consists of a top-tier, 160 mm ZEB Ultimate fork with countless adjustment options and matching RockShox Super Deluxe shock, which is from the more economic Select+ series and controls 150 mm travel at the rear. The fork and shock might lack the fancy features of bling-er components, like the golden Kashima coating, but offer excellent bang for your buck. If you like to plough through the rough stuff at Mach 10, you want to be able to trust your steed. MERIDA have you covered, relying on a robust Shimano DEORE XT LINKGLIDE 11-speed drivetrain, which doesn’t care about the bling factor, but works discreetly in the background, delivering slower and smoother gear shifts to ensure a longer service life. For the tires, MERIDA rely on fellow Taiwanese brand MAXXIS, combining a 29 x 2.5” ASSEGAI with soft MaxxGrip rubber compound at the front and a 27.5 x 2.6” Minion DHR II in the harder MaxxTerra compound at the rear, both in EXO+ casing. Heavy and rowdy riders are better off upgrading to more robust tires with the tougher Doubledown casing.

For ever and ever
Just like the rest of the spec, the 11-speed Shimano XT LINKGLIDE drivetrain was designed with durability in mind. To ensure a longer service life, it performs slower and smoother gear shifts.
Hidden details
For the quick pit stop is hidden under the saddle a multitool that is equipped with the most necessary functions.

The solid spec doesn’t just ensure maximum performance on the trail, but also convinces in everyday riding situations. A Lezyne E115 headlight, which draws its power directly from the main bike battery, gets you home safely after a long day at the office and provides enough light on forest paths, provided you’re riding at moderate speeds. The headlight is complemented by a rechargeable tail light. As usual, MERIDA hide a multitool under the saddle, allowing you to perform quick trailside repairs. If you want, you can even install a kickstand or tow a trailer – even the Golf Country would be green with envy.


€ 7,249


Motor Shimano EP8 85 Nm
Battery SIMPLO internal Battery 750 Wh
Display Shimano SC-EM800
Fork RockShox ZEB Ultimate 160 mm
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ 150 mm
Seatpost MERIDA Expert TR 180 mm
Brakes Shimano XT 200/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano DEORE XT 1x11
Stem MERIDA Expert 50 mm
Handlebar MERIDA Expert 780 mm
Wheelset MERIDA Expert TR 29"/27.5"
Tires Maxxis ASSEGAI 3C MaxxGrip EXO+/Minion DHR II 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ 2.5/2.6

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 25.3 kg
Perm. total weight 140 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 114 kg
Trailer approval yes
Kickstand mount yes

Specific Features

integrated Lezyne front light
Lezyne rear light

Tuning tip: Push the saddle all the way forward for a more front heavy position on steep climbs

What is the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 capable of?

The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 shines in many respects. On flat trails, it convinces with a relaxed, comfortable pedalling position, proving an excellent companion for long days in the saddle. Riding uphill, the smaller mullet rear wheel provides a slightly rear-heavy pedalling position, forcing you to actively weight the front wheel to prevent it from lifting. On technical climbs, you’ll have to pick your line and time your pedal strokes carefully to avoid smashing the cranks and motor into obstacles. Uphill, the powerful Shimano EP8 motor provides decent support, but struggles to keep up with the most powerful motors in this test – the Polini of the Berria and the Bosch race edition of the Orbea WILD.

Watch out
The low bottom bracket requires you to time your pedal strokes carefully to avoid smashing the cranks on technical climbs.
Send it
With its potent suspension, the MERIDA doesn’t shy away from nasty rock gardens and bails you out on botched landings.

When gravity takes over, you’re nicely integrated with the bike. Right away, the MERIDA slaps a massive grin on your face, striking an excellent balance between agility and composure, and allowing you to flick the bike from corner to corner while completely forgetting about its 25.30 kg mass. At the same time, the intuitive and predictable handling inspires huge amounts of confidence, encouraging even inexperienced riders to swap the blue trails for black lines. The potent suspension doesn’t shy away from nasty rock gardens either, combining a reassuring amount of plushness with good support, while at the same time providing sufficient feedback and enough reserves to bail you out on botched landings. The MERIDA makes its way down the mountain with great composure, allowing active riders to pop off ledges while inspiring huge amounts of confidence with its high front end.

One for all and all for one – the eONE-SIXTY 975 is suitable both for beginners and experienced riders!

Size S M L XL
Top tube 584 mm 605 mm 626 mm 647 mm
Seat tube 415 mm 430 mm 450 mm 470 mm
Head tube 115 mm 120 mm 125 mm 130 mm
Head angle 65.5° 65.5° 65.5° 65.5°
Seat angle 75.5° 75.5° 75.5° 75.5°
Chainstay 439.5 mm 439.5 mm 439.5 mm 439.5 mm
BB Drop 17.5 mm 17.5 mm 17.5 mm 17.5 mm
Wheelbase 1,190 mm 1,212 mm 1,234 mm 1,256 mm
Reach 420 mm 440 mm 460 mm 480 mm
Stack 633 mm 638 mm 642 mm 647 mm
Helmet Bluegrass Rogue Core MIPS | Glasses Oakley Radar | Jacket Rapha Trail Lightweight Jacket | Pants Fox Ranger | Shoes Fizik Terra Atlas | Gloves Craft Storm

With its clever features, the MERIDA cuts a great figure not only on the trail but also on long tours and in every-day riding situations!

Who should take a closer look at the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 and who should look elsewhere?

Just like a VW Golf, the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 covers a wide range of applications and different types of riders, thus offering a fun, suitable option for both newbies and trail veterans. For beginners, it’s an excellent tool to improve their skills, while experienced riders will find a reliable shredding partner, even when pushing their limits. However, not only does the MERIDA perform incredibly well on the trail, but also cuts a great figure on long tours and in everyday life, where it impresses with excellent all round qualities. If you’re looking for tons of performance at a small price and don’t care too much about looks, the MERIDA might be just what you’re looking for. If you spend lots of time climbing technical trails, however, you might be better off looking elsewhere.

Riding Characteristics


  1. unbalanced
  2. coherent


  1. cumbersome
  2. clever


  1. flop
  2. top


  1. low
  2. high


  1. demanding
  2. intuitive


  1. boring
  2. lively

Intended Use

Gravel roads

Technical climbs

Flowtrail descents

Technical descents

Conclusions about the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975

The eONE-SIXTY 975 is an understated yet reliable riding partner. While other bikes might be aesthetically more exciting, the MERIDA convinces with good-natured, intuitive handling, proving a great match for both beginners and skilled riders. Moreover, the eONE-SIXTY covers a wide range of applications, while its countless features make it suitable for touring and everyday riding. If you’re looking for a bike with consistent specs at a fair price, the MERIDA might be just what you’re looking for.


  • Price/performance ratio
  • Suitable both for newbies and experienced riders
  • Potent suspension


  • Looks outdated

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 2023 – 30 models in review

All bikes in test: Berria Mako Hybrid GT LTD (Click for review) | Bulls SONIC EVO SL EN-1 (Click for review) | Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon LT1 (Click for review) | Flyer Uproc X 9.50 (Click for review) | Focus SAM² 6.9 (Click for review) | Focus JAM² 6.9 (Click for review) | Focus Jam² SL 9.9 (Click for review) | Forestal Siryon Diōde (Click for review) | Giant Trance X Advanced E+ Ltd (Click for review) | Haibike Lyke CF SE (Click for review) | Ibis OSO (Click for review) | KTM Macina Prowler Exonic (Click for review) | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 | Mondraker Crafty Carbon XR LTD (Click for review) | Moustache Samedi 29 Game 11 (Click for review) | Orbea Rise M-Team (Click for review) | Orbea WILD M-LTD (Click for review) | Pivot Shuttle SL Pro X01 (Click for review) | Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR (Click for review) | Radon Deft 10.0 (Click for review) | Rotwild R.X735 Ultra (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Heckler MX XO1 AXS RSV (Click for review) | SCOTT Lumen eRide 900 SL (Click for review) | Simplon Rapcon Pmax TQ (Click for review) | Specialized Turbo Levo Expert (Click for review) | Transition Repeater AXS Carbon (Click for review) | Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate (Click for review) | Trek Fuel EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS (Click for review) | UNNO Mith Race (Click for review) | Yeti 160E T1 (Click for review)

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of E-MOUNTAINBIKE, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality cycling journalism. Click here to learn more.

Words: Mike Hunger Photos: Peter Walker

About the author

Mike Hunger

From slopestyle and landscape photography to enduro and action shots. Mike enjoys trying new things and loves action. He also loves craftsmanship, regularly going on road trips with his VW Syncro van, which he restored and converted himself. Of course, his bike and his camera are always with him so that he can ride the finest trails from Italy to the Alps and capture the most beautiful moments. Thanks to his training as an industrial mechanic, his experience in cycling and his photographic skills, he can apply his know-how perfectly as a bike journalist, testing the latest bikes and components and documenting his findings. As a photography nerd, he also captures the reviews with his camera and ensures that the magazine features only the best images.