First Ride: Merida eOne-Sixty - Low Weight or Long Range

Mar 1, 2024
by Seb Stott  
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Electric bikes continue to evolve relentlessly, and distinct genres are emerging. At one extreme, bikes like the Scott Voltage offer modest assistance and range, but keep the weight and handling similar to conventional mountain bikes. On the other hand, some people just want as much power and range as possible and don't give a hoot if the handling is different from an old-fashioned bike. Somewhere in between there are bikes like the Cannondale Moterra SL that try to offer the best of both worlds.

Merida's eOne-Sixty is available in two distinct flavors to fill two subtly different niches. Both use a "full-power" Shimano EP801 motor, but the CF version has a full-carbon frame and a 600 Wh non-removable battery, making for an impressive claimed weight of 22.2 kg. That's not as light as Cannondale's Moterra SL, but the Merida has more travel and a burlier build. Meanwhile, the confusingly named Lite model has an alloy frame and a 750 Wh battery that's easy to remove via the downtube cutout. This bike is considerably heavier but offers more range at a lower price.
Merida eOne-Sixty Details
• CF model has a carbon frame & 600Wh non-removable battery
• "Lite" model has an aluminum frame & removable 750 Wh battery
• Optional 360Wh range extender (960 Wh or 1110 Wh total capacity)
• 174mm (r)/170 mm (f) travel
• Mixed wheel but 29" compatible
• Shimano EP801 motor
• Weight: 22.2 kg / 42.3 lb to 26.1 kg / 57.5 lb (claimed)
• Sizes: X-Short to X-Long; 419-499 mm reach
5 years warranty
• Price: £5,500 / €6,600 to £10,5000 / €12,600
merida-bikes.com

Further setting the eOne-Sixty apart is the massive 360Wh range extender, which boosts the capacity to 960 Wh or a whopping 1110 Wh, respectively.

On the subject of confusing names, the eOne-Sixty delivers 174 mm of rear wheel travel, teamed with a 170 mm fork. All models ship with a 27.5" rear wheel, but it does have a flip chip to accommodate a 29" rear wheel, and in this setting the wheel travel is 160 mm like you'd expect. The name is a carry-over from the unassisted One-Sixty, which uses a similar suspension system but ships 29" wheels by default, giving it 160 mm of travel out the box. See? Not confusing at all.

There is also an eOne-Forty with 29" wheels and 140 mm (rear) / 150 mm (front) travel, but Merida are pitching this as an "SUV" for commuting and occasional trail use - it has a kickstand and pannier racks etc..

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Frame & Motor

All models use Shimano's EP801 motor, with 85 Nm of torque and 600 W of peak power. Batteries are supplied by Trendpower (including the range extender), but Shimano will take care of any warranty claims with the batteries as well as the motor. The 360 Wh range extender weighs 2.9 kg and mounts onto two large bosses on the downtube. Conventional water bottle bosses are also present, though you can only fit one or the other so make sure you don't get dehydrated on those epic rides. There is an additional tool mount under the top tube.

Merida say the carbon fibre frame is 800 g lighter than the outgoing eOne-Sixty thanks in part to the enclosed downtube and non-removable main battery. The alloy bike wasn't designed with weight as a priority, so it sticks with a removable battery for off-bike charging or transport, thanks to a less structurally efficient downtube cutout, while also offering a larger battery capacity and a lower price point.

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Like Merida's other models, the suspension uses a flex-pivot on the seatstay to reduce weight and maintenance in both carbon and alloy versions. Merida say the degree of flex is so minimal as to be negligible in terms of suspension forces and a non-issue in terms of fatigue. The eOne-Fourty has a conventional seatstay pivot in order to allow for mudguard and pannier rack mounts.

In both the eOne-Fourty and eOne-Sixty, the shock is turned sideways to provide enough clearance to fit the range extender underneath while keeping the standover low. The shock is also offset to one side so the piggyback reservoir doesn't protrude too much. A short clevis link connects the shock to the rocker link with a vertical-axis bushing to reduce side-loading on the shock.

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Merida are sticking to their guns by routing the cables through the Acros headset, but in this case, there is also a steering limiter to stop the frame from getting damaged in a crash.

All models feature mounting points for a rear mudguard and an integrated front light that runs off the main battery. The light will continue to work for several hours after the battery is too depleted to drive the motor. A flip chip on the rocker link allows the 27.5" wheel size to be swapped for a full 29er setup without affecting the bottom bracket height or frame angles. This alteration will reduce rear wheel travel from 174 mm to 160 mm due to a lower overall leverage ratio between the rear wheel and the shock.

Tire clearance is 2.6", and the frame can accept 1.8" forks (though all models ship with 1.5" steerer tubes). The seat tube is 34.9 mm in diameter and accommodates a travel-adjustable 230 mm seatpost.



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Geometry

Compared to the people-powered One-Sixty, the head angle is half a degree steeper and the reach is shorter too, especially in the bigger sizes. Merida say this is done to keep the handling agile despite the extra weight and/or because the lower centre of gravity requires less front-end length to provide stability. Due to the motor, the chainstay length has grown by 12 mm, and will get 4 mm longer if you choose the 29" setting.

Despite this, the sizing is more compact than most modern e-bikes, and the seat angle is on the steeper side too. Merida's "Agilometer" concept means short head tubes and seat tubes, combined with the 230 mm travel-adjustable seatpost, make it easy to size up or down to suit reach or handling preferences. If you size down, you will likely need a higher-rise bar.



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Size-specific leverage

Suspension

Merida adjusts the rocker link so that each frame size has a different leverage curve such that larger frame sizes are more progressive. The idea is to help resist bottom-out in the largest sizes - which are generally ridden by heavier riders - while ensuring typically lighter riders on small sizes can use all the travel.

In my view, heavier riders shouldn't need more progression. This is because the bottom-out force is proportional to the air pressure in the shock, which is proportional to the rider's weight so long as the same sag percentage is set. If heavier riders are bottoming out more often, or lighter riders not getting full travel, it's probably best to address this with size-specific damping tunes.

All the sizes are progressive overall, though the smaller ones are regressive at the end of the stroke. Either way, this could be compensated with extra volume spacers in the shock.

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Anti-squat - 36-51T
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Anti-rise.

Anti-squat is generous, at just over 100% at sag in the easiest gear. That should mean the bike stays high in its travel when climbing. Anti-rise (the effect of braking forces on the suspension) is on the higher side, which will cause the suspension to sit lower in the travel while braking. This reduces pitching when hard on the anchors, but could reduce suspension sensitivity in some situations.



Models

One-Sixty 10K - £10,5000 / €12,600*
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One-Sixty 7000 - £7,000 / €8,400*
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One-Sixty 6000 - £6,000 / €7,200*
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One-Sixty 875 - £6,000 / €7,200*
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One-Sixty 675 - £5,500 / €6,600*
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* Euro prices are shown for Ireland but may be different in other countries.



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Ride Impressions

I rode the eOne-Sixty 875 for one full day on familiar trails in the Tweed Valley. I didn't get to try out a range extender, but I did swap out the 750Wh battery halfway through the day to get the maximum riding in.

Merida recommended a size Long (not X-long), which was decidedly smaller than I'm used to but didn't feel too cramped on the climbs. The steep seat tube angle is still a huge benefit even with a motor and even with the handlebars closer than normal; it makes it possible to spin up steep slopes without needing to adopt an uncomfortable body position to maintain pressure on the front wheel. The Shimano EP801 motor may not be quite as punchy as the Bosch CX alternative, but it feels way more powerful than the lighter Bosch SX motor, despite having the same peak power on paper.

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When descending, I wanted to get the handlebar higher on the long-size test bike, so I would have liked a higher-rise bar or more stem spacers to play with. At 191 cm tall, the 479 mm reach is smaller than I'm used to and this felt strange at times, but with the 26+ kg of weight between my ankles I never had that "tripping" sensation that short-wheelbase bikes can suffer from. In the tight turns of the Tweed Valley, I gelled with the shorter setup - I think it helped disguise the bike's weight in the twisty tech. I'd still like to try the X-long to compare though.

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I was impressed by the RockShox Select-level suspension. The more basic Charger damper is much more open than the new Charger 3, meaning I could adjust the rebound damping instead of running it all the way open and wishing it was faster. At least in the context of a 26 kg e-bike, the fork feels free and supple, sticking the front wheel to the ground but without diving too much. The high anti-rise rear suspension might help with that last point. The 174 mm of rear suspension is well-judged too, with lots of suppleness at 30% sag to help smooth out the trail when climbing and descending, yet it never pushed through towards the end of the travel too readily. I only managed to reach full travel on a particularly head-nodding 2.4-meter drop, and even then I didn't feel a harsh bottom-out.




Author Info:
seb-stott avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2014
298 articles

85 Comments
  • 98 0
 your website being down didnt make me do more work today... I'm just as surprised as you are
  • 9 0
 I didn’t get out of bed any faster without it working either. I guess I’m just lazy.
  • 5 0
 I thought it was just me lol
  • 4 2
 @danielfloyd: yep, you’re lazy too.
  • 34 2
 57 pounds lololololol
  • 8 40
flag dododuzzi (Mar 1, 2024 at 7:49) (Below Threshold)
 They do not even read the specs at Pinkbie, while advertising this polluting machines.
  • 6 1
 I don't get why other companies aren't still able to match the levo in terms of weight while still providing a removable battery. Yet the Levo motor still seems to have reliability issues. The ebike market got really unpractical with the intube and light ebike trend. Like where are medium weight/range/power ebikes that don't rattle. Essentially battery sitze of around 500Wh which provided for weights between 20-23kg in the pre-intube days but with a full-power motor.
  • 3 1
 42 - 57 lbs???!!!
Did you gain some weight, honey?
I don’t think so, I just weigh 150 - 240 lbs.
  • 4 0
 @dododuzzi: buddy, your argument is flawed. Every bicycle made takes large amounts of energy to extract the resources to build it let.alone being shipped across the world in a freighter is not environmentally friendly
  • 2 0
 @DonLemont: The conversion on the 42 lbs is wrong, 22.2kg is 49 lbs, still an 8lbs gain but not as crazy as 15!
  • 27 1
 You might wanna have a chat with the welder that joined the seat tube and top tube.....
  • 4 0
 It's actually just JB Weld
  • 1 0
 My thoughts exactly!
  • 3 0
 Can you just knock out the demo bike last thing before you leave for the weekend? Thanks!
  • 1 1
 On a 12.600 euro bike. Oooof
  • 1 0
 They probably should've done the welding before the Friday afternoon company drink, instead of afterwards...
  • 27 7
 Long range? It is a bike, range is unlimited.
  • 14 22
flag Capable (Mar 1, 2024 at 7:26) (Below Threshold)
 Long range or lightness? Get a bike instead of a moped and get both for less money!
  • 14 0
 Bold strategy to name your top-spec bikes for the price they sell for in Euros.
  • 1 0
 Bold indeed, it took me a few seconds to grasp that it was indeed the price of the bikes.
  • 10 0
 Pictures don’t work, for whoever cares

Out of curiosity, I bought the non-e one sixthy last year (in the cheap alloy flavor) and I gotta say, besides the shitty headset cable routing and flawed original dropper, it rides awesome!
Very intrigued to try the electric version!
  • 10 0
 I sure hope the production units aren't welded like the one in the photos....
  • 8 1
 57lb flex stay bike, we'll see how that lasts, but it helps explain that leverage curve.
  • 8 10
 And with the motor adding extra force on every suspension cycle.......the top model in CAD is $18500. I can get two good real bikes for that and they will last longer.
  • 8 1
 Anyone else had issues with the website this morning?
  • 3 0
 I really want to like the EP801 as many brands still spec it, but I believe it's the only motor on the market that can not be completely rebuilt. That leaves you holding a ~$1200 bag after it's 2 year warranty ends. Shimano Services Centers that repair the EP8 and EP801... zero.
  • 6 0
 Shimano replaced my ep8 under warranty about 6 months after it ran out.
  • 1 1
 Yes, but I have far more faith that shimano will have replacement motors available years from now. Other brands? I’m not convinced. That’d be an expensive paperweight.
  • 1 0
 @Betacygni: Why would I need a replacement motor when I can rebuild it for a 1/3 the cost? Shimano is the only large company not working, nor communicating with motor rebuild/service centers worldwide. After warranty, which is just 2 years, your only choice is to purchase a new motor.

On that note, just try to get a new E8000 motor from Shimano. I believe your faith is highly misplaced.
  • 6 0
 How exactly 22.2kgs is supposed to be 42.3lbs is some straight up magic!
  • 3 0
 That's exactly what I was wondering!? I was thinking this might be pretty light but nope it's 49 pounds
  • 1 0
 Dismiss
  • 6 1
 Side-facing shock reservoir - trading bottle room for a bit of flesh on the inside of your knee. Great trade-off.
  • 2 0
 Aside from the bike I really want to like the EP801 as many brands still spec it, but I believe it's the only motor on the market that can not be completely rebuilt. Bosch, Brose and Yamaha can be. That leaves you holding a ~$1200 bag after the Shimano's 2 year warranty ends. Shimano Services Centers that repair the EP8 and EP801... zero.
  • 2 1
 Shimano is not as energy efficient as Bosch which means that although the motor is lighter, it requires a bigger heavier battery for the same range, so no better on system weight. I've owned 2x Shimano and 1x Bosch and it is a night and day improvement in power and range.
  • 2 0
 @rojo-1: Also Shimano Ep8 rattles like a snake something unacceptable on such an expensive bike.
Don´t know if the next generation is any better but considering Shimano´s policy about the issue I´m afraid not.
  • 2 0
 I think PinkBike's stats for the eOne-Sixty's weight are wrong. It says the weight is 42.3 lbs. Yet, the Merida representative says that the carbon eOne-Sixty is 48lbs. Unless there is a lightweight build, but doubt it gets down to 42.3lbs.

Here is the Loam Wolf review video with the Merida representative details.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTYzUXy22hE
  • 2 0
 Where's the flex stay on the carbon frames? The seat stays look pretty solid. It would be interesting to see the rear move through full travel.
  • 3 0
 Merida IS pitching the 140 e-bike for commuting and occasional trail use?! Bizzare.
  • 1 0
 Where's the flex stay on the carbon frames? The seat stays look pretty solid. It would be interesting to see the rear move through full travel.
  • 2 0
 Please take that front light off and just include it in the box, no body is keeping that on.
  • 2 0
 58 pounds? Should have a dual crown
  • 7 0
 Also $7,800 for NX drivetrain. No gearbox either
  • 3 2
 My 2018 Kenevo is 55 pounds, has 180mm of travel front and rear, and was a lot cheaper.
  • 2 0
 There must have been a deal on welding rod; those beads are, um, copious.
  • 2 0
 PB really on the picture struggle bus
  • 2 0
 Merida for 12k, you are out of your mind
  • 1 0
 Does anyone want this? A bike which is only 2kg off a "full fat" but without a removable battery for 10K?
  • 1 0
 Kind of ironic as the name of the bike is Merida. M. Erida M ...ERirA. Mah! ERirA. Mmmmm, ERirA.
  • 1 1
 Now I see why McDonald “s is so garbage and stupid expensive now [fries and a fake nuggets 14$] them workers need that 15000$ bike
  • 1 0
 How could Merida recommend a large frame for a 191cm person??? It should be a no brainer it should be a XL.
  • 2 0
 5year warranty for real?
  • 1 0
 £105K is a little steep…
  • 1 0
 €6,600 to £10,5000? Wow, ebikes really are going up in price Smile
  • 2 1
 blank
  • 1 1
 Still no North American distribution?
  • 1 0
 Looks like a commencal
  • 1 1
 e-bikes still not there yet. maybe next gen?
  • 1 1
 9mm of BB drop...?
  • 1 1
 9mm of BB drop...?
  • 7 9
 499mm reach is not extra long, thanks
  • 6 1
 I respectfully disagree
  • 3 6
 I don't care if your 7 feet tall your probably riding a bike that's way too big for you.
  • 1 3
 Can we buy it in the USA is the golden question
  • 2 5
 I’m entirely failing to see the point of an ebike once it gets to 57 pounds.
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