Merida moves a step closer to making e-bikes the new 'normal' with the release of the new Merida eOne-sixty 10K.
Merida moves a step closer to making e-bikes the new ‘normal’ with the release of the new Merida eOne-sixty 10K.
Merida eOne-Sixty 10K need to know
- Totally redesigned frameset with carbon fibre front triangle. Based around the latest Shimano internal battery technology.
- Travel stays the same at 160mm front and rear.
- Motocross inspired mismatched wheel sizes – 29″ front and 27.5″ rear
- Shimano STEPS E8000 motor system, utilising latest Shimano BT-E8035 internal battery.
- Improved geometry with slacker 65.5° head angle, lower BB height and steeper 75°+ seat angle.
We really liked the original Merida eOne-Sixty when it was released a few short years ago. It was pretty much the first longer travel eBike that felt right and showed us just how an eBike should ride. One that actually had really sorted suspension and rode just like a ‘normal’ long travel bike.
But that first version was not without its issues; the head angle was too steep, it was only available in three sizes, along with a few other minor gripes.
Now Merida has an all-new version and there have been some pretty big changes. Interestingly most of these changes have been in response to major development in Shimano battery technology, namely the production of the glamorously named BT-E8035 internal battery. Merida has always wanted to produce the most ‘normal’ looking eMTB and with this new battery it could finally design the bike it wanted to.
Undoubtedly the highlight of the new eOne-Sixty is the slick new carbon main frame mated to the aluminium rear triangle. This has been pared of excess weight without sacrificing strength and stiffness in the crucial areas. For example, in order to keep the BB area super stiff after the motor mounting has been stripped to a minimum an extra rib of carbon runs along the top of the motor. This has a dual purpose and also acts as the lower shock mounting point for the Fox X2 rear shock.
Merida has also switched up the wheel sizes and has moved away from the plus sized tyres. The new eOne-Sixty now rolls on motocross inspired mis-matched wheels. Tyre choice is crucial here and Merida gains points for speccing a Maxxis Assegai/Maxxis DHR II combo.
Merida eOne-Sixty 10K: first ride review
Two new frame sizes have been added to the eOne-Sixty range to cover the gaps in rider coverage, with the XL now offering a longer 480mm reach to appeal to the long and low fans. Merida has stuck to its guns with regards reach on all other sizes and the measurements are still definitely on the conservative side. Head angle has been slackened a degree to a more agreeable 65.5° though, way more in line with the abilities of the 160mm travel machine. I rode the large frame size and at just over six foot it felt ideal.
Riding the eOne-Sixty on the dusty and rocky trails around Girona and it was quickly obvious that the superb ride quality and top-notch suspension performance of the previous version are still firmly front and centre. It absolutely bowls through and down any obstacle in its way but remains effortlessly flickable and a breeze to pop into the air at the slightest hint of a lip or drop. It still is an eBike that kind of makes you forget you are on an eBike, until that is, you reach the next rise and the motor kicks in adding a little more grin factor. The spec level on the top of the range 10K we rode at the launch is sheer wishlist territory. Shimano’s latest 12 speed XTR groupset, carbon DT Swiss wheels and Fox Factory level suspension all create an envious build that goes someway to justify its £9,500 price point. Fortunately two other models are being brought into the UK, starting from a more ‘reasonable’ £5,850.