Full of contradictions, Merida's latest eOne-Sixty manages to make sense on the trails.

Product Overview

Merida eOne-Sixty 875


  • • Excellent suspension
  • • Low standover and wide size range
  • • Durable Shimano Linkglide drivetrain
  • • Adjustable dropper post
  • • Huge potential battery capacity


  • • Heavy
  • • Confusing nomenclature
  • • Uncomfortable saddle
  • • Front light is pointless
  • • Hard to see precise battery state with Shimano display


Merida’s new eOne-Sixty 875 Lite can pack in a whopping 1,110Wh of battery power, making it the longest-range e-bike I’ve ever ridden


Price as reviewed:


With a split range, the latest Merida eOne-Sixty takes a two-pronged approach with the aim of satisfying two distinct e-bike customers. The eOne-Sixty CF goes after the rider seeking less weight and more agility with a smaller battery that’s fully enclosed in the carbon frame, while the eOne-Sixty Lite takes the monster truck approach with big travel and as much range as possible from the 750Wh removable battery and gargantuan 360Wh range extender. Only Merida has inexplicably chosen to make this strategy as confusing as possible to potential customers in the market for the best electric mountain bike. Neither bike has 160mm travel, and the heavy bike is called ‘Lite’. And it’s this, ahem, stout 26.1kg (29kg with range extender!) model that I’m covering here. To find out more about the 22kg eOne-Sixty CF models, read our news story and range overview.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

With its 750Wh battery and alloy frame, the new Merida eOne-Sixty 875 is a unit.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875 Need to know

  • Alloy frame with 174mm of travel
  • Shimano EP801 motor powered by 750Wh removable battery
  • Flexstay back end deletes one pivot and simplifies manufacturing
  • Five frame sizes, all with MX wheels (29in front, 27.5in rear)

Frame design

While the previous eOne-Sixty used a carbon front triangle with a faux-bar back end, vertical shock and rocker link, the new bike mirrors the latest Merida analogue models, with its FAST design. The shock has moved beneath the top tube and the seatstay pivot has been eliminated completely. Instead, Merida has engineered flex into the tubes, regardless of whether they are carbon (on the eOne-Sixty CF) or alloy (on the eOne-Sixty Lite). In that respect, that makes the brand something of an outlier, as most brands restrict their flexstay designs to short-travel XC applications, where the weight savings can be significant. Saving 150g on a 26kg e-bike is neither here nor there, so the explanation here is more about reducing complexity, eliminating components, and reducing costs in manufacturing and assembly.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

Seatstays are designed to flex as the suspension cycles through its travel. This saves a bit of weight, reduces costs, eliminates parts, and can help frame stiffness.

Merida is completely committed to its P-Flex design, and outspoken about its durability, saying that ‘the lack of the rear pivot has no impact on the longevity and robustness of the frame’. And it backs that statement up with a lifetime guarantee and category 4 (enduro/all-mountain) approval.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

Flip chip lets you run a 29in rear wheel without raising the BB or steepening the angles too much.

All Merida eOne-Sixty models are built as mullet bikes – something the brand was an early adopter of with the gen 2 bike – but a flip chip at the upper link lets owners run a 29in rear wheel without screwing up the geometry. In that respect it’s more of a compensator than an adjuster, with rear travel being reduced to 160mm with the larger wheel.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

Merida has offset the shock to the left of the top tube centreline, and rotated the shock to give clearance for a bottle or range extender.

Motor and battery

Merida has also offset the shock to the non-driveside, and rotated the piggyback to the driveside, to increase clearance inside the front triangle. Not only for a bottle and cage, but Merida’s massive 360Wh range extender. A 3kg behemoth of a power pack that, once installed, takes the battery capacity up to 1,110Wh, the weight up to 29kg, and makes the bike look weirdly similar to the original 2017 eOne-Sixty with its external 500Wh battery.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

Shimano’s Ep801 has more power than the old EP8 and it feels punchier on the trails.

Both main battery and (aftermarket) range extender come from a third party supplier, but they plug into Shimano’s EP801 motor. Power is up by around 100w with this unit – something Shimano has finally admitted – and there’s better sealing and improved connections. I’m also a fan of the narrow Q-factor, that keeps your pedal stance closer and more efficient, and the excellent splined crank interface. But the handlebar display only shows the battery level as a series of five chunks, which makes it really hard to manage battery life, as dropping one chunk is 20%.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

Shimano’s colour display gives you five chunks of battery, which means you never really know exactly how much battery is remaining.

Should you wish to use that range extender, it fills most of the front triangle, so you’ll have to find alternative arrangements for your hydration needs. But with over 1kwh of energy, it’s safe to say range will not be an issue.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

The big 750Wh battery is removable on the Merida eOne-Sixty 875, but not the carbon eOne-Sixty CF, where low weight is more of a priority.

Sizing and geometry

Merida uses something called ‘Agilometer sizing’, which is a clunky way of saying it lets you choose your size according to the length of the reach and the wheelbase, rather than the height of the seat tube. As such, the five frame sizes use more descriptive nomenclature, such as short, mid, and long. Effectively, an average height rider can choose between two or three frame sizes depending on whether they prioritise stability or agility. In the end I chose to ride the Mid, which has a 459mm reach, but probably should have gone for the Long, which grows 20mm. The range tops out at the XLong, with 499mm reach – a little less than the analogue One-Sixty owing to the heavier e-bike chassis enjoying plenty of stability without having to resort to a massive wheelbase. Chainstays are fixed at a mid-length 446mm across all sizes, the head angle is also fixed at 64.4º, there’s a relatively steep 78.4º effective seat angle, and the BB height is taller than most mullet e-bikes on the market.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

While the shock looks weird on its side, I had no issues with it banging my thigh.


One of the unique aspects of flexstay bikes, is that the bendy stays act like a leaf spring that must be controlled by the damping circuit in the shock. It’s something that many early flexstay bikes tripped up on, leaving them under-damped and unpredictable. Merida has a lot of experience with its pivotless back end, and the eOne-Sixty benefits from that know-how with a design that sits really neutral around the sag point, builds minimal resistance as you move deeper into the travel until around 60-70%, where it actually starts to pull slightly towards full travel. Which gives a more linear feel to the rider when coupled with the natural progression of the air spring.

Merida also tweaks the leverage rate between frame sizes so that the biggest (and likely heaviest riders) have the most progressive suspension, and full travel is easier to achieve for the smallest (potentially lightest) riders.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

The Zeb’s 38mm stanchions look spindly next to that massive down tube.

Considering the amount of travel on the eOne-Sixty, it’s a surprise not to see a Fox Float X2 or RockShox Vivid Air fitted on either of the two models. Likely a result of having to hit a specific price point, instead the 875 gets a RockShox Super Deluxe Select unit where the piggyback sticks out to the left of the top tube rather than sitting directly underneath. The entire shock is also offset to the right to ensure that the reservoir doesn’t interfere with your leg – I didn’t have any issues, but rugby players might struggle with a bit of chafing.

Up front there’s a burly RockShox Zeb Select with 170mm travel, where its chunky 38mm stanchions are still dwarfed by the eOne-Sixty’s cell-filled down tube.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

The Merida eOne-Sixty 875 comes with front and rear lights, but they are only really powerful enough for commuting.


One thing on the Merida that you won’t find on many (any?) 170mm travel e-bikes is a front light wired into the battery. It’s not a new thing for the eOne-Sixty (the last model I tested had one), and it still feels like a waste of budget to me. With only 300 lumens, it’s not bright enough to compete with the best mountain bike lights for trail riding, so even if you’re an avid night rider you’re going to want to remove it. And if you only ride in the day then it just makes the front of your bike look rubbish.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

The sharp, narrow saddle is fitted to Merida’s clever adjustable dropper post. It’s nice to get a multi-tool thrown in too, but putting it under the saddle is not the greatest idea for UK riders.

That’s not the only accessory that comes as standard. You also get a removable quick-release lever at the rear axle with a built-in 4mm and 6mm hex key. There’s another multi-tool under the saddle – useful, but in the perfect place for getting covered in mud and spray – and an integrated mudguard and storm flap between the seat and chainstays.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

Because of the flexy seatstays, the extended brake mount actually attaches to the chainstays.

Merida also fits its in-house dropper post, which is adjustable and comes with a really useful range of travel between 30mm and 230mm.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

11-speed Linkglide drivetrain should last ages and be cheap to replace.

Shimano enjoys the lion’s share of the remaining spec. That means 11-speed Shimano XT drivetrain with longlife Linkglide coating, and XT four-pot brakes with 220/203mm rotors. Merida rims and Shimano hubs are wrapped in Maxxis rubber, specifically the superb Assegai MaxxGrip up front and Maxx Terra DHR II out back with a reinforced Double Down casing.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

Wet conditions made it tricky to explore the eOne-Sixty’s performance.


My time was limited to a few hours on the eOne-Sixty 875, but worse than that, the conditions were extremely wet and slippery, so it was really hard to get a good feel for the performance. Combined with my uncertainty around frame sizing, these riding impressions aren’t as in-depth as I’d like. Hopefully I’ll get the eOne-Sixty back for another ride soon, and maybe try a larger frame size as well.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

Loads of grunt, but not much grip!


With so little grip to be found from the greasy off-piste Forest of Dean trails, it’s hard to draw any concrete conclusions about the eOne-Sixty’s climbing prowess. Unless it’s to remark on the steep seat angle, which helps get your weight forward on steep gradients. The Shimano EP801 motor also had plenty of poke, with Trail mode proving sufficient for all of the day’s riding. I later found out that Eco had been de-tuned to the point where selecting it felt like the bike had been turned off, but Trail had been mapped to near Boost levels of assistance.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

Who forgot the front mudguard?


Fair play to Merida; it has done a good job of masking the eOne-Sixty’s bulk. Blast down a flowing blue descent and it’s surprisingly easy to throw shapes and pop the front end for a quick manual. The suspension deserves similar praise. There’s a fluidity around sag that feels almost coil-like in its freedom of movement and ability to track the ground and generate grip. A trait that likely owes a tip of the hat to the design of the flexstay back end. Merida has also done a great job ensuring a delightful synchronicity between the fork and shock, where the eOne-Sixty seemed to flutter really nicely over smaller bumps, but load up effectively when pushing through compressions and off larger drops.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

Yes, the Mid size frame looks way too small for me here!

Get the Merida on steeper, more challenging terrain and it’s only a matter of time before the laws of physics say ‘hang on a minute’. And it’s when braking into steep chutes and over traction-compromised ground that the extra mass of the eOne-Sixty can start to push on a bit. I ended up out-braking myself on a few occasions, and when I lost grip, I could feel that the extra weight made corrections more difficult.

Merida eOne-Sixty 875

Finding, and exceeding, the limits on the Merida eOne-Sixty 875.

Given that the conditions were so wet, and grip was in such short supply, I don’t want to nail my colours to the mast here. I would also like to try the Long frame instead of the Mid as I think it’s a better fit for my height, even if it may push Merida’s ‘Agilometer’ too far to the stable side of the spectrum.


Personally I’m a fan of lighter e-bikes with agile handling than big bruisers built to plough over everything. In that respect, Merida’s alternative eOne-Sixty CF should be right up my street. But against the odds, the hefty eOne-Sixty Lite proved surprisingly dynamic in certain situations. Clearly Merida has nailed the flexstay design, and there’s something special about the suspension as a result. To a degree this effectively masks the mass, so it rides lighter than the headline weight suggests. I have no doubt that adding the range extender will seriously blunt the handling, but some riders will be happy to trade dexterity for ultimate ride time, and in stock form it’s a capable full fat e-bike with impressive suspension.


Frame:Alloy, 174mm travel
Shock:RockShox Super Deluxe Select
Fork:RockShox Zeb Select, 170mm travel (44mm offset)
Motor:Shimano EP801, 600W/85Nm
Battery:Trendpower 750Wh
Control unit:Shimano SC-EM800
Wheels:Shimano XT hubs, Merida Expert TR II rims
Tyres:Maxxis Assegai MaxxGrip EXO+/DHR II Maxx Terra DD 29x2.5in/27.5x2.4in tyres
Drivetrain:Shimano FC-E8150 crank, 36t, 165mm, Shimano XT 11-speed shifter and Linkglide r-mech
Brakes:Shimano XT, four-piston, 220/203mm
Components:Merida Expert eTR II Stem 40mm, Merida Expert eTR bars 780mm, Merida Team TR II dropper post 30-230mm, Proxim W400 STN saddle
Max system weight:140kg
Sizes:XShort, Short, Mid, Long, XLong
Size ridden:Mid
Rider height:178cm
Head angle:64.4º
Effective seat angle:78.5º
BB height:353mm
Front centre:798mm
Seat tube:425mm
Top tube:589mm