First Look Review : Merida eOneSixty Lite 675.

Merida’s ever-popular eOneSixty range just got a refresh and Jamie dropped in to the Forest of Dean to see how it for himself.

Whilst Merida might not be a brand surrounded by the rock-and-roll of the more in-your-face brands, they do make a hell of a mountain bike. Their new eOneSixty is the latest offering.

Photos by Mick Kirkman.

Key features:

  • Marzocchi Z1 eMTB 170mm fork
  • Aluminium frame
  • Marzocchi Bomber Air shock
  • Shimano Deore Linkglide 10-speed drive
  • Shimano EP801 motor
  • Trendpower 750Wh battery
  • Shimano Deore 4-piston brakes
  • Merida Expert TR II rims on Shimano TC hubs
  • Merida Expert TR II dropper
  • £5,500.00 RRP

A great suspension platform and well-thought-out geometry rarely miss, creating bikes that are a lot more fun to ride than you might expect from a brand that, dare we say it, comes across as a little square. Thinking back through the scores of Meridas we’ve had at Wideopen, we’re struggling to think of a single one that we haven’t absolutely loved – no small feat.

For 2024, Merida has updated its eOneSixty eMountain Bike collection. They updated the meat-powered OneSixty a couple of years back and this update sees the eebs following suit. No ‘splash of paint and new stickers’ here though – this is a full, brand-new collection with new bikes, new geo, and new suspension (kind of…). A proper relaunch.

The new collection is made up of two designs, each available in various models.

There’s the eOneSixty Lite – with a removable battery, optional range adjuster and aluminium frame. it’s built around a 750wh battery, extendable to 1100wh.

And there’s also the eOneSixty CF – with a non-removable battery, optional range adjuster and carbon fibre frame. This one is, confusingly, the lighter weight of the two and comes with a 600wh battery, with option to extend to 960wh.

For our test ride Jamie rode the eOneSixty Lite 675, Merida’s base-spec and metal-framed model.

There’s far more to the new Merida eOneSixty Lite than the minor geometry and suspension adjustments, with the profile now looking very much different and more in line with its other updated siblings in the wider Merida mountain bike range. Both carbon and alloy models are available but we’ll focus on the alloy bikes here.

All eOneSixtys come as Mullet builds but can be run as full 29ers by use of the flip chip. Dropping a larger rear wheel into the bike drops the travel from 174mm to 160mm but retains the geometry. All alloy bikes feature the Flex Stay rear. When it comes to power, the Shimano EP801 remains fed by a 750Wh battery. A 360Wh range extender is available but you’ll have to pick between a bottle of water or a bottle of electricity. The offset shock allows these to be fitted in the front triangle.

Geometry gets the same attention as the latest raft of Merida offerings, with a degree slacker head angle, three degree steeper seat tube, 6.5mm longer chainstays and 19mm longer reach on all sizes compared to the outgoing eOneSixty.

With the combination of Merida’s reach-based sizing and their new travel adjust dropper, there’s even more scope for picking the reach you want and having a dropper post to suit. No more in between sizes grumbles as the clipped seat tubes should offer more sizes available to each rider. Head tubes are also much shorter, fixing the high front ends of previous models.

All eOneSixtys are UDH compatible, and come as stock with a 220mm front and 200mm rear rotor. Acros headsets do run internal headset routing but come with plenty of seals and there’s no need to clip cables for servicing.

The Merida eOneSixty Lite alloy range starts with the bike you see here, the eOneSixty Lite 275 at £5,500 with the range-topping alloy model the next one up, the eOneSixty 875 at £6,000. Carbon models start with the 6000 at £6,000, rising to the 10000 at £10,500.

Geometry

The Merida eOneSixty features what’s called ‘Agilometer sizing’ and is available in XShort, Short, Mid, Long and XLong.

Reach on the Mid is 459mm with a seat tube of 425mm. Head angle is 64.4 degrees with a seat tube angle of 78.4 degrees. Chainstays are 446mm across the sizes and the Mid-wheelbase sits at 1244mm.

Opening moves

The base model eOneSixty seen here, the eOne Sixty Lite 675, comes with an all-alloy frame, Shimano EP801 motor and 750Wh battery. There’s also the option of adding a TrendPower range-extending battery, which clips neatly onto the downtube, taking the total capacity up to 1100Wh.

The drivetrain is a Shimano Deore Linkglide 10-speed flavour and four-piston Deore anchors deal with bringing everything back into line.

Damping is handled by Marzocchi units, a Z1 eMTB out front and a Bomber Air out back. Wheels are Merida’s Expert II rims on Shimano TC hubs, shod with an EXO+ MaxxGrip Assegai out front and a DoubleDown DHR II MaxxTerra out back. The rest of the kit is Merida’s ever-reliable own finishing kit.

Just like pretty much every Merida we’ve ridden, the new eOneSixty did the job beautifully and without fuss. No weird or wacky characteristics, no out-of-the-ordinary geometry, nothing to get your head around or understand. Jump on, ride, have fun.

My test ride was short but sweet, but also wet and wild. Seriously slippy stuff.

We tapped out a few laps of the natural trails around Pedalabikeaway in the Forest of Dean, focusing on those steep, tight, snotty and twisty trails you probably know and love. Proper Mini-Enduro stuff.

The eOneSixty chewed up the climbs, obviously. I can’t say I noticed anything out of the ordinary here, I tapped it into boost and shot up the trail. I repeated this a heap of times and went home with a bar of battery depleted and enough energy in my legs to ride acoustic later that day. Job done.

On the descents, the eOneSixty showed that evolution not revolution was the name of the game. Mullet wheels, bags of travel, sensibly sendy geometry. Easy to ride up, along and down. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing weird. Given the heft of the bike, it was easy to pop through turns and ride playfully. On faster, rougher, straight stuff it was easy to hang on, white knuckle and go quickly in a forward direction. I’d happily have taken it home and got stuck into some big days in South Wales on some dirty, Caerphilly jank.

I suspect that I’d have experienced a bit more ‘revolution’ had I ridden the carbon-framed, lighter-weight CF model. Personally, I prefer the idea of metal bikes, bags of travel and big batteries but the idea of shaving a chunk of weight and still having a load of watt-hours on board appeals. I’d like to give that carbon version a shot and see just how different it feels. I suspect I’d probably still end up coming back to the aluminium version.

I think for those who want an all-out, big battery, hard-charging and long travel eBike you’d do well to consider the alloy eOneSixty. It may not feel like a revolution in eBike design, but it rides great and is packed with really neat features.

You can check out the new Merida eOneSixty range over on their website here.


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