MERIDA 900E EONE SIXTY
£5,200 Totally sorted electri ied enduro bomber
Merida have combined full Shimano e-tech with proper enduro geometry and suspension, then underlined it with high-performance plus-size tyres, to create a batteryassisted big bike benchmark.
While the eOne-Sixty looks similar to Merida’s non-electrified OneSixty, its layout is actually very di erent. Rather than attaching the shock to the forward tips of the chainstays, as on the conventional bike, they’ve built a bridge on the frame, above the motor, for the lower shock mount. The eOne-Sixty uses seatstay, rather than chainstay, pivots too, so rear wheel movement is a simple arc, not a managed linkage path.
The 500Wh Shimano battery side-swings neatly into its locking position on the down tube, so there’s no rattling. Thanks to the compact Shimano STePS motor and the Boost rear axle, Merida have been able to keep the chainstays supershort (440mm) for a powered bike. Rear brake and dropper post controls run internally, along with the Di2 gear cabling. There’s no room for a bottle anywhere.
Apart from an awkward-shaped bar, the 900E spec is totally on point, from the 45mm stem backwards. The Fox 36 RC2 fork and Float X2 shock are perfect for a bike with a lot of mass to control but no need for the rider to stand up on climbs. Shimano’s four-cylinder Saint DH brakes get finned 200mm rotors for maximum heat-proof stopping power. The 40mm-wide DT Swiss XM 1501s are some of our favourite durable-but-dynamic plus wheels, and triple-compound Maxxis DHR II 2.8in tyres add huge grip while remaining stable at low speeds.
Merida’s master stroke is matching Shimano’s STePS motor with their Di2 electric gears though. You get matching, app-tunable control paddles for the three motor modes and the shifting, and a super-neat display tucked safely between the bar and stem. The Di2 system only shifts at the optimum pedal stroke points, which helps preserve the transmission, and the STePS motor adds power in a really user-friendly broad torque/spin speed span. A chain guide above the proper-sized chainring on tough Hollowtech crank arms means the whole set-up is tough, mud proof, hard-wearing and secure, unlike many Bosch/Yamaha bikes.
As well as having the best motor/ gearing combo we’ve ridden, the Merida also handles its mass better than any other e-MTB we’ve tested. The sorted suspension kinematics and pro-spec dampers combine with the impact-sucking, gluedtraction tyres and DH brakes to give outstanding baseline control.
It’s the 460mm reach, short stays and 66.5-degree head angle that really stand out though, giving massive front end stability without a barge-like back end. That means you can rip, carve and send the 900E just like you would a conventional bike, but get back up for another go in a fraction of the time.
Despite the bomber spec it’s impressively light for an e-bike too, and it’s well priced, considering its premium spec and electric gears, at £300 less than Merida’s top OneSixty bike.
We’re big fans of the Shimano STePS motor. The rattle-free battery is the icing on the cake
The eOne-Sixty looks a lot like Merida’s One-Sixty enduro bike, and it’s just as fun on the descents