Instead of one bike for everyday use and one for your free time, many people are looking for one bike to do everything. That’s why we brought the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K, the winner of the all-rounder group test in our sister magazine E-MOUNTAINBIKE, into this test. Does it also cut a good figure while commuting?
Get an overview of the grouptest here: The best ebike of 2021 – The 19 most exciting concepts for everyday use
The path up to the summit was challenging but not tiring. It took just long enough to clear your head of any worries. Now a new sort of tension takes over your body. Your hometown lies below you in the valley and your route home takes you along a difficult trail. You feel the anticipation growing – you have a score to settle with the tight switchbacks, relentless rocks and big jumps ahead of you. The tension becomes unbearable until you give in and give yourself and your bike to the trail. You’re weightless. Dedicated mountain bikers know what we’re talking about. Anyone of them who wants just one bike for everything, will always prefer a mountain bike for commuting over a commuter for mountain biking. The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K has proven itself as almost the perfect eMTB all-rounder in the group test of our sister magazine E-MOUNTAINBIKE and is roaming new pastures to try and claim a further test win. We found out whether it rides just as intuitively with shopping on the bars as it does with mud under the saddle.
MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K spec in detail
If you stop at your local bike cafe with the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY, the frame and top-end spec will leave everyone looking on in jealousy. The high-end carbon frame lights up with its lustrous, metallic, flip-flop effect paint. On the head tube, the futuristic THERMO GATE provides ventilation for the battery and also routes cables into the frame. The electronic cables for the display and remote are routed inside the wide bars. The top-of-the-range suspension from FOX, wireless dropper post and excellent Shimano XTR groupset and brakes will be of particular interest to mountain bikers. The premium build comes at a cost: the 22.96 kg heavy ebike costs € 9,899, so almost 10K. That’s where the name comes from.
For its trail spec, the MERIDA gets 10/10 points. For everyday use, it’s more like -2/10.
While the trail spec leaves no wishes unfulfilled, for everyday accessories you’re faced with almost unsolvable issues. A bike stand and front mudguard are relatively easy to fit but at the back, the prospects look poor for a decent mudguard or any form of rack. Apart from a water bottle, you won’t be able to carry any luggage on the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K. The Lezyne light at the front and included USB light at the rear aren’t conceived for commuting at night and are too weak. On top of that, where you store your bikes should be well secured because the expensive components can be removed with standard tools within seconds. For longer stops, we think it’s always worth removing the non-lockable battery and wireless dropper post from the ebike. At least there’s a multi-tool hidden underneath the saddle to do so.[MISSING: Merida-E-160-E-Bike-MTB-Test-Review-2021-21.jpg]
MERIDA eONE SIXTY 10K
Motor Shimano EP8 85 Nm
Battery Shimano E8036 630 Wh
Display Shimano SC-EM800
Fork FOX 38 Factory 160 mm
Seatpost RockShox Reverb AXS 30.9 mm 170 mm
Brakes Shimano XTR M9120 200/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XTR 1x12
Stem MERIDA EXPERT eTR II 40 mm
Handlebar MERIDA EXPERT eTR 780 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss HXC1250 SPLINE
Tires MAXXIS ASSEGAI/Minion DHRII DD 29"/27.5" x 2.6"
Size XS S M L XL
Weight 22.96 kg
dropper seat post
multitool integrated underneath saddle
in size XS 504 Wh battery
|Seat tube||405 mm||420 mm||440 mm||470 mm||500 mm|
|Top tube||563 mm||584 mm||605 mm||629 mm||652 mm|
|Head tube||110 mm||115 mm||120 mm||135 mm||150 mm|
|Chainstays||440 mm||440 mm||440 mm||440 mm||440 mm|
|BB Drop||18 mm||18 mm||18 mm||18 mm||18 mm|
|Wheelbase||1,168 mm||1,190 mm||1,212 mm||1,239 mm||1,265 mm|
|Reach||400 mm||420 mm||440 mm||460 mm||480 mm|
|Stack||629 mm||633 mm||638 mm||652 mm||665 mm|
The Shimano EP8 motor in the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K
The EP8 motor is the powerhouse in the Shimano ebike lineup and fits a capable eMTB like the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K perfectly. While it has the same torque as the Bosch Performance Line CX motor in the Cannondale Topstone or Haibike Trekking 9, it feels a little more natural and sensitive. If you like to tinker, the motor characteristics can be tuned via the E-TUBE PROJECT app precisely and stored in two independent profiles on the display. While riding, you can swap between them without your phone. The motor is powered by a 630 Wh battery integrated into the down tube. If you buy the MERIDA in size XS, you’ll only get a 504 Wh battery due to space constraints. Battery status and motor data are shown on the small colour display directly next to the bars, which is controlled via the Shimano SW-EM800 remote which is worlds more ergonomic than the Shimano remote fitted on the MERIDA eBIG.TOUR 700 EQ. However, neither the remote nor the display have a button for the front light – it has to be activated by navigating through the awkward menus of the display. A dedicated button for push-assist, like on the Specialized Turbo Vado SL, is also missing.
MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K on test
We had to be careful that the traffic cowboy hidden inside didn’t emerge while riding the capable MERIDA eONE-SIXTY. Kerbs and cobbles just get a tired smile from the plush suspension. On the MERIDA, you don’t brake for steps but always keep pushing on, uphill and downhill. Even concrete walls become jumps with this bike. The MERIDA truly blooms on demanding trails and surprises mountain bike fans with its balanced handling and high stability. The confidence-inspiring ride invites you to explore the full potential of the MERIDA. On the other hand, if you use the bike primarily for commuting you’ll get a shock from the slack and floppy front end. It’s typical for a mountain bike but requires some time to get used to, just like the very wide bar.
Tuning tip: change the tires to suit where you’ll use the bike
The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY turns the concrete desert into a playground. Unfortunately, everyday life isn’t just fun and games.
Likewise, the adjustable suspension is tuned to be stiff despite having seemingly two metres of travel, meaning it’s not as comfortable as full-suspension competitors like the Moustache Samedi 27 Xroad FS7 or Riese & Müller Homage. The riding position is just as sporty and more stretched than on other urban bikes. Nonetheless, the front doesn’t feel too low like it does with some mountain bikes. That relaxes your arms and makes the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY a passable off-road touring bike. The powerful motor helps you surmount long and steep climbs without too much effort and keeps you almost effortlessly at a cruising speed of 25 km/h. If you want to ride fast under your own steam, the high rolling resistance of the grippy mountain bike tires is noticeable, slowing you back down to 25 km/h after a short sprint. If you’re not regularly frequenting trails aboard the MERIDA, you should think about swapping the tires to something less extreme. For the everyday commute, the bike disappoints with its lack of transport options, poor protection from weather and cumbersome steps required when putting it away and securing it.
MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K conclusion
The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K is just as suited to being an everyday commuter as a Lotus Exige is for a camping trip. Every detail is tuned for sporty trail use. If you’re happy to sacrifice transport, comfort and practicality, you’ll find an exclusive commuter in the form of the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K with a whole lot of sex appeal, fun and adrenaline. For everyone who favours everyday practicality, you’ll find better options amongst the competition.
- extravagant carbon looks with metallic paint
- super sporty bike for hobby and leisure time
- premium build for trail use
- minimal everyday accessories
- unfamiliar handling for anyone without mountain bike experience
- narrow range of applications
You can find out more about at merida-bikes.com
Get an overview of the grouptest here: The best ebike of 2021 – The 19 most exciting concepts for everyday use
All Bikes in this group test: Ampler Stout (Click for review) | Brompton M6L Cloud Blue (Click for review) | Cannondale Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty LE (Click for review) | Canyon Commuter:ON 7 (Click for review) | Diamant Juna Deluxe+ (Click for review) | FEDDZ E-Moped (Click for review) | FLYER Upstreet6 7.10 HS (Click for review) | Haibike Trekking 9 (Click for review) | Kalkhoff Endeavour 5.B Excite+ (Click for review) | MERIDA eBIG.TOUR 700 EQ (Click for review) | MERIDA eONE SIXTY 10K | Moustache Samedi 27 Xroad FS 7 (Click for review) | Movea Modo 20” (Click for review) | Riese & Müller Homage GT Rohloff HS mit DualBattery (Click for review) | Riese & Müller Packster 70 Vario (Click for review) | Riese & Müller Roadster Touring (Click for review) | Schindelhauer Arthur VI/IX (Click for review) | Specialized Turbo Vado SL 5.0 EQ (Click for review) | VanMoof X3 (Click for review)
… or the regular long-distance commuters. Your usual commuting distance is more than 15 km each way and you use your bike every day. Your ebike is used as a means of transport and is a real alternative to a second car or public transport. Practicality, reliability and utility win out over the ultimate bling factor because it’s primarily a functional machine↩
This type of ebike unites experts and early adopters from both the fashion and tech scenes. As hip trendsetters, they know exactly how to ride with style. Sci-fi, hi-fi, Wi-Fi – they know exactly what they’re talking about and can easily play the keyboard while half asleep. With a tendency to live out their passions eccentrically, emotional decisions come before rational ones.↩
Take the kids to kindergarten, head to the weekly market and later get a crate of beer – no problem for this type of ebike, even without a car. These riders love to combine things: rational and emotional motives go hand in hand because investments are made on the basis of knowing what they want and getting a suitable vehicle that suits their vision and mission.↩
You live in a 15-minute city like Paris. This means that all your daily needs are within a 15-minute radius by foot or ebike. For short distances of less than 2 km, you aren’t afraid to simply walk. For medium distances of up to 10 km, you get on your bike. Longer distances are easily covered with a mix of public transport and your bike. Short-distance bikers are active/sporty people who never want to commit to one thing, maintain a flexible lifestyle and like to be inspired by impulses. Due to limited space in the city, they often don’t have a car and if they do, it is mainly used for pleasure.↩
You have significant biking experience and enjoy riding sportily. This group encompasses mountain bikers and trail shredders, road bike fans and Strava heroes, as well as touring fans who enjoy (rural) excursions into the countryside outside the city. You change into sports gear for your daily commute before showering when you get there because you enjoy working on your fitness. Your bike is used for commuting during the week as well as for tours at the weekend and is a means of transport and sports equipment all in one.↩
Words: Rudolf Fischer Photos: Valentin Rühl