This article is a transcript of the EMTB Videos review. The video can be found further down in the article.
We’ve ridden the top of the line eOne-Sixty 10K on a few occasions and it’s quite impressive. It’s a pretty lightweight bike with a carbon frame, and the components are great. But it’s expensive, and dialing in the Fox Factory suspension can be challenging to some. Thankfully Merida has also got the eOne-Sixty 8000 model. At €6.299 it’s significantly cheaper than the 10K mode, and it isn’t that much heavier. The 8000 model is about 22,5 kg with pedals, tubless setup and a bottle cage, and that really is quite nice.
The suspension on the eOne-Sixty 8000 is easier to dial in compared to the kit on the more expensive bike. There are less dials to set on the Marzocchi Bomber Z1 fork. The Z1 is basically a Fox Rhythm 36 fork, and I really like that one. The Z1 does behave differently though. The progression of the suspension travel feels smooth and controlled on the Rhythm fork. The Z1 fork feels much more progressive, and I couldn’t really make use of all the travel. The 160mm version of the Bomber Z1 comes with two tokens preinstalled. These tokens reduce the volume of the air chamber, making the fork more progressive. Removing one of these tokens helps a lot for a pretty lightweight rider such as me. It’s not a big deal having to remove a token, I always did that on the Rockshox forks. But I was surprised it was different from the Fox Rhythm.
The Rockshox Super Deluxe Select+ shock was even easier setting up, ad air and set rebound. This is a really good shock, just one step down from the top of the line model.
The rest of the kit
The drivetrain is all Shimano XT 12-speed, or at least it used to be. The test bike had to replace the derailleur, and the new one was a Deore M6100. And I have to say I didn’t notice. The XT shifter operates so smoothly, even when tugging on a Deore mech. Some brands spec their bike with SLX shifters and XT derailleurs. Stop that. If you have to mix I prefer the XT shifter and the Deore derailleur. Oh, and the brakes are SLX four pot. Nice and powerful brakes.
The dropper post is nice, it hasn’t developed any play after 600 kilometres of riding. It has a healthy 150 mill of travel on this size large bike. The Fulcrum wheels are nice. And I really like the choice of tyres. The Maxxis Assegai 29 by 2,5” front tyre isn’t too heavy, the rubber compound is pretty soft and the knobs are tall. Still, it rolls surprisingly well, possibly due to the centre knobs sitting quite close to each other. The eOne-Sixties are running a mullet setup, so the rear wheel is smaller than the front. The rear tyre is the Maxxis Minion DHR II 27.5 by 2.6”, also a nice tyre with good climbing and braking grip.
Motor and battery
Unsurprisingly, the Merida has got the Shimano E8000 motor and display. Handlebar remote is the compact E7000, this is a good mix. Check out this video for a review of the motor. Battery is the internal 504Watthours BT8035. The battery is starting to look small now adays, but it has a few advantages. The smaller battery keeps weight down and slightly lowers the centre of gravity.
The eOne-Sixty was never designed to be the most capable climber. The tall front end and 440 millimetres short chainstays isn’t ideal for keeping the front wheel planted when going up the steepest climbs. But the Merida eOne-Sixty 8000 is still an ebike. It’s got the motor power, the rest is up to the rider. Move your upper body down and forwards, and the bike takes us up all our test climbs on the first attempt.
On the flatter terrain, this bike really benefits from the frame geometry. There are several advantages to the short rear end and tall front end. Lifting the front wheel is easy. The bike turns so fast, making it easy to change the direction. We were seeking out every little ledge and potential jump on the trails. The relatively low weight makes it easy handling the bike in the rough, low speed sections too.
The quite slack head angle of 65.5*, combined with that big 29er front wheel, makes the bike a competent descender too. The tall front end helps keeping the rider in a more level position. This makes lifting the front wheel easier. The bike is really manoeuvrable in the steep downs. The trade-off is that you’re not getting a lot of weight over the front wheel. We had to commit a tad more. We were moving a bit forward on the bike when turning hard, to avoid having the front wheel washing out.
The Merida eOne-Sixty 8000 isn’t as forgiving as many of the new 29er emtbs with longer chainstays and longer wheelbase. But it can be way more fun. If you want to almost dance around on the trails rather than just crusing along, you’ll love this bike. The eOne-Sixty 8000 is an agile and inspiring trail bike that is surprisingly competent on the gnarly descents.
This review is a transcript of the video review by EMTB Videos.
Price: €6.299 Weight: about 22,5kg with pedals, bottle cage and tubeless setup