Merida eOne-Sixty 10K blends wheel sizes with new carbon frame

Merida has made its lead e-bike much better, with some help from Shimano
eOne-Sixty 10K looks much better than before with new front triangle design (Image credit: Merida)

Merida product planners believe that enduro specification e-bikes are the future and its eOne-Sixty 10K is the new flagship product for that market.

With the eOne-Sixty 10K Merida has significantly enhanced the overall design, with better frame materials, advanced geometry and some clever technical features.

Although weight was not a primary decision point when e-bikes launched a few years ago, riders who demand a more agile descending experience, and wish to experience less brake fade on long alpine downhills, are now demanding lighter enduro e-bikes.

To provide a lower overall mass, Merida has remoulded the eOne-Sixty’s front triangle in carbon-fibre. This has reduced weight to 21.93kg and given the bike a much sleeker appearance, with a less obtrusive battery packaging profile on the down tube. 

A particularly clever design feature, is the thermo-gate intake gills, shaped into the side of the headtube. These serve a dual-purpose: providing ports for the internal cable routing and an airflow duct to cool the battery back.

Providing the eOne-Sixty’s battery pedal assistance is a Shimano 8035 battery pack, which stores 504Wh of energy, and powers a Shimano E8000 motor. The design was a joint-venture between Merida and Shimano.

Evaluate the specifications and there is no doubt that Merida’s eOne-Sixty 10K build is decidedly downhill biased. There is a Fox 36 Float Factory GRIP2 E-bike fork up front, providing 160mm of travel, while the rear suspension kinematics are managed by a Fox Float X2 Factory shock, also configured for 160mm.

Built for gravity riding 

With an integrated electric-assistance system, e-bikes are heavier than comparable non-assisted mountain bikes and that means you need the best possible brakes to manage descending momentum. As such, Merida has equipped the eOne-Sixty 10K with Shimano’s latest XTR brakes, which feature four-piston power actuation, acting on 200mm rotors front and rear.

Regarding wheel size, the new eOne-Sixty is entirely on trend, and features different wheel sizes at either end. Merida is aware that riders are starting to embrace the notion of front-wheel rollover capability (with 29-inch wheels), in combination with the less inertia effect on the rear axle, rolling a 27.5-inch wheel. Hoops are from DT Swiss and carbon, which is a theme of the eOne-Sixty’s premium build kit.

Why would you want a 27.5-inch wheel on the rear? Acceleration. Shod with a high-volume 2.6-inch wide tyre, the eOne-Sixty rear wheel has all the climbing traction you’d need, but with its smaller diameter, there is superior acceleration when transitioning from apex-to-exit out of tight corners.

To provide the best possible rider position when descending, Merida’s designers have slackened the eOne-Sixty 10K’s head angle to 65.5-degrees.

The frame also has a generous dropper seat post clearance, with 170mm, which should enable riders to get as low as they like when rolling, dropping or jumping technical terrain features.

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born media professional who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his fascination with trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. Rides: Morewood Kwela Cotic Simple 26 Pyga 160mm aluminium prototype