2024 Merida eOne-Sixty 675 first ride review – the most affordable e-MTB in the new range

Rich Owen tests the fourth incarnation of Merida's alloy e-MTB and it's by far the most capable version yet

The 2024 Merida eOne-Sixty 675 e-MTB on the trail
(Image: © Mick Kirkman / Merida)

Early Verdict

While it's pretty rare to find a bike that takes that much getting used to these days, I instantly felt right at home on the eOne-Sixty. The excellent suspension system and well-balanced geometry give a confident and capable ride, though the bike has a hefty overall weight.

Pros

  • +

    Sorted 170mm suspension setup

  • +

    Well balanced and confidence inducing ride

  • +

    Tough trail/all-mountain componentry

  • +

    750Wh battery with optional 360Wh range extender

  • +

    Lifetime guarantee on the frame

Cons

  • -

    25kg+ weight is up there with the heaviest around

  • -

    Capable rather than lively

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Merida has just relaunched its full range of e-MTBs with brand-new carbon and aluminum chassis. The 2024 eOne-Sixty and eOne-Forty models have been radically overhauled in a manner derived from the most recent One-Sixty and One-Forty platforms launched in 2022. That means several key ideas and technologies have been brought over from the purely human-powered models to Merida's new electric mountain bike platform – more on them later.

As part of the launch, I was invited to test ride the new Merida eOne-Sixty 675 – the lowest priced option (£5,500/€6,250) in the new, five model (three carbon, two aluminum) eOne-Sixty range. 

Frame detail of the eOne-Sixty

Flex stays do the job of a rear pivot and work really well  (Image credit: Mick Kirkman / Merida)

Design and geometry

The suspension design and sizing system (XShort, Short, Mid, Long, XLong) comes directly from the conventional One-Sixty platform. Compared to most rival models, reaches are long across the size range (XS – 419, S – 439, M – 459, L – 479, XL – 499mm). The bikes use pretty consistent seat and head tube lengths across the size range so you can choose the reach you want without being encumbered by other frame dimensions that aren't right for you.

After debuting its flexstay tech (dubbed P-Flex) on its cross-country bikes, Merida built into the latest iterations of the One-Sixty, One-Forty and One-Twenty bikes. It's now been used as part of the suspension design on the eOne-Sixty in both the carbon and aluminum versions (the eOne Forty doesn't use P-Flex), and as far as we're aware, no one else uses flexstays on an e-MTB platform – lightweight or full-fat.

The stay design removes the need for the rear pivot which simplifies the suspension system and drops a little weight too. The frames have passed Category 4 – “All Mountain (AM) and Enduro“ certification and Merida offers a lifetime guarantee on the frame to the original owner. We've not heard of any untoward issues from P-Flex on the regular bikes.

Geometry-wise, the numbers have become more progressive compared to the previous eOne-Sixty and, again, are now more aligned with its non-electric cousin. On the Mid-sized bike I was testing, that meant a head tube angle of 64.4 degrees (1-degree slacker than before), a seat angle of 78.4 degrees (3 degrees steeper), a reach of 459mm (19mm longer) and chainstays of 446mm (6.5mm longer).

The eOne-Sixty now also comes with a flip-chip that allows you to switch between twin 29-inch wheels and a mixed wheel size mullet setup without affecting the overall geometry of the bike – the bikes come mullet-wheeled as standard. The frame also uses a UDH hanger and so is compatible with SRAM's T-Type Transmission drivetrains.

Shock detail on the Merida eOne-Sixty 675

The wonky, offset shock reservoir looks broken, but isn't (Image credit: Mick Kirkman / Merida)

Components and build

Despite its name, the eOne-Sixty comes with a 170mm travel Marzocchi Z1 eMTB fork and the rear end has 174mm travel controlled by a Marzocchi Bomber Air shock. The motor is Shimano's latest EP801 model which is quieter and gives 600 watts of peak power compared to the older EP8's 500 watts. The bike is powered by a Trendpower 750Wh battery – with the option of adding a range extender that gives an extra 360Wh. While the carbon framed bike has a fixed main battery, it's removable here on the aluminum model.

The eOne-Sixty 675 rolls on 29mm internal Merida rims with Boost width Shimano hubs. Despite this model being at the bottom of the new eOne Sixty range, Merida have still armed it with some top class aggro rubber in the form of a triple compound Maxxis pairing of an Assegai EXO+ MaxxGrip tire up front, with a 2.4in DHR II, DoubleDown, MaxxTerra at the rear – the same tires as the fully loaded eOne-Sixty 10K.

Handlebar detail of the Merida eOne-Sixty 675

It's an eOne-Sixty, so of course it gets an in-built light (Image credit: Mick Kirkman / Merida)

The brakes and gears come courtesy of Shimano Deore with four-pot brake pistons and a 220mm rotor up front and 203mm rear to the rear. Unlike the other bikes in the range, which get Merida droppers with adjustable travel, drops are fixed on the 675. The XShort has 125mm travel, Short 150mm, and the larger sizes all get 200mm. Like most Merida MTBs, the own branded saddle comes with a multi-tool housed beneath the seat, the frame also has a handy in-built 'enduro' strap for attaching an inner tube etc and Merida's handy 4mm hex/Allen key is stashed in the rear axle. Just like previous versions, the eOne-Sixty still comes with an in-built Lezyne front light. The much maligned light is only 310 lumen, but it has got me out of bother as an emergency 'get me home' light when riding previous Merida e-MTBs. 

A large capacity battery, capable yet weighty Marzocchi Z1 fork, basic wheelset and hefty Maxxis tires combine with the aluminum chassis and motor to give a claimed weight of 25.64kg for the Mid-sized bike (add another 3kg for the range extender). This is chunky even for a longer travel e-MTB and not far off the heaviest comparable e-MTB we've tested – Whyte's E-160 RSX, which we weighed at 26.5kg for the Large.

Ride and performance

I got half a day or so of ride time on the eOne-Sixty 675 among the root-strewn, wet, slippery trails of the Forest of Dean. Admittedly, there aren't many bikes that you need much time to get your head around these days, but I felt right at home on the eOne-Sixty right from the off. Disclaimer – I am currently doing a long-term test on the One-Forty and have tested the One-Sixty, so am already familiar with Merida's similarly set-up platforms.

I hit a wide range of trails on the bike – all-weather loops, marked downhill runs and off-piste gnar – the eOne-Sixty happily devoured everything in its path. The Marzocchi suspension setup felt controlled and smoothly capable, which complemented the well-balanced handling to give a confidence-inducing and predictable ride. The bike climbed well aided by the steep seat tube on steep sections and the Maxxis tires gave a ton of assured grip.

Yes, in this guise, the eOne-Sixty is a heavy one (even more so with the range extender added), but Merida have done a great job of disguising that weight, the bike feels nicely poised and handles well in the air too. The only times I noticed the heft were on twisty, pedaling sections or when cornering in the slick conditions, but dealing with that weight would add extra fatigue over long rides. While the super stable, planted feel is great for confident trail bombing, on the flip side, it's not a naturally poppy or playful ride.

Detail of the Shimano EP801 motor

The power delivery from the EP801 motor feels natural, but you can tune it via Shimano's E-Tube app (Image credit: Mick Kirkman / Merida)

Early verdict

Despite only a few hours of the eOne-Sixty 675, I was impressed with what Merida have produced. The ride feels very much one that feels calm under pressure and it was far more likely that I'd feel out of my depth way before the bike did. There's no denying that the bike is hefty, but if you're after a confident heavyweight that with its 750Wh battery (plus the option of the 360Wh range extender) will take as many rounds as you can handle, then the new 675 will be a great sparring partner for you. If you're after something more spritely, then maybe one of the new carbon options might fit the bill. I'm looking forward to giving one of them a go as soon as I can and getting more time on the aluminum bike I've tested here.

Rich Owen riding the Merida eOne-Sixty 675

Want a wet and rooty test track? The Forest of Dean in February is the place to be (Image credit: Mick Kirkman / Merida)

Tech specs: Merida eOne-Sixty 675

  • Price: $NA / £5,500 / €6,250
  • Available from: Late March 2024
  • Frame: Aluminum, 174mm travel, Boost width
  • Fork: Marzocchi Z1 eMTB, Air, 170mm
  • Shock: Marzocchi Bomber Air
  • Motor: Shimano EP801
  • Battery: Trendpower 750Wh, plus optional 360Wh range extender
  • Reach: XS – 419, S – 439, M – 459, L – 479, XL – 499mm
  • Head tube angle: 64.4 degrees
  • Seat tube angle: 78.5 degrees
  • Gears: Shimano Deore M5130 1x12
  • Crankset: Shimano FC-EN600, 165mm
  • Brakes: Shimano Deore M6120, 4 piston, rotors – 220mm front, 203mm rear
  •  Wheels: Merida Expert TR II 28mm inner width rims on Shimano TC500-B/TC600-HM-B Boost width hubs
  • Tires: Maxxis Assegai 29x2.5, TR EXO+ 3C MaxxGrip front, DHR II 27.5x2.4, 3C DD MaxxTerra rear
  • Dropper: Merida Expert TR II, XS: 125 mm travel, S: 150 mm travel, - M/L/XL: 200 mm travel
  • Saddle: Merida Expert CC, V-mount
  • Sizing: XShort, Short, Mid, Long, XLong
  • Weight: 25.64kg (claimed size Mid)
Richard Owen
Editor, Bike Perfect

Rich has been riding mountain bikes for over 30 years and mostly likes hitting flowy yet technical trails that point downhill. A jack of many trades, he has competed in cross-country, enduro and long distance MTB races. A resident of North Devon, Rich can mostly be found pedaling furiously around his local trails, or slightly further afield in the Quantocks, the Mendips or Exmoor. 


Current rides: Merida One-Forty 6000, Banshee Paradox

Height: 175cm

Weight: 68kg