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BIKE REVIEW: Merida eOne-Sixty 8000

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BIKE REVIEW: Merida eOne-Sixty 8000

In 2017 when Merida launched the eOne-Sixty, they had been rocking up fairly late to the e-MTB social gathering—late however fashionably so. On the time many e-mountain bikes had been like youngsters; awkward in manner and one way or the other unable to fulfil their potential. Motor and battery expertise wasn’t the most important concern, extra typically it was the dated geometry; steep head angles, brief attain figures and super-long chainstays. Merida learnt from the errors of many early adopters and launched a spread of super-competent bikes that had many riders re-calibrating their opinions on power-assisted MTBs. To high it off, their e-bike fashions had been sensibly priced, making them a preferred alternative amongst mountain bikers who had been eager so as to add an e-assisted bike to their fleet.

Since 2017 the eOne-Sixty remained as a key participant of their vary. It’s now exhibiting its age in a couple of minor areas however the authentic design can nonetheless maintain its personal. After all, the massive information for 2020 is the up to date model of this 150/160mm (rear/entrance) journey all-mountain bike. Considerably confusingly, it’s nonetheless known as the eOne-Sixty however the brand new model addresses most of the ageing points with out stepping too distant from the unique mould.

Within the stand

So what has modified? Aesthetically the brand new bike advantages from cleaner, straighter strains and an built-in battery (the unique had the battery perched above the downtube). It’s a pointy trying rig and the interior battery means there’s now room for a big water bottle inside the principle triangle.

Merida partnered with Shimano within the improvement of the BT-E8035 battery; a 504Wh unit that’s slim sufficient to accommodate throughout the down tube. Initially Merida stated the brand new downtube cut-out necessitated the transfer to carbon body building to keep up stiffness, nevertheless they’ve since launched an alloy model which is at present solely supplied at one spec degree; the One-Sixty Restricted. Merida has lengthy acknowledged that aluminium is their most well-liked materials for rough-and-tumble MTB functions. The burden penalty for the aluminium body is roughly 600g—that’s a trivial quantity on an e-bike, so it’ll be fascinating to see in the event that they broaden the alloy choices for 2021.

Apart from the slim new body profile, the following most blatant change can be the transfer to a blended wheel measurement format; 27.5 on the again and 29er up entrance—a development that’s taking maintain on many enduro and DH bikes. Whereas this will seem as a serious change (the unique featured 2.8-inch huge 27.5 ‘plus’ tyres at each ends), the geometry as a complete stays fairly related; extra on this later. In a present of dedication to their e-MTB line, the brand new eOne-Sixty is accessible in 4 sizes. The unique got here in three however they’ve now added an extra-large possibility (in some nations there’s even an XS possibility).

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Final however not least, the newer platform contains a vary of smaller refinements. The bar-mounted mode management button now integrates tidily with the dropper distant and the wires slip tidily contained in the handlebar—it’s a slick set-up that permits you to toggle between energy modes and drop the saddle with ease.

Vents up close to the pinnacle tube present a cool trying technique of routing the cables into the body, and as soon as inside, they’re locked securely in place by a cradle that stops rattles. On the opposing finish, you’ll discover a well-designed chainstay protector that additionally goals to maintain the trip quiet. There’s even a steering limiter on the carbon bikes that stops the fork crown impacting the outsized down tube; it’s a easy association with a block that clamps to the steerer tube and inside stops to restrict the rotation. Between these refinements and the great straight strains, first impressions of the brand new platform had been excellent certainly.

{Dollars} & sense

Pricing on the up to date bike begins from $6,699. This price-point really offers you two choices; there’s the carbon eOne-Sixty 5000 and the alloy eOne-Sixty Restricted. Each have all the brand new options – blended wheel measurement, built-in battery and so forth – however the alloy model will get you a barely larger elements spec for the cash. The carbon eOne-Sixty 5000 has principally Deore-level 10-speed operating gear with a RockShox 35 fork and a lower-end 60nm Shimano e7000 drive unit. Go for the alloy body and also you’ll get the extra highly effective 70nm e8000 motor and an XT/SLX 12-speed drivetrain.

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From there on up the vary
is all-carbon and our take a look at bike,
the eOne-Sixty 8000, follows
as the following mannequin within the line.
It sells for $7,999 and options
an impressively stable spec. It depends on the top-end e8000 Shimano motor and comes with XT 12-speed gears, 4 piston SLX brakes, good huge Fulcrum rims, a Marzocchi Bomber fork with a RockShox Tremendous Deluxe rear shock.

For $1K extra, the eOne-Sixty 9000 ($8,999) will get you Fox Manufacturing facility suspension, Shimano XT cranks and brakes in addition to DT Swiss wheels. The vary then tops out with the eOne-Sixty 10K; for $11,999 you get a full XTR construct and Fox Manufacturing facility suspension—it even comes with an additional battery and a pack to hold it in for longer rides. It’s plenty of money
however this might solely purchase the entry degree mannequin from sure ‘boutique’ manufacturers.

It’s additionally value mentioning that Merida has retained the older alloy 27.5 wheeled One-Sixty platform with the exterior battery. Presently it’s supplied at two price-points; $5,499 and $6,699 and serves as a good-value possibility with a really sharp elements spec for the cash. For this overview nevertheless, we’ll deal with the attributes of the brand new eOne-Sixty platform…

On the path

Selecting between mountain bikes is a posh and sometimes complicated job, and it solely will get extra complicated relating to e-bikes. Not solely do you need to contemplate the normal elements comparable to geometry, dealing with, match, worth and suspension efficiency, you’ve additionally bought to take a look at the battery and drive system.

The Shimano e8000 motor is alleged to provide 70Nm and supply a 300% enhance to your energy output in ‘increase mode’. By comparability the Bosch CX drive has 75Nm and presents a 340% energy enhance, Yamaha (utilized by Big) offers you 80Nm and a 360% increase to your pedalling output and a few Brose motors produce a hefty 90Nm and provides an influence enhance of as much as 410%. When ridden side-by-side with these different techniques, you’ll discover that you might have to place in a bit extra effort to maintain up. In isolation nevertheless, the e8000 drive presents loads of grunt for the steepest of climbs—it’ll be an absence of traction and your capacity to stability that stops you, not an absence of energy.

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Capability-wise, the 504Wh Shimano E8035 battery is a bit on the small aspect. Bosch presents internally mounted down tube batteries with as much as 625Wh. Norco specs their Shimano powered bikes with a customized 630Wh battery and plenty of Brose outfitted Specialised fashions include 700Wh batteries. The capability is extra in keeping with what you’ll discover on the Big Reign and Trance for instance, and the eOne-Sixty runs the identical Shimano battery as the brand new Santa Cruz Heckler.

On the finish of the day, it’s the vary on the path that issues and there’s no level carting across the weight of an enormous battery if it isn’t required. After all your precise vary will rely upon an enormous vary of variables; the terrain and quantity of climbing, rider weight, how a lot you ‘soft-pedal’ and depend on the motor in addition to the mode used. Shimano claims a spread of 50km in increase, 75km within the path mode and 100km within the ‘eco’ setting. I reside in on the base of a steep 500-metre excessive escarpment and, when confronted with the sizeable climb to the highest, the precise vary would drop markedly.

Utilizing the increase setting, I might burn via a full cost in 25km—that’s a little bit over two hours of driving and 1,100 metres of vertical ascent. Choosing the path mode would give me roughly 35km in three hours and 1,500 metres of vertical, which a fairly stable outing. Need to go for longer? Properly you’d higher get used to driving in ‘eco’ mode or consider the price of a spare battery—they’re round $1,000 (one is included in the event you purchase the top-end eOne-Sixty 10K). Altering batteries on the path is an easy two-minute job, and Merida thoughtfully built-in the required 4mm allen key into the rear thru-axle lever.

Enhance mightn’t take you far however path mode proved to be my go-to setting, not just for the extra economical battery use, but additionally as a result of it offered extra manageable energy supply. Enhance mode could be too punchy, inflicting you to lose traction and veer off-line on steeper trails. Path mode is much simpler to regulate and simply feels extra pure. Shimano additionally presents an app that allows you to customise the facility that’s out there and precisely the way it’s delivered—it’s not as elaborate or intuitive because the Specialised ‘Mission Management’ app however useful nonetheless.

Whereas the drive system and battery life mightn’t set the world on fireplace – a probably dangerous pun relating to e-bikes – it does supply sure advantages. First-up it’s Shimano! Their drive techniques are shared by many bike manufacturers; from Norco to Focus, Kona, Santa Cruz, Pivot and others. It offers a safeguard of kinds, as spares, service information and after gross sales back-up shall be simpler to seek out.

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Extra importantly on the path, the compact design of the Shimano motor permits for shorter chainstays. This along side the smaller 27.5-inch rear wheel has allowed Merida to spec a 439.5mm rear finish—that’s about as brief as you’ll discover on an e-MTB and a serious contributor to the character of the eOne-Sixty.

Again in 2017, the geometry of the unique 27.5-only eOne-Sixty was fairly updated; it had a 66.5-degree head angle and a steepish 75-degree seat angle. A big bike had a 470mm seat tube, 460mm attain and a 1,230mm wheelbase.

Now with its 29/27.5 ‘reverse mullet’ format, the brand new eOne-Sixty nonetheless has a 470mm seat tube and a 460mm attain in a big measurement, whereas the wheelbase has grown ever-so-slightly to 1,238.5mm. Today you’d typically anticipate finding a shorter seat tube to make means for an extended dropper submit and longer attain/wheelbase figures on a large-sized bike. At 65.5-degrees the pinnacle angle is a little bit bit slacker than earlier than and the seat angle is a tad steeper (75.5-degrees) however total the geometry is conservative and never vastly totally different to the unique eOne-Sixty.

Tremendous lengthy attain and wheelbase figures could also be on-trend however they’ll result in a boring trip in much less demanding terrain. The unique eOne-Sixty had a status for offering a vigorous trip and the small tweaks made to the brand new model haven’t dulled the expertise. It additionally runs a 51mm off-set fork – not a diminished off-set model like many new bikes – and this additionally enhances the nimbleness. On the flip-side, the entrance finish can really feel a little bit mild via the turns and requires a extra acutely aware effort to weight the entrance tyre.

Vigorous and responsive it’s however by no means is the bike skittish. E-bikes at all times carry a good bit of weight and this provides stability—some can really feel close to unattainable to wheelie or throw round. Our eOne-Sixty 8000 take a look at bike tipped the scales at 23.13kg with out pedals, which is fairly in line with the competitors. Regardless of its weight, the brief stays and reasonable chassis size make it attainable to loft the entrance wheel and flick the again finish round as required. It’s at all times going to really feel extra ‘planted’ than an everyday bike, however when airborne you’ll be able to nonetheless tweak its trajectory. For many path networks the Merida strikes a pleasant stability and it doesn’t require an EWS degree descent to return into its aspect.

The suspension efficiency is outstanding. Its 150mm of rear journey delivers each floor hugging suppleness and help for greater hits. Whereas the o-ring was usually pushed to the tip of the shock shaft, I by no means felt it backside out. Up entrance, the beefed-up Marzocchi Z1 e-bike fork offered a great match. This burly unit runs 36mm interior legs with a Fox Grip damper that gives a couple of easy however efficient changes; rebound, compression and air strain. You may as well mess around with tokens to range the spring charge however I discovered the inventory set-up to be good.

All-in-all the trip high quality is nice and fortunately the operating gear doesn’t let it down when you’re within the dust. Shimano’s new 12 drivetrain is super-smooth and laborious to fault whereas the four-piston SLX brakes and 203mm rotors supply loads of energy—even with the added e-bike heft. The 170mm journey Merida dropper submit was top-notch and the huge (30mm inside) Fulcrum wheels complemented the bike properly—no complaints in any respect.

So what’s to not like? I had troubles getting the Shimano e-Tube app to hyperlink with the bike. It didn’t play effectively with my Android cellphone, and based mostly on the web evaluations, it seems that I’m not the one one (ultimately I borrowed my daughter’s iPhone to get it to work). Whereas the rear thru-axle with its built-in 4/6mm allen key’s a neat design, it did go lacking on a path trip; I believe it was knocked out once I clipped a rock on the path. Lastly, the low backside bracket might do good issues for the dealing with, however this mixed with the low-slung motor led to some nasty rock-strikes—though most competing bikes will endure an identical destiny.

Verdict

On the entire there’s not quite a bit to criticise with the eOne-Sixty. Positive, the battery capability isn’t large however its compact dimensions permit the bike to retain a slim and enticing profile (slim for an e-bike anyway). On the finish of the day it does what a great e-bike ought to. First-off, it delivers you to the highest of the hill at a sprightly tempo, successfully fast-tracking the boring a part of the trip. Most significantly, as soon as on the high the suspension and geometry mix to offer a enjoyable descent that isn’t majorly compromised when in comparison with a standard ‘analogue’ MTB. Positive, there’s an apparent dead-spot the place it feels such as you’re pedalling via sticky porridge when you hit the 25kph help restrict on a flatter path, but when gravity is in your aspect, the eOne-Sixty is a barrel of enjoyable.

I used to be capable of crack out three stable runs on my favorite native descent after work the place I’d solely handle one when going beneath my very own steam. This mightn’t be information for many who are already acquainted with e-bikes, however the energy of the eOne-Sixty lies in its versatility. It’s each succesful and manageable in steep terrain whereas nonetheless remaining enjoyable and interesting to trip on flatter terrain or much less demanding trails. Whereas quantity of journey might recommend in any other case, the eOne-Sixty is a real all-rounder that’s environment friendly and pleasing to trip wherever you are taking it.

 

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