Merida dropped off the 2021 eONE SIXTY 9000 for us to test the latest Shimano EP8 motor system on, here’s a first look along with riding video.
Merida is one of the first bike brands to adopt the Shimano EP8 motor system, and it’s pretty clear from the clean integration of the motor that this manufacturing giant must have had some inside knowledge about the 85nm power unit pretty early on.
The carbon mainframe of the 2021 Merida E-160 9000 is almost identical to the 2020 model which I tested earlier in the year. The only difference to the front triangle is that it can now accommodate the larger 630Wh Shimano BT8036 battery whereas the previous bike only had the 504Wh unit. Only the XS frame size retains the smaller BT8035 battery simply because there isn’t enough room in the frame to fit the larger power pack.
Just like the 2020 model Merida uses an “internal block” in the headtube to prevent the fork hitting the frame in a crash. Rubber bumpers are also located on the frame for further protection, and the rear end and battery cover gets rubber armour too.
Bolted to the carbon front is an alloy rear end. This has seen very minor updates for 2021 including cleaner cable routing and the addition of kickstand mounts, should you wish to use this 160mm travel eMTB for commuting.
One of the features that I really appreciated on the older eONE SIXTY was the eMTB specific handlebar that allowed the wires to be routed internally for a much cleaner cockpit. Merida has added to this for the MY21 bikes with a new headset with wire routing built-in. This makes the Merida’s front end one of the neatest of all eMTB’s out there.
Fans of mullet set-ups will be happy to see Merida has stuck to the 29in front, 27.5in rear approach. The eONE-SIXTY was designed as a mullet from the ground up, so it offers all of the benefits of the larger wheel on the front for rolling over obstacles combined with the small wheel on the rear for faster cornering. It’s not just marketing hype either, the Merida corners really well, and is especially good at those steep, bermed, muddy chutes we have in the Peak District and around the office.
The eONE-SIXTY 9000 shown here is the second from top of the range bike and is built up with a Fox 38 Elite eMTB+ fork, Fox Float DPX2 Elite rear shock, and a complete Shimano XT drivetrain. Brakes are powerful XT 4 piston units, while the wheels are DT Swiss Spline HX1501 fitted with Maxxis Assegai and Minion DHR DD tyres.
But it’s the power unit that’s the real star of the show. The eONE-SIXTY runs the latest Shimano EP8 motor with 85nm of torque, it also comes with the new Shimano SC-EM800 display, the updated SW-EM800-L assist control and a larger 630Wh battery.
We’ll put together a video bike check of the 2021 Merida eOne Sixty 9000 soon along with a complete review of this update, and our impressions of the new Shimano EP8 motor.
Learn everything that’s new about the new Shimano EP8 motor system here.
Merida eONE-SIXTY 9000 Specifications
- Frame: Carbon front triangle, alloy rear, 160mm travel
- Shock: FOX Float DPX2 Elite
- Fork: FOX 38 Elite eMTB+ Air
- Brakes: Shimano XT 4 piston
- Cranks: Shimano CRE80-12-B
- Rear Mech: Shimano XT 12-speed
- Shifter: Shimano XT 12-Speed
- Assist control: Shimano SL-MT800-L
- Cassette: Shimano M8100 12-speed
- Handlebar: Merida Expert eTR
- Wheels: DT Swiss Spline HX1501 One 30, 29in front 27.5in rear
- Tyres: Maxxis Assegai front, Minion DHR II DD rear
- Motor: Shimano EP8 85nm
- Battery: Shimano E8036 630Wh / 504Wh in XS
- Display: Shimano SC-EM800
- Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
- Colour: Glossy Red/Matt Black
Head over to the Merida website to see the full range of 2021 eBikes fitted with the new Shimano EP8.
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