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BIKE REVIEW: Merida eOne-Sixty 8000

BIKE REVIEW: Merida eOne-Sixty 8000 2020-09-22Leave a comment

electrical bike BIKE REVIEW: Merida eOne-Sixty 8000

In 2017 when Merida launched the eOne-Sixty, they have been rocking up fairly late to the e-MTB social gathering—late however fashionably so. On the time many e-mountain bikes have been like youngsters; awkward in manner and one way or the other unable to fulfil their potential. Motor and battery know-how wasn’t the largest 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 prime it off, their e-bike fashions have been sensibly priced, making them a preferred selection amongst mountain bikers who have 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 number of minor areas however the unique design can nonetheless maintain its personal. In fact, the large 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 lots of the ageing points with out stepping too distant from the unique mould.

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Within the stand

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

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

Except for the slim new body profile, the subsequent most evident 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 may increasingly seem as a significant change (the unique featured 2.8-inch extensive 27.5 ‘plus’ tyres at each ends), the geometry as an entire stays fairly related; extra on this later. In a present of dedication to their e-MTB line, the brand new eOne-Sixty is obtainable 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 incorporates 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 lets you toggle between energy modes and drop the saddle with ease.

Vents up close to the top 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 traces, first impressions of the brand new platform have been superb certainly.

{Dollars} & sense

Pricing on the up to date bike begins from $6,699. This price-point truly provides 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 check bike,
the eOne-Sixty 8000, follows
as the subsequent mannequin within the line.
It sells for $7,999 and options
an impressively strong spec. It depends on the top-end e8000 Shimano motor and comes with XT 12-speed gears, 4 piston SLX brakes, good extensive 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 lots of money
however this is able to 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 assessment nonetheless, we’ll give attention to the attributes of the brand new eOne-Sixty platform…

On the path

Selecting between mountain bikes is a posh and sometimes complicated process, and it solely will get extra complicated in the case of e-bikes. Not solely do it’s important to contemplate the standard facets akin to geometry, dealing with, match, worth and suspension efficiency, you’ve additionally received to have a look at the battery and drive system.

The Shimano e8000 motor is claimed to provide 70Nm and supply a 300% enhance to your energy output in ‘increase mode’. By comparability the Bosch CX drive has 75Nm and gives a 340% energy enhance, Yamaha (utilized by Big) provides 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 nonetheless, the e8000 drive gives loads of grunt for the steepest of climbs—it’ll be an absence of traction and your capability 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 facet. Bosch gives internally mounted down tube batteries with as much as 625Wh. Norco specs their Shimano powered bikes with a customized 630Wh battery and lots of Brose outfitted Specialised fashions include 700Wh batteries. The capability is extra in step 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. In fact your precise vary will rely on 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 dwell 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’d 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 reasonably strong outing. Need to go for longer? Effectively you’d higher get used to driving in ‘eco’ mode or think about the price of a spare battery—they’re round $1,000 (one is included for those who purchase the top-end eOne-Sixty 10K). Altering batteries on the path is an easy two-minute process, and Merida thoughtfully built-in the required 4mm allen key into the rear thru-axle lever.

Increase 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 supplied extra manageable energy supply. Increase mode will be too punchy, inflicting you to lose traction and veer off-line on steeper trails. Path mode is way simpler to regulate and simply feels extra pure. Shimano additionally gives an app that permits 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 hearth – a probably dangerous pun in the case of 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 types, as spares, service information and after gross sales back-up shall be simpler to search out.

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Extra importantly on the path, the compact design of the Shimano motor permits for shorter chainstays. This together with 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 significant 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. Lately you’d typically anticipate finding a shorter seat tube to make means for an extended dropper put up and longer attain/wheelbase figures on a large-sized bike. At 65.5-degrees the top angle is a little bit bit slacker than earlier than and the seat angle is a tad steeper (75.5-degrees) however general the geometry is conservative and never vastly completely 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 energetic 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 lowered 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 aware effort to weight the entrance tyre.

Vigorous and responsive it’s however under no circumstances is the bike skittish. E-bikes all the time carry a good bit of weight and this provides stability—some can really feel close to not possible to wheelie or throw round. Our eOne-Sixty 8000 check bike tipped the scales at 23.13kg with out pedals, which is fairly per the competitors. Regardless of its weight, the brief stays and reasonable chassis size make it doable to loft the entrance wheel and flick the again finish round as required. It’s all the time going to really feel extra ‘planted’ than a daily 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 come back into its component.

The suspension efficiency is outstanding. Its 150mm of rear journey delivers each floor hugging suppleness and assist for larger hits. Whereas the o-ring was commonly 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 supplied a very good match. This burly unit runs 36mm inside legs with a Fox Grip damper that gives a number of easy however efficient changes; rebound, compression and air stress. You may as well mess around with tokens to fluctuate 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 grime. Shimano’s new 12 drivetrain is super-smooth and exhausting 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 put up was top-notch and the extensive (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 properly with my Android telephone, and based mostly on the web opinions, 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 secret’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 undergo an analogous destiny.

Verdict

On the entire there’s not rather a lot 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 very good 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 prime the suspension and geometry mix to offer a enjoyable descent that isn’t majorly compromised when in comparison with a conventional ‘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 facet, the eOne-Sixty is a barrel of enjoyable.

I used to be capable of crack out three strong runs on my favorite native descent after work the place I’d solely handle one when going underneath my very own steam. This mightn’t be information for many who are already aware of 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 may counsel in any other case, the eOne-Sixty is a real all-rounder that’s environment friendly and fulfilling to trip wherever you are taking it.

 

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