The best eMTB of 2021 – the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K was able to assert itself against the most exciting eMTBs of 2021 in the big group test of our sister magazine E-MOUNTAINBIKE. With its excellent handling, appealing design and customisable Shimano EP8 motor, it offers an excellent overall package and covers a wide range of applications. But where does it stand against the analogue competition?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best mountainbike of 2021 – 22 models in review

MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K | Shimano EP8/630 (504 in XS) Wh | 160/150 mm (f/r)
23.1 kg (size L) | € 9,899 | Manufacturer-website

After securing victory as the best eMTB all-rounder of 2021, the MERIDA takes on a test field made up almost entirely of analogue mountain bikes to prove how playful it really is. As the only bike in the test with a mullet setup, it relies on a 29″ wheel at the front and 27.5″ at the rear. The eONE-SIXTY combines a carbon frame with an alloy swingarm, which unfortunately doesn’t do justice to the organic lines of the frame. Neatly integrated into the frame, a Shimano EP8 motor delivers 85 NM torque and draws its power from a 630 Wh battery. Compared to the other two electric contestants, the Orbea Rise and Specialized Levo SL, the MERIDA is noticeably more powerful but also significantly heavier due to the large internal battery – more power requires more electricity and, in turn, a larger tank! Near the head tube, at the top of the eye-catching down tube, the distinctive THERMO GATE ventilation port allows warm air to dissipate and also makes for a killer look! All motor cables run through the handlebars and stem, leaving just the brake and shift cables exposed. These are routed into the frame through the THERMO GATE, which holds them securely in place and ensures a tidy look in combination with the Shimano I-SPEC clamps in the cockpit area. The compact Shimano display next to the stem and the associated remote on the handlebars are modular, allowing you to mix and match components to suit your needs and preferences – the same system we saw on the Orbea Rise. Our third electric contender, the Specialized Levo SL, offers the tidiest solution, with the display neatly integrated into the top tube.

Using Shimano’s E-TUBE app, you can create different riding profiles and adjust the support levels and behaviour of the Shimano EP8 motor. On the chainstay, a massive protector prevents annoying chain slap. Unfortunately, the Shimano EP8 motor makes a loud metallic clunking noise when rolling over obstacles, which is not a problem exclusive to the MERIDA but a prominent feature of all eMTBs with an EP8 drive. Not only is this very annoying on the trail, but it also destroys all efforts made by MERIDA to keep the noise down. A Lezyne lighting system is securely attached to the stem and puts out 310 Lumen. While this might not be powerful enough for intrepid night expeditions, it allows you to squeeze in one last sunset lap or get in a last cheeky round at the pub! Under the saddle, Merida hide a practical multi-tool, which isn’t as easily accessible as Specialized’s SWAT tool but still incredibly handy. The bottle cage on the downtube allows you to carry a large water bottle despite the large battery capacity, which is awesome considering that the range extender of the Levo SL and Orbea Rise takes up the bottle cage, forcing you to pick between more juice or more water.

If you’re intrigued by the eMTB concept, the MERIDA is a great all-rounder both for beginners and seasoned downhillers

Bulletproof – The spec of the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K

As the 10K suffix suggests, the price of the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K is just shy of five digits. However, for € 9,799 you get a bombproof spec for all trails. At the front, a burly 160 mm FOX 38 Factory GRIP2 fork takes care of the rough stuff while a FOX Float X2 Factory shock controls 150 mm travel at the rear. Braking is handled by powerful Shimano XTR four-piston brakes with matching 200 mm rotors front and rear. There’s also a Shimano XTR 12-speed drivetrain and 170 mm SRAM AXS wireless dropper (size L). The DT Swiss HXC1250 SPLINE carbon wheelset rolls on a robust MAXXIS DoubleDown tire combination, with an ASSEGAI in the super-soft MaxxGrip compound at the front and Minion DHR II with the harder MaxxTerra compound out back – excellent! Our Merida eONE-SIXTY 10K test bike weighs in at 23.1 kg.

The ventilation ports in the head tube serve to cool the battery but also clamp the internally routed cables securely in place
That’s the way it should be
As far as tire choice goes, many bike manufacturers could learn something from the Taiwanese brand. MERIDA combine their carbon rims with MAXXIS ASSEGAI and Minion DHRII tires with the robust DoubleDown casing.
Always at hand
With a multi-tool hidden under the saddle, you’ll always have your basic tools with you. Unfortunately, it’s not as easily accessible as Specialized’s SWAT tool.


€ 9,899


Motor Shimano EP8 85 Nm
Battery Shimano BT-E8036 630 (504 in XS) Wh
Display Shimano SC-EM800
Fork FOX 38 Factory 160 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT X2 150 mm
Seatpost RockShox Reverb AXS 170 mm
Brakes Shimano XTR M9120 200/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XTR 1x12
Stem MERIDA 40 mm
Handlebar MERIDA Expert eTR II 780 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss HXC1250 SPLINE Mullet
Tires MAXXIS ASSEGAI DD 3C MaxxGrip/Minion DHRII EXO 3C MaxxTerra 2.5

Technical Data

Size XS S M L XL
Weight 23.1 kg

Specific Features

Lezyne lights

The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K with its integrated Shimano EP8 motor makes lifts and pickups redundant.
The 200 mm Shimano ICE-TECH rotors improve the already excellent performance of Shimano’s XTR top-end stoppers even further.
The battery cover didn’t make it on the other side of the road gap. However, it wasn’t broken and we put it back afterwards.
Let there be light
The integrated Lezyne lighting system puts out 310 lumens. While this isn’t enough for adventurous night expeditions, it’s still enough to get you home after a quick last sunset lap.

The geometry of the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K

The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K is available in five sizes. The short down tube of the XS frame only allows for a smaller 504 Wh battery. However, short and light riders will benefit from the lower system weight and can still achieve a very decent range. The MERIDA combines a relatively compact 460 mm reach (size L) with the highest front in the test at 652 mm stack. Just as striking is the long 470 mm seat tube in size L, which restricts both the freedom of movement on the bike and the choice of frame sizes. Due to the pronounced kink in the seat tube, long-legged riders should push the saddle all the way forward to ensure a more comfortable riding position, even on flat trails.

Size XS S M L XL
Seat tube 405 mm 420 mm 440 mm 470 mm 500 mm
Top tube 563 mm 584 mm 605 mm 629 mm 652 mm
Head tube 110 mm 115 mm 120 mm 135 mm 150 mm
Head angle 65.5° 65.5° 65.5° 65.5° 65.5°
Seat angle 75.5° 75.5° 75.5° 75.5° 75.5°
Chainstays 440 mm 440 mm 440 mm 440 mm 440 mm
BB Drop 18 mm 18 mm 18 mm 18 mm 18 mm
Wheelbase 1,168 mm 1,190 mm 1,212 mm 1,239 mm 1,265 mm
Reach 400 mm 420 mm 440 mm 460 mm 480 mm
Stack 629 mm 633 mm 638 mm 652 mm 665 mm
Helmet POC Tectal | Glasses POC Aspire | Hippack Patagonia Black Hole Waist Pack 5L
Shirt Monserat P01 | Shorts 100% Airmatic Short | Kneepads POC Joint VPD System Knee
Shoes Giro Chamber II | Socks Vans | Watch Wahoo ELEMNT RIVAL

Can a thoroughbred eMTB keep up with modern analogue bikes? The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K eMTB on the trail

The pedalling position of the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K is relaxed and upright, with the weight evenly distributed between the hands and saddle. On top of that, the robust casing of the tires allows you to run low air pressures, which ensures good traction and a high level of comfort. When negotiating steep ramps with the Shimano EP8 motor in the factory setting, you’ll have to shift your weight forward to transfer the power of the motor onto the trail and keep the front wheel tracking in Boost mode. Here the Orbea Rise has a big advantage, because its central pedalling position doesn’t require you to shift your weight forwards. Although the MERIDA has the most power, it feels more sluggish than its electric counterparts – you can clearly tell you’re riding a full-fat eMTB. Nevertheless, the MERIDA is great fun on uphill trails and allows you to pick some very creative new lines while blasting through the forest on your way to the trailhead. If you prefer to get there in a more relaxed fashion, the MERIDA ploughs up fire roads like a steam train, leaving you with a massive grin on your face and plenty of energy for the descent.

Climbs like a rocket, runs smoothly at high speeds but feels sluggish due to its heavy weight. If you’re looking for a thoroughbred eMTB, the Merida eONE-SIXTY 10K is a great all-rounder

Tuning-tip: Riders with long legs should push the saddle all the way forward

However, if you run out of juice, the party’s over and you’ll have to rely solely on the power of your legs to get the heavy MERIDA back home – that might quickly become tiresome if you’re out in the sticks. Point its nose downhill and the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K scores with its stiff suspension that always provides great support. Compared to the Orbea Rise eMTB and most analogue bikes in the test, the eONE-SIXTY feels planted and thus requires more speed and physical effort to take off in the air, not least because of its 23 kg weight. The central riding position and high front convey huge amounts of confidence. Should you get a little too excited and mess up a line, the eONE-SIXTY 10K is very forgiving and bails you out of sticky situations with its great reserves. The intuitive and smooth handling makes it extremely easy to ride, making rowdy bike park sessions a real pleasure – and that’s exactly where the eONE-SIXTY 10K feels at home. As the trail gets tighter, the eONE-SIXTY 10K has to admit defeat to its more agile analogue counterparts. In terms of handling, it can’t keep up with the Orbea Rise eMTB or analogue bikes like the Canyon Spectral, which offer a more fun overall package.

Riding Characteristics



  1. sluggish
  2. efficient


  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced


  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor

  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Intended Use










The MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K is a thoroughbred eMTB and therefore drops out of the race in this test. It offers all the perks of a powerful motor and combines excellent climbing performance with outstanding smoothness and plenty of reserves downhill. Even though the eONE-SIXTY is a real stunner, at 23 kg it’s almost 10 kg heavier than most of its analogue competitors! However, if you’re intrigued by the eMTB concept, it’s a great all-rounder and incredibly fun, whether you’re a beginner or seasoned downhiller.


  • very wide range of applications
  • fast, safe and fun for everyone
  • perfect spec
  • flawless integration of the Shimano system


  • loud clunking noise from inside the EP8 motor
  • long seat tube

Find more information here:

The testfield

Get an overview of the grouptest here: The best mountainbike of 2021 – 22 models in review

All Bikes in this group test: Canyon Neuron CF SLX 9 (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral 29 LTD (Click for review) | Canyon Stoic 4 (Click for review) | FOCUS THRON 6.9 (Click for review) | Ibis Ripmo V2 (Click for review) | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K | MERIDA NINETY-SIX 8000 (Click for review) | Nukeproof Reactor 290C (Click for review) | Orbea Rise M-Team (Click for review) | Propain Hugene (Click for review) | RAAW Jibb XTR Build (Click for review) | Rocky Mountain Instinct C70 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz 5010 X01 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Tallboy CC X01 (Click for review) | SCOTT Ransom 900 Tuned AXS (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper EVO (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL (Click for review) | Trek Fuel EX 9.8 GX (Click for review) | Trek Top Fuel 9.9 X01 (Click for review) | Yeti SB115 TURQ3 (Click for review) | YT IZZO BLAZE 29 (Click for review)

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.

Words: Peter Walker Photos: various

About the author

Peter Walker

As editor-in-chief, Peter is as much a man of action as he is of words. This expert, screw-driver-flexing two wheeled-whizz has many envy-inducing characteristics, including a background in motocross, several EWS race plates to his name, and more than 150 recorded days at Whistler Bike Park. However complex the bike and however steep the trail, he’s probably already nailed it, twice. Oh, and he can do it all on skinny tyres too. When it comes to guiding consumers, Peter cut his teeth at Vancouver’s oldest bike shop and now puts pen to paper on the daily translating this know-how into our editorial plan. When not tearing up Stuttgart’s local trails while testing bikes, he loves nothing more than loading up his self-renovated VW T5 and hitting the road. The fact that he’s a trained paramedic gives his colleagues reassurance out on the trails. So far we haven’t had to call him by his alias ‘Sani Peter’, so here’s hoping he keeps it right side up for the rest of his time here!