With manufacturing in Asia, global headquarters in Taiwan, a European assembly line and a design office in Germany, Merida is not a small-fry bike business.
Merida is the world’s second-largest producer of bicycles. On the race tracks, the brand has racked up many Rainbow Jerseys and World Cup victories. On the production line, the brand rolls out an incredible 900 eBike units per day. Sitting at the higher end of their product lineup, this eOne-Forty and it’s big travel bro the eOne-Sixty, feature some unique design and engineering feats to improve the trail experience.
The mixed wheel size design allows designers to reduce the chainstay length to improve the bikes overall agility.
Suspension wise, the eOne-Forty is a single pivot layout with a rocker-arm driven shock link producing 133mm of rear-wheel travel.
Merida have designed a ‘Thermo Gate’ – think chimney – which lets warm air escape from the system through a few small slots in the upper downtube / head tube area.
An internal steering reducer prevents the fork crown from connecting with the downtube in the event of a crash The seat and dropper post is in-house THE BUILD
FRAME | 133mm travel, 29″ front, 27.5″rear, Carbon front triangle, 6016 Alloy rear BATTERY | Shimano E8035 504Wh DISPLAY | Shimano MOTOR | Shimano E7000, 60Nm, 25km/h assist FORK | Marzocchi Z2 E-Bike, 140mm, 51mm offset SHOCK | Suntour RS Edge, Lockout BARS | Merida Expert eTR, 780mm wide, 20mm rise STEM | 50mm Merida Expert SEAT | Merida Comp CC SEATPOST | Merida dropper, 125mm WHEELS | Merida Expert Alloy, 29mm ID, Centerlock rotors, Shimano
Hubs, 32h front and 36h rear TYRES | Maxxis DHF 29 x 2.5″ 3C EXO, Maxxis DHR2 27.5 x
2.6″ 3C EXO CASSETTE | Shimano 10 speed, 11-42t MECH | Shimano Deore Shadow+ SHIFTER | Shimano Deore CRANKS | Shimano, 165mm CHAIN | Shimano BRAKES | Shimano MT520, 4-piston, 203mm rotors WEIGHT | 22.51kg RRP | R85 000
A rear mudguard (not shown) sits neatly under the seatstay bridge The chainstay protector features a specific design to reduce noisy chainslap The Shimano 504Wh battery is integrated into the downtube. The bike has ample space for big water bottles on the downtube
The charging socket is positioned at the bottom of the downtube The on/off switch sits on the top tube The controller wiring runs inside the bars The battery cover is removed with an O-ring type fastener The battery is positioned low to optimize the bikes center of gravity To remove the battery, flip the bike, release the tab and everything slides out The removable battery has a custom cover that features a soft outer layer to reduce noise and absorb knocks from flying rocks, plus a harder inner layer to protect the battery. The o-rings and rubber straps that secure it are replaceable.
REACH: 410mm (SM), 430mm (M), 450mm (L), 470mm (XL), 490mm (XXL) SEAT TUBE LENGTH: 405mm (SM), 420mm (M), 440mm (L), 470mm (XL), 500mm (XXL) WHEELBASE: 1160mm (SM), 1182mm (M), 1204mm (L), 1230mm (XL), 1256 (XXL) CHAINSTAY: 439.5mm HEAD ANGLE: 66.5° degrees SEAT TUBE ANGLE: 76.5° BOTTOM BRACKET: 330mm
The eONE-FORTY is available in five sizes covering reach numbers of 410 to 490mm. Seat tubes are on the shorter side to accommodate long dropper posts and are steep for a comfortable climbing position.
It is a very compact looking rear triangle … with a low standover and clean lines on the front triangle.
In the right application, I am a massive fan of 27.5″ rear wheeled bikes. The smaller rear wheel offers a lot of benefits for beginners, shorter riders and shredders. I found the mixed wheel size of the eOne-Forty (29″ front and 27.5″ rear) to have no negative impact on the bike’s ability to climb. The rear shock does have a lockout which might be useful if you are using the bike to commute, run errands or just keep your car off of the road – but on the trails, I never felt the need to use it.
As a short travel trail bike, the geometry is on point. The reach is not overly long, the seat tube is short, standover is low and those tighter chainstays produce a playful, agile and easy handling ride.
The rear suspension feels quite linear which produces a comfortable ride dynamic.
Flicking from turn to turn is a lot easier with a 27.5″ rear wheel and is one of the main reasons I like ‘mullet’ wheel size bikes. It changes direction with minimal rider input.
The riding position on the eOne-Forty is very comfortable and the Shimano system delivers a very natural feel in Trail mode. Slip it into Eco mode and you will get a proper workout on the trails. The Shimano E-TUBE app does offer some adjustability for the power modes but I didn’t feel the need to tweak any of the settings.
I didn’t go easy on the eOne-Forty and took it into some gnarly terrain. Whilst it is not designed for Enduro type trails it actually held up better than expected. The Shimano 4 pot brakes with big rotors perform really well, modulation is good and raw stopping power is not lacking either.
The eOne-Forty is plenty-of-bike for the majority of trails we have in South Africa.
Merida has certainly done their homework and answered the call of riders looking for a quieter eBike. The eOne-Forty has very little chain slap and the motor noise is low. On fast and flowy trails this bike is a lot of fun to ride and is guaranteed to crack a smile.
The eOne-Forty is compact, comfortable and a fine climber that excels on smoother flowy trails. It is one of the more nimble and agile trail bikes on the market which is a characteristic that will please everyone.
IMAGES: Gary Perkin – flipper.co.za |