Review: 2020 Merida eOne-Forty 5000 | The Mullet eBike For Everyone

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.
Merida ebike test in tokai, cape town for bike network by myles kelsey. photography by gary perkin
Suspension wise, the eOne-Forty is a single pivot layout with a rocker-arm driven shock link producing 133mm of rear-wheel travel.


THE BIKE

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


GEOMETRY

  • 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.



THE RIDE

Merida ebike test in tokai, cape town for bike network by myles kelsey. photography by gary perkin
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.
Merida ebike test in tokai, cape town for bike network by myles kelsey. photography by gary perkin
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.
Merida ebike test in tokai, cape town for bike network by myles kelsey. photography by gary perkin
The rear suspension feels quite linear which produces a comfortable ride dynamic.
Merida ebike test in tokai, cape town for bike network by myles kelsey. photography by gary perkin
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.
Merida ebike test in tokai, cape town for bike network by myles kelsey. photography by gary perkin
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.
Merida ebike test in tokai, cape town for bike network by myles kelsey. photography by gary perkin
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.
Merida ebike test in tokai, cape town for bike network by myles kelsey. photography by gary perkin
The eOne-Forty is plenty-of-bike for the majority of trails we have in South Africa.
Merida ebike test in tokai, cape town for bike network by myles kelsey. photography by gary perkin
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 TAKEOUT

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.

Merida ebike test in tokai, cape town for bike network by myles kelsey. photography by gary perkin

| IMAGES: Gary Perkin – flipper.co.za |


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