Merida eOne Twenty 2021 review: go midway!
At Merida, the name of full-suspension bikes is simple and easy to guess. One Twenty – 120mm suspension. One Sixty – 160mm suspension. Simple? Definitely even for a kindergarten child! I did not give in vain the two examples because between them recently appeared a new version, eOne Forty, with 140mm suspension, one that solves the dilemma of those who consider that 120mm are too few millimeters of suspension and 160, too many. This bike has an aluminum frame, mullet wheels (29 inches front and 27.5 inches in diameter the rear one), as the trend was started by the non-electric models from the One Forty range, on which the electric model only takes it further. I would say that it is the choice that takes you out of dilemmas and troubles when you are not too determined what suspensions to choose for your new bike. It basically manages a split between comfort and sportiness, being rather, errr, sporty. This bike longs for technical, difficult trails, where it can highlight the character and geometry from which I will list the angle of the headtube, 66.5 degrees and the length of the chianstay, only 439mm. To understand exactly how short this bike is in the back, find out that some electric bikes have a chainstay with an almost huge length compared to the Merida, 470mm. So big that you wonder how you can take turns with it without feeling like a tandem. But, you can. Merida is a completely different story. Being a fan of competitions and enduro trails, this bike suited me like a glove. The position is comfortable, not very bent on the face, and the pipe and handlebars are perfectly chosen to provide optimal feedback. Now that I have quickly clarified who it is for, I will tell you something about the heart of eOneForty – the engine.
In the equipment of the bike we found the new Shimano EP8, a pleasant surprise, because we have been waiting for the Japanese to appear on the market with a new engine. Regarding the electrification of bicycles, I can say that the people from Shimano appeared relatively late on the stage, but they stayed, analyzed, thought and created one of the most beautiful motors for electric bicycles in the industry. Very compact and light, judging by today’s standards, customizable on each of the 3 modes of support by the user – with the help of a smartphone application, it is quiet and has one of the most natural feelings when supprting your ride. Being limited to 25 km / h, crossing this speed happens without realizing it. Moreover, the people from Shimano solved the problem of the error W013, which made the engine not work if you started it with the foot on the pedal. It has even more torque, an even bigger one, of 85Nm, which you get on the maximum assistance mode, Boost. The battery is integrated in the frame and also benefits from protection against rock kicks on the exposed part. Depending on the option you choose, you can opt for a standard 504Wh battery or one with a larger capacity of 620Wh, which not only increases the distances you can cover but also increases the fun, indisputably. The display is small, black and white, but it is very well hidden between the pipe and the handlebars, and in case of an accident, it remains protected. The change of the assistance modes is done with the help of a small command, with only two buttons, installed on the handlebars, while the navigation through the menu is done with the help of a single button, small, under the display.
At the suspension level, the bike is equipped with an entry-level fork, Fox 34 Rhythm, but it’s still hard to call a Fox fork that way. It works decently, has the basic settings and makes a good team with the Rock Shox Deluxe shock absorber, but the frame construction does not allow you to completely lock the shock, because the locking lever touches the top tube when it is set up. eOneForty, however, compensates in terms of transmission, being equipped with Shimano XT parts, with 12 gears, which work impecabble. Words of praise also go to the brakes, Shimano SLX, which have calipers with 4 pistons included for a very good braking force, with the mention that the levers of these brakes are quite soft and can break quickly if hit. For general comfort, the people from Merida also installed a dropper seat post on this bike, which can be operated via a remote mounted on the handlebars. The tires are not among the largest, with small studs, but they certainly offer a great rolling speed and can save some battery power over long distances. But I’m not too sure that someone will use this bike for simple rides, so an upgrade of the Maxxis Rekon tires is to be considered if you travel mountain trails.
Merida eOne Forty can be a very fun bike if it falls into the right hands. Of course, the better your skill level, the more you will like this bike. It can also be used for mountain tours, having reserves of suspension when the terrain becomes more difficult, and if you want to use it like this, I would recommend the larger battery, 620Wh. Keep in mind that both wheels require a hex key to be loosened, the brake lever can be fragile if hit hard and the shock absorber cannot be fully locked, but apart from these small complaints, the bike is bomb proof and offers hard-to-forget fun portions.