Updated: 15th March 2018
With its lightweight Shimano Steps motor offering a powerful boost to your natural pedalling power, the Merida eOne Twenty is an electric mountain bike that will encourage you to ride further and have more fun on the trails. The compact design makes the eOne Twenty handle much like a regular bike and the intuitive pedal assist is very easy to get used to.
There are three bikes in the range, the 500, 800 and 900e, and each gets the same drive unit with a high capacity battery pack. You get 120mm of rear wheel travel, and plus sized tyres on each model offer incredible grip with Shimano drivetrains to give you reliable gear shifting.
Made from Merida’s highest grade Prolite 66 triple butted aluminium alloy, the frame on the eOne Twenty is stiff and strong. The frames are all made in-house. Merida are one of the largest bike manufacturers in the world, they make frames for many other top brands, and is the reason why they are able to offer high-quality at such reasonable price points. Boost spacing offers plenty of room for the wider plus sized tyres.
The Geometry is dialled for trail riding, with stable yet playful ride characteristics. Thanks to the compact design of the Shimano Steps motor, the chainstays are shorter than you will find on most electric mountain bikes. This is a real plus point for Merida, as it makes the eOne bikes nimbler on tight trails without affecting stability at speed.
There’s no compromise in the handling department, with great geometry that provides an enthusiastically rapid and flickable personality that shines in all situations - MBR
The shock is easy to setup and it works really well, keeping the rear tyre glued to the trail at all times. -
As the name suggests, the Merida eOne Twenty sports 120mm of rear suspension travel. The single pivot design features a rocker link which actuates the shock, and the trunnion shock mounts get bearings rather than bushings for a smoother suspension feel. Up front you get a 130mm travel fork on each bike in the range.
Each bike gets a RockShox fork and shock. The eOne Twenty 500 gets a Deluxe R rear shock while the other bikes get the added adjustability of the Deluxe RT. Both the 500 and 800 are specced with a RockShox Revelation RC fork. This is a capable fork that delivers precise steering control. The Pike RCT3 on the 900e has the same chassis as the Revelation on the other bikes but offers superior damping that is highly adjustable for the ultimate performance on the trail.
Compact yet powerful, the Shimano Steps E8000 e bike motor delivers an intuitive boost to your natural pedalling power that is very easy to get used to. The power delivery is very smooth, and you don’t need to adjust your pedalling style to get the most out of the motor. The motor adjusts its support level depending on the amount of pressure you put though the pedals. The harder you pedal the more pedal-assist power the motor offers. With a maximum torque of 70Nm you will be able to fly up the very steepest climbs.
There are three power modes: Eco, Trail and Boost, to help you get the right amount of pedal assist for the trail you are riding as well as managing the battery capacity. The power modes are selected using a Shimano XT Di2 style shifter on the left-hand side of the bars. You can customize the Trail and Boost modes by connecting to your smartphone, tablet or computer using Bluetooth. This means that you can fine tune the power delivery in these modes to match your riding style or the particular trail section you are riding.
An easy to read display unit is tucked neatly next to the stem. This gives you all the essential drive unit information and is far less vulnerable to getting damaged in a crash than the display on Bosch powered bikes. Each model gets a long lasting 500Wh battery pack that is securely mounted on the downtube. Charging is easy and quick, an 80% charge takes only 2 hours and a full 100% charge five hours.
Thanks to the compact motor and subsequent design, the snappily short chainstays lend the bike a seriously lively edge, turning even the most yawn-inducing trail into a hotbed of carving and poppy turns. – E-Mountainbike
To complement the modern geometry, Merida has equipped the bike with a 55mm stem and 760mm handlebar and it makes for excellent handling and control. - MBR
Staying with the Shimano theme, each of the three eOne Twenty bikes get full Shimano groupsets. The 500 gets a Deore 10-speed drivetrain with matching Deore disc brakes. The 800 features a slightly wide gear range with an XT/SLX 11-speed drivetrain and SLX brakes. At the top of the range the 900e gets the slick shifting reliability of an XT Di2 electronic drivetrain with the same wide gear range as the 800. Shimano XT disc brakes deliver refined stopping control on this model. All the bikes feature large 203mm disc rotors, which provide the powerful braking you need when riding an ebike.
It is great to see a dropper post on all models. This means that you can lower your saddle for the descents and raise it again for the climbs without having to stop and adjust your seat post height. Wide 760mm bars are combined with short stems for improved control on technical trails and stability at speed.
Each bike in Merida’s eOne Twenty range rolls on 27.5” Plus sized wheels with wide 2.8” tyres. This combination is ideal for e bikes due to the unavoidable extra weight of the motor and battery. The wide Maxxis DHR (front) and Recon (rear) deliver phenomenal levels of grip especially as the tubeless setup allows you to run lower tyre pressures without risking pinch punctures when hammering through the rough.
There are a couple of other advantages to this wheel/tyre setup. The extra volume of the tyre means you get more ‘float’ as the tyre conforms to the bumps on the ground. This gives the feeling that you have more than the 120mm of suspension on offer as the tyres add a little extra suspension on top. The high volume also increases the overall diameter of the wheel. Much like a 29er, this means that the bike carries speed incredibly well, especially on rough terrain.
The 2.8in Plus Maxxis Minion DHR and Rekon tyres offer a noticeable advantage over regular tyres on an e-bike, the extra weight actually enhances the performance of the wider tyres, delivering stacks of traction even in the mud. - MBR
The 120mm/130mm of suspension travel on offer makes the eOne Twenty a short travel trail bike. The Plus sized tyres, alongside the natural stability offered by the extra weight, mean that this bike offers extra capability than the number suggest. Combine this with the nimble handling characteristics offered by the compact motor design and you have a playful electric mountain bike that is perfectly suited to trail centre loops of all types and is unlikely to get out of it’s depth. If you like to ride more challenging enduro trails then the eOne Sixty will be a better option, but for trail centres and XC adventures this bike is ideal.
The pedal assist offered by the Shimano Steps motor means that you can ride more, it is as simple as that. If you are short on time, then use Boost mode to fly up the climbs to get more descending in. Alternatively, for long distance riding you can use Eco mode to extend the adventure. Whichever way you ride it, the eOne Twenty gives you more options for more riding.