First Look | 2021 Merida eOne-Sixty gets new Shimano EP8 motor & 630Wh battery

Hot on the heels of Shimano’s big announcement on its new EP8 motor, Merida is unveiling its 2021 e-MTB range, which includes the latest version of the eOne-Sixty and eOne-Forty. The entire lineup, which includes both carbon and alloy models, will be built around the new Shimano EP8 motor and the new 630Wh battery pack. This gives the bikes more power and more range – likely welcome news for those are in the market for a new full suspension e-MTB.

2021 merida eone-sixty
Merida is rolling out the 2021 eOne-Sixty and eOne-Forty, all of which are built around the new Shimano EP8 motor.
2021 merida eone-sixty
The new EP8 motor brings a significant boost in power, while also being more efficient too.

Shimano EP8 On Tap

If you haven’t already checked out our big news story on the new Shimano EP8 motor, be sure to do so, because there is a tonne of new stuff going on inside the magnesium motor casing that we won’t be covering here in full.

In short though, the new EP8 motor supersedes the existing E8000 motor and brings about a whole bunch of improvements that’ll have the likes of Brose, Bosch and Yamaha feeling just a tad nervous. Perhaps most exciting is the new software that allows you to fine-tune the support levels and characteristic of each assistance mode via a smartphone app, giving you a greater degree of control over the feel and performance of each setting.

Of course the EP8 motor also has more power (85 Nm), it’s lighter by 300g and it’s about 10% smaller in volume compared to the E8000 motor. It does retain the same mounting architecture though, and that means brands like Merida have been able to update their existing bikes with the new drive unit, without having to completely redesign the frame.

2021 merida eone-sixty
The EP8 motor uses the same mounting architecture as the existing E8000 and E7000 motors.
shimano ep8 motor emtb electric
No change to the frame design needed – the downtube is able to swallow the bigger 630Wh battery pack.

More Power, More Juice

As well as the addition of the more powerful Shimano EP8 motor, the 2021 Merida eOne-Sixty and eOne-Forty models also upgrade to a larger 630Wh battery pack. That’s up from the 504Wh battery in the 2020 model we tested recently, which equates to a 25% boost in capacity. Along with the improved efficiency and reduced drag from the EP8 motor, that should deliver a noticeable increase in range.

The 630Wh battery is physically larger than than the previous 504Wh battery, though Merida obviously knew the bigger battery was coming when it launched the eOne-Sixty last year. The frame itself is unchanged, but an adjustment to the receiver hardware allows the bigger 630Wh battery to fit inside the same downtube cavity. Pretty clever!

2021 merida eone-sixty
Merida has upped the brawn of its top eOne-Sixty models with the addition of a Fox 38 fork and more robust tyres.

The 2021 Merida eOne-Sixty & eOne-Forty Range

With the Shimano EP8 motor now on board, Merida has used the opportunity to launch the 2021 models of its full suspension e-MTB range.

The eOne-Sixty is the 160/155mm travel option, which features a mullet wheelsize wetup with a 29×2.5in tyre up front and a 27.5×2.6in tyre out back. Travel and geometry remain the same as the 2020 version, but the top eOne-Sixty models now come with the uber-massive Fox 38 fork and Maxxis DoubleDown casing tyres as standard, giving them a very chunky look indeed.

The eOne-Forty uses the same chassis as its bigger brother, but fits a shorter-stroke shock and a 140mm fork to sharpen the angles for more agile performance on the trail. Lighter forks and tyres help to bring the weight down and give the eOne-Forty a more sprightly personality for those who may not need such a big travel bike.

Scroll on down below to take a look at the specs and prices of the new bikes, which are due to arrive in Australia later this year. One of those bikes – an eOne-Sixty 9000 – already has our name on it, so stay tuned for our first ride impressions of the new Shimano EP8 system!

2021 merida eone-sixty 10K
The top-level eOne-Sixty 10K model features ALL the bells and whistles!

2021 Merida eOne-Sixty 10K

2021 merida eone-sixty 9000
New for the 2021 eOne-Sixty 9000 is the Fox 38 fork and Maxxis DoubleDown casing tyres front and rear.

2021 Merida eOne-Sixty 9000

2021 merida eone-sixty 8000
The eOne-Sixty 8000 uses the same carbon/alloy chassis as the 10K model, along with the new EP8 motor and 630Wh battery.

2021 Merida eOne-Sixty 8000

2021 merida eone-sixty 700
One of the best-value picks of the bunch, the eOne-Sixty 700 uses an all-metal chassis to provide a solid package for the money.

2021 Merida eOne-Sixty 700

2021 merida eone-sixty 500
For less than seven grand, the eOne-Sixty 500 still gets you a Shimano EP8 motor, 630Wh battery, Shimano 1×12 drivetrain and RockShox air-sprung suspension.

2021 Merida eOne-Sixty 500

2021 merida eone-forty 8000
With a bit less travel, a lighter Fox 34 fork and tighter geometry, the eOne-Forty aims to deliver a more agile ride on the trail.

2021 Merida eOne-Forty 8000

2021 merida eone-forty 700
If you don’t need the carbon frame, the eOne-Forty 700 is a no-nonsense bike for the dosh.

2021 Merida eOne-Forty 700

2021 merida eone-forty 400
For a bit over six grand, the eOne-Forty 400 gets riders onto a full suspension e-MTB with the new Shimano EP8 motor and 630Wh battery. Unreal!

2021 Merida eOne-Forty 400

2021 merida eone-sixty
Yiew! Merida is coming out with a strong e-MTB lineup for 2021, newly invigorated with the Shimano EP8 motor.

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