Last Updated on October 29, 2023 by Igor Karni
Merida Bikes was founded in 1972 by Ike Tseng. Its headquarters and factories are in Yuanlin, Taiwan with factories in two other countries: Germany and China. Being around for half a century is just one of its monumental achievements.
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It was also one of the first companies to create the modern e-bike or pedelec in 1995. Much of its longevity and drive for innovation can be traced back to its founder’s main goal in 1972, which is to create a positive, world-class reputation for Taiwanese bikes.
Indeed, the brand owes much of its success to its visionary founder. Its name is derived from three Chinese syllables that mean beautiful, comfy, and smooth.
Merida e-Bikes Review: Model Lines
|Merida E-bike Model||E-bike Type|
|eSPRESSO CITY/URBAN||City, Cruiser|
The brand has, at present, over 68 models that mostly fall under the mountain, road, and city categories. It has been producing road bikes since its inception, so it’s not at all surprising that the majority of its e-bikes are either road e-bikes or e-MTBs.
That its performance-based models have received numerous awards in recent years is to be expected. Many of its hardtails and full suspension e-MTBs are unsurpassed by plenty of equally well-recognized brands in the market. The eONE-SIXTY deserves a special mention for it received the Best of 2021 World of MTB award and has been the brand’s exemplary model ever since.
Merida bikes have always stood out with their excellent designs. This quality extends to its e-bikes and could be traced back to the fact that the brand produces its models solely in-house.
Despite its established reputation when it comes to performance bikes, its urban options are not to be underestimated. The brand knows what users want from their models and almost always manages to deliver them while addressing and preventing issues that some brands (even the most popular ones) may overlook.
Incidentally, Merida stands out in that it’s one of few e-bikes companies that still offer obsolete models in most of its e-bike lines, allowing it to cater to the general riding public who almost always have different budgets for their e-bikes.
Merida Road Model Line
Most of the models included in Merida’s collection of road e-bikes defy the classical categorization of a road e-bike. This is partly due to most of the models in various road lines being either designed more for either urban riding or outdoor excursions.
If we’re going to compare the eSCULTURA and the eSILEX, you have the usual markings of a standard road e-bike, especially if we look at the geometry and the similar components they share. However, the eSILEX+ 600 is actually also a gravel e-bike, making it more amenable to gravel roads and moderately rougher terrain.
Only the eSCULTURA 400 has a front derailleur, which adds to the model’s weight but better shifting. The eSILEX+ 600 has a lighter weight that adds to the comfort you already enjoy from the riding position and smooth riding experience.
The eSPEEDER is marketed more like an urban e-bike, which is a bit on the sporty side. You can immediately see the difference in the inclusion of fenders, rear rack, and lights, with different shifting options between the two models.
It fits touring purposes much like any kind of e-bike and, considering its components, is also suitable for riders that need an e-bike for longer-than-normal commutes. This model line is equipped with top-notch hydraulic brakes.
All of Merida’s road e-bikes offer versatile rides, meaning that you can use them for various purposes and light to moderate off-roading. They also share the same Mahle 250W battery, which has been praised for above-average riding ranges. The riding positions you get are all upright, thus heightening comfort.
Take a closer look at the Merida Road Model line here.
Merida City Model Line
The eSPRESSO line is the sole pure city offering of the brand. The models are further subdivided into CITY and URBAN sub-lines, but the latter is really just composed of the obsolete city selection of the catalog.
Even with a cursory glance, you can already see that the e-bikes are built with comfort in mind. The plunging frame pretty much makes mounting and dismounting a breeze. The cruiser-style curved, adjustable handlebars only contribute to it more.
Merida’s urban offerings have better handling than some of its road or even e-MTB options. All the models come complete with fenders, sufficiently bright front lights, a mid-sized rear rack, and a kickstand that’s positioned below the said rack.
You also get superior Shimano motors in these models, with the 630Wh Shimano SC-E8036 being the most notable. It can achieve at least 40 miles (65 km) and more of riding range in a single charge, even during hilly rides. The motor of the latest EP8-EDITION can guarantee at most 85Nm of torque, which is something you usually only see in high-end models – take note that most Merida models are mid-range when it comes to pricing.
Almost all eSPRESSO e-bikes have been praised for their designs and performance. Once we factor in the higher specs in later models, it’s not hard to see that the brand means to cater to an audience with continually evolving tastes in their e-bikes while not overlooking those that don’t want to go overboard on specs.
In short, you’ll have options for both short and long commutes and comfy weekend cruises, which, again, speaks volumes about the versatility of Merida models regardless of e-bike type.
Take a closer look at the Merida City Model line here.
Merida Mountain Model Line
When talking about Merida e-MTBs, we don’t really need to look past what started it all: the eONE-SIXTY. There are over 20 variations included in this line alone, with both full suspension and hardtail versions considered. Why is this enduro e-MTB so popular?
Well, for one, its models make short work of the type of terrain that kind of e-MTB is built for, namely highly testing downhill terrains. The e-bikes are equipped with extra-grippy Maxxis tires with reinforced Double Down casing. The heavy, grippy tires may mean lowered ranges, but that’s not really an issue in the top-specced options such as the e-ONE-SIXTY 9000 and 10K.
The later models have also been praised for their integration of the Shimano battery into the downtube which can be removed with relative ease and do and doesn’t need to be removed to charge.
The overall performance of eONE-SIXTY models is the real deal. They offer excellent handling and the active suspension performance is something not a lot of e-MTBs can achieve.
The same Shimano 630Wh EP8 motor is found in this and, overall, for its high torque capacity, it’s actually also quiet, intuitive, and works smoothly every time.
The pricier models use a tougher carbon material on their frame, while cheaper ones use all-alloy. You get to enjoy the same riding experience as provided by the line’s default design or, to be exact, its noteworthy balanced geometry and superb suspension. The latest models are well worth their price tags considering the abundant power they provide, thanks to the EP8 motor.
On the whole, the eONE-SIXTY line continues to deliver what its riders need – and, often, they’re the ones that want aggressive rides. The grippy rubber tires and exceptional all-around handling only aid in heightening their confidence.
Essentially, the eONE-FORTY offerings are just e-MTBs meant more for less aggressive terrains than their eONE-SIXTY counterparts are designed for. They’re lighter as a result.
Lastly, while Merida’s hardtail offerings such as the BIG.NINE has been overshadowed by its full suspension offerings, they still share the signature brand quality of being easy and comfortable to ride even on less-than-friendly roads. The smooth-shifting Shimano gears are partly responsible for this.
Take a closer look at the Merida Mountain Model line here.
Merida Hybrid Model Line
Everything that the Merida catalog considers as e-trekking models fall under this category. The eSPRESSO line fits this category the most mainly because most of its models are well-specced, lean toward being sporty, and can handle some off-trail riding.
This is especially pronounced in the later models such as the EP8-EDITION of the said line, which as its name suggests integrates a motor that fits well with a pure mountain or road electric bike – thus, you enjoy the same torque and riding range I’ve mentioned before.
Commuters who want plenty of power and assistance during their daily rides, especially those who have to negotiate steep inclines frequently, may consider these modes. You can’t fault the equally powerful hydraulic disc brakes as well. It offers enough stopping power, regardless of weather conditions.
You also get more weight capacity (totaling up to 150kg or 330 pounds), making it a good option for weekly grocery runs. The step-thru frame is low enough to keep mounting and dismounting a hassle-free affair, so that’s another plus.
The models come with all the necessities for urban riding such as the mudguards, front lights, and kickstand, making them more of a city/cruiser/commuter option that breezes through tarmac and will get you through some light trail rides thanks to the reliable and puncture-protected Continental Contact Cruiser tires.
Take a closer look at the Merida Hybrid Model line here.
Does Merida Offer a Manufacturer’s Warranty?
All the frames have a lifetime warranty. Suspensions and forks get 2 years and 5 years, respectively. All the other components are covered for 1 year.
Does the Brand Offer a Test Period for Its E-Bikes?
What Do Riders Like About Merida?
Merida is a well-known brand, and that’s just putting it mildly. If you choose Merida models, you’re pretty much opting for a safe choice that will give you what you need (as long as you buy the most appropriate one for you) and not let you down in the long run.
You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for all those perks, which is another reason why the brand’s a solid choice. It’s a brand that knows what to give to riders – even some advantages that they don’t know they need. In short, Merida knows the ins and outs of e-bike design and listens to what riders are asking for, hence, its success.
What Countries Does Merida Ship To?
Merida has numerous distributors worldwide. Their main headquarters in Taiwan handles most of the international shipping.
See below a quick video review of Merida’s eSPRESSO trekking and city line: