Australian Mountain Bike Magazines first look at the MERIDA E-one sixty 900E
E-bikes, or pedal-assist bikes, are part of cycling now and are increasingly becoming part of mountain biking. And much like 29ers, full-suspension bikes or even suspension forks were viewed with scorn at first - it's likely that the whole industry will adapt and use this technology where it is best suited.
Pedal-assist bikes will not ruin mountain biking. There are far more assumptions and myths out there about e-bikes than there are facts. We have tested a number of e-bikes at AMB, from Lapierre, and Merida. In Australia, pedal-assist bikes are limited to adding 250W to the rider's output, and much of the design of motors is about getting the right torque to the trail. Too much torque, like stomping on the gears on a 'standard' bike, means you lose traction. That's not that useful.
Bikes like the Merida E160 fit exactly where we see pedal-assist bikes sitting. With pedal assist to help you get up, the bike is built for the descents, where the speeds will be high enough that the motor cuts out anyway. With 160/150mm of travel front and rear, plus sized tyres, top-shelf Fox suspension and a Shimano Di2 group set - this Merida is set to shred. A slack 66.5 degree head angle, sub 440mm chain stays and a burly build means the E160 was just what many riders, including international photographers, are looking for. But this isn'y just for people with heavy backpacks.
Photography by AMB Mag