Find the right e-bike to get you zooming from A to B.
Merida is a huge brand that usually offers good-value bikes – the eBig Nine is no exception. It’s versatile: most at home on trails or a long commute, but it’s not out of place in the city (though it’s not as convenient as a step-through design).
It uses a STEPS 7000 motor with lots of power and torque – it’s the most refined Shimano motor we’ve tried. The “trail” mode in particular responds brilliantly to rider input up to its 32km/h limit.
The eBig Nine is efficient to pedal, with a comfortable riding position. It’s a fun bike to ride, with lively but balanced handling that creates confidence on all surfaces.
The Merida comes with a very good suspension fork and its wide-range 10-speed gears were appreciated by our testers. While it has full mudguards and a rear rack, there’s no chain guard fitted.
Overall, the eBig Nine is good value for a versatile “do-everything” bike.
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Each e-bike was taken on a test route by two riders. The 5km route in and around Wellington’s CBD included city traffic, fast flat roads, hills, kerbs, wooden bridges and a busy waterfront path shared with pedestrians.
We also put the e-bikes through a gruelling 20km route around Wellington’s Wadestown and Northland suburbs. The main challenge was climbing a 2km-long hill five times at a steady 20km/h (a kilometre of vertical ascent) and descending the same twisty narrow road between climbs. It also included a short, steep section of rough path with a narrow barrier negotiated at walking pace, an undulating 5km of suburban streets, and a steep descent requiring brakes to keep the e-bike to the 50km/h speed limit.
Our riding tests, along with a static assessment of the features and functions of each e-bike, were used to score the performance of the motor system and the bike. Overall score includes:
Motor system (50% of overall score)
Bike (50% of overall score)
M / L / XL
10 / Trigger
Big Seven model also available (27.5"wheels, XS / S / M)