With the eBIG.TOUR 700 EQ, MERIDA send an ebike into the test equipped with the Shimano EP8 motor. Can this bike from the mountain bike/trekking sector convince for hard everyday commuting with its wide gear range and suspension seat post, or should it have stayed at home? You can find the answer in our test!

Get an overview of the grouptest here: The best ebike of 2021 – The 19 most exciting concepts for everyday use

MERIDA eBIG.TOUR 700 EQ | Shimano EP8/630 Wh
24.74 kg in size L | € 4,299 | Manufacturer’s website

Go big or go home! MERIDA’s affinity for mountain bikes is recognisable in the eBIG.TOUR and it’s not surprising that this bike sits between mountain bikes and trekking bikes in the Taiwanese brand’s portfolio. Whether this category has a future is anyone’s guess. Nonetheless, a first look confirms that MERIDA value sensible off-road performance. Why shouldn’t the daily route to work take you off-road too? Many people can only truly switch off, leave their worries behind and enjoy the fresh air when they are flying across gravel, their tires greet some roots in the morning and the tread kisses a few larger rocks in the evening before going to bed.

The Shimano EP8 motor convinces with natural and beginner-friendly handling and offers a sensible alternative to Bosch’s top dog, the Performance Line CX motor.

MERIDA eBIG.TOUR 700 EQ spec in detail

Sex bomb, sex bomb, you’re a sex bomb… stop, rewind. Wrong text, wrong bike. In comparison with the Schindelhauer Arthur VI/IX or the Movea Modo 20″, the MERIDA eBIG.TOUR is the wallflower in the test and silently hopes that the test team can recognise its internal qualities – in bike jargon, we call that the spec. In this regard, the MERIDA ebike, which weighs just under 25 kg without a lock, shines with one of the best suspension forks of all the bikes and plays a trump card with both its four-piston brakes front and rear, and the 12-speed Shimano XT drivetrain with a large 10–51 t cassette. And all that for the fair price of € 4,299. We also like the metal mudguards, the mini-tool integrated under the saddle, the mounted ABUS folding lock and the MIK standard luggage rack with a load rating of 27 kg, allowing you to fit a child seat. However, the chain guide taken from the mountain bike sector could have been replaced with a cover for the chainring and chain, which would have been much more practical for everyday use. The Lezyne light system is no marvel in terms of output but is just bright enough to light your way home in the dark.

Kid, shopping or luggage? Just take everything!
The luggage rack is approved for a load of up to 27 kg making it, in contrast to its 25 kg rated colleagues, approved to carry children. On top of that, the MIK standard offers flexible options for carrying luggage. And have you seen that beautiful rear light?!
No feedback, only creaks
The Shimano remote is a complete disappointment, creaking in use and providing no haptic feedback. It doesn’t do justice to the high-quality EP8 motor.
510% of the finest range
The large Shimano SLX 10–51 t cassette convinces with great shifting performance and enough range to conquer hills.

MERIDA eBIG.TOUR 700 EQ

€ 4,299

Specifications

Motor Shimano EP8 85 Nm
Battery Shimano E8036 630 Wh
Display Shimano SC-E6100
Fork SR Suntour Raidon34 100 mm
Seatpost MERIDA TEAM TK 30.9 mm 100 mm
Brakes Shimano M4100 180/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT/SLX 1x12
Stem MERIDA EXPERT CT 90 mm
Handlebar MERIDA EXPERT CC 720 mm
Wheelset MERIDA COMP CC
Tires Kenda Booster 29 x 2.2"

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 24.74 kg

Specific Features

suspended dropper seat post
multitool integrated underneath saddle
ABUS frame lock
Lezyne / Spanninga lighting system

Quite a few holes
Alongside mounting points for a bottle, the down tube has a hole for the wake-up button of the Shimano battery. The matching plug is cleverly integrated into the rear axle.
A lot going on
There’s a whole bustle of cables that run partly into the head tube and partly into the frame. There are neater solutions out there.
First time on an ebike? No problem!
The Shimano EP8 motor shines with beginner-friendly handling and great support.
Size S M L XL
Seat tube 380 mm 430 mm 480 mm 530 mm
Top tube 588 mm 605 mm 625 mm 645 mm
Head tube 115 mm 120 mm 130 mm 140 mm
Head angle 67.5° 67.5° 67.5° 67.5°
Seat angle 74.5° 74.5° 74.5° 74.5°
Chainstays 465 mm 465 mm 465 mm 465 mm
BB Drop 63 mm 63 mm 63 mm 63 mm
Wheelbase 1,165 mm 1,183 mm 1,204 mm 1,225 mm
Reach 411 mm 427 mm 445 mm 462 mm
Stack 636 mm 640 mm 650 mm 659 mm

On the throne with the Shimano EP8 motor?

The eBIG.TOUR 700 EQ is one of two bikes in this commuter bike group test to rely on the 85 Nm Shimano EP8 motor. It has nothing to hide in the face of the Bosch Performance Line CX motor fitted to four other bikes in the test. From above, the EP8 has a very narrow footprint, providing a lot of freedom of movement. However, in comparison to many other bikes, the charging port is positioned very far down, directly above the bottom bracket, meaning reaching it can be a bit fiddly. That said, the 630 Wh battery can also be removed from the bottom of the down tube for charging off the bike.

In use, the EP8 motor convinces with a comparatively low level of noise and truly natural and beginner-friendly handling. The Shimano motor doesn’t feel quite as punchy as the Bosch Performance Line CX but generates enough propulsion and power to get you up even steep inclines without ending up with sweat patches for your date at the highest viewpoint in town. In comparison to the Bosch motor, the differences between the assistance modes are more pronounced and our test team was a big fan of Trail mode, which reacts dynamically to rider input, always delivering the right level of assistance whether you’re riding on flats or uphill. By contrast, the Shimano SC-E1600 display feels a little old-fashioned but can be read perfectly, even in direct sunlight. Unfortunately, the Shimano E6000 remote makes a negative impression with its creaking and undefined actuation. The Shimano SW-EM800 remote from the mountain bike sector, like you’ll find on the MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K, is a much better choice!

MERIDA eBIG.TOUR 700 EQ on test

Even if the MERIDA eBIG.TOUR 700 EQ has a lower front than the Haibike Trekking 9, the riding position is pleasant and well-suited to tours. The large 29 x 2.2″ tires (the bike can take up to 2.35″ tires without mudguards) roll over small obstacles as easily as a tank over tree trunks. The 100 mm Suntour Raidon34 suspension fork effectively swallows up kerbs and other irregularities with its capable damping.

The combined suspension and dropper seat post is a real win – after you’ve got used to how it works.

Let’s get to the comfort elephant in the room: the suspended and droppable seat post. In comparison to the suspension fork, the seat post suspension requires a lot of force to start moving, after which it finally gives up a lot of travel suddenly. You end up asking yourself whether the seat post is working at all before it suddenly dives down in response to large bumps. That’s particularly surprising during your first few rides but in the long run, is a real benefit to you and your back. The combination of dropper post and suspension is unbeatable as regards ease of operation. The € 164.95 for the seat post upgrade is money well spent. Overall, in terms of comfort, the MERIDA exceeds the stiff Haibike Trekking 9 and falls somewhere below the comfort wonder that is the Samedi 27 Xroad FS 7 from Moustache. That makes it well-suited for all-day tours that also take you across gravel tracks and forest roads.

Tuning tip: fit chain cover to avoid oil stains on your trousers on the way to work

In comparison to sportier bikes like the Canyon Commuter:ON 7, the MERIDA responds to steering input slightly more slowly. That’s not necessarily negative as it suits the more relaxed character of the bike. The eBIG.TOUR also convinces with its big wheels and its capable, stable ride, delivering a lot of trust thanks to the increase in control offered by the wide bars and the safety of the four-piston brakes. That’s a particular bonus for beginners. Go big? With pleasure, as long as it’s not too bumpy. Go home? Only after an extended ride with a break at the beer garden.

MERIDA eBIG.TOUR 700 EQ conclusion

The MERIDA eBIG.TOUR 700 EQ is a great ebike with a coherent spec for fans of tours and outings, as well as being one of the few bikes that make it possible to mount a child seat on the luggage rack. The Shimano EP8 motor convinces with sufficient power and beginner-friendly handling. After a little familiarisation, the suspended dropper post is a real benefit. However, if you’re looking for a bike with sex appeal and charisma, you should give this wallflower a miss.

Tops

  • great everyday spec for shopping and carrying kids
  • beginner-friendly Shimano EP8 motor
  • long-distance-worthy riding position with sufficient comfort thanks to suspension and seat post
  • feeling of safety
  • large gear range for hills

Flops

  • you'll only find less style at Primark
  • controls for the Shimano motor feel cheap

Rider Type

6
The trans-urban mile muncher 1
The stylish city explorer 2
The Transporter 3
The short distance whizz 4
The passionate recreational cyclist 5

You can find out more about at merida-bikes.com

The testfield

Get an overview of the grouptest here: The best ebike of 2021 – The 19 most exciting concepts for everyday use

All Bikes in this group test: Ampler Stout (Click for review) | Brompton M6L Cloud Blue (Click for review) | Cannondale Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty LE (Click for review) | Canyon Commuter:ON 7 (Click for review) | Diamant Juna Deluxe+ (Click for review) | FEDDZ E-Moped (Click for review) | FLYER Upstreet6 7.10 HS (Click for review) | Haibike Trekking 9 (Click for review) | Kalkhoff Endeavour 5.B Excite+ (Click for review) | MERIDA eBIG.TOUR 700 EQ | MERIDA eONE SIXTY 10K (Click for review) | Moustache Samedi 27 Xroad FS 7 (Click for review) | Movea Modo 20” (Click for review) | Riese & Müller Homage GT Rohloff HS mit DualBattery (Click for review) | Riese & Müller Packster 70 Vario (Click for review) | Riese & Müller Roadster Touring (Click for review) | Schindelhauer Arthur VI/IX (Click for review) | Specialized Turbo Vado SL 5.0 EQ (Click for review) | VanMoof X3 (Click for review)

Words: Philipp Schwab Photos: Valentin Rühl