Merlin MALT-CR 5800 Carbon Road Bike
Full Shimano 105 5800 11 speed groupset.
Overall rating of 91% in Cycling Active magazine.
An exceptional entry-level carbon road bike.
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- Excellent Customer Service
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Here's what Cycling Active magazine had to say about the Merlin Malt CR...
"As with some of the greatest names in the cycle trade, Merlin Cycles started out exactly 20 years ago as a simple bike shop, specialising in mountain bikes. Since then it has grown organically into a respected online retailer, now stocking — and in some cases importing — a ﬁne range of road bike brands. The model we are testing here is one that bears the Merlin name. Even among the exalted company in its stable, Merlin’s own bikes tend to represent the zenith of value for money options.
"Cheap isn’t always cheerful, but there are more reasons to smile than you might at ﬁrst think: while the ‘ofﬁcial’ price is £1,199 (I have to put it down otherwise people phone us up and complain), as we went to press Merlin was selling the MALT-CR for £999.95, which, if you look at the spec box, is really rather impressive.
"From initial sightings, quite aside from the price, the MALT-CR is remarkable in its own right. The Merlin is a very smooth, swooping affair, with round tubes used throughout. But that doesn’t mean it’s without its own sweet details. The gently bowed top tube and seatstays are nice elements, while the keyhole cutout in the seatstay wishbone is pretty funky. The ﬁnishing kit is all decent too, with Deda stem, bars and seatpost, and a San Marco SPID saddle. And the overall appearance, with its tasteful but not shy graphics, is classy.
"Carbon is typically seen as a hard, brittle substance, but once manipulated in the right way it can deliver almost any ride experience. In this case, the effect of all those curves provides a feeling almost akin to that of a steel bike. There is a certain springiness about it, at least over smaller rumbles.
"As expected, though, Shimano 105 is head and shoulders above its Tiagra sibling, providing smooth, reliable shifting every time. The fact Merlin has included a complete groupset with 105 brake calipers deserves huge praise — Shimano brakes at this level are unmatchable. The Carbotech wheels are ﬁne and I actually rather like Michelin’s Lithion 2 tyres. Finally the all-up weight of 8.2kg for a 56cm bike is impressive too.
"Despite the quibbles, the MALT-CR is a ﬁne bike, but more than that, it’s an excellent package. What it loses in ride quality it makes up for in overall competence. Once you are used to the nuances of the frame, you may ﬁnd it’s the bike you come to rely on for any road adventure."
WOW FACTOR 18/20
BUILD QUALITY 19/20
OVERALL RATING... 91%
- Carbon Monocoque construction
- Weight 1100g (53cm frame)
- Replaceable gear hanger
- 31.6mm seatpost
- Carbon forks with aluminum steerer
- Compact geometry
- Full Shimano 105 5800 2 x 11 speed groupset
- Compact chainset with hollowtech 11 bottom bracket
- 11-28 11 speed cassette
- Deda RHM01 Bars
- Deda Zero 1 Stem
- Deda RS01 seatpost
- San Marco SPID saddle
- Shimano RS501 Wheels (slightly different to image)
- Michelin Lithion 2 Kevlar bead tyres
All frames are ex-stock but you will need to allow a build time for the bike to be assembled in our workshop. Average build time is 7-10 days but this may be longer at peak times. Custom build options are available please email sales@merlincycles with your requests
Geometry Click Here for PDF
See the Cycling Active Review Here
- Estimated delivery transit time: 4-8 Days
TNTPost Global Pack 4-8 Days: $125.66
TNT Post is an economy international service. Delivery times for Australia, USA, Canada, Japan and other countries are around 7-15 workings days. Parcels are trackable online.
At 5ft 9, I ordered the 50cm on the strength of previous reviews (plus my mate who is 5ft 8 went in the shop and got measured up by the Merlin staff!). My previous bike was a 54cm, so I was still a little unsure I had made the right choice.
Before the bike arrived, I asked for a couple of minor extra's (red bar tape & different headset - personal preference - nothing that alters the performance). Also, once bike arrived, I added a set of red Michelin Pro4 tyres, purely for the "bling" factor (again personal preference - but the bike looks so much better with red bars & tyres).
First time out (10 mile ride to work, I was still ummmimg and arrring as to whether I should have got a bigger size, as the bars seemed so much closer than my last bike.
Now, a week later (and 150 or so miles under my belt) I can say the 50cm feels perfect, rides perfect & I'm glad I listened to the Merlin advice. There's nothing I don't like about the bike, I'm more than happy with my purchase. Hope this review helps people! Happy Biking!
Bought this bike to ride 46 cols in the Pyrenees for charity and it climbs beautifully with a quick response and stable on the descents. Has the look and feel of a much more expensive bike. Delighted
A couple of weeks ago I ordered a Merlin Malt CR. This is my first lightweight road bike having been riding moutain bikes and tourers for many years.
Ordering is very simple and tracking information is useful (although you never really know what the Parcel Force jargon means). The bike was extremely well packaged inside an enormous box. It required a small amount of assembly to fit the handle bars to the stem. The saddle was at its highest position meaning you had to drop it to your height - basically means the paint on the seat post didn't show scratches. If it was installed in its lowest setting and you lifted it ,it would be scratched from day one which no one wants on something new.
Once assemble I took it out for a ride and having been used to a bike twice its weight I couldn't believe the acceleration and speed of it. It eats hills and feels very stable at speed. Some road bikes I've ridden are very twitchy but the Malt CR is very positive without being over responsive. I'm 5'8" and on advice from Merlin went for the 50cm frame. I was a bit unsure about such a small frame but they got it right. Any taller than me and I'd go for a larger frame as although the seat tube is spot on the top tube is probably as small as I'd want it.
I did notice after the first ride that the wrong cassette had been fitted. The spec said it came with an 11-28 but what was on it was a 12-25. Living in a hilly area I e-mailed Merlin asking them to send a replacement and I'd return the wrong one. Within 48hrs the correct one arrived along with an apology and a prepaid label to return the wrong one.
All in all, this bike is light (8.5kg with pedals fitted), fast, positive and very comfortable. I'd recommend this bike to anyone who is looking for a carbon bike
Awesome bike. So happy with my purchase! Flyes forward on the road and still feels stable.