Merlin Malt G2X – 2 Years of Gravel

Two years down the track on my G2X build, and it has seen about 12,000 kilometers on local gravel trails. Over this time we’ve got to know each other pretty well. Having ridden quite a few bikes over the years, I would be getting bored and looking for my next ride at this point. However, I am not. “Why is that?” I hear you ask…


Built with a new frameset with two year old components from another bike, the G2X hasn’t ever let me down. Not even a puncture thanks to Schwalbe Tubeless. To be fair though, I have got in a routine of cleaning and checking the bike over after most rides and I have learnt to adjust tyre pressures for the conditions. This frameset is solid, I have lost count of the large ‘dings’ from loose stones flicked up from the front wheel onto the down-tube – If I was riding a entry level carbon frame, I would be much more concerned.

Super Comfy

It’s like a pair of really comfy slippers – pop your feet in and, oh yes… I know comfort is subjective but the G2X just feels right, well balanced and in-control on the loose stuff, but still quick and comfy whatever surface its on. My rides are limited by having to do other stuff in life, not because the bike is uncomfortable. My longest ride is probably about three and a bit hours or so; could definitely ride it all day if I had time. Tyre pressures help comfort too, it is worth experimenting, I found somewhere around 45 psi to be a good mix of cushioning and speed – guess this depends on rider weight and how smooth the terrain is.

Light & Fast

With the full bike weight just under 8.5KG and with the right tyre pressure on the right surface, this bike is pretty quick. With lighter road wheels and tyres there is virtually no difference in performance from a decent quality road bike. The triple butted aluminium frame feels solid and is pretty tough considering its relatively light weight (1.6KG), despite plenty of loose stones fired up at the frame from the front wheel, there are still no dings or even paint chips. The Pro-Build Chosen / Alex Draw 1.9 wheels have been awesome too, a cost effective way to keep the bike weight down, while also still being strong enough to remain completely 100% true and maintenance free after 2 years on the gravel.


The relatively understated looks of the G2X undersell what a brilliant frame this is. The green and black offer a nice visual contrast and a classic timeless colour combination. Also, for those fashionistas out there, it goes really well with all the ‘on trend’ camo’ and army green gravel clothing.

But Is it love?

We’ve been together through: lockdowns, trips to shops, getting chased by big dogs, little dogs, magpies, lunged at by snakes and raced by kangaroos, motorcross bikes and tracked by wedge tailed eagles. It’s picked up odd marks here and there, but it rides exactly the same as it did two years ago.

And Yeah! I do still Love it!