Merlin Axe7 Pro Disc Road Bike - 2017
The Merlin Axe7 Pro Disc Road Bike featuring Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brakes is a highly versatile, efficient all-rounder that takes the braking surface away from the rim of the wheel and enhances tyre clearance within the frame enabling you to fit up to a 35c width tyres with room for a full mudguard.This type of versatile all-weather, mixed-terrain road bike has really caught on over the last few years for obvious reasons. With fatter tyres and enhanced tyre clearance you don't have to stick to the road and with a full complement of mounts the bike is ready to sport mudguards making it the perfect wet weather road bike.
The Merlin Axe7 Pro features a triple-butted 6061 Aluminium frame with a comfortable, confident geometry that encourages all-day riding, a carbon fork that stops the ride feeling too harsh when you’re on the ruff stuff and quality Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brakes that deliver consistent, controllable braking in all weathers and riding conditions. A dependable, precise shifting Shimano 105 groupset completes the package.
- Frame: Triple-butted 6061 Series Aluminium
- Fork: Merlin Disc with carbon blades, flat-mount disc fitting and alloy steerer
Upgrades over Standard AXE7 Frameset:
- Internal gear cable routing
- Internal disc brake hose routing
- Lighter triple-butted tubing
- Flat-mount disc fitting for neater look
- Wheels: Mavic CXP rims on Shimano RS505 hubs (6 Bolt)
- Tyres: Schwalbe Durano Race Quard 700x28
- Gear/Brake Levers: Shimano 105 5800
- Front Derailleur: Shimano 105 5800
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano 105 5800 (Long Cage)
- Chainset: Shimano RS500 50/34T 11 speed
- Cassette: Shimano 105 5800 11-32T
- Chain: Shimano CN-HG601
- Pedals: Not included
- Saddle: Pro-Excel
- Seatpost: Kalloy Uno 3D Forged
- Handlebars: Kalloy Uno 3D Forged
- Grips: Black Cork Handlebar Tape
- Stem: Kalloy Uno 3D Forged
- Brake calipers: Hydraulic Shimano RS500 Road Disc
Sizing & fit
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Purchase: mid January 2018.
Objective: Replacement of a touring bike and a mountain bike (no suspension). Both rebuilt and updated several times over the years. My riding is now 85% road and 15% unmade tracks/bridlepaths etc. I no longer do the full mountain bike thing.
Test over 3 months use: Weight ready to go including pedals, mudguards, bottle cage, computer, lights and bell(!) is 10.6kgs. A reduction of 18% on the mountain bike, which was the lighter of the two bikes mentioned above.
The 105 groupset including hydraulic brakes is a delight to use. Concur with all other comments about this kit both on this page and elsewhere. Frame and forks are very well finished. The finishing kit, bars, tape, stem, seat post are all very good. The bike came with a Selle Italia X1 saddle rather than the listed Pro Excel saddle. No complaints, I find the Selle very comfortable. Another reviewer has commented that the wheels are heavy. I have no direct comparison but can only say they stood up to the extreme weather of early 2018. The Durano tyres, which I had never used before, were a revelation in terms of grip and handling, again in the extreme weather of early 2018.
As a package the bike is light, has just the right balance of handling and sensitivity without being too twitchy. It has good pick-up acceleration, eats up the miles, has excellent braking and transmission (the 105 again), and is surprisingly comfortable for what is primarily a road bike. Although not a mountain bike it easily handles the unsurfaced and muddy by-ways that comprise the smaller proportion of my rides.
Result: The Axe7 Pro has definitely replaced both bikes mentioned above. (The touring bike has already been sold).
Conclusion: This bike is much better than the sum of its parts and is a joy to use. Factor in the price and it is excellent value. Merlin have got the specification and the result perfect. Finally, and most importantly, it puts a big grin on my face at the end of each ride.