Merlin MALT-CR 5800 Carbon Road Bike
- In Stock
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