Merlin X2.0 105 AR Commuter CX Bike - 2016
We know that a lot of cyclocross bikes never see much cyclocross action. We know that a large amount of cylcocross bikes are used as commuting bikes.
There’s a good reason for this: cyclocross bikes make for perfect commuters.
Faster than a naff hybrid. Comfier than a road bike. Capable of hacking through shortcuts if the need – or mood – arises.
We’ve taken our regular X2.0 cyclocross bike and tweaked the spec a little. Essentially we’ve saved you the task of finding suitable, stylish mudguards and decent road-going tyres. And having to fit them.
The Merlin X2.0 Commuter is ready to go to work.
It’s nippy. It’s comfortable. It’s practical. It’s reliable.
We’ve stopped short of supplying it with a rear pannier rack as we’ve noticed more and more commuters opting to use backpacks or courier bags. It is perfectly ready to accept a pannier rack though if you so wished.
We’ve not hamstrung the X2.0’s mixed terrain capabilities by fitting a road-only tyre. Instead we’ve opted for a pair of Continental Cyclocross Speed 35mm tyres. Fast enough for tarmac but grippy and tough enough to withstand a bit of light dirt-work and less-than-perfect road gutters.
Its sloping compact geometry makes for a confidence inspiring bike handling experience. You’ll be nipping and tucking, bobbing and weaving with the best of them.
The carbon bladed fork has been specced to keep things from becoming harsh up front. Carbon is a great material for reducing buzz and tremor. The alloy steerer is 1-1/8th too, further helping prevent any undue discomfort or excessive stiffness.
This is our entry level commuter ‘cross bike but as with all Merlin bikes, entry level doesn’t mean cutting corners with the spec. The drivetrain is Shimano 105. Unbeatable 11 speed reliability with proper STI shifting. The frame is a standard BSA threaded BB shell.
The disc brakes are TRP Spyres with a 160mm rotor up front and a 140mm rotor at the rear. Once you’ve tried disc brakes you won’t ever want to go back to rim brakes ever again.
As well as being more consistent and controllably powerful in all-weathers, disc brakes are much more fit-and-forget than cantilever cyclocross brakes. Easier to live with. Uncomplicated.
The static finishing fit is from 4ZA. Seat post, saddle, bars and saddle. Well made, unobtrusive and durable.
|Frame||Merlin CX 7005-T6 butted aluminium|
|Fork||Merlin CX Disc Z - carbon legs, alloy steerer 1-1/8th|
|Brakes||TRP Spyre Mechanical Disc Brake Caliper & Rotors|
|Shifters||Shimano 105 5800 Shifters|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano 105 FD-5800|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano 105 RD-5800|
|Cassette||Shimano 105 CS-5800 11 Speed 11-28|
|Chain||KMC 11S 108+link|
|Chainset||FSA Gossamer BSA68 172.5 46/36|
|Wheels||Fulcrum Racing Sport CX Disc|
|Tyres||Continental Cyclocross Speed 35mm|
|Saddle||4ZA Stratos 7DD|
|Stem||4ZA Stem 100mm|
|Handlebars||4ZA Handlebars 42cm|
|Seatpost||4ZA Seatpost 350|
Mudguards: Merlin Cross City Fenders