Merlin Cycles has quite a range of own-brand bikes. Many are made for it by a well-known Belgian bike maker that sponsors a World Tour team.
The Nitro SL’s frame comes from the same mould as a World Tour-raced bike but decked out in Merlin livery. Merlin says it is renowned for its comfort and light weight, with a quoted 750g.
Its WorldTour palmares include wins on cobbles, clims and in sprints. The frame is made from very high modulus 24 tonne carbon fibre and has internal cable routing, with the seat stays designed to be thin for flex and added comfort.
Merlin’s bike is decked out with a full Shimano Ultegra groupset, including a semi-compact 52/36 chainset and brakes.
It runs on Fulcrum Racing Quattro LG aluminium wheels, shod with Continental Ultra Sport II 25mm tyres.
Finishing kit comes from 4ZA – the in house component brand of Ridley bikes (there, I’ve mentioned them). There’s a San Marco Ponza saddle.
Watch: André Greipel’s Ridley Noah SL
Merlin quotes a weight of 7.7kg. We’ve a size 54cm in for test which actually comes in at 7.58kg or 16.7lb, so Merlin has been conservative.
The Nitro SL is priced at £1999.99 but Merlin is currently discounting it by 12.5% to £1749.95. The bike is available in four sizes from Small to Extra Large, with effective top tube lengths from 525mm to 585mm.
Look out for our review of the new bike in Cycling Weekly.