Merlin Cycles has developed a reputation for selling well equipped bikes at very reasonable prices and has now introduced a new range of aluminium framed and carbon road bikes.
There are more details on Merlin’s website, but here’s a summary of the new bikes.
Starting with the base model, the £599 FF1 has an aluminium frame and carbon bladed fork and comes equipped with Tiagra ten-speed shifting, an FSA Gossamer compact chainset, Tektro brakes and 4ZA wheels and components. Pay £100 more and the front and rear derailleur and shifters are upgraded to 11-speed 105, there’s Shimano braking and the wheels are Fulcrum Racing 7 LG.
At £899 the Fuse is aimed at sportive riders too. It has a high modulus carbon frame with a full carbon tapered fork and Shimano 105 11-speed shifting. The chainset is non-series Shimano compact and the brakes are also non-series Shimano. Wheels are Mavic Aksium shod with 25mm Continental Ultra Sport II tyres and the 4ZA components continue. £999 buys you an upgrade to a 105 chainset and brakes.
The top model in Merlin’s range is the more racy Cordite, although Merlin also emphasises its all-day riding credentials. This is a high mod carbon framed bike with full carbon forks and a tapered steerer. It comes equipped with a full Ultegra semi-compact 52/36 groupset and Ultegra brakes. Wheels are Fulcrum Racing 4s, again with Conti Ultra Sport II 25mm tyres. This bike costs £1449, but for £1999 you can upgrade to Ultegra Di2 shifting. Sizing on the Fuse and Cordite runs from XS to L.
Merlin’s range of new bikes refer back to the history of the company’s location. A former Royal Ordnance factory, the names are all explosive-related.