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HomeCyclingA Guide To: The Merlin Cycles Malt Gravel Bike Range

A Guide To: The Merlin Cycles Malt Gravel Bike Range

Whether you are a beginner purchasing your first gravel bike or a seasoned cyclist, here’s three worthy contenders (with plenty of 5* reviews)…

Merlin Malt G2 Claris Gravel Bike

The Merlin Malt G2 Claris is the perfect entry level gravel bike.

“Love my new bike. Ridden to and from work every day since I received it. Did a lot of research and decided on the G2 because it comes from a reputable British based company and offered exceptional value for money.”

One of the most appealing aspects of the Merlin Malt G2 Claris is its affordability without compromising on performance. Gravel bikes often come with a hefty price tag, but we tried to strike a balance by incorporating quality components while keeping the cost reasonable.

The Shimano Claris groupset provides reliable shifting, and the durable aluminium frame ensures longevity. This makes the Merlin Malt G2 Claris an excellent choice for riders who want a capable gravel bike without breaking the bank.

Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist seeking a new challenge or a beginner looking to dip your toes into the world of gravel riding, the Merlin Malt G2 Claris is ready to accompany you on your journey.

What our customers say about the Merlin Malt G2 Claris:

“Bought this bike as a winter / commuter . I have now ridden this bike for 4 x 30 mile runs and am very pleased with it. In terms of looks it is rugged and solid, and I particularly like the discreet colour scheme which allows you to fade away into the background. It is heavier than a carbon road bike (obvious I know) yet not overly that you can’t produce some great speed.

The Shimano Claris gearing is faultless allowing for smooth and consistent gear changing when you need it. The wheels are solid and as a first time disc brake user I am mightily impressed with the stopping power in both dry and wet conditions.

The on bike position is comfortable and you almost forget you are on a gravel bike and not on a road bike. In terms of value for money this a very well specced bike for the money, it guarantees comfort and reliability and enjoyable riding.

Overall I can’t find a fault for this bike and am looking forward to utilising the flexibility it allows in tackling canal tow paths and gravel tracks which I would normally avoid on my road bike. Glad I purchased this bike and would definitely recommend as a 5 star product.”

Merlin Malt G2P Tiagra Gravel Bike

The Merlin Malt G2 Tiagra is our mid-level gravel bike. The Merlin Malt G2P Tiagra excels in providing all-day comfort, with a well-thought-out geometry that aims to minimize fatigue on longer rides (many have chosen to go bike packing on this gravel steed).

This bike is fantastic, I really love it. It is so smooth and really comfortable to ride. The Tiagra transmission is super slick and the bike looks amazing as well. Been out in the rain as well and it’s road holding is great and the brakes are powerful on the hilly roads I ride on. – highly recommended.

One of the standout features of the Malt G2P Tiagra is its precision shifting. Tiagra takes advantage of technology and design innovations that result in smoother and more accurate gear changes compared to Claris.

The improved shifting performance ensures a more seamless transition between gears, allowing riders to maintain momentum and efficiency on various terrains. Whether you’re tackling steep climbs or cruising on flat roads, the bike feels very capable.

What our customers say about the Merlin Malt G2 Tiagra:

“Great bike … New to road /gravel bikes having had a mountain bike before and really enjoying it ..no turning back now. Solid components, design and build .”

(Photo from Rach on her expedition to Isle of Man to watch some TT racing.)

Absolutely loving riding the Merlin Malt G2P. Fast and fun times. 👌🏻🙌🏻

Exceptional value gravel bike, Tiagra shifting spot on straight from the box, lovely frame , sizing spot on – well worth it – go get one!

Merlin Malt G2X GRX Gravel Bike

The Merlin Malt G2X GRX is our top of the range aluminium gravel bike.

“This is a great bike for the money. Frame is tidily welded and light, groupset is quality, wheels roll well and tyre specced is good for most uses. Brakes are really very good too. As a road rider I got this to explore byways and rougher roads and so far this has been more than up to the job.”

The primary advantage of Shimano GRX is that it is purpose-built for gravel and adventure riding. It features technologies and design elements specifically tailored for the demands of off-road and mixed-terrain cycling. The inclusion of a clutch in the GRX rear derailleur reduces chain slap and improves chain retention, especially important on rough, uneven terrain.

While Shimano Tiagra is an excellent choice for road cyclists and those on a budget, Shimano GRX shines when it comes to gravel-specific performance and features. Riders who prioritize off-road adventures, enhanced chain retention, and specialized ergonomics may find that the purpose-built design of GRX better suits their needs.

What our customers say about the Merlin Malt G2X:

“What a great bike for the money. It arrived a day ahead of schedule. It was extremely well packed and all gears and brakes were adjusted. It was a simple build and I was riding it in about 45 minutes. My first ride was great. Super smooth ride and lots of gearing to get up and down the hills. I was really impressed by the tires, not much more rolling resistance than my road bike. Very neutral steering as well so easy to handle. This is my third bike from Merlin and each one has been a dream and the service is outstanding.”

“Such a great bike!!! Top quality finishing ! paint, welds etc…in life this bike looks amazing and ride so smooth. I done already about 50 miles on this bad boy almost all type of roads and can say its amazingggg!!!! Planning tour 100 miles for this weekend and can’t wait. This is my dream bike Merlin malt G2X GRX !!! Highly recommended to pros and passionate riders. 5 star product!!!”

“Was after a gravel/ winter bike and after some research, the GX2 was the best spec’d bike of the similar priced bikes. It arrived quickly and well packaged. The quality of the frame, Shimano GRX groupset & FSA finishing kit is excellent. Been out a few time now and bike feels great to ride and looks good too.”

That rounds up our comparisons of the Merlin Malt Gravel Bike Range. Ultimately the decision will come down to your budget, groupset preference and riding style.

If you have the money to spend you’ll be most satisfied with the quality of the Merlin Malt G2X featuring GRX. But if you are on a smaller budget the Mid Level Tiagra and Entry level Claris are still both very capable options!

  • Alex Cowie

    Outdoor Leadership and Coaching BA (Hons)
    Keen cyclist, runner, and outdoor enthusiast.
    I have been cycling since I was very young and always had a love for the outdoors. I have completed many long distance events including ultra marathons such as the Chester 100, Berkeley Marathons UK and Gravel Century rides.
    I also incorporate strength training into my lifestyle both indoors and outdoors.



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