Merlin Malt G1X thoughts?

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alpinestar
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by alpinestar

Just saw this for the first time today: Image
Looks like a really good deal with a solid setup, apex groupset, zipp components and mavic wheels.
https://www.merlincycles.com/merlin-mal ... 50729.html
One letdown is the finish on the welds! The geometry is a bit strange! I am 186cm and ride 56cm frames, here it looks like the 53 has a 56 toptube. Thats a bit odd!
Any thoughts on this vs a alu Giant TCX?

by Weenie


kwakekeham
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by kwakekeham

I just got this frame yesterday. The geometry is indeed weird but less so if you just look at virtual top tube length. They are using a kind of compact / hard tail mtb geometery and quoting sizing on seat tub. So they are large. I ordered the 50 and it's bigger than my 54cm madone and 55cm 80's wilier. I have confirmed with merlins that those numbers are legit. The head tubes are taller than I've seen on a lot of other gravel bikes putting you a little more upright.

I'm building it up myself , but on the component spec side the TCX SLR 2 is the price comparison point to this with Apex from merlins (giants about 200-300 more). Giant is a bit more "piece meal" to save money on their build side. Armchair analysis ensues:

It's hard to make seals that are compatible with both mineral oil and DOT fluid yet Giant is using their Conduct brakes on this SRAM (DOT) and other bikes with Shimano. That'a a strike against Giant (a big one in my opinion) because the seals may degrade with one of those setups. Merlin's uses APEX levers with Apex brakes. Simple

Giant is also using what looks like 140mm front and rear brakes. NOPE. I might be wrong but if I'm not since it's not listed. NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. Unless you're 50kg. If you're about 75kg MIN is 160 front and 140 rear for road if you're not riding the plains, but really we should all be using 160's min in a gravel spec bike. I've speculated that flat mount will eventually get a revision (more standards!!!) bump to 180's as post mount dies on gravel spec.

Giant's using an FSA omega crankset. It's 1x but you tend to never find an FSA crankset as an "upgrade", but as OE cheaping out. I'd say with all the patent hub-bub years ago of SRAM getting litigious on their narrow wide patents, I'd say the cranks are probably about the same but the SRAM x-sync rings will be more reliable for chain drops.

The trade is that vertical compliance in the Giant is generated by seat stay and top tube offset and bend in that region while the merlins will be seat tube flex. So the giant kind of wins out here. But for the proprietary seat post they lost marks. Gravel's are usually peoples first bikes usually with lower spec due to risk of being beaten up. Going proprietary might hurt more in 5 - 7 years if you want to change anything.

On wheels it's ultra entry mavic's versus Giant house brand. I'd rather the mavics even if they are an OE spec. Both are 6 bolt, so minus points to both!

Giant more recognizable as a brand than Merlins. Merlins frame lists as fabricobbled in Taiwan so that's a plus. Welds are more visable as mentioned. Merlins has rack mounts (which I wanted) while giant doesn't (because TCX lists as cross?).

ooo
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by ooo

What is chainstay (and bb drop and wheel base) on merlin g1x?

Merlin also sell frameset and have weight info:
Weight: 2.4kg (53cm)

I hope this includes frame+fork
'

rides4beer
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Location: SC

by rides4beer

kwakekeham wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:34 pm
It's hard to make seals that are compatible with both mineral oil and DOT fluid yet Giant is using their Conduct brakes on this SRAM (DOT) and other bikes with Shimano. That'a a strike against Giant (a big one in my opinion) because the seals may degrade with one of those setups. Merlin's uses APEX levers with Apex brakes. Simple
FWIW, Giant has ditched the Conduct system for their 2020 models, full Shimano hyd now. :thumbup:

I would look at the Giant Revolt Advanced instead of the TCX, endurance/gravel geo and more tire clearance, love mine.

kwakekeham
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by kwakekeham

rides4beer wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:50 pm
FWIW, Giant has ditched the Conduct system for their 2020 models, full Shimano hyd now. :thumbup:
On the Canada and US sites there is only the 2019 TCX SLR in the same price range. The Advanced starts at 2500 USD for full apex, or over TWO Merlin Malt G1X's with similar equipment.... but then you're on a carbon gravel frame and not Aluminum.

So not sure where you get you're specs for 2020 if you mean SLR.

EDIT: Also Conduct isn't dead. List on Revolt Advanced 3 2020 gravel.

rides4beer
Posts: 184
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Location: SC

by rides4beer

kwakekeham wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:26 am
On the Canada and US sites there is only the 2019 TCX SLR in the same price range. The Advanced starts at 2500 USD for full apex, or over TWO Merlin Malt G1X's with similar equipment.... but then you're on a carbon gravel frame and not Aluminum.

So not sure where you get you're specs for 2020 if you mean SLR.

EDIT: Also Conduct isn't dead. List on Revolt Advanced 3 2020 gravel.
Cool, the Advanced 3 is new, last I looked at the site, it didn't exist, 2 was the base level with full 105 hyd (it was also $2300, they bumped the price up some more, prob since they brough the 3 into the lineup). My shop told me they had ditched the Conduct system across all models, guess not.

kwakekeham
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by kwakekeham

ooo wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:31 pm
What is chainstay (and bb drop and wheel base) on merlin g1x?
I measured my "50 cm". These are not perfect measures. These measured with no headset bearings or tires.

BB drop is about 75mm (just wheels) so +/- 5mm or maybe more since trying to get a level between wheels using a tape measure while vernier for the bb.

Chain stays are 440mm and wheelbase is 1050mm. These are more accurate.

It recommends 38 but I just measured and it looks like it could clear 50mm. I think I'm going to take a leap and try 45mm to see if it clears

kwakekeham
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by kwakekeham

WTB Riddler 45-700 easily clear both front and back. They measure more like 42 on my Fulcrum Racing 7db rims

ooo
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2016 12:59 pm

by ooo

thanks for checking
'

rhmartin
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Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:00 pm

by rhmartin

I got this frameset a few weeks ago. There is not a lot of info online, and this was the only "review" that I could find. So I thought I would add some info.
The frame is good quality. The chainstays measure ~50mm wide at the area where 700c tires would sit. I read somewhere that the recommended tire size is determined by having 6mm clearance on both sides of the tire, which would give the recommended 38mm. The fork could easily clear a 50mm. Of course the frame is a little wider where 650b wheels would sit, a 47mm should be no problem.

The sizes are big I got a 50cm frame and it looks like I will fit it, but if you are under about 5'7 dont bother. I am thinking of it as a lot of room for framebags.
The geo is more like a mountain bike. With the stem slammed, it is going to be about even with the saddle.

It is pretty light mine measured at a little less than 2.4kg for frame, fork uncut, hs, and axles (basically everything that came with the frameset). The frame was in the 1.8kg range and the fork was around 400gs (from memory). I like the thruaxles, they are sleek and look like carbon levers, with adjustable angles.

by Weenie


edduffer
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:06 am

by edduffer

Just finished building mine up. A great looking frameset and the quality defies the price.
I got the 50cm after taking advice from Merlin. As previous posts have said the sizes are on the large size, the Merlin top tube length is longer than my 54cm Synapse. A 90mm stem was specced to put that right.
Frame weight measured as 1.73kg, fork 440g, both without the thru axles.
Final build weight 10kg on the nose, which I'm pleased with considering I raided the parts bin for the build. 105 5800 shifters, 50/34 crankset and FD. Ultegra RX rear mech with ultegra 11-34 casette. Fizik antares saddle, Hope carbon seatpost (blooming lovely), Ritchey WCS C260 stem, Easton EA70 AX 44cm bar. Spyre Hy/Rd calipers (Fugly, but effective). Fulcrum racing 7 wheels and Panaracer Gravel King SK 43mm tyres (clearance is fine, measured up at 41mm on an 17mm internal rim width). Crappy old shimano SPD pedals and 2 boggo aluminium bottle cages. Plenty of room to save some significant weight there.
So far impressed with the handling, slack enough to add confidence to my otherwise limited offroad ability, but is still chuckable, a combination that left me pleased as punch after the first ride. This build is replacing a 10 year old Genesis Vapour CX bike which feels like a crit racer in comparison. I found myself tackling much more technical terrain with confidence on the Merlin.
Tried measuring the frame clearance with a caliper - measured 59mm both at the fork and rear, but would probably need a 650b wheel to take advantage of this at the rear. Would be interested to hear if anyone has tried a 650b?

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