Merlin Malt 2 frame review

Bargain trail frame

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £200.00 RRP | USD $330.44
Merlin Malt 2 Frame

Our review

As much trail bike as most riders will ever need for less than £200. That sounds like a bargain to us
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Lancashire mail-order specialists Merlin Cycles have always been one of our recommended sources of good, honest, high-value framesets.


The Malt 2 is the second sibling in a four-frame family that ranges from the superlight £399 Malt 4 to the What Mountain Bike Bike of the Year finalist Malt 1 (£140).

By spending an extra £60 on the Malt 2, though, you get a double-butted Kinesis frame, which not only gives a very reasonable, raceable weight chassis but also translates into a noticeably more cultured ride on the trail.

While it’s officially set up for a 100mm fork you can run a 120mm for a taller, slacker trail feel. Whether you’re climbing, descending or charging round the woods it’s obedient, enthusiastic and never feels like it’s overwhelmed, wherever you take it.


Neat machined dropouts include a replaceable hanger for easy crash repair, too. Incidentally, Malts 3 and 4 offer similarly balanced handling but in progressively lighter and stiffer race-style rigs.

Product Specifications


Name Malt 2 Frame (09)
Brand Merlin

Weight (kg) 1.82
Available Sizes 15 Inches 17 Inches 19 Inches
Available Colours Titanium
Year 2009