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Dno't know what I want - Commencal SuperNormal/ merlin malt4

robbo75robbo75 Posts: 17
edited January 2009 in MTB buying advice
Hey people,

I'm having a nightmare!

I'm looking to buy a hardtail xc bike around the 25lb mark via the cyclescheme thing at work.

I'm not bothered if the bike is 09, 08 or 07 etc, but I want it light.

I'm looking to spend about £850 on the bike, and the rest on lights, pedals and maybe shoes etc.

I've been looking around for weeks, and just can't decide, and I really don't want to buy the wrong thing.

I would look to spend more for the right bike and make do with old shoes etc!

Any input greatfully received.

Oi - some b?%$&^*ds nicked my bike!!


  • ianramsianrams Posts: 51
    I've just bought a 2009 Specialized Rockhopper Expert Disc for £849 through Cycle2work. Its much lighter than my previous Scott bike and a recent ride at Nant Y Arian proved it was capable of taking the rough stuff too.

    I'd recommend this bike to anyone.


    Specialized Rockhopper Expert Disc 2009
  • robbo75robbo75 Posts: 17
    OK - seeing as not getting a huge amount of feedback - which is probably my fault - how about this for a question -

    Commencal Supernormal

    Merlin Malt 4?
    Oi - some b?%$&^*ds nicked my bike!!
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    30 mins not exactly long lol ;-)

    MALT4 is an excellent value frame and build. Can you go and try these bikes out first?
  • robbo75robbo75 Posts: 17
    i know - I'm just bloody impatient!!!

    I'll certainly try to get a ride on both.

    I'm umming and ahhing as I've read the commencal can be fragile (but how fragile can a mountain bike be?) and that merlin's online customer service can be questionable!

    neither of these points are great, so i want to get it right!!

    I mean, I tend to bin it almost every time I go out - nothing serious just the odd off here and there. I'm assuming that the commencal would be well up for this, and that by "fragile" they meant that if you're a pro xc etc it might not be suitable!
    Oi - some b?%$&^*ds nicked my bike!!
  • dawsdaws Posts: 5
    Hi mate ... i actually just joined this to reply to this thread. I was looking at the very same two bikes for ages. In the end i went and tried em both out. The commencal was nice but i didnt like the riding position. In the end end i went for the Malt 4 and i'm very glad i did. Its exactly what i wanted. hasnt put a foot wrong in 6 months with 2-3 rides a week in all conditions.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    They are more fragile than say a DH bike, but certainly fine for your average trail, small drops and ramps and stuff.

    Might want to have a look at the Boardman range of bikes too, unbeatable spec and top scores in tests.
  • dawsdaws Posts: 5
    I cant say much about their online service as i went to the shop got impatient and convinced them to give me their demo bike. However i have rung up about stuff and to get stuff since and everything has been rapid
  • robbo75robbo75 Posts: 17
    hey daws - cheers for the reply - excellent to hear.

    did you buy the merlin from the store or online? and how did you find them?

    what was it about the commencal riding position you didnt like?

    i'm 5'8 with a 29" inside leg, which can be a pain (literally more often than not) when it comes to choosing a bike with enough clearance of the top tube
    Oi - some b?%$&^*ds nicked my bike!!
  • robbo75robbo75 Posts: 17
    edited January 2009
    i was looking at a boardman, and had one brought o my local halfords.

    unfortunately as i'm buying through cyclescheme halfords is a no go - total pain as i would have signed on the line right away

    it might be worth my pointing out that i already have a 2007 GT avalanche pro which i love, but it's a tad big, and i'm being greedy!!
    Oi - some b?%$&^*ds nicked my bike!!
  • masermaser Posts: 17
    Try to get over to Merlin and try out the malt 4, just got mine last week, really nice well built bike, light and easy to ride
  • dawsdaws Posts: 5
    I went to their open day when they moved stores. Its worth the trip. it took me about 2 hours. When i went the first time i intended to buy a rock lobster but after ridin the malt 4 indecision set in. The guys were great and really helpful. I didnt get some manuals so rang up and two days later they were here.

    Im 6ft dead and ended up getting a 17" frame which surprised me a little. on the commencal i felt cramped and like i was just perched ontop of it. It just didnt inspire confidence but then it may be perfect for you
  • robbo75robbo75 Posts: 17
    maser wrote:
    Try to get over to Merlin and try out the malt 4, just got mine last week, really nice well built bike, light and easy to ride

    bit of a 'mare to just pop over as merlin are a three hour car journey away!!!

    might be worth it though - who knows?!?
    Oi - some b?%$&^*ds nicked my bike!!
  • dawsdaws Posts: 5
    It is indeed a hassle. I did it twice. but if your spending that sort of money you wanna be sure. I'm glad i did as now i have no doubt in my mind that i spent my pennies wisely. If you want more advice there is a merlin cycles group on facebook...

    Also you could make a day of it. I googled local attractions and i think this one would be to anyones liking:
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