Boulder, Colorado’s Merlin Metalworks is revolutionizing the gravel biking scene with its latest offering – the XLG lineup, featuring the all-new Sandstone 40 and Sandstone 50 models. As a leader in custom bike manufacturing, Merlin’s collaboration with Yang Manufacturing and Silca brings to the fore a unique blend of design innovation and performance-oriented features in the world of gravel biking.
The XLG lineup, short for Extralight Gravel, is an ambitious project designed to cater to different facets of gravel biking. The Sandstone 40 is tailored for All-Road gravel enthusiasts, offering a more agile and sporty ride. On the other hand, the Sandstone 50 is built for Adventure gravel, designed to provide greater stability and comfort for longer, more challenging terrains.
Both models boast a custom-selected Reynolds 3/2.5 front triangle, uniquely crafted to match the size, weight, and performance needs of each rider. This customization extends to the use of 3D printed parts, ensuring both the Sandstone 40 and 50 can support either 1x or 2x drivetrain setups effortlessly.
A standout feature of these bikes is their flat mount 160 3D printed weldments. This design choice not only aligns with the general trend towards 160mm native rotor acceptance for 700c bikes but also maximizes rear triangle alignment. This results in an enhanced riding experience, courtesy of the superior chain and seat stay materials used in construction.
Merlin’s focus on versatility and personalization is evident in the bikes’ specifications:
- Both models come with a 142mm x 12 Thru-axle rear.
- The Sandstone 40 offers tire clearance for 700 x 40c, making it ideal for swift, responsive rides on varied terrains.
- The Sandstone 50, with a clearance for 700 x 50c, is perfectly suited for more rugged adventures.
- The two models feature different chainline standards and geometry specs, resulting in two distinct riding experiences – the Sandstone 40’s sporty handling with a shorter wheelbase and tighter trail numbers, and the Sandstone 50’s relaxed handling with a longer wheelbase and increased trail stability.
- Both models are equipped with a T47 bottom bracket shell and a 44mm headtube standard.
- Routing configurations vary (external, internal, or integrated) depending on the drivetrain selection.
Merlin’s XLG lineup is available in 8 sizes, with an option for custom fit at an extra charge for those seeking that additional level of customization.
In conclusion, the Merlin Sandstone 40 and 50 models from the XLG lineup represent a new era in gravel biking. With their state-of-the-art design, customized features, and versatile performance, these bikes are set to become the go-to choice for both casual riders and adventure enthusiasts. Whether you are cruising down country roads or tackling rugged mountain trails, Merlin’s XLG lineup promises a ride that’s as exhilarating as it is reliable.