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Merlin's classic Newsboy is back, delivering style

Published September 18, 2018

RENO, Nev. (BRAIN) — Merlin Bikes is back, and just like in the 1990s, the brand has brought a crowd-pleaser to Interbike: the Newsboy.

Merlin showed off the first Newsboy at the show in 1994. That frame featured classic cantilever cruiser styling, combined with high performance materials and components. For many folks, the bike was an eye-opener, showing that performance bikes didn't have to lack style and whimsy.

One of those was John Seigrist, who had founded Dean Bikes in 1989. Dean's parent company, Janus Cycle Group, bought Merlin this year. Dean and Merlin titanium frames are now made in the same facility in Boulder, Colorado.

Seigrist remembered what it was like to see the first Newsboy. "I thought it was pretty cool. I had been in full race mode and thought of bikes as something to get from point A to point B as fast as possible. This was something different."

Merlin plans to make just eight of the reborn Newsboy frames, each with a custom numbered headbadge. The new frames are built for 29-inch tires, are suspension adjusted, and made for disc brakes. They featured tapered headtubes and Paragon "bullet" caps on the cantilever ends.

"It's modern, but not too modern," Seigrist said. The show bike features Merlin's one-piece titanium bar and stem and ti seatpost.

It took Merlin's Will Keener about a week to bend and miter the first frame's tubes, and Ari Leon spent about three hours welding it. Few of the frame tubes are straight, making mitering an interesting task. The cantilever tubes are especially hard to make because they have to match each other and are curved in two planes.

The limited-edition frames will sell for $5,000.

Merlin and Dean are each showing new frames and components at the Janus Cycle Group booth (Booth 2242). Janus is also the parent company of Velosport Imports, a distributor of products including Alan, Gios and Hersh bicycles, Floyd's of Leadville products and Alchemist carbon wheels.

Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the Day 2 edition of BRAIN'S Interbike Show Daily. BRAIN's story about Merlin's new ownership, from our June 1 issue, is also attached as a pdf.  


Merlin will make just eight of the Newsboy frames, priced at $5,000 each.
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Topics associated with this article: Interbike

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