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MTB

2002 kit from Klein

While sister brands Trek and Fisher all have a fair amount of new tweaks in their mountain bike line up, Gary Kleins 2002 collection is not massively changed from 2001.
The major news is a final goodbye for the massively oversized Mission Control headtube set up of the top line Adroit hardtail. It’s not hat there’s any particular problem with the idea (apart from limited fork choice) it’s simply a case of current conventional forks and steerer tubes solving all the problems that made Gary go oversize in the first place.
This means the Attitude is left as the only hardtail, although it does get a new ‘Zirconium’ tubeset (see Trek 2002 news) with internal top tube gear cables (though brake cables / hose are external), international standard disc mounts and an expanded custom paint option scheme. 
 

Light, tight and grey and white

According to Klein though the Adept is “a hardtail with 70mm of travel” and apparently they’ve now targeted it at “Adventure racers and riders” with Fox or Answer Manitou Black forks rather than this years floppy Mars offerings.
Apart from the new ZR pipe there’s no changes on the frame though, which retains the old Sugar back end with it’s minimal tyre clearances. Riding it again though we’re still impressed with it’s extremely taut responses from the big, braced ‘X’ frame and immeadiate acceleration and point and shoot accuracy that comes with it. We particularly noticed it was very well mannered turning down into tight switchbacks where the Sugar + would try and tuck under. Laying down the power uphill and swiping boulders and roots on the way down it offers a very crisp rather than plush feel, but there’s enough emergency travel in hand to keep you on trail if you get caught out.

 

 

Fox take a hold up front

A lot of this confidence undoubtedly comes from the Fox Float F80RLC fork up front. This air sprung fork is the top model of Fox’s new family which also includes the Vanilla coil units, but they’ve obviously used all their experience from years of off road suspension systems to get things spot on.
The big 32mm stanchions and wide crown and leg stance makes the fork extremely stiff under braking and cornering, as well as allowing big mud clearance. Internally the fork uses the same negative spring bleed, stanchion surface treatment and bushing lubrication treatment as their Float rear air shocks which gives superb initial suppleness. Adjustable compression and rebound damping helps the smooth and progressive action keep constant controlled trail contact. Fox have even fitted a tuneable blow off valve to their compression lock out lever, which allows the rider to set the level of lump that sets the suspension moving again.

 

 

Total tuneability makes for a sublime ride

The end result is a very tuneable fork that refuses to be bullied by whatever trail trouble it’s pointed at and should give the new Rock Shox Duke, Manitou Black and Marzocchi lines a run for their money. We’ll bring you UK prices and availability from Mojo as soon as possible.

 

In the final installment of our summer trip to the Trek family funfair we’ll bring you news on the road bikes from Klein and Trek and Keith Bontrager’s new road wheels. Stay tuned to this station.

 

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