My Klein = Dead: What Replacement?

Downtube dent: catastrophic crack waiting to happen, or handy excuse for another bike?? (See thumbnails)

My 2002 Klein Attitude Comp – thing of beauty; flawless welds, awesome acceleration – went head-on into a carpark barrier last month on the roof of my shabby Golf (rapidly off the roof, in fact). It looked okay at first, then the inch-wide dent on the famously thin-walled aluminium downtube told me that our riding days were very probably over.

My local bikeshop and Klein/Trek agree, so I shuffle into the BM Guest Blog with sadness, but with a new mission: FIND A WORTHY REPLACEMENT! Which is kind of exciting. There’s been 8 years of progress since I last bought. And better yet, BM’s editor, with whom I share an office, is going to  give me sloppy seconds on some of the bikes that come in for testing, to get a feel for the market before I part with my cash. 

What I’d really value is your help as I jot down my ramblings, ask dim questions and try to find my way around.

Who knows – some of the bikes might be spiritual successors to the Klein; some wronger than wrong; and some might just show me that it’s time to move onto a new type of ride…

First things I’d love to pick your brains about:

I’d be really chuffed if you could use the talkback box under the article to give me the benefit of your brains. Right now I’m wondering…

  • What bike shortlist would you recommend for getting a feel for the market? ie, a good span of the different flavours of bike out there, leaning towards the xc / trail centre / ‘modestly technical but would like to get more-so’ end. And probably about £1300 to £2500, as I have no clear idea of where the value sweet-spot lies, or what my riding deserves
  • (A few on my lottery wishlist to try: On One 456 TI; Morewood Zula FS; Trek Fuel EX series; Giant Anthem XC series; Pace 104; LaPierre Zesty)
  • And not essential, but which bikes might have a, er, Kleininess about them… brisk and maybe a tiny bit different?

And a bit about me

I’m 38, 10st, ex running-shoe reviewer (honest!), cut mountain bike teeth in Peak District 1990-92 on 86 Rockhopper and 90 Stumpjumper, intermittently fit, best point = climbs, technically rusty, used Klein for adventure races, Mayhem, unsupported SDW last year, local blasts in soft SE (Bedgebury, S Downs, Surrey Hills) and not as much Welsh action as I wanted.

Cheers – I’d love your thoughts, and I’ll keep you posted


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