Tuesday, August 19, 2014

1990 Doug Bradbury Manitou trail review

I've owned this DBM for almost two years now and it's seem some solid trail duty. However, I never took the time to take any decent photos on the trail or really get into the ride characteristics. As I go through and formulate my collection strategy this bike continually serves as a benchmark for all new comers and has secured a permanent place on my ride rack.

The thing everyone asks me about this bike is "How is it compared to a Klein?" Before I answer that I'd like to point out that this design is over 2 years older than any comparable Klein (thinking 90 Attitude here) and so any comparison is somewhat flawed. However, with that in mind I'd say it's like comparing a saw with a scalpel. Both cut just fine, but one is a bit rougher. I think of Kleins as precision instruments that need to be treated with care, and if you do that they'll do exactly what you ask of them. The DBM is much more like a saw, your cut may not be as precise and you may make a mess, but you'll get it done and it requires a lot less thought and care.

When you ride this bike you care a bit less about your line, a bit less about rocks flying up, a bit less about going over that bigger rock or drop. You just know this bike can take it and won't miss a beat. It's just more of a bruiser. That being said it's not as light, it doesn't quite help you feel like you're in command of something special and unique. It's more utilitarian in nature and you get that feeling when you ride it. It's like a bit of that spring in your step was taken out and replaced with a steel toe which you use to crush any obstacles in your way rather than flying over them.

Does it climb well?? Yeah, it climbs well. I feel like I'm in better shape when on a Klein, but there is virtually no flex in this frame under heavy climbing loads and great out of the saddle traction coming out of stream beds.

Does it descend well?? Yeah, it's great when you point it down. Actually, it's more forgiving than a Klein.

This is the fork that every Switchblade, IRD or Bontrager fork dream they are when they are sleeping. It doesn't chatter, it's doesn't flex under braking, it's doesn't wonder, it's awesome! There is nothing more to be said about it.

I love this bike. I urge everyone who ever gets a chance to throw a leg over one to do so immediately. It not the lightest out there, at 25 and change lbs it's got a few pounds over an ARC or Adroit, but then again it's a few years older. But it's a bike I keep coming back to and it's always ready to hit the trail!!

To put it another way it's a bike I make sure always has air in the tires because I'm likely to pull it off the rack for a ride on any given day!

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