Definition of Classic KLEIN
I consider how we can define Classic Klein on the basis of Klein history.
The chronological table before/after the merge by TREK
I provide also PDF version.
After the merge, Klein decreased uniqueness in their bikes gradually. Now, we can say the Klein bikes are "normalized" by cutting off the specific features such as Mission Control, Precision BB, Internal Cable Routing and Micro Drop-outs.
Klein continued to have these specific features in a couple of years after the merge, so it is not correct that the bikes after the merge are not classic Kleins.
How can we define a classic Klein?
I paid attention to Klein Precision BB. Klein invented Precision BB in the early years of the company. Klein provided this system for most of the bikes for a long time. It continued to exist in the almost same shape as the first Precision BB.
It is the reason why I found Klein Precision BB as an index to divide Classic Kleins and "normalized" Kleins.
Therefore, I can insist the definition as follows;
A classic Klein is a bike that have a BB shell for Klein Precision BB.
Klein Precision BB was a superior. However, it was a weak point simultaneously. It provided an advantage in maintenance-free, but the users could not replace it easily. We need to use Klein genuine tools, a heat gun and Loctite adhesive for replacement of Klein Precision BB. Therefore, people began to think it was difficult to maintain Klein bikes.
As you know, Klein bikes had a damage in the sales by recalling Zip Grip models. Moreover, it became fatal injury that Klein continued to use the Precision BB.
What kind of characteristics does classic Klein have? I think those are durability, maintenance-free and lightweight.
After ten years from the first Attitude, real xc bikes became rare in the mountain bike world. We can see few real XC bikes even in the XC races.Vice versa, Free- ride bikes got popularity. They have long-stroke forks, disk brakes, Full-suspension system. These features provide easy and safety riding evidently.
However, can we feel reality of riding on such a bike? Heavy weight, strong stopping power and massive traction cause dull handling and huge impact to the nature. It is the right thing?
In my opinion, the three elements: durability, maintenance-free and lightweight will not lost value for the bikes working on the real single tracks even in the future. Classic Kleins seem to be the rare case that have the three elements simultaneously.
Therefore, I prefer classic Kleins to other modern bikes. I will ride the classic Klein in the mountain, until the frame would be broken.
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