DMR Switchback XC Hardtail

4.75/5 (12 Reviews)
Weight : 2.08 Kg


Product Description

  • Designed for a 120-130mm travel fork
  • Reynolds 520 Cro-mo double butted tubing
  • ISCG mount - (International Chainguide Mounting Standard)
  • Wishbone seatstays


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Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by nickcordia a Weekend Warrior from Melbourne Aust

Date Reviewed: February 20, 2009

Strengths:    Wow , first steel frame and i'm blown away at the flex and comfort it has! Great build quality and geometry. I have the 20 inch and at 6 foot 1 it feels perfect.

Weaknesses:    Stickers look cheap and paint wears easily.

Bottom Line:   
Highly reccomend fantastic frame . Currently set up for street city fun but looking forward to some dirt soon

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   First steel frame.

Bike Setup:   Recon u turn 130mm forks hone cranks sun rims ds2 and avid bb7 brakes thomson stem and post. Also running maxxis holy rollers 2.4 (just fit ) cool on the street!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by wotzanapollohimalaya a Weekend Warrior from Parramatta, NSW, Australia

Date Reviewed: January 5, 2009

Strengths:    smooth for a hardtail
retro looking in beige
sweet geometery that makes is great with climbing or descending


Weaknesses:    easily dented... dented the top tube without any abuse
a bit heavy
no eyelets for racks
no longer being made


Bottom Line:   
Sweet bike and great price. No problems keeping up with the duallies on technical stuff. Fun, predictable, fast climber and smooth. No complaints. Unfortunately they discontinued it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Parramatta Lake local trails

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   never tried a steel hardtail before.
started with an alloy hardtail and loved going to a duallie (VT3) but found the suspension to be too unpredictable for technical stuff and didn't like the soggy energy sapping rear suspension


Bike Setup:   Beige DMR Switchback, 100mm Manitou R7 fork, LX cranks, X-9 ensemble, XT V brakes, velocity cliffhanger rims, easton finishing kit.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Top Fuel a Cross Country Rider from Italy

Date Reviewed: August 10, 2008

Strengths:    Cheap, comfortable, sturdy.

Weaknesses:    Nothing.

Bottom Line:   
Wonderful frame.
Comfortable like a true steel frame, precise in driving and it never put to you in difficulty in the more difficult distances.
Past year with this bike I have run the Salzkammergut Trophy in Austria, 110 km 3600 mt. of climb, 8 hours and means in bike and my back it was ok.
Money expenses truly well.
I will not change this chassis until will not be opened in two (very difficult, is steel... ;-)).
Five chili truly deserved.

P.S: excuse me for my poor english. :-))

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   All trails

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   My dealer

Similar Products Used:   Cinelli Sentiero, Penguin (both steel bikes).

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi MX Comp 105 fork, LX group, Eleven wheels, Ritchey V4 pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Koen Greven a Cross Country Rider from Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand

Date Reviewed: May 23, 2008

Strengths:    Incredibly soft ride, great size, looks cool

Weaknesses:    Slightly steep head angle, high stand over, bad paint quality

Bottom Line:   
An awesome hardtail for a decent price. Was thinking of going for a flasher hardtail from the likes of Cove etc. but this was the just the right price.

Lets you keep pedalling over so much more, things that bounced me of my seat on the yukon are simply sucked up by this frame. Seems to take a fair bit of abuse as well, hit up 5+ foot drops and shes still sweet (getting another bike for this stuff though...)

Overall if youre looking for an aggressive XC hardtail you cant go wrong with one of these

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $200.00

Similar Products Used:   Giant Yukon

Bike Setup:   Full XT, Raceface, Dt wheels, Fox vanilla R 130

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chris a Weekend Warrior from Wellinton NZ

Date Reviewed: March 1, 2008

Strengths:    Nice finish, tidy welds etc. price was right.

Weaknesses:    Stickers and badge on head tube are cheap looking. Chain guide mount on an XC bike???

Bottom Line:   
This frame is great. With a 120mm fork 80mm stem she rides like a dream. Iv got a 16inch which is just big enough for me at 185cm tall.Was running a 100mm fork on it for a while but it was a little to rapid in the steering department. With the 120mm its just about right for trail riding.I did a 50k race on it and at the finish I felt like id got off a full suspension bike. You just don't get that with an aluminum frame. If I could only keep one of my bikes it would be this one.
Buy one if you want a great do it all hard tail that begs to be ridden hard all day.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Be rude not to

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Chrin reaction cycles

Similar Products Used:   Kona explosif, KHS descent, Avanti hammer, ghost hard tail. Jamis dakar, Keewee cromolite, Kona coiler.

Bike Setup:   Full 08 XT group, mavic 317 rims, funn full on bar, minute 120mm travel fork

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by john bown a Cross Country Rider from Hobart

Date Reviewed: February 11, 2007

Strengths:    Cheap for good steel. Superb ride.

Weaknesses:    Folded my first one behind the down tube gusset. Don't use a short rigid fork.

Bottom Line:   
Superb riding steel hardtail, with new school style. Changed the fork to an 07 TALAS with 140mm of travel. Absolutely perfect handling with this fork. The extra length slows the handling down nicely. Great on the singletrack, just mind the weight when you build it up & it climbs ok. You can carry a suprising amount of speed through the rough on a Switchback.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The luge

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Tassie Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Salsa, Avanti

Bike Setup:   LX, XT, Raceface drive train. Avid BB7 brakes. DT wheelset. Continental Verticals. Fox Vanilla 125. Titec the rest.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Pedal from Christchurch, NZ

Date Reviewed: November 24, 2006

Strengths:    Soft rear end, precise handling, flickability, seems well built, light enough for me, simple understated looks & performance, it's a surprisingly cheap frame here in Aotearoa

Weaknesses:    71 degree front end

Bottom Line:   
Here's an idea - get an amazingly shock absorbing Reynolds (525) frame in a stealthy colour, fit a longish travel fork (120-130mm) and large volume tubelss tires on light wheels. Set up as a single speed. Stun yourself by feeling like you've got almost as much rear suspension as on your exotic 4 inch suspension frame. Floor yourself by riding one of your 30 minute (flat but bumpy) training loops 1 whole minute faster than what you've done on so called XC suspension. Demoralise riders with suspension and 27 gears by passing them as you smile, jump off stuff, goof around but still power away. Here's some thoughts:

- gonna sell my alloy hardtail...what is the point in losing a pound when the ridings no fun then you get your ass smacked then you just have to slow down
- there's a limit and suspension is worth keeping for real rough trails or downhill sections and maybe long rides (although I reckon what you gain in not getting beat up by having suspension in an epic ride or race might be traded off by that small extra leg energy sapped by almost any active rear end)- I'll keep that Yeti for now
- IMO DMR should get with the millenium and kick the front end out to at least 72 degrees. Sure 71 is sharp steering but I've got used to super handling trailbikes with 72 or 73. These frames steer much more beautifully even for XC & singletrack and I can't see the point of deliberately making something twitchy. I kept tucking the front end under in corners at first with this frame and take note that even with the recommended 130mm fork the turning is as touchy as a feminists bum. Set too much sag in the fork and your elbow will be kissing the trail.
- There's been talk of these frames breaking (on the downtube, just behind the gusset)and I think I know why - you'll start out riding XC style as the frame was designed, then find its so fun, flickable, responsive (God, maybe 71 degrees is ok) and resilient that you just can't help yourself hitting things, pulling monos, jumping.....so I'll be blaming myself if it breaks and buying another one
- like the last poster I was keen to buy a second frame as my geared racer and would have except I want to try a steel framed 29r - Steel Is Real

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Raced a KHS steel hardtail frame in the mid 90's - forgot how good steel can be

Bike Setup:   Anti-radar green. Talas or Vanilla at 130mm. FMF BMX style SS crank(!) running as SS or 1x8 depending.... Old Crossmaxs with XT V's or new Crossmax SL's with Hayes discs & UST

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ritch Earl a Cross Country Rider from Christchurch, New Zealand

Date Reviewed: November 7, 2006

Strengths:    Comfortable, good geometry, sweet handling, no pedalling flex

Weaknesses:    None found yet.

Bottom Line:   
Fantastic machine. i love my Switchbacks. so much i've got two. the singlespeed is set up with a 4 inch fork, which makes the steering quite flickable. In singlespeed set up the bike is light as, floats over the bumps. The geared machine is my main ride, its the large 20 inch frame, fits me good. same geometry, but with the 130mm fork laxes it out a bit more. fantastic ride. love it. they're strong, quite light, and very very comfortable for a hardtail. love them

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Native bush singletrack

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $200.00

Similar Products Used:   KHS Pro ST. Kona Kilaeua

Bike Setup:   I have 2. 18inch size: singlespeed, 01 Bombers, cheap Tektro v-brakes, On-One Mary bars, Crankbros Mallets.
20 inch size: Geared, Manitou Minute 1+3(blend of the two) forks, Shimano lx/xt and m555 hydro disks, Crankbros Eggbeaters.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by uncle benny a Cross Country Rider from nsw

Date Reviewed: October 6, 2006

Strengths:    Geometry, looks, steel ride quality, cheap

Weaknesses:    badge on headtube comes off pretty quick

Bottom Line:   
The steel frame gives a magic ride, i just cant ride alloy anymore. I didnt think there would be that much difference in the ride, but there is!
It is designed for around 125mm fork, im running 120mm and feels real nice. The angles are right on the money for trail riding, but it has quite a short top tube so you feel very in control.
If you like to ride xc hard and like to throw your bike into corners, i recommend this frame! You will have a smile on your face all day long.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anywhere with dirt and corners

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $500.00

Similar Products Used:   specialized hardrock, kona kula.

Bike Setup:   Fox float 120mm, deore/xt gearing, shimano discs, middleburn cranks

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mikey a Weekend Warrior from Adelaide,Australia

Date Reviewed: October 4, 2006

Strengths:    Tough fun bike.

Weaknesses:    None so far.

Bottom Line:   
This thing is so much fun!! It's a really fast feeling bike. A little twitchy on fast downhills, but I like that "hand full" sort of feeling. I wanted a bike that was going to be low maintenance, versatile, and not too expensive. That's what I've got! I do DH runs on this bike, XC races, dirt jumps. It's a versatile fun bike. If I were to pick at something, the paint seems to chip fairly easily. Really though, two thumbs up from me.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $320.00

Similar Products Used:   Ironhorse, Giant

Bike Setup:   Fox Van RLC, Thompson, SRAM, Raceface.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by otherself a Cross Country Rider from Owly Magna

Date Reviewed: August 25, 2006

Strengths:    British designed trusted double-butted Reynolds 520 is infinite if kept rust free - should last donkey's years unlike aluminium. Neatly welded/well designed. V-brake compatable (welcomed by me until i can afford disk brakes). Lots of tasty colour options to choose from too - not everyone wants a bright red or blue bike the other companies only seem to offer.

Weaknesses:    The only design flaw it has is the absense of rack eyelets! - if this is designed for those "all day" rides in the mountains then perhaps it would've made sense -- I was thinking of going away for a few days or even to visit Europe with tent etc - so more money needed for a 'special' rack. And yes, the stickers and front badge are pretty crap - though thats just aesthetical moaning. No problems with paint after hearing it sheds it's skin like a snake, though i'll have to report back in a year for that one.

Made in Taiwan or somewhere - not really a problem....the frame is well made....but it just makes me sick that all Industry is placed in Asian hands to cut costs whilst us Brits turn to unskilled jelly. Fred Dibnah won't be a happy bunny.


Bottom Line:   
After several months looking, I choose this frame over other British marques for these reasons: The "Prince Albert": too freeride orientated and heavier; "One-One's geared Inbred": only available in sickly baby-bib blue. I liked DMR's approach towards longevity and styling and, most of all, their somewhat updated 'old skool' preferences for steel.

From the moment you open the cardboard box you know your in for a real treat - the attention to detail is quite impressive for what it's meant to be: a budget number. The DeKerf style wishbone seatstay, fluted chainstays and shrouded dropouts are really nice touches that add to the ride quality.

It's lighter than what I expected at 2kg for the 18", too. You could go and buy a highly rated 3.4lb Kinesis frame for £50 quid cheaper but your really missing the benefits of steel - no more rear-end kicks on uneven grounds like the ultra-hard-ass-rear alu has. This frame firmly plants it's feet and does everything you throw at it - so much more assured on the rocks. It can be built into a pretty light ride (sub 11kg easily with Deore XT/Fox fork/Thomsen goodies) despite it's 500g or so weigh penalty over Easton Ultralite alu.

Overall, this is aimed at those that a pretty fed-up with other finite materials, or just for those that like the tough and comfortable ride that a steel frame has on offer. All of this is upgradable for years to come for not much money at all.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Old derelict quarry at 6am

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $290.00

Purchased At:   English cycle shop online

Similar Products Used:   A 7-year-old Easton Elite alu frame which stripped it's BB thread and was beginning to show its age - 80mm travel max, etc.

Bike Setup:   XC setup: Mostly Deore LX groupo, Bomber forks, Mavic x517 rims, Panaracer Trailblaster's, Easton EA50 bar/stem combo, Titec XC post/Bar-ends, Ti Flite saddle, Icon SPD pedals. Just over 11.5kg all up.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dan a Weekend Warrior from dee why? australia

Date Reviewed: July 2, 2006

Strengths:    steel is real baby, so hopefully it wont crack any time soon and it seems to have relativly smooth ride. I like the handling of this bike too, its fun to ride!

Weaknesses:    stickers are not clearcoated, just stuck on it seems.
cantilever bosses...who needs em.
not that much tire clearence.


Bottom Line:   
very suited to to the title "all mountain hardtail". an enjoyable bike to ride and its a capable performer in the steep and rocky sandstone terrain we have around here.
feels light compaired to my freeride bike!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   manly dam

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   trek carbon hardtail

Bike Setup:   130mm fork
xc setup

Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Switchback technique question

I have a section of trail that I just can't seem to ride. It is a downhill switchback that goes from left to right. It is a hairpin turn. On top of that the trail is really dry and loose and it is on a 45 degree slant downhill. As I approach to turn right into the switchback, my wheel keeps slid ... Read More »

True or False? - Uphill Switchback Uses Same Body Position as Track Stand

In attempting to put into words for a novice rider the proper way to maintain traction and make an uphill switchback, I boiled it down to: Learn how to track stand, then go do your uphill switchback. Does this seem like sound advice? I managed to demonstrate it, even rolling backwards a bit o ... Read More »

ibis article in Switchback magazine

Nice Ibis article in Switchback online magazine where they interview Scot Nicol: [url=http://www.switchbackmagazine-digital.com/]switchback[/url] It is a free online subscription that you can sign up for. According to the article: "I can tell you we are going to have several new bikes in ... Read More »

New switchback trail bypass

There is now a nice new switchback trail near the top of Rusty (3) Barrels. This allows for a nice in-the-saddle climb to the top. Or you can still stand-up and do the fireroad climb to the top too. Pops to the "engineers" on the design and layout.:thumbsup: BikingScottRead More »

Switchback - free digital subscription

Can't beat free... [url=http://www.switchbackmagazine-digital.com/switchback/?u1=PAL12]switchback[/url] updated this post with another magazine... [url=http://www.imbikemag.com/issue21/?Cover]Issue 21 | IMB | Free Mountain Bike Magazine Online[/url]Read More »

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