I skimmed over one of the "klein hate threads" after someone told me my klein attittude xx wasn't cool. Here's a summery of some things I read:
Klein doesn't innovate like they used to.
Klein frames don't have the same dropouts as they used to.
Klein frames break often, and Trek's service sucks.
Kleins now look too much like Treks.
Kleins are now made in Taiwan.
Therefore, Kleins aren't as good as they used to be.
First of all, the adapt was a much better design than the mantra. It was just like the sugar/fuel design. The mantra was heavy and had crazy monkey motion from the rear suspension design. The Palamino as I have heard (not on message boards) is a very fun bike.
I don't know much about the dropouts, but the dropouts on the new Kleins look fine to me, along with the rest of the frame. The frame design and craftsmanship is excellent. Regarding the old dropouts, I once read in a review that it was actually a bad design because you had to be very careful when clamping in the back wheel or else, if not done a certain way, the wheel would easily "drop out" while riding.
The frames break often? One guy talking about how his frame broke, and then his buddy's frame broke... blah blah blah. It's a false generalization. I'm sure a frame from every bike company has been broken at one time or another. Trek's service policy is great, I used to work in a Trek et. all bike shop and know this first hand.
The Klein's look like Treks... wah wah wah. In my opinion, Kleins look classy, and Trek's look sporty, but that really doesn't matter.
About Klein's being foreign made, I think Klein isn't making bikes in the US anymore as of '06, but is this really a big deal? Is this going to mean they are of lesser measurable quality? No. Talk to the people from the Giant forum. And if you want to get into the ethics surrounding domestically produced goods vs. foreign produced goods, you've got another thing coming. You probably won't win this arguement.
The assertion that Kleins aren’t good bikes is scandalous, poorly justified, and ignorant. I also find it insulting. I like to think I have pretty good taste when it comes to bikes, but according to some people on these boards I certainly do not. Yeah, sure, the Klein Attitude XX, being American made (like it matters anyway), speced with full XTR and other top notch componentry, a beautiful frame, and sweet ride characteristics is just a piece of crap (end sarcasm here). I’d pay $2900 for it any day, and perhaps to someone here's dismay, I will not be putting it in the classifieds anyway.
I wouldn't trouble yourself over the drop outs.
In 1999 I bought:
'99 Klein Attitude Race
'99 Klein Adroit Race
When I got the Adroit it made little sense to ride the Attitude. I "sold" it to my brother, I'll let you know when he pays me.
The older Klein dropouts face backwards. Much like the dropouts you will see on a modern single speed. However there is only one correct spot, right up against the frame. In 7 years with these dropouts I'd say they are very easy to use, but not easier than standard dropouts.
I think they may have saved a little weight, other than that they are just a boutique quirk type thing.
Note my 1999 was post Trek purchase, but little influence (other than brand saving cash). As the partnership continued the Adroit was dropped in favour of a better Attitude, that sported the internal cable routing from the adroit, but with the more sensible 1 1/8" headset.
Klein's still use the most beautifu paint (which chips granted) of any bike company.
Oh and I've ridden recent Attitude's also, they still accelrate like rockets.
The Adept was my fav of any of the Klein FS designs. It is a shame quality issues caused them to perform a total redesign (Palimino) rather than update the Adept.
I worked in a trek / klein dealer for a few years, and I saw exactly 1 broken Attitude (a 1999 Attitude Comp - which is hanging in my garage - minus the down tube the Trek rep. had us cut out when he replaced the customers frame with a new one) and 1 broken Mantra.
I wouldn't consider that a high number of broken frames, but what do I know. I haven't worked in a LBS for years.
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