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This is an “American Dream” type of success story about two British lads who invented a better bicycle pedal and turned their idea into a world-class bike manufacturing company. DMR Bikes are made in England.
That is where Damian Mason and Matt Ryley are from – two young men who started their manufacturing business DMR Bikes in the back of a racing stable. Now they build and sell mountain and trail bikes.
WHAT ARE DMR BIKES?
DMR Bikes are manufactured at a facility located in West Sussex, United Kingdom. DMR Bikes was started by Damian Mason and Matt Ryley in autumn of 1995. The letters DMR in DMR Bikes stands for Damian and Matt Racing. Damian Mason and Matt Ryley both undertook degrees in product design and went to work in Taiwan for a frame and fork manufacturer.
When the job in Taiwan came to an end, they came back and set up shop in the back office of a friend’s BMX shop at Golding Barn Raceway. It was their production of the flat pedal that gave the company its footing.
EARLY FLAT PEDALS
In the early days, when most mountain bikers were still struggling to keep their feet on the pedals with toe clips and straps, influential riders like Hans Rey demonstrated superior skills that relied on the freedom of flat pedals.
As the sport was diversifying rapidly, it wasn’t always pedaling efficiency that riders looked for–slalom, trials and downhill all relied on freedom on the bike. This created a huge demand for flat pedals.
Damian and Matt saw the upcoming demand and met the challenge head-on. They produced their first model V8 and model V12 pedals from an open mold. But the demand for flat pedals in mountain biking was so great they started designing their own pedals and had their own tooling made.
Ultimately it was the DMR Bikes pedal that put them firmly on the mountain bike map.
MOVING ON TO BIKES
DMR Bikes’ next major move was to make the tough Trailstar frame, which gave dirt jump mountain bikers a dedicated frame when most were using extra small motocross frames. Damian and Matt then found themselves at the forefront of a rapidly expanding mountain bike industry. In 20 years time, Damian and Matt have built the original pedal manufacturing company into the DMR that they have today.
Besides the bikes themselves, DMR Bikes currently produces two full suspension bikes, one hardtail, and one jump bike, as well as pedals, bare frames, wheels, rims, and components. You can also get a DMR Bikes hoodie or a tee shirt.The DMR Bikes’ slogan is: “By riders, for riders”
The DMR Bikes’ Sled comes in two different models – you can get the GX Eagle, which is a Sram GX Eagle 12 speed, or the SLX model, which is a Shimano SLX 11spd. Both bikes come with Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5 tires.
The bikes are available in four sizes to accommodate different riders. They carry a Slack, Long and Low geometry that begs to descend and is confident to climb. The Sled has a custom Rock Shox Monarch Debonair Shock to dampen the blow, and the rear arm swings on a Virtual pivot delivered through DMR Bikes’ own ‘Orbit link’ suspension design.
This was developed with David Earle from Sotto design.The alloy frame’s durability has been proven by DMR Bikes’ Team riders in 2017-18 seasons. SLED extracts the fun out of every turn and a top speed from every decent. It is, “Refined enough for big mountain missions, while burly enough to satisfy even the most air-hungry inner child.” It is available in Metallic Black or InfraRed, and you can get optional decal sets available in a range of colors.
If you send them a request with a self-addressed envelope, they will send you some free decals and stickers!
The bike costs about £3,500.00 ($4,700). You can order it direct from DMR in the U.K., or you can go to their website and select “stocklist.” That will give you a map of places where you can buy them. The map is not clear – you will probably have to send them an email to get it sorted out.
HOW IT COMPARES
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare:
- Radon Swoop 170
- Giant Reign Advanced 0
- Transition Patrol Carbon 2
|EASE OF USE||These bicycles are easy to use and a dream to ride.|
|ASSEMBLY TIME||The bike will be delivered 95% built. However, you need to bear in mind that the rotor needs fitting to the front wheel, and the wheel needs fitting. In addition, you’ll need to align the front brake and the handlebars need fitting to the stem. You will also need to deal with the X-Fusion Manic Dropper post, which needs fitting, and the cable set-up (manual included). The SLED bike has been PDI checked prior to packing. After it is assembled, it is recommended to take it to your local bike dealer for final tune-up and adjustment. Some people have the bike shipped directly to a local dealer and have them handle the whole process. This will take some extra time, so we marked down on assembly time.|
|DESIGN QUALITY||The design quality of this bike is second to none. It is modern, robust, and benefits from a superior and innovative design that will appeal to the masses.|
|WARRANTY||The DMR Bikes’ frame carries a 2-year manufacturers warranty, against manufacturing faults and defects (paint and wear and tear items such as bearings/bushings are not covered under this guarantee).|
- Outstanding grip character
- The bike keeps its line through root and rock
- The rear collapses in its travel all too easily
- Does not maintain a good shape to the geometry when braking into corners
RADON SWOOP 170
Radon bikes are made by Spitzenbikes in Grafschaft Germany. The Radon Swoop is a full-suspension, aluminum frame bike. The front suspension has 170mm of travel. The stiff 27.5 “wheels, wide gear ratios and flip chip variable geometry ensure you and your bike can adapt to any adventure imaginable. The Swoop 170 Frame has a very novel and unique feature.
The frame has flip chip technology that lets you adapt the geometry of the Swoop 170 in seconds by using the adjustable suspension to change head and seat angles. You can then match the bike perfectly to you and your route; tour, trail or park. The super enduro SWOOP 170 is at the ready whether for daring free-ride sessions at the bike park, steep climbs or elbowing your way through the Megavalanche!
|PRICE – $$||About $3000. This bike is available online from Bike-Discount. Bike-Discount does not ship bikes to the United States. They only ship bikes to Europe.|
|EASE OF USE||These bicycles are easy to use and are perfect for those that want a combination of simplicity and innovative design.|
|ASSEMBLY TIME||If you order it online, it comes in a box mostly assembled. You will need to install only the seat, the handlebars, the front wheel, and the pedals. You’ll be riding in anywhere from 30 (skilled bike mechanic) to 120 minutes (no prior experience building bikes). Pay special attention to make sure that the handlebar bolt is tightened well. If this bolt comes loose while riding, you will lose your steering. Also, make sure the seat post is good and tight. After it is assembled, it is recommended to take it to your local bike dealer for final tune-up and adjustment. Some people have the bike shipped directly to a local dealer and have them handle the whole process. This will take some extra time, so we marked down on assembly time.|
|DESIGN QUALITY||The design quality is second to none, and the novel flip chip system that allows you to change the frame geometry is something that probably no other bike has. This makes it a cut above many others and is a key benefit for those who are serious about biking.|
|WARRANTY||You get two years of warranty for carbon frames, beginning from the day of purchase. Above warranty, you get five years of crash-replacement service, also beginning from the date of purchase. If the frame breaks in this period, you can hand it back to the manufacturer with a detailed description of what happened. You will get the exchange frame for a discounted price.|
- The multi-position geometry
- Class-leading ride quality and handling
- Excellent balance between flex and stiffness
- Super lightweight
- Warranty covers crash-breaking the frame
- They do not ship to the United States
GIANT REIGN ADVANCED 0
Giant Reign Advanced is made by GIANT Manufacturing Co/ Ltd. in Taichung City, Taiwan. Giant is the world’s largest producer of high-quality bikes. The Giant Reign Advanced 0 is a carbon fiber bike with an aluminum rear swing-arm.
It steers on a DVO custom-tuned Diamond fork and rides on Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5 tires. The gears are SRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed. It comes with a RockShox suspension seat post, and it has super stopping SRAM 200mm / 180mm, hydraulic disc brakes.
|PRICE – $$$||About $8300. You can buy this bike from any Giant dealer, and if you want a warranty, the Giant dealer will have to assemble it for you.|
|EASE OF USE||These bicycles are easy to use as they come with many features designed to make riding enjoyable and comfortable.|
|ASSEMBLY TIME||If you order it online, it comes in a box mostly assembled. You will need to install the seat, the handlebars, the front wheel, and the pedals yourself but there are instructions. Assembly can take from half an hour to a few hours based on your skills and confidence levels. Pay special attention to ensure that the handlebar bolt is tightened well. If this bolt comes loose while riding, you will lose your steering, which can pose a hazard. Also, you need to make sure the seat post is on properly. Once assembled, it is recommended to take it to your local bike dealer for final tune-up and adjustment.|
|DESIGN QUALITY||The design quality of this bike is excellent, as it boasts high quality and solid construction. However, the price is quite high, which can be a problem for some. You will not be disappointed with the design or features of this bike.|
|WARRANTY||With this bike you get a lifetime warranty on the frame, a 10-year warranty on rigid forks, and a 1-year warranty on paint finish and decals and all other original parts, including rear shock linkages, but excluding non-Giant brand parts, suspension forks, and rear shock absorbers. The stated warranty of their original manufacturer covers exclusively all non-Giant brand parts, suspension forks, and rear shock absorbers.ASSEMBLY REQUIRED WHEN PURCHASEDThis warranty applies only to bicycles and framesets purchased new from an Authorized Giant Retailer and assembled by that retailer at the time of purchase.|
- Excels on the steeper tracks
- The wheels provide a zippy feeling
- Well-tuned shocks
- Slightly vague feeling on flatter terrain
TRANSITION PATROL CARBON 2
Transition Patrol Carbon 2 is made by the Transition Bicycle Company in Bellingham, Washington. You can get a Patrol carbon or a Patrol alloy although the alloy is cheaper. You get SRAM GX Eagle shifting, an SRAM Descendent Carbon crank, and SRAM Centerline 180mm disc brakes for super quick stopping.
It rides on the world famous Maxxis Minion 27.5 tires. For your support, you get a RockShox Reverb Stealth suspension seat post. This bike comes in TR Blue and a cool military green color called Sagebrush Gray.
|PRICE – $$-$$$||This bike is a discontinued model. It has been superseded by the 2019 Patrol Carbon X01 in the $6000 range. But you can still buy one of the leftover Carbon 2s for around $3600 to $4600 if you shop around.|
|EASE OF USE||The innovative design and construction of these bikes means they are easy to use and a pleasure to ride. These are bikes that are constructed to the highest standards to ensure you get an excellent all round riding experience.|
|ASSEMBLY TIME||If you order it online, it comes in a box mostly assembled. As with other models, you will need to install only the seat, the handlebars, the front wheel, and the pedals once you receive it. During installation, you should pay special attention to make sure that the handlebar bolt is tightened well and the seat post is good and tight. This will help to avoid accidents and hazards. After it is assembled, it is recommended to take it to your local bike dealer for final tune-up and adjustment to ensure safety.|
|DESIGN QUALITY||The design quality of this bike is excellent as it uses innovative design as well as high-quality parts. You can look forward to a modern, sleek, and practical design that will make riding all the more enjoyable.|
|WARRANTY||You get 3-years on the frame only. You must register your frame on the site with your serial number to qualify for a warranty.|
- Gives a lively ride
- Designed well for taller people
- Super low bottom bracket, making it calculated in the corners.
- The low-centered weight provides phenomenal grip
- Very weak warranty
All the bikes in this review are incredible bikes that performed magnificently. We think some of them could improve their warranties. We also believe the Giant is way overpriced. We love the “American Dream” story (even though they are British) of two boys who started out making flat pedals for bikes and turned the project into a major enterprise.
Damian and Matt. We salute you. Your pedals are fantastic and your bikes are great. For this reason, we recommend the DMR Bikes Sled.