British firm relaunches a classic with a twist
Need to know
- A 27.5in trail hardtail that’s compatible with a 150mm fork
- Can be upgraded to 27.5 Plus wheels using 8mm longer Swopout dropouts
- Stealth dropper routing and 1x specific
- 4130 cro-mo steel frame is available in two colours and three sizes
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, DMR has relaunched the legendary Trailstar. The original hooligan hardtail could turn its hand to just about anything — dirt jumping, trail riding, you name it — and the new bike is just as versatile, if not more so.
To replicate the ride quality of the original, and to keep the price low, it’s still made from 4130 cro-mo, but it now gets 27.5in wheels, slacker and lower geometry and a slew of contemporary frame features.
The Trailstar uses DMR’s Swopout modular dropout system. Standard dropouts are designed for 27.5in wheels, but by fitting a set of the 8mm longer dropouts (a £19.99 upgrade), and a compatible fork, you can run 27.5 Plus size tyres, or even 29er wheels.
You can also use the 8mm dropout with the standard 27.5in wheels as a geometry tweak to grow the chainstay length and wheelbase.
The DMR Trailstar made our most exciting hardtails of 2016, check out the others here
Bringing it bang up to date, the new Trailstar will only run a 1x drivetrain and, unusually for a hardtail, features internal routing for a dropper post. Our test bike came with a dialled spec — stubby 50mm DMR Defy stem, 800mm wide Wingbar and one of DMR’s comfy Stage One saddles. It even came with a stiff DMR Axe chainset with oversized 30mm spindle.
DMR claims that the Trailstar’s head angle is 66 degrees, but it actually measures 65.3 degrees! Combine this with the relatively long wheelbase and you have a bike that absolutely rips through corners. It also feels totally composed on steep stuff and has a lively and engaging ride quality. There’s also that twang of acceleration when you exit a turn that you only seem to get from a good quality steel frame.
The Trailstar is such a blast to ride that I regularly forgot I was riding a hardtail — the compliant steel rear end taking the edge off trail chatter. I still had to take my foot off the gas on the really rough stuff, though, to prevent my feet getting blown clean off the pedals.
At £499, the new Trailstar is a lot of bike for the money — you could build an awesome winter bike for just over a grand. The original was great, but this one is on a whole new level.