DMR's new Sled looks like a seriously capable enduro rig

It's also the first bike its ever made from something other than steel

Though arguably best known for its pedals, DMR grew out of the early noughties' dirt jump scene, with tough steel hardtails such as the Sidekick and Trailstar. Since then, DMR has introduced bikes with a broader trail riding focus, but has always kept it real and worked with steel.

Up until now, that is. Launched at the Core Bike Show, the new DMR Sled is the first aluminium framed bike it's made. With 650b wheels and 160mm of travel, it’s very much focused on the world of enduro or cruising up hills before heading back down them at maximum attack. In everything from geometry to suspension design, it’s a very different beast to the Bolt, the only previous full suspension bike from the brand.

While both bikes have a pivot around the bottom bracket, the Bolt has just the one, while the Sled is a multi-link, virtual pivot style design called ‘Orbit Link’.

Echoes of future past

The lower link pivots around the bottom bracket
The lower link pivots around the bottom bracket

If you’re looking at the outline of the bike in conjunction with the suspension design and a certain Californian brand springs to mind, you’d be forgiven; you also might need to get out more. The reason for this is that DMR brought David Earle on board to help develop the bike, a highly experienced engineer who has done stints at various brands, including Praxis Works, Specialized and yes, Santa Cruz, where he designed the Nomad among other bikes.

Despite calling in the big guns, it has taken DMR around two years to develop the bike, with a range of in-house test riders putting the bike through its paces. 

Big fat collet pivots on the Orbit Link system should keep things in check
Big fat collet pivots on the Orbit Link system should keep things in check

A quick look at the geometry figures make it seem like the development time was well spent, with a decent reach of 462mm in a size large paired with nicely slack 65.5-degree head angle and a fairly steep 74-degree seat angle.

Dinky 430mm chainstays keep the back end in tight, while the 10mm bottom bracket drop should offer a planted feel. The frame gets Boost 148 hub spacing, while the threaded rather than press fit bottom bracket shell will have mechanics the world over rejoicing. You also get a chain guide as standard, which is handy as the bike is single ring only.

The bolt through rear end has the Allen key needed to open it neatly integrated
The bolt through rear end has the Allen key needed to open it neatly integrated

There will be four sizes on offer, ranging from small to extra large, and if you want a frame on its own then it’s available right now for the princely sum of £1,600 with a RockShox Monarch RT3 shock with Debonair can.

There will also be two complete bikes available from around March, starting at £3,499 for the model pictured here and going up to £3,985 for a fancier build with a X-Fusion Sweep fork rather than the RockShox unit.

We're looking forward to getting out on it as soon as possible to find out whether this Sled will be delivering joy and happiness the world over — or just delivering us into a hedge, at speed.

Jon Woodhouse

Technical Editor, UK
Jon's been working with bikes for as long as he can remember, from spanner monkey to product tester. He's always looking out for new kit that'll give an edge when the going gets rough and is happiest experimenting with geometry, rubber and suspension.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: If it involves dirt and bikes, Jon is there, whether big days out in the mountains or steep and technical plummets in the woods. It's all good.
  • Current Bikes: Mondraker Foxy Carbon, BTR Fabrications Custom hardtail, Scott Spark 700 Plus Tuned
  • Dream Bike: Nicolai Ion 16 Longest, made from carbon
  • Beer of Choice: Franziskaner Weissbier
  • Location: Monmouth, South Wales, UK

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