DMR have massive dirt jumping heritage in the UK, with some of the country’s best known riders having ridden their bikes and played a part in developing new steeds. The Reptoid 9SPD is their entry-level geared bike. It certainly looks the part and it offers a decent level of fun – we can see rippers everywhere reaching their best on it.
Ride & handling: Made for fun
The Reptoid frame is definitely one for smaller riders – 5ft 6in and shorter – with a 560mm top tube and short 1,025mm wheelbase. When we took it to the BMX track and dirt jumps the DMR shone. Although it’s heavy (16.32kg/36lb, without pedals), it didn’t feel like it when it came to spending time in the air – it felt balanced and stable, and really inspired our confidence for going large.
Marzocchi’s 80mm-travel DJ fork performed well throughout the test, and exceeded our expectations. The rebound adjuster had a good range and there was a mechanical preload adjuster too, although we found that made minimal difference to how the fork behaved. The wheels proved capable of taking a good pounding too, without any sign of weakness. It might not be light, but the DMR certainly put up with some serious abuse.
Manualling the bike was easy too, and it was instantly comfortable for every rider who swung their leg over it, the short chainstays (approx 410mm) coming into play there. There’s no hiding the fact that the DMR isn’t built for riding up hills.
That said, when we did take it out for a trail ride, we were reasonably surprised. The handlebar felt comfortable straight away. The seatpost is jump-bike-short and the saddle is made from solid plastic, so even if you could sit on it, you wouldn’t really want to!
When we were stood up and pedalling though, the DMR moved along pretty nicely thanks to its fast-rolling DMR Moto Digger tyres – although we wouldn’t want to get out anywhere with much mud and slop on those bad boys. All these factors combined made any kind of singletrack riding more of a chore than it was worth – but singletrack makes up a tiny proportion of what the DMR is likely to be ridden on.
The Microshift drivetrain did grind our gears though. The lever for finding a lower gear is great, but the upshift button seems to have been deliberately positioned in a difficult to reach spot – we had to totally remove our thumbs from the bar to be able to use it at all. A real disappointment, but the Microshift arrangement is compatible with Shimano shifting setups, so it’s not the end of the world if the shifter needs changing.
Frame & equipment: Steel chassis, good fork and decent own-brand parts
The Reptoid is made from chromoly steel, with a heat-treated down tube and a gusseted standard 1.125in head tube. The single, tiny frame size has a 350mm seat tube, with a 25.4mm seatpost. The dropouts are horizontal – so you can convert to singlespeed in the future if you wish – and the mech is attached with an adapter that bolts onto the axle on the bottom of the dropout. It makes the wheel a pain to remove, but we like the fact that the hanger is replaceable.
Wheels are courtesy of DMR, with Deevee rims and colour-coded green anodised hubs with nutted axles front and rear – along with the mech hanger adapter, these make wheel removal a bit of a kerfuffle. Shifting is provided by a nine-speed Microshift setup, with a single ring up front hung from Truvativ Ruktion cranks and a chain device to keep the chain on.
DMR’s own alloy Wingbar and BMX-style stem have a 25.4mm clamping interface, which is something we tend to see less of these days thanks to the 31.8mm standard having become the norm. Tektro mechanical disc brakes provide a decent amount of stopping power through 160mm rotors. Unusually, the Reptiod comes with a set of pedals we were actually comfortable using – the well-proven DMR V8s.
DMR reptoid 9spd: dmr reptoid 9spd Steve Behr
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.
Mechanical Disc brakes feel great
Marzocchi DJ fork comes up trumps
Fast-rolling tyres that generally hold their own
Only one (small) frame size
Microshift shifter isn’t easy to use
Uncomfortable, hard saddle