£3,499.99 Full-on fun machine that’s packed with promise
While DMR are better known for all things dirt jump related, they know a thing or two about wellconsidered bike and product design. The Sled, which is their second fullsuspension bike, but the first made from aluminium, is proof of this.
The Sled’s 160mm (6.3in) of travel is delivered via DMR’s ‘Orbit Link’ suspension system, which uses a pair of counterrotating links to connect the swingarm to the mainframe. What sets this apart from many other ‘virtual pivot point’ systems is that the lower link rotates around the Sled’s bottom bracket (BB). Controlling all of that travel is a RockShox Monarch RT3 shock, with a three-position lever that lets you lock it out for long climbs.
An upper chain guide from Praxis Works is attached to the lower link and rotates around the chainring as the Sled moves through its travel. Other notable frame details include a threaded BB, collet-style pivot hardware and 148mm rear axle spacing. There’s room for a 2.4in tyre in the rear triangle. Cables are routed internally through the front triangle and loop out around the head tube – so you may find your knees clipping them when climbing out of the saddle.
The bar, stem, cranks and saddle all come from DMR and are great bits of kit. We did swap the slide-on DMR Sect grips for non-mushroom lockon alternatives though. X-Fusion supply the dropper post, which comes with a neat, easy-to-reach remote. While we had no issues dropping the post, it occasionally needed assistance to return to full extension. We really appreciated the massive 2.5in WTB Convict front tyre in their ‘High Grip’ compound, when tackling rough terrain.
Considering its 14.8kg weight, the Sled pedals really quite well, thanks to the way in which the Orbit Link suspension works. In fact, we never once felt the need to reach for the shock’s lockout lever when climbing. Get gravity behind the Sled and it’s almost impossible not to have a huge grin on your face. Though it feels reassuringly solid, it’s still agile and incredibly lively when it counts, and eager to make the most out of every take-off or trail obstacle you encounter. The BB may not be the lowest, but the DMR is no slouch through the turns, where the only limiting factor is the low-treaded Trail Boss rear tyre, which struggles when things get a bit boggy.
When it comes to the suspension, we ended up adding three volume spacers to the shock to increase the progression towards the end of the stroke. This left the bike feeling supple on less demanding trails, where it delivered grip, confidence and just enough rampup to swallow big landings when it counted. Dive into something a little more rugged, though, and things aren’t quite as straightforward. Over repeated big hits, the rear end can get a little overwhelmed at times. This forces your weight over the front of the bike, which becomes tiring on long runs.
Thankfully, DMR say this is something they’re already looking to rectify. The Sled is still a blast to ride, and they’ve done a good job with the angles and overall sizing.
While DMR’s original Bolt full-susser was steel, the Sled’s frame is aluminium
The Sled is a good shape but the suspension needs tweaking to get the best from it