From Old to new. By Olly Wilkins

'After deliberating for quite some time over what colours would work best on the throwback graphics of our new Trailstar we finally decided that the Blue with the red graphics stuck in the majority of peoples minds. When I stumbled across this gem buried deep in my shed I had to bring it into work to get some shots. The comparison began!'

Olly Wilkins, Team rider and DMR Tea boy/Man

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A direct comparison is hard to do here. Things have changed since the days of the original Trailstar I found at the back of that shed. It runs on 26" wheels for a start. I think the back one was a Mavic D521. Much of the bike is comprised of some pretty legendary parts for a rider from my era. FSA Powerpro cranks, Tioga Factory DH tyres, DMR speed guide. All begged and borrowed, quite often they were bought because of the price and not necessarily the performance. This was not the case for the frame though. It quite literally had no competition at the very beginning. The geometry was unlike anything I had ridden beforehand. It worked for the jumps and downhill I had been riding perfectly. Way better than my Xc frame I had been destroying before then anyway!

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Geometry-wise the old Trailstar felt familiar. It certainly reminded me of aspects of the new one I have been riding more recently. Maybe it was a placebo effect from the shared graphics?! The cockpit felt cramped and the back end felt long by comparison but other elements felt similar. Its really no surprise, both Trailstars were designed on the very same drawing board in Damo's room (Damian Mason the designer of both the original, and today's Trailstars)

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In my eyes, nowadays The Trailstar holds a much clearer end goal in its design. The original was around when there weren't so many different disciplines and categories of riding. It fitted in perfectly as a do it all bike. If I were to compare my Jumpbike (Sect) to the original Trailstar however, it would fall short...and equally I wouldn't particularly want to ride my jumpbike down a local DH run. The new Trailstar fits into what I would consider the most all-around category. All-Mountain. The new one climbs, descends and jumps well. It doesn't descend as well as a DH bike or climb as well as an XC bike. But it does do it all confidently well, a real jack of all trades.

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With Narrow Wide rings and clutch mechs it seems like a lifetime ago that you needed to constantly worry about losing your chain! The Speed Guide was a major upgrade for me. The idea of my bike being single speed was so damn cool! Can't believe the size of that front ring though! 44T was surely big enough for my weedy child legs!

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The DMR Zip-Grip. Still sold to this day!

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That Headbadge!!

I'm going to retire this Trailstar to a better place now. I'm glad I found it and de-cobwebbed it. It reminds me of simpler times but with mixed feelings. I miss the days where there was only one type of riding and everyone did everything. Where you didn't need such specific equipment to take part in a discipline. Where suspension came in Soft, Medium or Hard settings. Where everything was simple. I DON'T miss my chain coming off and kneeing my stem though. I don't miss BB's snapping and cutting my leg. I don't miss forever worrying whether my bike is going to rattle into pieces because its held together with electrical tape and zip-ties!

All this aside, it really comes down to having fun in the woods. The fun might now be more efficient but its the same fun...and that's what matters!

Olly Wilkins, Team rider and DMR Tea boy/Man

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