The snobbery really does wind me up, and thats coming from someone who used to sell Kleins BITD...
The older ones are definitely special, but to dismiss the post buyout models is madness, they are still excellent bikes, light stiff, great handling and well made, up until about 98 (and even maybe 99) they were still very recognisably Kleins and even if some of the passion had waned they still held on to a lot of the magic.
I spent ages looking for a the 'right' Klein for me, and you know what I was looking for? A 96-98 Pulse, yes that's right a Pulse, why?
Because it is the model closest to the buyout that has 1/18 headtube, to give me fork and headset flexibility (attitude and Adroit ruled out for this reason), normal BB shell, still uses gradient tubing, external cable housing may not be as neat but its a damn sight easier to deal with and replace, has geometry that suits rigid or 80-90mm forks equally well, is still stupidly light (and lighter than later attitudes) and rides like a Klein - great!
Later models did start to evolve into essentially duplicates of the Trek Alu frames, even using the same dropouts and tubesets towards the end and lost a lot of their individuality but they are still very very good bikes.
If my pulse ever dies I'll be looking for another one, (or maybe a slightly later attitude) in preference to the older models with their awkward BBs, headsets, crack prone seat bolts and annoying internal cable runs.
Hate me if you like but I think as actual bikes to ride and use, some of the later models are better options.
I don't hate you, just your opinion because it lacks facts.
First of if it's a 96-96 Pulse with external cable routing it's a pulse comp or whatever, which only has gradient tubing on the stays, not the whole frame, different from a Pulse and definitely less Klein. This frame was not lighter than a comparable built attitude, however the pulse/pulse II was. I've never had any issues with internal cable routing or the BBs. Cables are clean and out of the way, great for carrying your bike or just keeping them clean and as far as I'm concerned extremely easy to work with. I can insert the guides and string up a Klein in under 5 minutes. Nearly all of the BBs on my Kleins have lasted 15-20 years, so who cares how hard it is to replace them, you practically don't have to. Why do you need headset flexibility when the one built in lasts the whole life of the bike. Fork flexibility sure, that's difficult on an early Klein. But who cares when they ride so well rigid.
Furthermore, the only Kleins with cracked bolts that I've seen were due to user (idiot) error us using an undersize seatpost and making up for it by cranking down on the binder. I've had many kleins pass through my hands and less than 5% had any damage that resulted from technical / production flaws.
So, while I agree that a proper Pulse (not the comp) is quite possibly the most versatile Klein, I love my Adroit/Attitude and don't think the pulse comp is in the same league.
Fan of: Kleins, Groves, Fats & Mantiseseses
Second Spin Cycles