BITD the green white red attitudes were uber-cool. Some of the paint jobs are very nice. That advert is fantastic. But then... mediocrity, in house Trek rebadged as something cool.
So far no vote. They were fantastically cool, but so uncool later. Don't hear any rave reviews of their later/latest stuff.
Any chance of a "they were, but then weren't, so in balance neither" voting option?
I agree that this vote can be a little tough as a taking-the-big-picture-view. To me, both pre-Trek and post-Trek Kleins have their virtues and vices - a few examples listed below:
: unique-ness (fat tubes, light weight, eye catching paint, internal cable routing; smooth welds; the way they ride; proprietary handlebar/stems & forks; etc.); million mile warranty for original owners; these Kleins were never considered a "me too" bike;
: retail prices were high; the neon paint was prone to fading with time & sun exposure; there were cases of cracks in the seat tube around the quick release and weld failures at the top/down tubes and head tube joints; warranty claims were often dismissed by Klein as "customer abuse"; wait-times for bikes - it could take anywhere from 2 to 6 months to get a Klein depending on options ordered;
: eye catching paint, internal cable routing (except full sus models & disc brakes); lower retail prices; shorter customer wait times; warranty claims for original Klein owners were more often satisfied by Trek
: not as unique as the earlier models; fewer options for customers to make the bike their "own"; fewer proprietary parts (MC2 became MC3 + 3rd party stem and no Klein-made forks); integrated "Aheadset" and BB bearings were eliminated; performance & ride of suspension models was often criticized
Taking the big picture, Klein made an impact on the entire MTB industry. True, the post-Trek models don't command the price premium of the earlier Kleins but keep in mind, they also didn't cost as much when new so why should they command the same types of prices?
Say what you will but even today, you never see an older or newer Klein being simply thrown away in a garbage bin no matter how scratched & dented the frame is. You can't say that about most 1990's MTB frames can you?