With twenty nine inch wheels and 120mm of travel, the updated 29er from Turner is for everyone who loves the 29 inch wheel characteristics and now can utilize those big wheels with a class leading 120mm of DW-link travel. David Turner and Dave Weagle really did the homework on the Sultan. Carefully blending the dynamics of rider positioning with the special antisquat needs of the 29 inch wheeled bike. Special attention was paid to the relationship between bottom bracket height, chainstay length and DW-link placement resulting in super efficient power transfer through those big wheels, yet always fully active suspension that devours everything mother Earth has in front of it.
Strengths: Great ride, hooks up well on climbs, smooth descents and is much quicker than other 29'ers I've ridden.
Weaknesses: A little and it shipped with really bad Continental 29er XKing tires shipped with the bike and the poor customer service of Turner.
Bike is great. However it shipped with Conti 29er XKing 2.4 tires that are made in India and are terrible. They would not seal with Stan's, Caffe Latex or Trek's LTR sealant. The kept weeping along the sidewall.I called Turner and they said "be patient", they always had to mount those tires a few days before use to give the sealant a chance to work but they would seal eventually. No. After sealing them many times with various sealants and even letting them sit horizontally over several nights, they still wouldn't hold air. You could actually see the problem - lots of pin holes along the sidewall. An Internet search revealed this is a known defect with the made in India tires. After two weeks of frustration I called Turner back and was told I just didn't know how to seal them. They gave suggestions and I told them I had done all that they were suggesting. They then said all I could do was call Conti. I told them that was unacceptable and no LBS would treat a customer that way. They finally said their best "offer" would be to credit me with their cost of the tire and I could buy another one locally. I asked them what that amount was and they said $17.00! Thanks, guys. This bike is tied with, IMO, the Santa Cruz Tallboy for best 29er tail bike. I recommend the Santa Cruz based on their customer service.
Favorite Trail: 401Trail, Black Mountain, Mo Heinous, Betty Heinous
Duration Product Used: 1 mo.
Purchased At: Turner
Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Tallboy; Trek Super Fly 100; Trek Rublefish
Bike Setup: Fork: Fox 34 CTD FIT Kashima, Shock: Fox Evo Kashima, Drivetrain; Shimano XT, Brakes: Shimano XT, Wheels: Stan's ArchEx w/ Hope hubs, Cockpit: Thomson stem & seat post, WTB saddle & Race Face bars
Date Reviewed: January 30, 2013
Strengths: nice riding experience - good fit to my style of cross country rides, very few single treks ( and these rare ones are from the 'flowing' type ) -
Weaknesses: Turner post sale service, very weak warranty - when the seat tube frame welding ( right above the crank ) ripped up.
The importer recognized it as a warranty 'legit' defect, ( and to his only credit I must say that it was 1 month after expiration of the warranty) but then the small print, wherever they came from, popped up: a shipping and handling fees for the imported frame (500 $ ) , the suspension is not included in the warranty so it was dismantled from the cracked frame and put in the new one, cost of moving the bikes systems from the cracked frame to the new one were an additional 500 $ ( rear wheel change between model 2010 and 2012 etc. etc.).
To make it clear - this costs would occur even if the frame had broken inside the 2 years warranty period.
I asked, in mountain bike forums, about similar practices and got the opposite: when the defect was recognized as caused by design/production - Full warranty was given, This, apparently, does not apply to Turner.
I will not recommend it to any of my friends, and will buy a different bike after this one goes to where all mountain bikes go.
I'm disappointed from the service quality of Turner bikes, I expected more from a 'boutique' bikes manufacturer that puts a slogan of "Quality Without Compromise" - as always talk is cheap.
Strengths: Solidly built frame. Anodized finish and laser etching look killer. 44 mm head tube and ISCG tabs. 142 x 12 rear axle. Quality of suspension travel. Geometry spot on for trail work. Good bottom bracket height. Solid derailleur hanger...never going to bend it. Full length cable housing uses screw in holders instead of zip ties. Bomb proof pivots. Made in the USA.
Weaknesses: Solidly built frame comes with a bit of a weight penalty, not a big negative in my book however. A bit expensive, but that's what happens when it says Made in USA on it. Solid derailleur hanger...never going to bend it. Rear tire clearance.
This is not my first Turner, it is however my first DW Link Turner. I purchased this frame new at the beginning of the year and haven't regretted it for a single mile. Out of the box the bike was stunning, the finish is deep and rich, attention to detail in the machined bits and the welding is top notch, I could find no flaws. I did have to clean out some blast media from the bottom bracket but the frame comes with a warning sticker attached that tells you to do just that. Bike went together just fine with nothing out of spec or weird. Frame with shock weight came in at 7.5 pounds.
I have the bike set up with a Rock Shox Reba RLT Ti, set to 120 mm travel. SRAM X.0 2 x 10 drivetrain, with 22-36 chain rings. Use the X.0 "AM" front derailleur and you shouldn't have any problems getting it set up properly, the band will be right against the weld down there. Gamut P30 chain guide keeps the chain where it aught to be. King hubs, Stan's Flow Rims, and Schwalbe Nobby Nic in 2.35" keep things rolling. Build weight was 29.5 with a dropper post.
First few rides were great but I did develop a creak from the back end, after reading around I learned the DW link was prone to this. Worked with my bike for a while on it, and discovered it was actually the seat stay pivots. The shafts were a tad short, called Turner CS and had new shafts in a week and a silent bike the rest of the year. Maintenance is straight forward, pump is some grease once in a while and go ride.
Also had a problem initially with the original Fox RL, felt kind of harsh off the top and didn't like to move through the top part of the travel. Replaced with a Push Tuned Float RP3 and it was much better! Suspension travel is smooth but not overly plush, more sport touring car than Cadillac. The stroke is controlled and never bottoms harshly, it never feels like your using as much travel as the o-ring is telling you that you did. Pedal bob is almost non existent when seated, and barely noticeable when standing. There is a bit of pedal kick back when the suspension goes deep if your in the granny ring, but in all honesty how often are you taking big hits in the granny ring?
Handling feels like a typical Turner, neutral all the way around. The wheel base is long and the bottom bracket was a bit lower than I was used to and the ends of my cranks bear testament to that. It didn't have the initial floppy feeling front end that I was used to from other 29ers which I liked right off the bat. This bike handles remarkably well through tight single track, it's actually really fun on tight trails and destroys wide open trails like they're nothing. Lean into the corner let the tires catch an edge and your gone. The only place it seems to suffer is in super tight switch backs, a symptom of the long wheel base. Downhill the suspension does it's job, soaks up the hits, stays level and even, and keeps the tires on the ground. Frame stiffness, especially for the main triangle is outstanding, but it's not so stiff that it feels overly harsh or ricochets off rocks and roots like a lot of the carbon frames I've ridden tend to do. As a bigger guy, 220 lbs in gear having a stiff frame is huge and this frame delivers. I am not a strong climber, tends to come with the "big guy" status, but this bike crawls up a hill amazingly well, middle gear climbs are the smoothest, granny gear grunts introduce a bit of a catch on roots and sharp edges in the first part of the travel but seem to force the rear tire into the ground harder. This bike begs to be pushed hard, jumping it is even fun! One caveat, rear tire clearance could be better, but the Nic in 2.35 is a bit larger than average and the rear end design kind of limits tire clearance a bit.
After my first year on this bike the pivots show no hints of wear in them, just tore them down today for some end of year maintenance and I honestly could have left them alone. One other note, I do use Manitou Prep-M in the pivots rather than the Super Lube that came in them from the factory, I feel the Prep-M flows better through the pivots better, but is hard to find since they stopped making it. Some of the pivot hardware shows some corrosion and discoloring...minor thing that I don't notice unless I'm looking.
Overall this is a very solid trail bike that could just as easily get you through an Enduro style race as it could an all day trail ride, and maybe get you through a 24 hour race with some attention to the build to get the weight down. And if your a bigger guy this bike definitely deserves a closer look and at very least a test ride.
Similar Products Used: Fisher Super Fly, Niner RIP and Jet, Santa Cruz Tallboy
Bike Setup: 2012 Turner Sultan, Push Tune Fox RP3, Rock Shox Reba RLT Ti, SRAM X.0 2 x 10, Gamut Chain Guide, Chris King/ Stan's Flow Wheels, Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.35"
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: November 6, 2012
Strengths: No flex at all (im 208), stable in the air, can be ridden in just about all conditions extremely fast and still huck off a drop. Unique design and look that you just cant find anywhere else. Great customer service. Can call Turner and get an answer right away. Great clearance and climbs very well even on the steep loose stuff. Plus you are supporting a product made here in the US. Cant find that too much these days.
Weaknesses: Front derail location a little odd and gives some cable rub. Some may claim a little heavy but if you are riding this bike for it's intentions that is not an issue at all.
Great all around bike. I can ride this from the smooth rolling local trails in town with some dirt jumps to the rocky tombstone strewn trails up in the mountains, drop it off a 5' huck through the dh trails, then climb right up the mountain no issues. I have even raced it umongst hardtails and gave them a run for their buck. They wont get even close to you when you start moving. Granted it was a 24hr race but was still competitive enough to make the stand. I recommend this to anyone who is in the market for a USA made bike that can go the distance without issue on any IMBA Epic ride. Staying on for 30+ miles no issue. Cant say enough about the bike. Would love to try the Burner someday!
Similar Products Used: Specialized Stumpjumper, 5 Spot, C Dale 650B Rush.
Bike Setup: Fox 34, XT, Stans Flow, Hope Hubs.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: November 2, 2012
Strengths: The DW Link it really does what it suppose to, the suspension works wonderful if is tuned right.
Weaknesses: In my own opinion, the formula brakes are kind of stift versus the XT I'm not sure if they have to brake-in but I really found a hard time to stop after a high speed descent.
I have ride about 4 different brands some were good, until I ride the sultan I would not go back to the other brands! The turner sultan has the most stable descent, uphill pedals like a hard tail, it feels like riding a very luxury car.
Strengths: I have the 2012 Turner Sultan size large. it is a blend of XTR components. Stans ArchEx wheels and a FOX 34 Float 140. I have been really impressed with how this bike rides. I have been impressed with how plush this bike feels. The suspension feels endless on rocky descents. In addition, it is very stable at high speed descents. As many have mentioned, this bike is very efficient when it comes to pedaling. I have been impressed with how well this bike climbs, particularly, on steep climbs. The front end never wanders even on the steepest climbs. I have also been presently surpised wtih how well this bike corners. I find that I am able to move through corners at relatively high speeds without fear of the wheels breaking contact with the trail. Overall, the Sultan has a nice balanced stable feel. It is a do it atll 29er trail bile
Weaknesses: None at this point
Overall a great 29er. I hightly recommend to anyone looking for a stable and solid 29er.
Strengths: Lean and efficient pedaler but with deep useable 5.5"+ of travel. For the amount of travel I can't believe how well it pedals and climbs. Very little rise from the front end even with a 140mm fork. Night and day over other 4 bar designs I've ridden and I can't believe how well the DW link works and how stiff and powerful the frame feels. Second is the head angle at 69 degrees, this bike also completely descends like a champ.
This is arguably the best all around widest ranging 29er trail bike I've ever ridden and I've ridden a lot of different bikes including the current and 2013 crop of carbon 29ers.
Weaknesses: A couple but all are justifiable:
- Slightly heavy versus some of the carbon options. This said, I still built a 2XL at under 29 lbs (a Rocky Mountain Element 29er 970 carbon weighs 28lbs also though, FYI) so it is comparable when you start placing emphasis on better components.
- Expensive, but a beauty and the attention to detail is spectacular. Plus its made in the USA and when you call Turner you're talking to the enthusiasts you're supporting with your purchase.
- Long wheelbase, but not a lot of options around this if you want a bike of this size with this travel and this capability. This said, at first I thought the long chain stays were a liability from reading on the forums, but after just a couple rides and learning the bike, they actually handle great and are the perfect length that lets you climb great even with tall handlebars and a long travel fork (140mm). After some time on this bike I would be hard pressed to actually say I'd want shorter chainstays. The front of the bike rises as you'd like but stays planted on tough and technical climbs.
This Turner Sultan is built up as a lightweight long travel trailbike. Honestly, I bought the bike because I'm a taller guy and I thought it would handle like ass because its so big, but bought it anyway because it was the bike I "should" be on. However, once I built up this bike, I couldn't believe how well it performed and how it felt, it completely surprised me. This particular bike uses the 2013 140mm 34mm travel Fox Float fork, all XT or lighter components and at 2XL comes in at just under 29 lbs (no pedals), which is spectacular. With tubeless and relatively light rims (NoTubes Flow) and paying attention to tire weight (I'm using Nobby Nic) the wheels move well and the bike feels light and agile. As mentioned above I was able to build a 2XL for less than 29 lbs. That is completely acceptable to me versus the carbon bikes.
The biggest thing I noticed about the bike is its capabilities both climbing and descent. 5.5" of deep smooth travel with the Fox RP23, but it has that initial kick of the DW Link that makes climbing more efficient than any other 5"+ bike I've ridden other than other similar designs. Long multi-hour climbs in the western US are fast and efficient. It feels equally as good and efficient as some 4" 29er race bikes I've ridden including Carbon. But the build is powerful and indestructible and completely heavy duty. Basically completely embodying the spirit and the design of Turners as "trail bikes."
But on the descents that deep travel, the 69 degree head angle, the powerful stiff 140mm 34mm Fox fork, and the big 29er wheels make this bike **hungry** for terrain. It just eats it up. It corners on rails. The bike is the perfect trail bike, balanced and feels great, and as I mentioned above, I couldn't believe how well the bike performed once together. I'll be hard pressed for a number of years to find a bike that is more all around capable and enjoyable as this bike.
Strengths: Durability, Quality, Stifness, Smooth, great lines
Weaknesses: cable routing for the joplin seatpost cable
I bought my Sultan about 6 months ago and man what a difference. I was riding a Santa Cruz Nomad and a Specialized 29er and since buying this bike I have let the other two bike go. this bike can handle anything I throw at it and then some. I am about 200 pounds and wanted a bike that covered all types of riding and man did Turner deliver. I was surprised at the pedaling efficiency right off the bat and as I got more miles in I really loved the handling. Big thumbs up to Turner and their team!
a Cross Country Rider
from Baltimore, MD USA
Date Reviewed: June 14, 2011
Strengths: Smmooooooooooth! I'm 6'3", I'm riding an XL frame. This is the first bike, soft or hardtail that really fit me. It's so good at everything that I almost forget I'm on a bike, I just will things to happen and they do! The travel is amazing, the DW link & Fox shock don't bob, even when going uphill. It's not a light frame but when you are fresh after an all day ride and want to go out for more miles, who cares about a pound or two? Weight weenies have swung a leg over my bike and have come away impressed... there's more to a bike's performance than the number that comes up on a scale. This is such a balanced bike, I can't say enough good things about it.
All other full suspension bikes I've ridden produced rear brake jacking... especially the Trek Superfly, & G.F. HiFi Delux and even the RIP 9 (which has a rear triangle similar to the DW link. With the Sultan, I can mash the brakes and the bike stays absolutely FLAT. Since I'm a top heavy, long torso big man, I'm sensitive to my weight transferring toward the front of the bike. It may be the DW link, it may be the slacker headtube, but this bike is very stable overall and particularly under heaby braking.
Weaknesses: None... ok, the BB seems a little low, have scraped a few logs.
This is the first XC bike I've built from scratch & assembled in my garage. I was only able to afford it by knowing what I wanted and by collecting parts a little at a time on eBay. While expensive, it was spec'd out nicer, cost less, & weighs less than the "pro" option on the Turner website. (though that build is a hell of a bike)
Bottom Line: "well worth every penny". In this case I got MORE than what I paid for. Super smooooth, very comfortable, great acceleration and it makes me want to ride longer and more often. Reviews say this is neither an XC race bike or an All Mountain dropper... I don't care what you call it... It just works, I'm faster on this, my race times are lower, I have more confidence bombing down hills and off drops. If you can swing it... BUY THIS BIKE!
Similar Products Used: 2010 Trek Superfly 29r, 2010 G.F. Rig 29r Hardtail, 2009 G.F. HiFi Delux, 2009 Niner Rip 9, 2009 Turner Sultan rental at "Over the Edge" in UT, 2006 Kona King Supreme 26', 2006 Kona Kula Supreme 26" Hardtail, Cannondale F500 Headshox Hardtail.
Bike Setup: Except XTR front Derailleur it's a full Sram XX, w/26-39t crankset. (Dave Turner reccommends the XTR front derailleur as he feels it shifts better with the XX crank. Front Derailleur must be modified! It's a 5 minute proceedure with a Dremel tool. Instructions are included with frame or on line.)
2010 Fox Talas 29 Fork
Easton 29 Haven 15thru axle wheelset
Chris King Red Anno Aheadset
Crank Brothers Cobalt 11 Carbon Handlebars
Crank Brothers Cobalt 11 Carbon Seatpost
Crank Brothers Candy 3 Blue Anno pedals
Crank Brothers Cobalt 3 110 Stem
Crank Brothers Red Split QR seatpost collar
Crank Brothers Red Split QR reat skewer
WTB Shadow V Rocket Ti Saddle
WTB 2.3 VelociRaptor Tubeless 29 tires
Ergon Carbon Pro Gripset
a Cross Country Rider
from bangor pa usa
Date Reviewed: May 19, 2011
Strengths: this bike is confidence inspiring, keep those big wheels moving and there's nothing you wont clear. pivot journal berings far superior for this aplication
Weaknesses: If you are a weight weenie look at another rig this is a trailbike . Built with the proper components this bike is the ultimate trail machine.
This bike is serious fun , I live on the east coast (rocky, technical , plenty of climbing) this bike for me is the perfect complement for my riding style.
Bike Setup: Full Chris king, wtb speed v seat , gravity dropper post 3inch, mavic 719 hoops,avid juicy 7, sram xo shifters x9 front rear. thompson stem ,odi lock on grips. kenda nevegal front maxxis ignitor rear.
Strengths: Raw finish(no scratches); slacker HT angle (69.5); very stout rear triangle; amazing power transfer; great climber and descender; full length cable housing and routing. 44mm HT
Weaknesses: one hard-to-get water bottle mount. (A Bontrager sideswipe cage works well)
The Sultan ended up being the same weight as my Pivot after using the parts I had on it. 25.77lbs. isn't bad at all for a 5" travel bike. That was suprising, but the best part is the handling. I have been riding a 429 for about 3yrs and was very happy with it until I test rode the Sultan. The Sultan begs for more speed when descending, has much better power transfer when climbing in and out of the saddle, and the rear suspension feels smoother throughout the entire travel with absolutely no bob. This bike isn't for weight weenies, but if you just ride it and don't weigh it, you will think your riding a much lighter bike anyway. I definitely think it has the best suspension of anything I've ridin and without the use of any kind of propedal. Can't wait to hit the Porcupine Trail.
Similar Products Used: Pivot 429, GF HiFi, Superfly 100
Bike Setup: Full Sram XX 2x10 except FD which is M985 XTR; Syntace 110mm stem; Syntace 12d bar; Syntace seatpost; Fox Talas w/ 95-120m; Stan's Crest/DT240 wheelset
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: February 24, 2011
Strengths: Build Quality, DW-Link Suspension, Strength, and Customer Service.
Weaknesses: Weight, MSRP Cost, Early production pivot issues. 2009/2010 head tube angle kinda between two worlds, but can be made to do both(see The Bottom Line)
Fast capable trail bike. Has taken the abuse of a clydesdale including small drops. Suspension is fast in flowy singletrack with a very active feeling, but still sharp and pointed on the uphill. Traction is never an issue up or downhill, geo sometimes feels in between two extremes. Never sharp enough for the ultra tight switchbacks, and never slack enough for the gnarly sketchy descents(think moab, not midwest). This is all up to setup though... when I am at home in the Midwest I can run a longer stem throw more weight up front and get those switchbacks, and when out west, go back to the stuby stem, throw my seat back, and set the dropper low, and dive bomb.
The most versatile bike I have ever owned.
Strengths: Turner geometry, DW Link, Journal Bearing System, direct mount disc brakes, frame quality and stiffness
I've ridden alot of bikes in 12 yrs of riding and nothing has fit me better, pedaled as well thru rocks and roots, climbed efficiently, downhilled with amazing stability, cornered confidently at speed, and just put a big grin on my face. Turner makes one heck of bike with this DW Sultan. It's a bike you just want to ride all day and absolutely everywhere.
Some say that it's not a race bike (even DT himself), and it might not be in the purist sense, but nonetheless the bike can go very fast in alot of different types of terrain. A true singletrack virtuoso.
Similar Products Used: Several HT 29ers, Turner DW Flux, Hammerhead/Titus, Gary Fisher, Specialized FSR
Bike Setup: 09 XL Turner DW Sultan, F29 RLC w/15 qr, stans arch/DT240s, Margura Marta SL, XO twisties, 40/28 Specialites TA Rings on XTR cranks, XO Rear Drail, XTR Fr Drail, Easton Carbon bar, Thomson Stem and post, WTB Rocket saddle, Oury grips
a Cross Country Rider
from Boise, ID
Date Reviewed: November 13, 2010
Strengths: Very fast, smooth and stable on the downhill. Rolls easily over rock on the climbs. The 29r takes the small rock out of the ride and easily rolls over the larger rock. Because of the lower tire pressures and larger "footprint", the 29r has better traction.
Weaknesses: I haven't found any yet...see set up below. Some reviews have said that 29rs climb harder than 26rs on the steep climbs. I have not found that to be the case. I think the "rollability-(sp)" outweighs the heavier wheels/momentum making the climbing comparable.
I have ridden the bike for only about a month and found that it rolls much easier that the Hammerhead, both uphill and downhill. It is much more stable on the downhill and rocky climbs. The small frame has a short wheel base, which makes it relatively maneuverable on tight switchbacks.
Bike Setup: Watch toe clearance with the front wheel. I have the small frame with 175 crank arms. The toe rubs the front wheel when the cranks are horizontal on sharp turns. This hasn't been a problem yet. If it becomes a problem, I'll try 170 cranks.
a Weekend Warrior
from Anaheim, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: November 4, 2010
Strengths: climbs well, far better than any of the multiple 26" bikes I have. Looks bad A$$, and built to last unlike that imported crap.
Weaknesses: Price, although I got a good deal on mine.
I love riding this bike, uphill and downhill, my build is light but I can fly down a hill with confidence(Im 220lbs) This is my first Turner and I couldnt be happier. Just rode today and cant wait to ride again tomorrow morning.