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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I've been wanting to do this write up for some time now. I've owned my 5 Spot since 2007 (I also had a 2005 Spot before that) and still totally enjoy the bike. It's taken me to see so many places. Besides riding here in Hawaii with all the rocks, roots, technical climbing and descents, it's seen trails in Southern CA, Vancouver Island, Whistler, Crested Butte, Umpqua River Trail, McKenzie River Trail, Tahoe, Downieville. The list goes on.

So over the years of modifying the bike I experimented with 27.5 in the front of the Spot. It elevated the bike another notch as far as capabilities for a ride all up and down trail bike.

So with the introduction of all of the 27.5 bikes, I wondered first if I could fit a 27.5 in the rear of my Spot. Unfortunately, it just wasn't going to work. So I started looking at other options. Blur TRc converted was on the radar.

Then of course, Turner came out with Burner. I was excited but not keen on gaining more bike weight. Then the Flux came out and the gears started cranking along in my head. Could one of these lesser travel 27.5 bikes have the same capabilities as my Spot but save some weight?

In October of 2013 I decided I'd go and take a trip to Southern CA and ride with my friends up in Kernville. This time I'd leave my bike at home and use the trip as a pilgrimage to test ride some bikes. Condensed version: I rented a Solo C and demoed bikes from Turner (Burner and Flux). After about a week, I returned the Solo C and got my hands on a small Flux and took that with me to Kernville and rode trails out there that I've seen a dozen times. That includes riding them with my trusty old Spot. I was convinced this could work.

So somewhere just before Christmas I started talking to Dave and Jarett to order me up a Flux with XT build. At the same time, I wanted to prove a concept of gearing. For years I've put numbers into my spreadsheets from SRAM and Shimano and extended range gears etc. For the life of me I couldn't get the set up to be a 1x but with a bit of engineering and parts and pieces I could do a 2x and have the same gearing as my Spot. What would that get me? Lighter weight, more ground clearance and simpler 2x instead of the 3x gearing.

In early Feb I took delivery of a 2014 Flux 27.5 with basic XT 3x. I had to run off to California to see my cousin get married so for the first 2 weeks the bike sat in the box. I get back from CA and put the bike together and ride it up and down the street and then tear it down to bare parts. I wanted to know what each and every part weighed.

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So here's the bike blown apart:

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And here's the original build:

Original_Flux_Build.jpg

The bike got put back together:

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And here's the new build:

Flux_build.jpg

Here's the Spot Build:

Grants_spot1.jpg

I took the Flux to New Zealand for 3+ weeks of exploring. Today, I finally was able to ride the two bikes back to back on the same trail and same loop here in Hawaii on a very familiar trail.

The Spot is still a really great bike. When I got the Flux, the Spot did not become obsolete or junk. So if you're looking for a great trail bike, get your hands on a old Spot and put a 27.5 on the front.

The Flux can be built up as a lightweight trail bike that is as capable as a Horst Link Spot. So this means 30 mm less travel, lower BB, more ground clearance (2x vs 3x) and about 1-2 lb lighter bike without super lightweight (XTR, XX1) drivetrain.

Where the Spot's rear would give a definite "thunk" when hitting larger square edged roots/rocks/stair steps the Flux absorbs the bump better and rolls over with less shock.

When climbing ultra steep rooted sections, the Spot would bounce more in between the roots. The Flux glides over with less shock.

The larger wheel size effectively is one harder gear (climbing for sure) on the Flux than the Spot. Translation, when climbing long, steep, rooted sections, the Flux feels bogged more when using the same gear as with the Spot. This is the effective gear change that comes with the tire size.

Both bikes can be leaned into and snapped into the tight jungle single track turns we have here in Hawaii. There's no sensation with the bigger wheels and longer wheelbase like I've experienced with the various 29'ers I've ridden there.

The Flux has more traction climbing the really slippery ice like hard packed mud sections. The Spot will spin the rear tire easier.

The lower BB height means pedal strikes. I had 3 mild ones with the Flux vs. 0 with the Spot.

Here are both bikes in the back of my truck.
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The Spot - first loop on the trail.

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And then the Flux - 2nd loop on the trail.

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Proof of concepts:
A 2x using modified Canfield Brothers Micro 9 tooth set up with SLX gears and a Action Tec 38 Tooth Ti driven with 20 and 29 chainrings will work and give the same setup I have with my Spot which uses a 13-38 9 speed cassette and 20, 29, 42 chainrings.

A Flux with the right tires, wheels and gears can be built up to be a lightweight Spot of old but better. If any of you are in Hawaii and would like to bring your pedals, you too can do this A-B test of sorts and form your own opinions.

In my opinion then, the Flux is a Spot replacement. A lightweight Burner would be akin to a BEEFY Spot or med-heavier Burner would be like a RFX.

Finally, I really want to thank the guys at Turner for all the time and information I got. Dave, Jarett and Greg spent hours chatting and giving me information so that I could put the right bike together.

I hope this helps answer some questions some of you might have out there whether or not 27.5, Flux etc is worth it.
 

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nice comparo, I got ahold of a '10 DW link Spot in Jan. LOVE the bike.

I've been considering new heels for it, now you have me thinking about a 27.5 front wheel, now to research if my fork (R.S. RL Ti) will handle it........
 

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Flux,
Been considering to ditch away my EllsTruth in favour for the Flux ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
You're welcome, that's why I put the info out there. I figured there must be others out there wondering the same things.

Another note. My friend up in Southern CA owned a 26" DW Flux. After he demoed a 27.5 Flux, he said it was like night and day and it improved his confidence immensely. Personally he was always a bit tentative going downhill. With the new Flux, he has improved his riding a bunch.
 

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Really helpful comparo Gmats. Still stuck in three chain-ring land myself on my 26ers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Really helpful comparo Gmats. Still stuck in three chain-ring land myself on my 26ers.
Understand. It was a big bill to pay to do some research and the engineer the package together and answer a number of questions. I put this info out there hoping it'll do just that - be helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Do you know if the travel on your OE fork can be increased to slack things up..
I don't know for sure but I think not. I have a 140 mm fork ready to go on because I wanted to make the bike more trail oriented and raise the BB a bit more to hopefully decrease the few pedal strikes I get. I have not had time to do that yet. I'm also waiting on getting a set of 10 speed thumb shifters working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Do you like the Canfield hub ?

It's OK. It doesn't have the quick engagement as the Chris Kings that I've used for so many years but it does the job. So I can't say I don't like it and I can't say it's "awesome". It works and it accepts the gears I was looking for.

Took the bike out again today, some fun rocky, rooted trail riding. Works fine.

kalopa_roots.jpg
 

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Aloha, G -

I'm digging up your Flux thread again. Did you ever put a 140mm fork on the Flux?
I demo-ed a stock Flux today in Sun Valley. We cheated and took the lift up so we could ride the new flow trail. I rode it a few weeks ago on my old Spot and wanted to see how a flux would be. Loved the 27.5s and the DW Link. Missed having 150mm on the front, though. I was surprised by how many times I struck my pedals.

The fork was a little low on pressure and I didn't have my shock pump with me for some stupid reason. Maybe that had something to do with it. I'm thinking, though, that a Flux with a little more travel up front could be a good alternative to a Burner.

Have you been smacking your pedals more frequently on the Flux than your Spot?

By the way, everyone says "hi", and hope we can get together again. As far as the flow trail went, David loved it, Chris was riding my Spot and was having a hard time adjusting to it, and Karen will never ride it again.

HH
 

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Aloha, G -

I'm digging up your Flux thread again. Did you ever put a 140mm fork on the Flux?
I demo-ed a stock Flux today in Sun Valley. We cheated and took the lift up so we could ride the new flow trail. I rode it a few weeks ago on my old Spot and wanted to see how a flux would be. Loved the 27.5s and the DW Link. Missed having 150mm on the front, though. I was surprised by how many times I struck my pedals.

The fork was a little low on pressure and I didn't have my shock pump with me for some stupid reason. Maybe that had something to do with it. I'm thinking, though, that a Flux with a little more travel up front could be a good alternative to a Burner.

Have you been smacking your pedals more frequently on the Flux than your Spot?

By the way, everyone says "hi", and hope we can get together again. As far as the flow trail went, David loved it, Chris was riding my Spot and was having a hard time adjusting to it, and Karen will never ride it again.

HH
With a fork at 140, strikes are minimal and the riding is awesome. Pretty big difference over the handling with a 120, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
With a fork at 140, strikes are minimal and the riding is awesome. Pretty big difference over the handling with a 120, too.
HH, no, sorry, I have not had time to get that 140 mm fork on the bike yet. Some of it was just lazy because I want to measure everything before and after. Some of it just is time. Some of it because I don't want to add the extra weight to the bike.........Hehe. But yes, it will happen. Mean time, yes, I have found I have more pedal strikes with the Flux than the Spot.

So glad you got time on the Flux on your trails. One of Troy's and my friends up in CA is ordering a tail build Flux.
 
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