Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 90 Posts

·
striker!
Joined
·
610 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Its that time of year to update the 5 spot with a fresh frame so I order one up (gotta go with the green this time) but hear that they are out of the HL version and only have TNT from this point on. There have been a lot of TNT reviews and they have all said good things about it but I want to test it myself. I want to evaluate it where I do a lot of my riding and can really concentrate on the bike. I've been riding this local spot for over ten years. Five of those years have been on an RFX and couple 5 spots. If there is a difference, I'm sure I will be able to tell riding here.

Here is the plan: take my existing HL five spot and run it through a battery of tests in all sorts of conditions: banked turns, flat turns, stutter bumps, braking, rock technical sections, drops, jumps, rocky climbs and steep, loose climbs. Then, with the help of my two buds, tear down the HL (blue) and build up the TNT (green). Everything will be exactly the same: same wheels and tires, tire pressure, fork settings, brakes, cranks and I will even take the same DHXA off of blue on put it on Kermit so we will have identical rear shock settings. Then take the TNT bike out and perform the same exact tests. To make it even better, we will videotape the test sections for all to see.

The big point of discussion about the TNT design is the braking and I want to test how active each of the two different designs can stay under bumpy conditions. To set up a test that is as objective as possible, I decided to try to do a brake to stop test. I picked out a section of singletrack that is hardpack and has rocks embedded in it, marked a line across the trail and make multiple runs at it. I have a cycling computer that will record my max speed on each run to record any variation in speed. Since I'm going down hill, the max speed should be my speed right before I hit the brakes. I will use the rear brake only and try to modulate as best as I can until coming to a complete stop.

Okay, time to ride. A little rain the day before but now its sunny which makes for some ideal conditions.

1) BRAKE TEST

First off is the brake test. Lets try not to over analyze this or armchair engineer my methods. Take this for what it is. A real person in the real world trying to see if there is a difference in performance! I took two runs with bike each as practice to get the dirt primed up and to get myself synced into the test.

HL: Distance to stop / speed
Run 1: 44' 0" @ 18.2 mph
Run 2: 40' 0" @ 18.2 mph
Run 3: 41' 6" @ 19.0 mph
Run 4: 40' 0" @ 18.2 mph

Now lets fast forward 3 hours to the TNT brake test:

TNT: Distance to stop / speed
Run 1: 40' 0" (didn't reset the computer DOH!)
Run 2: 40' 8" @ 18.5 mph
Run 3: 43' 1" @18.8 mph
Run 4: 41' 10" @ 19.1 mph

We noticed that the soil had dried out a bit more by this time of the day. But, as you can see, the ranges for each design were very similar (40 to 44 for the HL and 40 to 43.1 for the TNT). Could the rider tell any difference in the braking? No. Do the numbers support what I was feeling? Yes.

2) Cornering


Alright, put away the tape measure. The rest of tests are all about the ride! Lets start with cornering. The first type of corner I tried was a banked sweeper. I hit the turn at 27 mph on the HL. It felt good. Nice and stable, a little drift but very predictable. Same thing with the TNT. I hit the same turn at 26.5 mph. It felt like the good ol' 5 spot I have come to love. Next I tried out a tighter flat turn, the type where you want to put your outside down and countersteer. Couldn't tell a difference between the two @ 21 mph. Now we have a tight, downhill turn with some stutter bumps. I'm going to use some brakes over the bumps in the turn even though you're not supposed to. I hit it @ 23 mph on the HL and it felt good. I had a little drift but again very predictable. I hit it on the TNT at 22.5 mph and it felt good too. A little drift and some good exit speed.

Now, there is a tight turn at the top of the trail that is banked and you can get good traction in it. Good enough that you can go pedals level and really push the bike into the turn and get a pump out of it. I didn't have this section of my test checklist but I rode both bikes on this section. When I hopped on TNT and started making my way down the singletrack, I was instantly comfortable on the bike. It sure felt good, like my old Spot. When I came through this turn, I had the bike leaned over pretty good and I gave it a good pump. Wow, it squirted through that turn without any indication of wanting to go anywhere but where I was pointing it. Is the rear of this bike stiffer? It sure feels like it is.

3) Decending



Now lets do some technical decending. There is a 'waterfall' section that can be a bit rough. I hit it on the HL and bottomed the rear pretty good. The bike felt good and I felt in control the whole time. I hit it on the TNT and it really felt the same. The bottom out seemed to be a bit less harsh but that could be because of a slightly different line. Next up we have very steep roll in. You'll see it on the video and the video just doesn't do it justice. When you're rolling up to it, you can't see the actual face of it until your front wheel is already going down. Anyways both bikes seemed to handle this beast with equal aptitude. I extended the TST on my Z1 light to go to the full 150mm for this. Now we go over for a little drop action. It's a 3 or 4 footer to a nice tranny with a little gap you need to clear. Again both bikes handles this very well only bottoming out softly.

Up the road a bit we have a nice double jump that some of the local riders just put in. It isn't big but it is fun because it's right out of a turn. I again felt very comfortable on both bikes. Check out the video.

4) Climbing

Alright, the last part of the test involves climbing back up to the car. I choose two sections of single track to test on. One that is steep and loose. You have to be on it to clean it. Chest down and smooth with the pedal power in granny and you'll get it. I was able to clean it with both bikes. I didn't notice any difference in traction in the bumps or going over the loose rocks. The next section of trail is a long uphill with some embedded rocks. Its generally a 1-1 granny ring accent. I was paying attention to the activeness of the rear suspension while climbing and any pedal feedback. I was rolling over rocks and dumping the rear tire into ruts and holes. I could not perceive any pedal feedback in either design (it was a different story back in the day on my GT LTS and RTS …). Now, the activeness of the rear seemed to be a little different to me. It seemed that the TNT was a little plusher while peddling over the rocks. Just a little more give than the HL. I'm not completely certain about this but it did feel a bit more compliant to the terrain.

Conclusion. I was a bit skeptical but I have proven to myself that the TNT 5 Spot is just as good as the HL 5 Spot. It felt great riding it on my home turf and I could not find fault with TNT and I found it to be better in certain situations. I was originally going to hang on to the HL spot for a while just in case but now I think I will put it up for sale now.

Read the test, watch the video and decide for yourself.

TNT HL Video

Note: The video will first show the HL (blue frame) then the TNT (green). The only exception is the brake test. The video got messed up with the HL footage (camera was recording when you thought it was off and vice versa - you have all done this).

S
 

·
No, that's not phonetic
Joined
·
14,313 Posts
superstock said:
I was originally going to hang on to the HL spot for a while just in case but now I think I will put it up for sale now.
Nice writeup. Very nice. Funny, but after riding the TNT rear end for a few weeks now I am wondering if when it comes time to return a rear triangle to Turner if I really want to send the TNT version back. At this point I would be just as happy popping the HL in the mail. I can't claim a preference since I can't tell the diff.
 

·
striker!
Joined
·
610 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Kermit in all his glory

jncarpenter said:
...the review's good & all, but where's the gratuitous unobstructed side-shot of Kermit? C'mon Man! :D
Here you go:



 

·
Lay off the Levers
Joined
·
10,127 Posts
Great review...no force diagrams? No quantum tempral displacement calculations? Slacker!:D
Vids and the brake test are a new angle Kewl!

Man that green is purdy...and I don't even like green!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,018 Posts
tscheezy said:
...after riding the TNT rear end for a few weeks now I am wondering if when it comes time to return a rear triangle to Turner if I really want to send the TNT version back. At this point I would be just as happy popping the HL in the mail...
...I hear ya man! I'm still trying to convince myself that I prefer the HL to the TNT (albeit unsuccessfully). At best, it's a wash...but I can't help feeling that the TNT was better for my type of riding.

Superstock, I too felt the TNT was a tad more compliant (plush) over small stuff while having a bit firmer feel under power. It was subtle, but I definitely noticed it.
 

·
Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
Joined
·
12,942 Posts
watchin the vid, id have to say the action of the new rear seems a tad smoother on anything over medium travel. anyone else have a opinion?

this is very good stuff, ss. very good indeed.
 

·
I want that one
Joined
·
1,036 Posts
now you only have to switch over the rear triangles to outrule the posibilty that the frame color created a speed bias, just to satisfy the sceptics.

great video. ill watch it every time i start thinking that my skill level is exceeding my 5 Spot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
Loved the video. It's too fast to tell if the HL track better than the TNT, but really who cares ? After all , it's all about the geometry . I made a mistake & sold my 5 spot a few months ago because I got tempted by another bike's great looks. After a while I realized I have made a mistake (did I mention It's all in the geometry ?) and decided I am going back to Turner. I have to admit that the whole TNT issue helped rush my decision .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
superstock said:
Its that time of year to update the 5 spot with a fresh frame so I order one up (gotta go with the green this time) but hear that they are out of the HL version and only have TNT from this point on. There have been a lot of TNT reviews and they have all said good things about it but I want to test it myself. I want to evaluate it where I do a lot of my riding and can really concentrate on the bike. I've been riding this local spot for over ten years. Five of those years have been on an RFX and couple 5 spots. If there is a difference, I'm sure I will be able to tell riding here.

Here is the plan: take my existing HL five spot and run it through a battery of tests in all sorts of conditions: banked turns, flat turns, stutter bumps, braking, rock technical sections, drops, jumps, rocky climbs and steep, loose climbs. Then, with the help of my two buds, tear down the HL (blue) and build up the TNT (green). Everything will be exactly the same: same wheels and tires, tire pressure, fork settings, brakes, cranks and I will even take the same DHXA off of blue on put it on Kermit so we will have identical rear shock settings. Then take the TNT bike out and perform the same exact tests. To make it even better, we will videotape the test sections for all to see.

The big point of discussion about the TNT design is the braking and I want to test how active each of the two different designs can stay under bumpy conditions. To set up a test that is as objective as possible, I decided to try to do a brake to stop test. I picked out a section of singletrack that is hardpack and has rocks embedded in it, marked a line across the trail and make multiple runs at it. I have a cycling computer that will record my max speed on each run to record any variation in speed. Since I'm going down hill, the max speed should be my speed right before I hit the brakes. I will use the rear brake only and try to modulate as best as I can until coming to a complete stop.

Okay, time to ride. A little rain the day before but now its sunny which makes for some ideal conditions.

1) BRAKE TEST

First off is the brake test. Lets try not to over analyze this or armchair engineer my methods. Take this for what it is. A real person in the real world trying to see if there is a difference in performance! I took two runs with bike each as practice to get the dirt primed up and to get myself synced into the test.

HL: Distance to stop / speed
Run 1: 44' 0" @ 18.2 mph
Run 2: 40' 0" @ 18.2 mph
Run 3: 41' 6" @ 19.0 mph
Run 4: 40' 0" @ 18.2 mph

Now lets fast forward 3 hours to the TNT brake test:

TNT: Distance to stop / speed
Run 1: 40' 0" (didn't reset the computer DOH!)
Run 2: 40' 8" @ 18.5 mph
Run 3: 43' 1" @18.8 mph
Run 4: 41' 10" @ 19.1 mph

We noticed that the soil had dried out a bit more by this time of the day. But, as you can see, the ranges for each design were very similar (40 to 44 for the HL and 40 to 43.1 for the TNT). Could the rider tell any difference in the braking? No. Do the numbers support what I was feeling? Yes.

2) Cornering


Alright, put away the tape measure. The rest of tests are all about the ride! Lets start with cornering. The first type of corner I tried was a banked sweeper. I hit the turn at 27 mph on the HL. It felt good. Nice and stable, a little drift but very predictable. Same thing with the TNT. I hit the same turn at 26.5 mph. It felt like the good ol' 5 spot I have come to love. Next I tried out a tighter flat turn, the type where you want to put your outside down and countersteer. Couldn't tell a difference between the two @ 21 mph. Now we have a tight, downhill turn with some stutter bumps. I'm going to use some brakes over the bumps in the turn even though you're not supposed to. I hit it @ 23 mph on the HL and it felt good. I had a little drift but again very predictable. I hit it on the TNT at 22.5 mph and it felt good too. A little drift and some good exit speed.

Now, there is a tight turn at the top of the trail that is banked and you can get good traction in it. Good enough that you can go pedals level and really push the bike into the turn and get a pump out of it. I didn't have this section of my test checklist but I rode both bikes on this section. When I hopped on TNT and started making my way down the singletrack, I was instantly comfortable on the bike. It sure felt good, like my old Spot. When I came through this turn, I had the bike leaned over pretty good and I gave it a good pump. Wow, it squirted through that turn without any indication of wanting to go anywhere but where I was pointing it. Is the rear of this bike stiffer? It sure feels like it is.

3) Decending



Now lets do some technical decending. There is a 'waterfall' section that can be a bit rough. I hit it on the HL and bottomed the rear pretty good. The bike felt good and I felt in control the whole time. I hit it on the TNT and it really felt the same. The bottom out seemed to be a bit less harsh but that could be because of a slightly different line. Next up we have very steep roll in. You'll see it on the video and the video just doesn't do it justice. When you're rolling up to it, you can't see the actual face of it until your front wheel is already going down. Anyways both bikes seemed to handle this beast with equal aptitude. I extended the TST on my Z1 light to go to the full 150mm for this. Now we go over for a little drop action. It's a 3 or 4 footer to a nice tranny with a little gap you need to clear. Again both bikes handles this very well only bottoming out softly.

Up the road a bit we have a nice double jump that some of the local riders just put in. It isn't big but it is fun because it's right out of a turn. I again felt very comfortable on both bikes. Check out the video.

4) Climbing

Alright, the last part of the test involves climbing back up to the car. I choose two sections of single track to test on. One that is steep and loose. You have to be on it to clean it. Chest down and smooth with the pedal power in granny and you'll get it. I was able to clean it with both bikes. I didn't notice any difference in traction in the bumps or going over the loose rocks. The next section of trail is a long uphill with some embedded rocks. Its generally a 1-1 granny ring accent. I was paying attention to the activeness of the rear suspension while climbing and any pedal feedback. I was rolling over rocks and dumping the rear tire into ruts and holes. I could not perceive any pedal feedback in either design (it was a different story back in the day on my GT LTS and RTS …). Now, the activeness of the rear seemed to be a little different to me. It seemed that the TNT was a little plusher while peddling over the rocks. Just a little more give than the HL. I'm not completely certain about this but it did feel a bit more compliant to the terrain.

Conclusion. I was a bit skeptical but I have proven to myself that the TNT 5 Spot is just as good as the HL 5 Spot. It felt great riding it on my home turf and I could not find fault with TNT and I found it to be better in certain situations. I was originally going to hang on to the HL spot for a while just in case but now I think I will put it up for sale now.

Read the test, watch the video and decide for yourself.

TNT HL Video

Note: The video will first show the HL (blue frame) then the TNT (green). The only exception is the brake test. The video got messed up with the HL footage (camera was recording when you thought it was off and vice versa - you have all done this).

S
hey.. thanks for the great review.. this makes me wanna get my TNT truner even sooner.. but i would like to see the video.. but i cant.. problem is that i live in singapore.. so putfile is not gonna let me download the video.. reason.. my barbaric government refused to save Nguyen's life.. i for one will support anybody who is willing to start a campaighn to abolish capital puishment.. who are they to decide weater i should live or die if i commit crime.. thats like playing the role of god.. why i am saying this.. i don want anybody to think that all singaporeans are at fault..colud you kindly change the host to a more freindly one.. thxs a million..
 

·
It's a Turner!
Joined
·
528 Posts
Great video, and as usual your bike handling is amazing. Any way you can make the video available for download so I can watch it offline? The streaming is too choppy and I like to use Quicktime so I can advance it frame by frame (WMP doesn't let you do this which is a real bummer for mtn bike videos).
 

·
The Ancient One
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
You went about the braking test the right way. I have to say this since it was my idea to test it that way. To be completely convincing, though, you need way more than 4 runs each. And the terrain should have bad traction that causes repeated skids that you recover from. So far as it went your test doesn't show any significant difference, I admit.

The rest of the riding shown in the video is of a kind where I wouldn't expect any difference to show up.

The bike performance that's so far completely untested is pedaling efficiency. A crude but effective way to do it would be with a heart monitor and a watch. Ride over a long course with lots of difficult, bad traction climbing and look for either lower maximum and average heart rates for the same time or faster time for the same heart rates.
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
38,880 Posts
superstock said:
Is the rear of this bike stiffer? It sure feels like it is.
Well of course, how old is the TNT rear end compared to the HL rear end?

I truely believe that a setup like the ventana will be stiffer, but I also completely believe that "new bikes" initially feel stiffer than just about everything else, and then in a matter of weeks or months that feeling goes away as the slop develops and bearings wear in. And again, I believe that a "TNT" style will be stiffer, but at this point it doesn't seem like there's any way to tell the long term difference between the two.

I also didn't see any terrain in that video that I feel would show any difference in braking, the steep sections were too short to necessitate heavy brake use, and were followed by wider open sections that were used to scrub the speed. The one "braking section" of the video wasn't very steep. Not steep enough or long enough, although your video may not be indicitive of the entire ride.

Very nice video, and I wish I had terrain like that here (we do in flagstaff and in some other places, but I have to drive a bit to get there).
 

·
Registered Dietitian
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
Of course...

Steve from JH said:
A crude but effective way to do it would be with a heart monitor and a watch. Ride over a long course with lots of difficult, bad traction climbing and look for either lower maximum and average heart rates for the same time or faster time for the same heart rates.
... you'd have to make sure you did the heart rate (HR) tests on the same day, because you'd have a slightly different HR for a given exertion rate on different days due to variations in training state, amount of rest, hydration state, etc... oh yeah, that wouldn't work either because whichever you tested second might see higher HRs due to the work done during the first test... basically, due to unpredictable (and normal) variations it would have to be a large difference in HR between the two tests to be significant, and a large difference is pretty unlikely.

HR would not be an ideal measurement to quantify such small differences.
 

·
Brass Nipples!
Joined
·
2,006 Posts
Nicely done

Thanks for the braking test. You put some good effort into that and with the minimal variation in results, I don't think more runs on that course would help a whole lot. If anyone wants to repeat the test on another course, I'd suggest braking too hard a few times and seeing what happens when you exceed traction limits. A looser course might show differences where this one did not, but more and more it seems that any differences don't matter in the real world.

The evolving vibe seems to be TNT is slightly better, smoother and more compliant on small bumps when the starting hypothesis was that it was no worse. Anyone care to explain how TNT could be superior? If wheel path determines these things and the wheel paths are equivalent or slightly favoring the HL, what might account for these warm feelings for the new rear ends? It makes me wonder if there's a little placebo effect going on here, but that really can't be avoided.

I have moved from inferior to far superior products in the past. Things like my first Marzocchi fork on a softtail after riding Cannondale headshocks and my first Turner (an RFX) from a Cannondale Delta V bike. It took a while to realize just how much better things were, but when I got used to the new and went back to the old the differences were glaring. In my opinion, if something is worse it is much easier to tell right away, the subtlties of better take a while. Rider after rider seems to confirm that the real world differences in ride quality seem to be negligible, so I believe the "no worse" hypothesis has just about been proven.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,982 Posts
Bob the Wheelbuilder said:
The evolving vibe seems to be TNT is slightly better, smoother and more compliant on small bumps when the starting hypothesis was that it was no worse. Anyone care to explain how TNT could be superior? If wheel path determines these things and the wheel paths are equivalent or slightly favoring the HL, what might account for these warm feelings for the new rear ends? It makes me wonder if there's a little placebo effect going on here, but that really can't be avoided.
I think that there is definitely a placebo effect in the testing. It can't be avoided unless the tests are balanced by letting riders with opposing opinions (non-Homers) do the testing. Ellsworth riders would be the perfect counterbalance. :eek:

The TNT is not better than the HL. I believe what's important here is that the TNT bikes ride as well as the HL, the differences obviously being so small as to put them into the realm of "who cares"..... it's still a Turner.

Bob - You would make a perfect TNT tester.
 

·
The Ancient One
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
tommyrod74 said:
HR would not be an ideal measurement to quantify such small differences.
It's the best available. It's what the guys in the team car use to tell Lance (or whoever) to go harder or to ease up in time trials. It's a standard measurement used by exercise physiologists for tests of this sort.
 
1 - 20 of 90 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top