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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, even with winter here, I had to try it out. Just one ride, but somewhat enlightening. Will post more when I get 3 or 4 rides in.

RIDER: 6’2”, 195 lb. I primarily prefer long, rugged, somewhat technical xc riding, but manage to sneak over to Moab/Fruita/St. George twice a year for rock riding. A little MX in my blood, but it’s been a longggggg time. I ride a bunch, logging near 2k miles a year on the Spot, and 4k a year on the road bike, with the local racer boys. I like up moves as much or more than down moves.

THE TEST RIDE: As mentioned, winter is here, so riding was limited to going up and down three steep, rocky, technical trails, each about 20 minutes up and 10 down. So no fast, flowing single track. I’ve ridden these trails countless times over the years. They are three of our standard winter rides, since they drain and dry up very quickly.

CLIMBING: It climbed great. It seemed a bit more sprightly than the HL. Maybe the words would be more “taut” and “lively” in terms of accelerating to make upward technical moves. It tracked more dead-on when the power was really laid down to make it up some of the bigger rock moves, so I think the rear is stiffer without the HL pivot between the crank and rear axle.

DESCENDING: If pressed, I would say it felt more sure-footed when descending through rock gardens. Less tendency to deflect off line. But it was slight. Everywhere else, I didn’t notice any difference.

TECHNICAL: Already covered a bit above, but definitely a stiffer, more precise feel. Easier to keep on line, and when I was a little off, and had to lunge up a move, less deflection was present.

BRAKING: I didn’t notice any difference here, either. Maybe it would be different on flowing single track with choppy entrances to corners.

CONCLUSION: For me, the slight increase in rear end stiffness more than compensates for any of the perceived detractions of the TNT -- which I didn’t notice, anyway, on this brief test ride. I wouldn’t go back to HL voluntarily. In summary, it makes what was already my favorite bike of all time even better.
 

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Jaybo said:
Placebo effect? Good review.

Jaybo

PS Sherwood from Ventana has been right all these years?
Exactly - its nothing special..the wheel was not re-invented here if ppl now all of the sudden prefer seatstay linkage bikes - then yeah ventana is the bike to get
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jaybo said:
Placebo effect? Good review.

Jaybo

PS Sherwood from Ventana has been right all these years?
Yup, Syncline. Not my fave (though I love Coyote), but almost always available.

Placebo? Of course that cannot be ruled out. One particular up move -- normally an every other time thing for me -- worked 5 for 5 on the test, and that during my definite "off" season. Good enough for me.

Re the Ventana option, it's always a bike I've had high on my virtual list of "next bikes". Last time around, the looks and geometry of the X5 favored the 5-Spot in my eye, not to mention Turner CS (though I understand that Sherwood's is also superb).
 

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Daniel the Dog
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Coyote is a blast

kosmo said:
Yup, Syncline. Not my fave (though I love Coyote), but almost always available.

Placebo? Of course that cannot be ruled out. One particular up move -- normally an every other time thing for me -- worked 5 for 5 on the test, and that during my definite "off" season. Good enough for me.

Re the Ventana option, it's always a bike I've had high on my virtual list of "next bikes". Last time around, the looks and geometry of the X5 favored the 5-Spot in my eye, not to mention Turner CS (though I understand that Sherwood's is also superb).
I guess I can't criticise Turner too much for blowing the HL trumphet. It was his stick.

It would be cool to ride a bike that could deal with a 6" fork. So, the X5 does look intriguing. The British mag. I read stated it was a great bike but suffered from some brake jack and squatted a bit. Hmmm. Sounds a bit like it could use a HL. Laugh..

I am going to be riding my Spot for years. It is my bike. If it got stolen tomorrow, I would scan the country for another HL Spot. I'm a traditionalist who bought into the whole HL thing :)

Jaybo
 

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I did a little experiment recently which was the first difference I noticed between the two rear ends: on pavement, I grabbed a handful of rear brake only, and the HL bike extends. On the TNT rear end, the bike does not show any hint of suspension movement in reaction to the rear brake brake being applied by itself. The HL rear end extends slightly (the rear of the bike rises and the shock extends from the sagged point a tiny bit). Think of the HL bike as experiencing a little fork dive, and the TNT bike not, and you have an analogy for the sensation. I was not paying attention to whether or not the fork actually dove under the weight shift since I was paying more attention to the back, but I will next time if I think of it.

It is subtle, but if you look down at the rear ends, you can see it, though I'm not sure I could feel it (we are talking about a few mm of shock movement). I have yet to feel the practical effect of this on the trail (I don't feel like the HL bike pitches forward while the TNT bike rides level), but on the road, using only the rear brake, it can be seen. It may be undetectable since like fork dive the rider automatically compensates through moving farther back on the HL bike to counter the tendency of the rear to rise under rear braking. To feel or see this stuff you have to force yourself to sit rigidly in place while slamming on the brakes. It is an unnatural behavior on the part of the rider, to be sure.
 

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Think of it this way...

tscheezy said:
I did a little experiment recently which was the first difference I noticed between the two rear ends: on pavement, I grabbed a handful of rear brake only, and the HL bike extends. On the TNT rear end, the bike does not show any hint of suspension movement in reaction to the rear brake brake being applied by itself. The HL rear end extends slightly (the rear of the bike rises and the shock extends from the sagged point a tiny bit). Think of the HL bike as experiencing a little fork dive, and the TNT bike not, and you have an analogy for the sensation. I was not paying attention to whether or not the fork actually dove under the weight shift since I was paying more attention to the back, but I will next time if I think of it.

It is subtle, but if you look down at the rear ends, you can see it, though I'm not sure I could feel it (we are talking about a few mm of shock movement). I have yet to feel the practical effect of this on the trail (I don't feel like the HL bike pitches forward while the TNT bike rides level), but on the road, using only the rear brake, it can be seen. It may be undetectable since like fork dive the rider automatically compensates through moving farther back on the HL bike to counter the tendency of the rear to rise under rear braking. To feel or see this stuff you have to force yourself to sit rigidly in place while slamming on the brakes. It is an unnatural behavior on the part of the rider, to be sure.
A HL bike does indeed extend under braking. A single pivot/faux bar squats under braking. People often talk about brake jacking happening on SPs. Badly designed HLs brake jack, not SPs and FBs. If you have both bikes set up at 30% sag(with the same travel), the HL would extend under braking. It would be less active when braking. The SP/FB would squat under braking. Remember, it already has 30% sag in it and now it squats. It now has less travel available. It is less active also. As it blows through the travel(less than the HL) it tends to skid sooner. You also have less control(less travel). The Horst has more travel, as it extended. It is also less active, but has more travel available.Now this only occurs sometimes. It is apparent on loose technical, rocky DH terrain. The kind of terrain that you use the brakes to maintain control and still have to deal with hits from big rocks. The kind of terrain you don't want to endo on.

Now, I'm not sure why you didn't see the shock not squatting. Maybe you have a platform shock with a lot of compression dampning, but that would seem to be less compliant on small hits.

I did a test with a low SP and a Tracer (4 in.) . I rode the SP on Saturday on a local trail and moved everything over to the Tracer for a Sunday ride on the same trail. Under the conditions described above I found the difference in braking. I was able to maintain control easier and skid less on the Tracer. I tended to let it go more on the single pivot so it would skid less. On that same hill climbing back up, it seemed to be easier to climb on the SP than the Tracer. Trade offs, compromises, and what is important to you, is what it is all about. The SP had a stiffer rear end. The difference in braking was only felt on that hill. I like more control in those situations. All the differences can be overcome by an experienced rider. The differences are subtle. I haven't spent much time on an ICT bike(Truth or Spot), but I believe the braking on both the traditional HL(lower pivot) and the ICT is similar.

"A non Horstlink bike will get notably less effective with the rear brake on. No doubt. There is a reason that I pay Specialized, proper positioning of the Horst link is the best way to build a bicycle rear suspenion."

David Turner 7/16/2004 (I borrowed this from someone's post)

There seems to be a lot of brand loyality around here, and beating of dead horses.
 

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Natl. Champ DH Poser/Hack
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"A non Horstlink bike will get notably less effective with the rear brake on. No doubt. There is a reason that I pay Specialized, proper positioning of the Horst link is the best way to build a bicycle rear suspenion."

David Turner 7/16/2004 (I borrowed this from someone's post)

and red dye #4 was all the rage once too. things change, people are wrong. even our own master. the cool bit is he has the nuts to admit it and make the geo change to remedy this part of the equation. yeah theres some strong brand loyalty in here, maybe some bias too. and yer right again when ya say the horse is long dead so i need to ask ya, why keep kickin the poor thing yerself? no offence meant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
cactuscorn said:
SNIP: yeah theres some strong brand loyalty in here, maybe some bias too.
Bias is often the result of cumulative positive experiences.

Let's see: bike quality, ride quality, bike coolness (admit it!), customer service.....

Not always the case, but in THIS case, it happens to work for me!
 

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The Ancient One
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Tscheezy's and Quattro's observations

I know Tscheezy's ignoring me, but others might read this. He is the first of the homers to have noticed the actual physical difference between the two frames in braking. This should have been noticed by everyone who has had the two rear ends to compare if they were really trying to do serious testing.

The reason the HL extends visibly and the TNT does not is that the TNT has enough compressive force acting at the rear axle to counter almost all of the effect of the load shift to the front on the rear shock. The load shift is inevitable, and all good riders will shift weight to the rear to compensate for it, regardless of bike. The HL rear shock is acting closer to what the load on it justifies. The TNT is held farther down in its travel.

Contrary to what Quattro says (he's mostly right) this does not make the HL less active. In fact the effect is slightly the opposite, for two reasons. Being held farther down into travel than the load merits makes the damping rate slightly too high. It's like the shock had more nitrogen charge in it than it should. And in a rising shock rate bike like the Turners, there is a slightly higher effective spring rate.

As for fork dive, the rising rear end does have a slight increasing effect on it, again for two reasons. First, since the rear rises as the fork compresses, the center of mass remains slightly higher on the HL, and that increases the load shift a tiny bit--maybe 1%. Also the forward rotating HL frame has higher angular acceleration and momentum, which makes it overtravel slightly more before the dampers arrest it, causing a slight transient overcompressing of the fork. This is what Scott from GoRide was talking about.
 

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The Ancient One
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kosmo said:
Bias is often the result of cumulative positive experiences.

Let's see: bike quality, ride quality, bike coolness (admit it!), customer service.....

Not always the case, but in THIS case, it happens to work for me!
Bias is always bad.
 

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I cannot speak to the theoretical projections...

Steve from JH said:
...He(Quattro) is the first of the homers to have noticed the actual physical difference between the two frames in braking. This should have been noticed by everyone who has had the two rear ends to compare if they were really trying to do serious testing.
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Quattro said:
I did a test with a low SP and a Tracer (4 in.) ... I haven't spent much time on an ICT bike(Truth or Spot), but I believe the braking on both the traditional HL(lower pivot) and the ICT is similar
But:
-Which Turner model is the Tracer similar to in ride and suspension feel?
-Which low Single pivot was he comparing his experience to? (brand and model not mentioned)

It seems to me that these bikes have a great deal more potential for significant differences in in design, leverage, linkage angles and pivot locations than two identical Turners, with different rears, specifically designed for similar performance... Also the analogy does not tell us how much of the effects he experienced on these different bikes, exist in the Turners.

I don't think we are debating the possible existance of such a situation, the question is how much exists in a meaningful way on the trail. IMO that's the point of actually trying the bikes in question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Brake Dive Reduction?

I'll pay attention to brake dive reduction next time I ride, if we ever thaw out of deep-freeze mode.

If TNT does reduce fork brake dive, it would be another unexpected, positive attribute.

Regarding your position that bias is always bad, I would counter by saying the indiscriminate use of the word always is bad too!

Example: As a young man, I developed a biased opinion that blondes were -- in general -- slightly full of themselves, while brunettes were not. This bias was in part responsible for the fine wife that has put up with my nonsense for over 20 years!
 

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Daniel the Dog
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Just dive out of this hyper intellectual nonsense

kosmo said:
I'll pay attention to brake dive reduction next time I ride, if we ever thaw out of deep-freeze mode.

If TNT does reduce fork brake dive, it would be another unexpected, positive attribute.

Regarding your position that bias is always bad, I would counter by saying the indiscriminate use of the word always is bad too!

Example: As a young man, I developed a biased opinion that blondes were -- in general -- slightly full of themselves, while brunettes were not. This bias was in part responsible for the fine wife that has put up with my nonsense for over 20 years!
The engineers, or wannabe engineers, are flexing their thoughts. I wonder if anyone on this board actually works as an engineer or have they just been to school.

It sounds like you like the TNT design. Cool. You have put enough miles on a Spot to have a meaningful opinion. I value that a lot more than someone who doesn't even own a Turner but wants to stir the pot. I stir the pot at times myself :)

Jaybo
 

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cactuscorn said:
"A non Horstlink bike will get notably less effective with the rear brake on. No doubt. There is a reason that I pay Specialized, proper positioning of the Horst link is the best way to build a bicycle rear suspenion."

David Turner 7/16/2004 (I borrowed this from someone's post)

and red dye #4 was all the rage once too. things change, people are wrong. even our own master. the cool bit is he has the nuts to admit it and make the geo change to remedy this part of the equation. .
Wrong? DT was wrong? It's blasphemy I say!!! String 'em up by their thumbs for even daring to consider such a thing :rolleyes:

But..... if DT was wrong before .... Is he right, now? j/k :eek:

or even worse..... what if he was right before.... and is wrong now? :p Oh, the horror.

Time to ride the bike some more.
 
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