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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was fortunate enough to build up my XL Czar in time to take advantage of the prime riding weather we've been having in So. Utah this past several weeks. The build is as follows:

Frame: Turner, Czar, XL
Fork: Rock Shox, Pike, Solo Air, 120mm,
Brakes: Shimano, XTR M988
Shifter: SRAM, X01
Cranks: Race Face, Next SL, 30t DM,
Bottom Bracket: Race Face, PF30
Rear Derailluer: SRAM XX1
Pedals: Shimano XTR Race
Stem: ENVE, 100mm
Handlebar: ENVE, Sweep, 740mm
Seatpost: Thomson, Elite Dropper
Saddle: Fizik Aliante XM
Cassette: SRAM, X01
Headset: Cane Creek, 110
Grips: ESI, Chunky
Wheels: ENVE, XC
Front Tire: Maxxis, DHR II, 2.3
Rear Tire: Maxxis, Ikon, 2.35
Weight: ~25

As you can see the build is more trail oriented than a pure-bred racer. I'm confident that I could get the weight well below 24 lbs. with a few modifications but I'm a large guy (220 lbs) and I'll take durability and ride quality over a couple of pounds any day.

My initial ride impressions are typical Turner-DW quality. Efficient, stable, predictable and comfortable. Which was a little surprising for me seeing as how this is not only my first 29'er but also my first sub-5" full suspension bike. So I don't have a lot to compare it to in the 29" XC realm of bikes. My last 5 bikes were a Knolly Chilcotin, a Turner 5 Spot (DW), a Turner Highline, a Turner RFX (HL) and a Turner 5 Spot (HL).

I love the engineering and design of the DW pivots on the Czar. I recently pulled all of my pivots apart, leaving the bushings in the frame, to try to isolate a creak that has been getting worse with each consecutive ride. WOW! I can't believe how easy it is to service all five of the pivots and fortunately all 5 pivots had a healthy dose of grease along the entire length of each shaft.

So big props to DT for designing another winner!
 

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I recently pulled all of my pivots apart, leaving the bushings in the frame, to try to isolate a creak that has been getting worse with each consecutive ride.
Love these bikes!

Were you able to seek & destroy the source of the creak? What was the culprit?
 

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My cup runneth over
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Very nice build Crash. Probably could lose a pound or too just with a racey fork but at 25 lbs, no need.
 

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Fat Skis/Fat Tires
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Magnifico!

I'm also going 120mm Pike up front; did you just find the 120mm air shaft, or modify the existing shaft on your own? MORE PHOTOS PLEASE, that thing is straight pr0n.
 

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I

I love the engineering and design of the DW pivots on the Czar. I recently pulled all of my pivots apart, leaving the bushings in the frame, to try to isolate a creak that has been getting worse with each consecutive ride. WOW! I can't believe how easy it is to service all five of the pivots and fortunately all 5 pivots had a healthy dose of grease along the entire length of each shaft.

So big props to DT for designing another winner!
Good info, but did you find the creak? My 5 spot creaks like a rocking chair on a windy porch or some dumb analogy. I'm about to install the push bushing kit but have not been delinquent in greasing the pivots.

Anyhow, I'm ready for a 2-bike quiver and trying to decide between the czar and an Ibis Ripley. Of course the Ripley I demoed had a pretty good creak as well. Thanks for the post and info.
 

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Anyhow, I'm ready for a 2-bike quiver and trying to decide between the czar and an Ibis Ripley. Of course the Ripley I demoed had a pretty good creak as well. Thanks for the post and info.
I, too, am debating between a Czar and a Ripley, though the scarcity of XL Czars may eventually force my hand!

How'd you like the Ripley if you don't mind me asking?
 

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I, too, am debating between a Czar and a Ripley, though the scarcity of XL Czars may eventually force my hand!

How'd you like the Ripley if you don't mind me asking?
Well, I had never ridden a 29r before so I don't have much experience to go on but I am a capable technical rider. For my local stomping grounds I relish my 5spot with a 160 mm RS Lyric on the short punchy climbs and steep slickrock Sedona has to offer. However, the bike is overkill for most Flagstaff riding which is characterized by more extended climbs and with the exception of a couple of trails it's really pretty tame (ie., fast, flowy terrain).

So, I demoed the Ripley from FatTire Dave (great shop and dude by the way) and rode one of my favorite xc-ish loops by Sedona standards. I immediately noticed the rolling factor provided by the bigger wheels. The combination of trails was smooth with interspersed ledges, a couple of drops, and some slickrock. I found the bike quite fun, nimble, and playful. I didn't have any problem at all throwing it into corners or climbing switchbacks. Easy to pick up off the ground and/or lift the front up to get up and over a square edged ledge. Suspension felt a tad firm (Fox CTD shock). I could really swing the bike around corners but the XT brakes were a big grabby so sometimes I was drifting more that I usually do bit it was easy to control.

As for numbers, I took nearly 8 minutes off a 1 hour 30 min loop and was nearly 1 mph faster. Part of that I attribute to being excited about riding something different but it was also real. I'm still looking at the Czar but the decision factor might be my desire to run a 140 mm Pike. I'm more of a clyde that a racer and besides my home turf I'm looking for a rig that eats up a big mountain ride like Colorado Trail in Durango where you might spend most of the day above 10,000 feet. Not really the terrain where my 31 pound 5 spot shines. Hope that helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I reduced a 150mm Pike to 120mm by simply installing a new air shaft ($39).

I rode yesterday for the first time after checking my pivots and 95% of the creaking is gone. I'm guessing that the rear DW-pivot was the culprit as it was the only shaft that was so tight I had to use a hammer and punch to tap it out and the grease, while there, looked a little thin. I think the remaining creaking, which is actually more of an occasional "pop" is from the PF30 bottom bracket which are notorious for shifting under pressure. Once I get the necessary tools I'm going to pull it, clean it really well, reinstall and see how it goes. If it persists I'll probably replace the Race Face PF30 with a Praxis. I had a similar issues with the PF30 bb on my carbon road bike and the Praxis has been rock solid after thousands of road miles.

Rockman, are you sure your problem is in the pivots? This is the first time I've ever had pivots on a Turner cause creaking and I attribute that more to the fact that it's a carbon frame than anything else.

Some additional thoughts on the ride qualities of the bike. The 29'er aspect continues to be foreign and new to me. Like rockman, it's ability to roll over the chunk still amazes me, but it's strange to try to anticipate feedback through the front end as well as the rear suspension. My timing is also slightly off when I'm pumping the bike while descending. I'm sure I will adjust with more saddle time.

Yesterday's ride has some of the most technical climbing in our area and I continually struggled with the front end wandering and lifting as I got into the steepest sections of the climb. I might attribute this to over-forking the bike with a 120mm Pike, but many have reported no negative effect on handling increasing the Turner recommended front end travel from 100mm to 120mm. And I don't think the A2C of the Pike is significantly longer than a SID. My current cockpit setup lowers the bars from the top of the saddle about 1/2". I'm inclined to drop it another 5mm spacer and see if that helps. I guess I could also increase the length of the stem but I'm already at 100mm and really don't want to go any longer. Maybe I need to be more aggressive with my body position as I climb.
 

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Crash, is your rear sag on the 'tight' side? As you have upped the fork length, try a little less sag in rear, and maybe a bit more in front to change the angles a wee bit.
 

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Interesting to hear your thoughts on going from HL, to DW to 4x4 and now back to DW.

As for the climbing front end wandering, I'm curious if this is inherent to short chainstays combined with slacker front ends. My Burner is an amazing climber especially in regards to the front end not causing me any problems on the steepest of climbs despite it being very slack, but since I was new to dw and larger wheels at the same time I can't pinpoint which factor contributes the most to that aspect.

Everything is squeaking on my bike lately, front end/fork, seat possibly, been too busy to spend any time chasing squeaks...

Burliest Czar yet, looks cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
DT, excellent suggestion. I did set up sag on the deeper side (10mm) and that wasn't my RTR weight as I didn't have my hydration pack on so I'm sure I'm deeper than that. And to be honest I haven't checked the sag on the Pike. So this very well could be the bulk of the problem.

Couple of questions while I've got your ear, what is your personal preference for bar to saddle height? Also, do you have any experience with the Race Face PF30 BB? If so, do you have any recommendations on an installation method that would help prevent creaking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sid @ 120mm = 526mm
Pike @ 120mm = 531mm
So... honest question... is the higher A2C (+25mm) of the 120mm Pike over the 100mm SID significantly detrimental to the handling of the bike? I'd imagine it's a couple of factors adding up (A2C, sag, ect.) that are causing the front end to wander.

DT, me throwing a Pike on the Czar and then complaining that my front end wanders must drive you to drink and loose what little hair you have left. :madman: I just can't seem to leave well enough alone. Posting pictures with my dropper may just send you over the edge. ;)
 

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I believe DT said it would slacken the HA by a full degree over the 100mm Sid.

I was thinking about cutting down the 120mm air shaft 5 more mm to get the A2C the same as the Sid if it really is that much of a difference. Kelstr has done it with good results, and it doesn't even require a re tapping of the threads since it's only 5mm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'll probably replace the Race Face PF30 with a Praxis. I had a similar issues with the PF30 bb on my carbon road bike and the Praxis has been rock solid after thousands of road miles.
Argh... I keep forgetting Praxis doesn't have a bottom bracket with a 30mm spindle option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I was thinking about cutting down the 120mm air shaft 5 more mm to get the A2C the same as the Sid if it really is that much of a difference. Kelstr has done it with good results, and it doesn't even require a re tapping of the threads since it's only 5mm.
That may work, but at some point aren't you going to start bottoming out internal components?
 
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