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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My LBS wants to make me a deal on a new 04 Burner (swinger shock) frame for $550.

In light of all the new suspension designs (DW-Link, Maestro, Marin Quad, VPP), do you think the Burner is still a good buy in 2006?

I am looking to build up a full suspension to compliment my 29er hardtail. I would ride the hardtail for 80% of the time, saving the Burner for the 20% I ride more technical heavy trails. No racing, just ride for fun on local XC trails/fireroads. I also wanted to get my g-friend into riding so this could serve as her part time bike.

As note of comparison, another local shop has a complete basic Giant Trance for $800. I could just get that and be done with it. Or go for the Burner and build it up with some nice spare parts I have laying around (Minute 1 fork, XT/717 wheels).

I do plan on taking bike vacation trips and me thinks a 26er is better to travel with because I can find support from any bike shop incase something goes wrong (taco'd wheel, tubes, tires). I may have a difficult time if I travel with the 29er. I've been drooling over photos of Moab, Copper Canyon, Fruita and Mammoth...

Any tips and feedback would appreciated. I did do a search, but wanted to get some fresh opinions. Thx ;)
 

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frankenbike said:
My LBS wants to make me a deal on a new 04 Burner (swinger shock) frame for $550.

In light of all the new suspension designs (DW-Link, Maestro, Marin Quad, VPP), do you think the Burner is still a good buy in 2006?

I am looking to build up a full suspension to compliment my 29er hardtail. I would ride the hardtail for 80% of the time, saving the Burner for the 20% I ride more technical heavy trails. No racing, just ride for fun on local XC trails/fireroads. I also wanted to get my g-friend into riding so this could serve as her part time bike.

As note of comparison, another local shop has a complete basic Giant Trance for $800. I could just get that and be done with it. Or go for the Burner and build it up with some nice spare parts I have laying around (Minute 1 fork, XT/717 wheels).

I do plan on taking bike vacation trips and me thinks a 26er is better to travel with because I can find support from any bike shop incase something goes wrong (taco'd wheel, tubes, tires). I may have a difficult time if I travel with the 29er. I've been drooling over photos of Moab, Copper Canyon, Fruita and Mammoth...

Any tips and feedback would appreciated. I did do a search, but wanted to get some fresh opinions. Thx ;)
Well, I'm not an expert on all of the suspension designs out there. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night :)

I bought one of the closeout Burners at Superformance about 5 months ago and have been very happy with the purchase. Is it as good as the Flux or 5 Spot? Maybe not, but it was ~$900 cheaper and that constitutes a good buy in my book.

One thing I'd think about is if you are planning to ride a different bike 80% of the time I'd personally want a bike that I could just grab it and ride it. I think the Turner's with the bushing design are great in that regard. I'm still up in the air about the air shock, as I'm not much for tinkering every time I ride.

I think you'll have to make a judgement call about the technical heavy trails you are planning to ride . Most people here are on bigger bikes (5spot, RFX) for those types of trails. For me the Burner is my only bike so it has to cover all types of trails for me, but if I had 2 bikes I'd look at one of those two.

Just my 2cents.

-Derek
 

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In short: Absolutely.

I owned a Burner up to 3 months ago (got a 5 Spot), and loved it until the very last day I rode it. What makes the bike good is not necessarily the linkage (because a shock can have more effect than the linkage on ride quality), but the geometry. It always just felt "right" - balanced and compliant. I never felt like I was out of position, and I stopped thinking about the bike altogether when I rode it. You feel like you're a part of the bike, not riding on top if it.

As far the the "new" susupension designs? VPP isn't particularly new, it's just gotten new life (and marketing dollars) from SC and Intense, and DW and Maestro are variations on VPP. Theyre all four bars, just like the "old" Burner, only the linkage is shorter. The VPP bikes firm up when climbing, which many people like (gives them that "hardtail" feeling on climbs), while the Burner stays active. That's the biggest difference, and a matter of personal preference - you should ride both to get the feel. What it means is that the VPP will get up and go a bit quicker, but the Burner will do better on rough climbs.

The Burner is a tough frame, which will last for years with very little maintenance (the bushings really are the way to go). The VPP bikes tend to go through bearings quickly, even more so where it's wet. So, consider that as well.

Did you expect anything less from a question posed on the Turner board?
 

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No. It's definitely not worth it. The Burner is a terrible bike!!!!

btw.... What bike shop is that? Do you have the phone #? I'd like to give them a call and berate them for selling such crap.

Do yo know if they accept Visa and ship to Santa Cruz? :D
 

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Blue Shorts said:
No. It's definitely not worth it. The Burner is a terrible bike!!!!

btw.... What bike shop is that? Do you have the phone #? I'd like to give them a call and berate them for selling such crap.

Do yo know if they accept Visa and ship to Santa Cruz? :D
I sure love mine, I got an '04 last year and it rides as nice as any other XC bike I've owned, the Manitou should ride decent for you but they have had stuck down issues. It's a great frameset and is overbuilt so it will handle rough trails no problemo. If you do have some decent parts to build it up with then I say go for the Burner but the complete Giant at $800 sounds like a great deal too, both would weigh around the same probably, I have not ridden the Trance but it would be hard pressed to ride as nice as the Burner.
 

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(SLAP!) and yer still thinkin about this? push the button frank!

rr, dont you have a road trip up to loveland to do? stop postin and start drivin! yer rfx awaits!
 

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frankenbike said:
...I would ride the hardtail for 80% of the time, saving the Burner for the 20%...
I'm chuckling over here. Why? Because I predict your statment above will read,"...I'm riding the Burner 80% of the time, saving the 29er for the other 20%...", in about two weeks from now.

Seriously, I have DLine's Burner, had it for a couple of months now. I race it. I All-Mountain it. I ride it every opportunity I get. It is by far the best bike I've owned. You will not be dissappointed. Buy it now (but get a better fork;) )
 

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I had a burner for two years and this season I'm on a Giant Reign (6" Maestro).

I love the Maestro suspension as it works so well without a platform. For my trails (Colorado front range) the Maestro is significantly better at rolling over square edge bumps at all speeds. It is almost as if someone groomed the trails, or your rear wheel is bigger than it is. There is very little chain torque used in the suspension design. It appears to have more traction that the burner had, but less bob.

FWIW the Trance is pretty heavy for a 4.2" travel bike. At about 7 pounds for the frame, it's almost a pound more than the Burner. But if it is anything like the Reign, it'll be a very, very stiff frame.

The 05' Maestros had some issues with bearings, but the 06' have a much better spec. For $40 you can get a bearing kit for the Trance from Enduro, which has some pretty nice bearings. They should last a very long time.

Giants have a lifetime warranty, but I bet you'll be waiting longer for a part than with the Turner. Giant also does a very bad job of assembling the bikes - you might want to strip it down and rebuild it correctly - they don't even face the head tube.

If it were me I'd buy the Trance in a heart beat. But if I lived somewhere where the trails were smoother, maybe the lighter Burner might be the best bet.
 

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Is that a fair comparison?

Steve71 said:
I had a burner for two years and this season I'm on a Giant Reign (6" Maestro).

I love the Maestro suspension as it works so well without a platform. For my trails (Colorado front range) the Maestro is significantly better at rolling over square edge bumps at all speeds. It is almost as if someone groomed the trails, or your rear wheel is bigger than it is. There is very little chain torque used in the suspension design. It appears to have more traction that the burner had, but less bob.

FWIW the Trance is pretty heavy for a 4.2" travel bike. At about 7 pounds for the frame, it's almost a pound more than the Burner. But if it is anything like the Reign, it'll be a very, very stiff frame.

The 05' Maestros had some issues with bearings, but the 06' have a much better spec. For $40 you can get a bearing kit for the Trance from Enduro, which has some pretty nice bearings. They should last a very long time.

Giants have a lifetime warranty, but I bet you'll be waiting longer for a part than with the Turner. Giant also does a very bad job of assembling the bikes - you might want to strip it down and rebuild it correctly - they don't even face the head tube.

If it were me I'd buy the Trance in a heart beat. But if I lived somewhere where the trails were smoother, maybe the lighter Burner might be the best bet.
Comparing a 6" travel bike to a 3.5" or 4" travel bike in terms of bump compliance seems like an apples to oranges comparison. Have you ridden the 4" travel Trance? If so, how did it compare? FWIW, everybody that I have spoken to that owns a new Giant seems to like it.

Dave
 

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MightySchmoePong said:
Comparing a 6" travel bike to a 3.5" or 4" travel bike in terms of bump compliance seems like an apples to oranges comparison. Have you ridden the 4" travel Trance? If so, how did it compare? FWIW, everybody that I have spoken to that owns a new Giant seems to like it.

Dave
Haven't had a ride on a Trance, but I did own a 6" travel Turner DH bike. I'd be willing to bet the difference between the 6" travel bikes (horst/maestro) wouldn't be too far off the differences between the 4" travel bikes.... but ya never know I could be wrong.

BTW I'm not suggesting Turners are bad bikes at all. Just adding some perspective.
 

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Beware of those 'old' Burners!

Once you ride one you will laugh your as's off about the idea of riding a 32 pound giant. That Trance has got a fork and shock that are made of cheese. The parts kit is terrible. You need to spend about $2200 to get a nice giant. Buy the Burner, add a Fox Vanilla, Formula K24, XT crank (you can find the old style 752's for cheap) and some nice hoops ...now that's a nice bike!

The Burner will ride through and amazing amount of chop leaving you feeling like a Champ. I used to crash occasionally on my SC Superlight, but I rarely crash on my Burner because the suspension does not get too busy with chain kickback.

The Trance is a DW link copy. If you put some nice parts on it you'll like the bike, but at $800 with wimpy parts it is not a good buy.

Cheers,

Kane
 

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zkampyman said:
Once you ride one you will laugh your as's off about the idea of riding a 32 pound giant. That Trance has got a fork and shock that are made of cheese. The parts kit is terrible.
The trance has an RP3 rear shock (better than the swinger on the Burner), but I think you're right about the rest of the parts :D.
 

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Oh, I wasn't taking it that way.

Steve71 said:
Haven't had a ride on a Trance, but I did own a 6" travel Turner DH bike. I'd be willing to bet the difference between the 6" travel bikes (horst/maestro) wouldn't be too far off the differences between the 4" travel bikes.... but ya never know I could be wrong.

BTW I'm not suggesting Turners are bad bikes at all. Just adding some perspective.
Like I said, everybody I've talked to that has a new maestro really likes it. It looks like a really nice bike; especially for 800 bucks. My only fear w/ any of the vppish bikes is the bearing maintance.

Dave
 

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The Burner for $550? No brainer, pull the trigger. If you destroy it, break it, bend it you can still trade it in to Turner for a 5-Spot or RFX for a$600 credit. The suspension design is classic, it doesn't matter if it is 2006, it'll still ride well.
 

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I own an 04 Burner and agree with all the praise that others heap upon the bike. It will definitely serve you well in nearly all conditions. "Balanced" and "nimble" are words that come to mind nearly every time I ride it. My only hesitation would pertain to the Swinger shock. It stinks. The Burner becomes a much better bike with an RP3 or perhaps nearly any shock besides the Swinger.
 

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I have gone the opposite direction to Steve71 and ride the same front range trails (I think we both love Dakota Ridge! :) ). I had a 6" Titus Quasimoto for several years and do much better on the slower technical trails on the Burner (w/RP3 and older coil Marathon). Kind of odd and you would think the longer travel would help the most but man the '04 Burner rocks and the geometry for climbing and descending (CO F/R!) is awesome. The only place I preferred the Titus was the ski resports. Sorry - I know you are not really doing the same comparison as Steve and I but the ex-homer needs to regret his decision :D .

I think you will be happy with the Giant but you will fall in love with the Burner. Also interesting comments on the Burner bob - I haven't run my RP3 in propedal mode for about a year and a half - it just doesn't bob for me even without the propedal. Really happy with the Burner!
 

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MightySchmoePong said:
My only fear w/ any of the vppish bikes is the bearing maintance.
Shock placement on the Giants is another issue. The shaft of the shock is exposed right at the bottom of the downtube, the only place I've ever dented a bike from rocks. They put the shock in the front triangle, which is good, then poked a big hole in it to let all the rocks and grime in.

I do like the hydroformed tubing of the Giants - very nice. I also think they build very good bikes, particularly for a "big" brand - so don't anybody take my comments to mean that I think they're poor bikes. But I steered away from a Specialized to the Burner because of the shock placement (exposed in the rear triangle, and piercing the ST), and I have no regrets.
 

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burn it

go for the burner, the price is amazing........i have ridden the trance, it pedals well but the frame does not seem as solid as a turner. i didn't do much climbing on the trance.

the burner handles really well and makes for a great trail bike. it goes downhill very well. surprisingly to me, the biggest weakness of my burner is technical climbing, but i also have a 5 spot which excels at technical climbs, so on this point i am biased and it is not a fair comparison. the manitou swinger 3 way's pedal platform may also be getting in the way on the burner-i would love to try it with a rp3. for smooth climbing the burner is great cuz she only weighs 26 lbs. the bottom bracket height is decent and the frame is burly. like i said, go for it- it is a sweet bike, i hope you love it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What was I thinking?

I bought the Burner.

I took a test ride on a Burner this afternoon and was impressed by the handling. The bike is so flickable and feels like it has more than just 3.6 inches of travel. After being on my 29er hardtail for 7 months, the Burner felt like a fast adult size BMX, which equals fun in my book.

After my 20 min test ride, I chuckled at myself for even debating whether to get it or not. The front end is so manuverable and neutral, not too twitchy and not to slow...just the way I like it.

Thanks all for your input!
 

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