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ride
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently received a new TNT rear end from Turner to see if my customers or I can tell a difference in the 2 rear ends. I'm a big believer in the "sell what you ride" mantra and I was a bit skeptical of the move away from the Horst Link. It was important for me to find out first hand if there really is a difference in the 2. It's one thing to say, "hey, I have a Horst Link bike, but other folks have the TNT and they can't tell a difference." It's another thing, though, to say, "Ride it yourself and see if you can tell." A majority of my customers (before the TNT deal) have mentioned that they really like the Horst Link, so I was sweating it!

I've read many reviews of the TNT rear mounted on the 5 Spot, so I bolted it up to the demo Flux that we have.

I was eager to get out on the bike. To keep my review as objective as I could, I hit the local trail that's rideable from town. Everyone has one - it may or may not be rideable from your door, but everyone has one trail that they have every rock, root, corner, and drop memorized. Hall Ranch in Lyons, CO would be my first ride. It's a fast, desert like ride with lots of fast swoopy sections as well as lots of rocks and boulders.

Out the door and on the road finally and it still felt like the same ol' Flux. I got up and sprinted, and sat and spun, but it felt like the same bike I'd been riding for a year. Once I hit dirt, though, I figured I would be able to tell a difference. The Horst rear end will likely be more active on the climb and will surely be perceptible on the rough downhill, I thought. I hit the dirt and began a longish climb of mixed double track and singletrack. The first part of the climb is very rocky and wide- nothing technical, but lots of small sharp bumpy rocks; the kind of climb that is a little too bumpy on a hardtail. The TNT Flux was smooth as butter, just like the Horst Link Flux. Onto the singletrack and I was trucking along as usual. The trail has a couple of rock cavities and bigger wheel sucking type bumps. Still no change. And so it went for the rest of the climb.

Hall Ranch has some very, very rocky sections that are a blast on the downhill. There are quite a few parts where the corners are rocky and washed out, the type that you hit at full speed, then on the brakes in the roughest part. This, I thought, is where the Horst Link would prove it's superiority. Again, I was wrong. I thrashed the descent in the same way that I ride it with the 5 Spot. I stuffed the corners I usually stuff, hit the drops the same, and rode all the rough stuff with no real detectable difference in the ride. I was able to notice, though, a very, very small difference in lateral rear end stiffness. I attribute this difference to the solid chunk of aluminum on the rear as opposed to the 3 webbed fingers of the Horst Link design.

Since that initial ride, I've taken the TNT Flux out on tighter, more technical woods riding with the same conclusion. In the end, really, it is hard to swallow the fact that the Horst Link marketing mumbo jumbo is just that, especially after communicating it myself for years. I swapped the rear end over and changed absolutely nothing else on the bike. I could not tell a functionaly difference between the 2 rear ends.

I have this sucker ready to bolt onto the 5 Spot, too. The proof really is in the pudding. I'm happy for Dave that he got out of the licensing deals and came away with a bike that performs the same. Happy Trails!
 

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I'm just about sold.

It's funny, after the announcement was made I panicked, decided I'd probably not buy another Turner etc etc. Then the reviews started trickling in.... hmmmm seems like nobody can tell the difference? Then DT announces that the're doing annodizing for next year and suddenly I'm thinking, hmmm.... 600 bucks to trade in my XCE, I can sell the XR rockers for 100 bucks or so..... trying to determine how much it would cost me to swap to a new 5-spot frame :)

I suspect that there are a lot of people going through the same HL 10 step program.

Dave
 

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Lay off the Levers
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Nice review Ignazjr. I'm looking forward to reading you 5 Spot comparo too.
MSP: If mid-summer someone said Turner would go TNT, build a 29'er, and do Anno frames I would have laughed.
 

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striker!
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Great analogy

MightySchmoePong said:
I suspect that there are a lot of people going through the same HL 10 step program.

Dave
The HL 10 step program - I think that summarizes it for a lot people! The only sure way to get through the program is to ride a TNT or live vicariously through others' rides. I'm getting close myself, but I think I need to swing a leg over one until I proclaim that I'm a recovered HL rider.

Thanks for the review.

S
 

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only slightly broken
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ignazjr said:
In the end, really, it is hard to swallow the fact that the Horst Link marketing mumbo jumbo is just that, especially after communicating it myself for years. I swapped the rear end over and changed absolutely nothing else on the bike. I could not tell a functionaly difference between the 2 rear ends.
You captured my feelings quite well here, though I am not sure I would call it mumbo
jumbo. The theory seems right, the maths seem to support it, and I trust and respect
many of the main preachers of the theory.

Just goes to prove, I suppose, how complicated something as simple appearing as
a mountain bike really can be.

The suns back out, I'm going for a ride.
 

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My cup runneth over
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drunkle said:
has the price of the bike dropped accordingly with the elimination of licensing fees?
That question has been asked before and I think the answer was - "the price didn't go up when the licensing fees were first applied..."
 

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www.derbyrims.com
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it's ICT "mumbo jumbo", not Horst link

ignazjr said:
... In the end, really, it is hard to swallow the fact that the Horst Link marketing mumbo jumbo is just that, especially after communicating it myself for years. I swapped the rear end over and changed absolutely nothing else on the bike. I could not tell a functionaly difference between the 2 rear ends.
It's actually ICT marketing mumbo jumbo.

There is still a perceptible subtle pedaling and braking difference with Horst link design. Try a Titus with the same travel. Although other geometry and shock tune differences would be harder to quantify as the lack of perceptible differences the ICT vs. monopivot TNT tests have revealed clearly.

Turner design moved away from Horst link design in '98, into the monopivot emulating and yet to be written ICT patent limitations, when the chain stay pivots were moved higher to avoid rear derailiuer slap.

BTW, FSR design had followed Turner away from Horst design and into the early ICT limitations since Y2K too, also before ICT was granted a patent.

The second ICT patent in '04 adds more limitation.

(Note: In ICT patent-2 the IC movement had to be somewhat forward at some arbitrary ratio to the variance limit to the arbitrary chainline tracking variance limit in a special gear set, compared to ICT patent-1 that did not limit the position along the chainline tracking variance in a special gear set position. The second patent effectively makes the pedaling no different than the first patent in being monopivot emulating, but braking becomes only more extending in reaction, although falsely claimed to be more neutral.)

Only the Turner RFX and DHX were prior design, other than the Ellsworth Id and Dare, within the second ICT patent geometry measurement limitations.

I don't think Ellsworth ever called ICT "horst link". He did say in past years that there was mysteriously less pedaling squat and less braking reactivity, and even lately "7% more efficiency" and it's 100% efficient. Obviously Ellsworth has always been very naive about his designs, until now if he can read the ride reports of the Turner ICT compliant vs. monopivot TNT comparisons.

You have always been able to factually promote Horst link design as having a perceptible difference in performance to monopivot and the monopivot emulating de-evolution of ICT. There is no factual reason not to continue to promote the performance advantage of real Horst link designs. Expert riders still can notice the better acceleration and braking ride differences between Horst link verses monopivot and ICT.

But if rider noticeable improved suspension performance is important to hype up, then the DW-Link designs have moved bike suspension performance a large step beyond monopivot and also beyond the noticeable improvements with the real Horst link designs. It will be a few more years before DW-Link design gains the recognition that took Horst design 10 years to gain (and now possibly loosing due to mistaking ICT as being a "Horst link"). The internet will reveal the good news faster now days.

- ray
 

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I'm just happy DT is free of the patent struggles and doesn't have to constantly look over his shoulder using lawyers simply to stay in business with a clean nose and a feel for what riders want, not what they want to read.

I think it's great he took the step forward to show he can design a bike that feels the same, thus bursting the ICT and FSR marketing bubble.
 

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www.derbyrims.com
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TNT destroys the baggage

Jerk_Chicken said:
I'm just happy DT is free of the patent struggles and doesn't have to constantly look over his shoulder using lawyers simply to stay in business with a clean nose and a feel for what riders want, not what they want to read.

I think it's great he took the step forward to show he can design a bike that feels the same, thus bursting the ICT and FSR marketing bubble.
Yes the TNT declares freedom from business partners and the limits and permissions required for licensing (licensing is called "partnering" in marketing business terms).

Business partnering is much like marriage without the sex. If she's not happy he's not happy. Better be able to read minds and bite your tongue. And some partners are certifiably insane and destructive. It can be very costly to get out of a partnership.

Turner was already married long term with the Horst link partner owners, although he strayed into his own area of design when he raised the chainstay pivots. The Horst link marriage was more one of convenience, now technically separated but still maintaining the marriage partnership labels, the stickers. The current Horst link partner called FSR now, even followed Turner design closely, raising the chainstay pivots of their bike lines just a year or two later.

The ICT partnering must have been like a paternity suit. Turner invents a design modification of his previous Horst link designs. A then unknowingly, without any contact, some highly paid financial bookkeeper with a bicycle riding hobby steals Turner's design. It's kind of like the bookkeeper self impregnated with a stolen sample of the Turner design DNA.

The self impregnated bookkeeper is infatuated with Turner's design and writes up a supernatural story how superior Turner's design is compared to all others, and files a patent to claim paternity of the design. The bookkeeper gives birth to fragile paved bike-path strength near copies of Turner's design. Then the bookkeeper comes back to Turner with a paternity suit, demanding Turner must provide child support.

The expense for Turner of proving that he was the original designer was not worth the battle. Especially after testing that his design modification away from the Horst link geometry was not any different in perceptible performance than the monopivot design, perhaps even inferior due to the lower flex potential of the monopivot configuration.

So Turner did the wise thing. Rather than fighting a legal battle, a technical paternity suit, Turner decided to abandon his own design, realizing his late '90's design, the so-called ICT design, tested to be no better performing to monopivot with the same shock geometry.

Turner is free now. Single. Divorced from a long but now meaningless marriage of convenience, and free of the nagging paternity claims from a pathological stalker.

Turner is free to marry again. But he's probably not anxious to jump back into the mind reading games and pedestal building required of business marriages.

Someone with more raging hormones than brains at FSR should be able to take on the battle to reclaim the so-called ICT design. FSR also produced the so-called ICT design before it was copied and patented by the bookkeeper.

The bookkeeper's mistake, possibly criminal neglect, was to not put the originator of the design, Turner, on the ICT patent ownership applications, along with his amateur car racer friend. The bookkeeper was so arrogant about his own business shrewdness that he states in his patents that Turner did have prior use but failed to apply for a patent for the design first.

The truth spreads quickly on the internet.

- ray
 

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derby said:
Yes the TNT declares freedom from business partners and the limits and permissions required for licensing (licensing is called "partnering" in marketing business terms).

Business partnering is much like marriage without the sex. If she's not happy he's not happy. Better be able to read minds and bite your tongue. And some partners are certifiably insane and destructive. It can be very costly to get out of a partnership.

Turner was already married long term with the Horst link partner owners, although he strayed into his own area of design when he raised the chainstay pivots. The Horst link marriage was more one of convenience, now technically separated but still maintaining the marriage partnership labels, the stickers. The current Horst link partner called FSR now, even followed Turner design closely, raising the chainstay pivots of their bike lines just a year or two later.

The ICT partnering must have been like a paternity suit. Turner invents a design modification of his previous Horst link designs. A then unknowingly, without any contact, some highly paid financial bookkeeper with a bicycle riding hobby steals Turner's design. It's kind of like the bookkeeper self impregnated with a stolen sample of the Turner design DNA.

The self impregnated bookkeeper is infatuated with Turner's design and writes up a supernatural story how superior Turner's design is compared to all others, and files a patent to claim paternity of the design. The bookkeeper gives birth to fragile paved bike-path strength near copies of Turner's design. Then the bookkeeper comes back to Turner with a paternity suit, demanding Turner must provide child support.

The expense for Turner of proving that he was the original designer was not worth the battle. Especially after testing that his design modification away from the Horst link geometry was not any different in perceptible performance than the monopivot design, perhaps even inferior due to the lower flex potential of the monopivot configuration.

So Turner did the wise thing. Rather than fighting a legal battle, a technical paternity suit, Turner decided to abandon his own design, realizing his late '90's design, the so-called ICT design, tested to be no better performing to monopivot with the same shock geometry.

Turner is free now. Single. Divorced from a long but now meaningless marriage of convenience, and free of the nagging paternity claims from a pathological stalker.

Turner is free to marry again. But he's probably not anxious to jump back into the mind reading games and pedestal building required of business marriages.

Someone with more raging hormones than brains at FSR should be able to take on the battle to reclaim the so-called ICT design. FSR also produced the so-called ICT design before it was copied and patented by the bookkeeper.

The bookkeeper's mistake, possibly criminal neglect, was to not put the originator of the design, Turner, on the ICT patent ownership applications, along with his amateur car racer friend. The bookkeeper was so arrogant about his own business shrewdness that he states in his patents that Turner did have prior use but failed to apply for a patent for the design first.

The truth spreads quickly on the internet.

- ray
Wow, it's like the Turner lovers are in a tail spin. Do you forget that your guy DT was one of the loudest voices behind the HL for years? Can you honestly say that if DT himself held the HL and ICT patents that you guys would have pushed for the new design? Then, when DT changes the design to avoid paying for someone elses IP, everyone thinks he has discovered the most revolutionary suspension design in years. He even puts a flashy ICTish marketing name on it...TNT. Hasn't Ventana, Kona, and other bike makers been using this design for years? I have no doubt that the TNT bikes are great. Doesn't it all come down to the quality of the frame? Let's not forget that Turner bikes used the HL and ICT design for years. DT even put stickers on his bikes for the last half of 2005 proudly displaying the ICT logo. Was he just lying to you guys...taking your money for some marketing hype...or did he really believe that the HL was a great design. I think any design has short comings, but let's not forget that DT abandoned the design for reasons other than performance. If I do a search from a year or so ago will I find you Turner guys saying how great Ventana's design is compared to the HL Turners?

Trying to say that one design is superior and all other designs are junk is silly. I have friends that ride VPP and love them...VPP feels funny to me. I ride VPP and feel pedal kick back and strange braking...they ride them and swear they feel nothing. They look at my bike pedaling and say it bobs...I watch the VPP pedal and it bobs, they just don't notice it.

Let's be fair...If people are going to complain about Tony's ICT marketing hype, take a look at the TNT hype on the Turner website...every company hypes their design...that is how they sell bikes.
 

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ride
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
derby said:
It's actually ICT marketing mumbo jumbo.

...

Expert riders still can notice the better acceleration and braking ride differences between Horst link verses monopivot and ICT.
All very good points Ray. My main thought with this was, all marketing is mumbo jumbo, no matter what is being peddled.

The second, half, though, is debatable. I've ridden some single pivot bikes that I'd say were merely OK and I've ridden some Horst bikes that are, indeed, super active. I would also consider myself an expert rider, having grown up on dirt bikes and raced mountian bikes for 10 years, 3 of them being semi professionally. I can tell a difference in the braking, acceleration, and ride qualities of about any bike I'm on. When it comes to the Flux I've been riding for a year, though, I've had the experience to ride the HL and the TNT design on it and I really can't tell a difference, especially one that would effect the quality of my ride. Thats where marketing kicks in (or is kicked out). Advertising copy holds no water on the trail.
 
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