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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently got back from a week long mountain bike trip to Colorado, with a big group of guys. Most of the people have never seen a Turner let alone heard of them and there was always conversations about suspension and why was the 5 Spot so good?? I know the 5 Spot is a Horst Link 4 bar bike but other than that I am clueless on geometry.

What exactly is the "Horst Link"? And what is the difference between my old Giant NRS suspension and the Turner, I can feel the difference but do not know why it happens. I was hoping Steve3 could help answer.... Just kidding :p


Oh I have included another Epic photo for Zilla...

Thanks
Kelly
 

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Brass Nipples!
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The Horst link is named after Horst Leitner who was the suspension designer for AMP research. Dave Turner was one of their test riders and racers and used the concept when he began making bikes himself.

A Horst link is a link placed in a certain position on the chainstay (part of the bike between the bottom bracket and rear axle. If a 4 bar has a link on the seatstay (between the axle and seat, think Rocky Mountain or Kona) it isn't a Horst link. Specialized bought the patent rights, so Turners and others that use the technology need to pay a royalty to Specialized.

The Giant design wasn't released in the US at first for fear of problems with the Horst patent. Later, I guess someone decided that the slightly different position of the link and the fact that the system is designed to be run without sag made the design different enough that it didn't constitute a patent infringement. Ellsworth bikes have a pivot which is a Horst link in my mind, but the derivation of the design is different (? finite element analysis) so they haven't paid the royalty. I'm not familiar with what exactly is covered in the patent.

Horst links are supposed to make the suspension more fully active and less effected by pedaling inputs. They do introduce a highly stressed pivot point, particularly the drive side pivot. I think the Horst link is the secret behind the superb ride of the Turner and others that have similar design. Others have said they can't really feel a difference.
 

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Braking characteristics can vary between horst 4 bars and non-horst 4 bars. Horst links are said to be more neutral. i.e. expriencing little brake squat or brake jack.

However, your NRS is a variation of the horst link. I've heard good things about how well they pedal. I would imagine that the 5spot would descend better though. Beyond that, you can likely attribute the better ride to better build quality. :D
 

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mad aussie
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do a search for a post by Turnerbikes on the subject of the Horst Link. In itself it doesnt guarantee that:
1. Suspension will be unaffected by pedalling forces
2. Suspension will be unaffected by braking.

It is the alignment of all the pivots of the suspension that determines this characteristic. Turners are designed to be fairly neutral of suspension and braking forces. In the Giant NRS it is designed to extend from pedalling forces (locking out a topped out setup) and also extends under braking forces. Other Horst Link suspension designs (including GT LTS also extend under braking.
Titus also has some good info on their website.
Ultimately none of this really matter worth a sh*t, as long as you love riding your bike. As I have said many times before Geometry and suspension components are more important in determing the ride of a bike than the suspension design.
 

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Bob the Wheelbuilder said:
The Giant design wasn't released in the US at first for fear of problems with the Horst patent. Later, I guess someone decided that the slightly different position of the link and the fact that the system is designed to be run without sag made the design different enough that it didn't constitute a patent infringement.
The NRS's I've built at the shop over the years have had Specialized patent stickers on them.
 

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Brass Nipples!
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Interesting...

Bulldog said:
The NRS's I've built at the shop over the years have had Specialized patent stickers on them.
I didn't know that. I wonder how Ellsworth avoids this, since their design is closer in my mind to what I think of as a Horst link.
 

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It was my understanding the NRS uses *some* of the horst patent but clearly is not fully complient :) The NRS is more suited for XC dutie over aggresive trail riding. I've also heard it's more suited for lighter (<150lbs?) riders. Having owned one I'd agree. Don't get me wrong, the Giant is a nice bike in it's envelope.

I replaced my Giant NRS2 with a 5 Spot, the difference is alot and very noticable on single track. I can't explain the mechanics but I can tell you how they feel and why I replaced a perfectly good bike.

The biggest thing that bugged me was on technical sections when under power you need to blast over several closily spaced roots. The NRS sucked up the first one, had a little left for the second but by the third the suspension was done. Pedaling power having locked it out. Giant advertises this as a plus (no power going into compressing the shock).

Going downhill (coasting) the suspension did it's basic job thou it suffers from Brake Jack. Under breaking, the backend tends to rise and the rear will will skip. Some of this can be worked out with proper setup of the air shock. I found conflicting setup information published by Giant. The Giant also had alot of clankity, clankity clanks.

The Turner? None of that. I can blast over any amount of roughness while I just keep pedaling. My buddies are saying... "Man, that bike just floats". I agree. I'm also pleased with how quiet it is, I'm afraid my knees make more creeking sounds then the Turner. It's clearly not fair to compare the downhill characteristics.

If I was gonna be riding on blacktop for miles, the Giant might be a better choice. But, I go out of my way to avoid pavement so.... for me the Turner is the clear winner. I was asked how my Turner rode on the Pavement... I answered Horrible :D

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh I absolutely love my bike and can clean stuff I would never dream of before and there is a BIG difference between my Spot and the Giant. And I understand the theory of the Horst just do not know why it works. So is the Horst Link the part I have the arrow pointing? Also by looking at the Giant, why does the suspension lock up when braking?

All I want is to be able to explain to someone with some competency about how good the 5 Spot works, for people who ask. Like I said, I understand theory just need someone to show me with pictures.
 

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The Horst patent is on the angles, lengths and pivot points. The entire rear triangle.

Compare where the Giant has placed the main BB pivot, right behind the crank.
All Horst will be above and behind.

Compare how Giant drops the chainstay to the rear pivot putting it much lower.
All Horst will be level.
 

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this may help...

http://www.specialized.com/sbc4Bar.jsp?a=b

Isn't the answer to your question is it's simply all in the angles and pivot locations? (I'm not an ME and I didn't fair to well in Dynamics class ;)

This is where DT needs to chime in since he has no doubt played with every aspect of these rear ends to wind up where his bikes are today.

John
 

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I don't want to jack this thread and get banished, but here is a picture of my favorite link - link sausage.

My second favorite link is of course the Horst Link. My 5-Spot is the best damn piece of machinery I have ever owned and that includes a 1981 Honda Accord that ran well until I donated it in 1998.

I also found this from Titus. http://www.titusti.com/suspension.html
Please do not banish me as I will have nothing left to do but ride.
 

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bike moron
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Dirdir said:
I don't want to jack this thread and get banished, but here is a picture of my favorite link - link sausage.


That must be why you lost your edge a while back...too many links.....

Not to worry, IMO, hijacking a thread for humor, is a noble purpose, not at all like hijacking for ranting etc.

I'll have egg, SPAM, SPAM, bacon, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, sausage and SPAM :D
 

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more than 1 answer

KCC said:
skibaru, this is the kind of info I was looking for, the small details.

Thanks
The answer is not solely in one area of the bike, its a bunch of things that come together in one package that make the 5 Spot the sought after trail bike that it is. A lot of experience and background comes with each Turner model you see, and the 5 Spot shows this extremely well. Dave Turner does not design bikes half baked, but sweating the details and follow through is brought to a new level in every sense of the word, sometimes hidden. And Turner bikes does listen to its customers, as many have found out in here recently. Experience and knowledge seem to be expressed vividly in every Turner bike.
I believe......(IMO) The 5 Spot for example was in the works for many years before it became reality, weather it was known waaaay back some time ago what it would eventually become, or where it was going then. I had what would be called 2 prototypes pre-ceeding the 5 Spot. Though I think the first one (1997) may have been thought to be a test just to see if the words LIGHT and 5 INCHES of travel had any merit to them at all back then. Remember, 7 years ago it was barely the accepted norm to have 6 inches of travel for DH racing, 5 inches for sure was accepted but 6" was just starting to be looked at seriously for DH racing.
Without going into a bunch of details, by todays standards.....a 5 inch travel bike designed around xc (more or less) trail use, should not be only a good climber or decender or singletrack cruiser, easy to ride, easy to handle etc., it really needs to be about the best at all aspects put together in one package to be called a true and worthy all around top notch trail bike, that is fun and comfortable, the do it all bike, own one trail bike.
Dave Turner makes his bikes with such a high level of experience and knowledge and passion. A ride on one is all it takes for almost everyone to agree on how good it really is.
If you dont really know technically or detailed how to tell someone why a Turner is so good, just tell them to take a ride on one and find out what the buzz is all about. Or have them come in here and everyone will give plenty of reasons why they are so good.

Here is a look at some 5 Spot history....(I believe the 5 Spot was a sub concious secret hidden in the files for years...!!!!!!), the old musty looking picture was 35mm film copied it is so old (1997), the other one was last years early spring Turner ad. And one of.....Dave Turner himself. Yes he rides, and also raced years ago with the pro's, he has plenty of background put into his bikes. He is just an everyday cool normal guy......he just happens to make about the best suspension bikes on the planet..!!!!!!!!!

Just my own thoughts and take on this.
 

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dang computers........

DGC said:
The answer is not solely in one area of the bike, its a bunch of things that come together in one package that make the 5 Spot the sought after trail bike that it is. A lot of experience and background comes with each Turner model you see, and the 5 Spot shows this extremely well. Dave Turner does not design bikes half baked, but sweating the details and follow through is brought to a new level in every sense of the word, sometimes hidden. And Turner bikes does listen to its customers, as many have found out in here recently. Experience and knowledge seem to be expressed vividly in every Turner bike.
I believe......(IMO) The 5 Spot for example was in the works for many years before it became reality, weather it was known waaaay back some time ago what it would eventually become, or where it was going then. I had what would be called 2 prototypes pre-ceeding the 5 Spot. Though I think the first one (1997) may have been thought to be a test just to see if the words LIGHT and 5 INCHES of travel had any merit to them at all back then. Remember, 7 years ago it was barely the accepted norm to have 6 inches of travel for DH racing, 5 inches for sure was accepted but 6" was just starting to be looked at seriously for DH racing.
Without going into a bunch of details, by todays standards.....a 5 inch travel bike designed around xc (more or less) trail use, should not be only a good climber or decender or singletrack cruiser, easy to ride, easy to handle etc., it really needs to be about the best at all aspects put together in one package to be called a true and worthy all around top notch trail bike, that is fun and comfortable, the do it all bike, own one trail bike.
Dave Turner makes his bikes with such a high level of experience and knowledge and passion. A ride on one is all it takes for almost everyone to agree on how good it really is.
If you dont really know technically or detailed how to tell someone why a Turner is so good, just tell them to take a ride on one and find out what the buzz is all about. Or have them come in here and everyone will give plenty of reasons why they are so good.

Here is a look at some 5 Spot history....(I believe the 5 Spot was a sub concious secret hidden in the files for years...!!!!!!), the old musty looking picture was 35mm film copied it is so old (1997), the other one was last years early spring Turner ad. And one of.....Dave Turner himself. Yes he rides, and also raced years ago with the pro's, he has plenty of background put into his bikes. He is just an everyday cool normal guy......he just happens to make about the best suspension bikes on the planet..!!!!!!!!!

Just my own thoughts and take on this.
Here are the other 2 pictures that the post didnt want to show all together.
 

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Lay off the Levers
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jncarpenter said:
....hey....niiiiice sausage! Wonder if we should let Bikezilla see those.....hmmmmm:D
Horst! Oh! I I thought he said Borscht!...mmmm add that sausage and make a nice stew...Mmmmmm drroooooollll!
 

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Here's how I think of the Horst...

...or describe to others - as simplistic (or incorrect) as it may be.

Assuming your starting with a "4-bar" design look where your IS disc brake mount is. If it is connected to your chainstay it is not a Horst link. If it is on the seatstay, then it is a Horst link.

If your brake is mounted to the chainstay whatever you are riding - regardless of a "4 bar" design or not - is simply a single pivot bike - a la Ventana, Kona, Banshee, etc. I believe Horst bikes, properly executed, provide the best braking performance but the relative performance can be endlessly debated. I've owned both Horsts and single pivots and they both have their merits. On longer travel SPs (Foes, Orange) I like the application of the floating brake kits as you keep the simple burliness of the SP but get the braking performance of a Horst in a lighter and easier to maintain package.

The most recent issue of "Bike" incorrectly describes the Banshee Chapparral (sp?) as a Horst link bike just because it is a 4-bar design. A stupid oversight by a (crappy) industry rag.

If I'm wrong, please let me know. Just be kind as I'm a sensitive metrosexual.

Sean
 
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