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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The November 2009 edition of MBR magazine includes a trail bike group test. The following is a summary of the conclusions:

Intense Tracer VPP - 8/10

Sleekest looking, but didn't have the control and bump absorption of the Turner, but more fun to ride than the Blur. The adjustable travel feature does not quite make the Tracer the two bikes that Intense claims.

Santa Cruz Blur LTc - 8/10

Very stiff and efficient, but feels more like an XC bike than a trail bike. The rear was a little chattery on roots, and could stall out on rocky trails. A different ride to the Tracer considering they have the same suspension design.

Titus FTM - 7/10

A tight riding bike with the shortest wheel base and the steepest head angle, but with the highest bottom bracket on test. Very responsive and easy to flick around on singletrack. It doesn't ride like a Turner, because Titus designed it that way.

Tomac Snyper 140 2 - 8/10

Very compact for a large frame, but with a long wheelbase. The Tomac does not have the pop of the Turner, or the acceleration of the Santa Cruz, or the pace of the Titus through switchbacks, but it is more confident in steep and rocky terrain.

Yeti 575 Carbon - 8/10

Any American Classic test had to include a Yeti. The carbon rear end option supplied suffered too much flex, causing the rear to wash out and get knocked out of line. Swapping to the aluminium version made the rear much stiffer. Like most swing link bikes it has a bit of three stage feel; firm when pedalling, then moves quickly through the mid stroke, before firming at the end.

Turner 5 Spot - 9/10

On the large frame the 5.5" head tube made it difficult to weight the front end in corners, we fitted the lowest headset and stem we could. Almost all testers liked riding the Turner. The frame isn't the most contemporary or radical, and is basic in terms of construction, but what makes it ride so well is the rear suspension. It's so grippy and doesn't have any bad habits. The 5 Spot was one of the few bikes that seemed to track rocky terrain rather than skip over it. The Turner isn't perfect, it's carrying a little too much weight, but it’s the best all round bike here. If the medium was longer or the large lower, then we would think of upping the score.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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I like the review, not because it says the 5 spot is the best, but because they chose one above the others and made some decisions. All too often we get useless reviews like "pedals great" or "rear suspension sucked it all up" rather than more direct comparissions between bikes. I'd like to know if it's better than a certain bike and exactly how.
 

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MBR is a great mag that gives pretty honest reviews. So it there sister mag WMB.
 

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Interesting remarks

So, what's with head tube length? I'm not very familiar with how that will affect a bikes overall performance and have never considered it when looking for a new frame. I'm currently on a 08 5 Spot size large with a Pike 454 and have never felt like the front end is lacking in grip when cornering. Granted my bike has a 0.3" shorter head tube, but still. What fork were they running, something with 150 mm of travel? Have any of you current large DW 5 Spot owners noticed this as well or is the magazine missing something?

Anyways, if anyone could give the heads-up on this that would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Leprechaun said:
So, what's with head tube length? I'm not very familiar with how that will affect a bikes overall performance and have never considered it when looking for a new frame. I'm currently on a 08 5 Spot size large with a Pike 454 and have never felt like the front end is lacking in grip when cornering. Granted my bike has a 0.3" shorter head tube, but still. What fork were they running, something with 150 mm of travel? Have any of you current large DW 5 Spot owners noticed this as well or is the magazine missing something?

Anyways, if anyone could give the heads-up on this that would be greatly appreciated.
Below should be an image of the bike setups they used in the comparison

https://img262.imageshack.us/i/image3nm.jpg/]https://img262.imageshack.us/img262/453/image3nm.jpg[/URL]

Edit: Edited the picture out, the link still works
 

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They did make a negative comment on the seat tube not being reamed and obviously restricting seat post adjustment.
 

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Dibbs_ said:
They did make a negative comment on the seat tube not being reamed and obviously restricting seat post adjustment.
There is a thread on these boards "Weld inside seat tube"

Ive mentioned it there
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Leprechaun said:
So, what's with head tube length? I'm not very familiar with how that will affect a bikes overall performance and have never considered it when looking for a new frame. I'm currently on a 08 5 Spot size large with a Pike 454 and have never felt like the front end is lacking in grip when cornering. Granted my bike has a 0.3" shorter head tube, but still. What fork were they running, something with 150 mm of travel? Have any of you current large DW 5 Spot owners noticed this as well or is the magazine missing something?

Anyways, if anyone could give the heads-up on this that would be greatly appreciated.
I have a large DW Spot with a 160mm Fox Van 36RC2 plugged into the head tube, with a Chris King headset (not known for being low profile). I can't say that I have noticed there being any issue. I had a Vanilla 32 RLC on both the DW and my previous large 05 HL, and have not noticed any loss of control when cornering.

I understand that if the frame has a tall head tube, the rider does not have as much control over the height of the bar. Since you cannot add headset spacers or use the rise of the stem to adjust the position.

Re-reading the review, it seems that they were between sizes, so would have preferred to have ridden a medium, but took the large to get the top tube length. So having a larger frame than they wanted with a taller front end, probably lead to the comments.
 

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Now with 3 more inches!
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One of the things I love about Turners is not having to run a bunch of spacers. I wouldn't say my XL Sultan has a tall head tube, I'd say it's the right length.
 

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Tall HT

Can't please all the people all the time! With a shorter head tube I could have gotten a better score than 9/10 though! Damn, so close to a 10/10. The reality is that so many head tubes are too short for many, not all, but many riders. When I designed the 09-frames I looked at the 5 Spot setup thread from the earlier model and noted a LOT of spacers on a LOT of riders bikes. So, longer head tubes for all in 2009.

Are there photos of the different setups, wonder what the rise of the bars, stems and HS was for all? With all but one available Frame Only, they should have built them all the same to compare them.

DT
 

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I think it was an interesting comparison, glad to see the Spot fared so well. I didn't think most people are that focused on head tube length. I would think many would rather stuff a few spacers on to keep the fork steerer long for resale so a long HT would save the trouble and aesthetics and possible flex. I'd be surprised if a lot of people felt it was a significant handling issue. Sure there are some that are very particular and/or talented enough for it to matter but probably not a lot.

Annnyway, I doubt a shorter HT would have got the bike more than another quarter or half point. A 10/10 would have drawn as much suspicion as it would praise.

Speaking of astethics, could someone reduce that mega wide post above...the side scrolling needed to read posts is no fun.
 

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The head tube on the Spot is a little on the long side compared to other bikes of the same size. Personally, I run a large frame with low rise bars with only one 5mm spacer and a zero rise stem. I am typically riding full on XC with this setup. For more aggressive riding I'd certainly appreciate a little shorter head tube. Compared to my Mojo, MKIII, and Pivot Mach 5, the bars on my 5 spot are almost 25mm higher.

9 out of 10 is pretty sick from MBR, and I'm stoked that they singled out the suspension performance as a big contributing factor to that score. Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside :) heh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
turnerbikes said:
Are there photos of the different setups, wonder what the rise of the bars, stems and HS was for all? With all but one available Frame Only, they should have built them all the same to compare them.

DT
In previous years they have carried out identical build kit tests, but this year they took build that the UK distributor supplied. The only concession was to change to a control tyre (Maxxis Crossmark).
 

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wpuk said:
Apologies for the poor cropping, there are static side profile pictures available but they are pretty small in the mag
Dude, many thanks for taking the time. :thumbsup:
 

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About to stir the pot . . .

The MBR review had found two (small) flaws with Spot . . . weight and headtube length.

Wait, I know of a bike that is very similar, but much lighter, has a shorter headtube, and is cheaper--Its called a Ibis Mojo SL . . .

Let the whipping begin.
 
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