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... I guess you won't be
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I'd have to disagree with you on the new geometry - it's probably the most noticeable positive change in bike handling I've ever experienced in my mtb journey, which has been a continuous one since the late 1980's. It's understandable that one would make such an assertion after investing in a bike that has the old-school numbers......

I only have empirical evidence to base my opinion on. My 2019 GT Sensor is by far the best handling bike I've ever ridden, and it is firmly in the whacky nu-geometry zone - it's what I would have hoped the 5-spot would have evolved into. I also recently sold my last Turner, and say what you will, there is no comparison.

In a way, I feel like my new GT carries on the Turner model for handling excellence....but, I'm sad that I probably won't be getting any new Turner anytime in the future (if all the rumors are true)
 

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I'd have to disagree with you on the new geometry - it's probably the most noticeable positive change in bike handling I've ever experienced...
Agree. Of course there are some that take it too far for my tastes/needs. But on the whole the “ new” (not so new anymore) geometry simply works. As I see it, mainly because I’m not riding the same type of trails that I used to.

New trails are gnarlier, faster, more flowy and a bike with a longer reach/Longer wheelbase/steeper seattube is just more optimal there. (I’m in the pnw). I’m not riding the same inherited hiking trails that were super tight and technical and generally ridden at a slower speed.

The new geo for me is simply the right tool for the job. I can understand how some are perhaps not into riding these types of trails or live where the terrain doesn’t benefit from this geo.

The longer reach allows me be to be more centered and not ride off the back when things get hairy. I feel more in control and haven’t had any issues with the front wheel sliding out when cornering. It requires a recalibration of riding style but I’ve become a better rider because of it.

I would love to see a Turner version of it. DT’s attention to detail and dw link iteration is something that I miss in other brands.
 

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I’m not entirely sold on the new wave of super long bikes. My LBS made a mistake during my yearly suspension service which resulted in my riding a brand new $8k Bronson for a month. For perspective, I’ve been riding for over 25yrs, do well in my regional races, and prefer to ride the gnarlier end of the spectrum. I was hesitant to take the Bronson because I was afraid to fall in love and end up in an $8k romance. I dialed this bike in, installed the proper amount of volume reducers to dial things in to my liking, and eventually was pushing the bike pretty hard. Long story short, I got my RFX back and immediately set 3 PRs on my first ride, 1 going up, 2 going down. On paper, the Bronson should have been faster because it was longer, but it wasn’t. There’s more to a ride then seat angle and reach. I would buy a new RFX in a heartbeat because I think Dave knows how to make a better overall package.
 

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I appreciate your optimism, hopefully a new RFX comes out within the next year (in any wheel size) otherwise Ibis is likely going to get my money because they make the only other bike that comes close.
ignore freebiker, his optimism isn't reflected in reality.

If you want to know what's really happening at Turner, call them, ask for Dave, explain what your situation is, and he'll tell you what's what.
 

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ignore freebiker, his optimism isn't reflected in reality.

If you want to know what's really happening at Turner, call them, ask for Dave, explain what your situation is, and he'll tell you what's what.
I'm way ahead of you on that one. I've had several conversations with Dave, he's a cool cat. He told me the deal, I have my interpretation of what he told me, but I'm not going to fuel speculation or put words in his mouth. Suffice it to say that while its not all puppies and rainbows, there may be a very small sliver of hope (that's just my optimism now). At this point, I think the man himself should come and set us all straight, since he's pretty much a straight shooter.

As far as the RFX goes, its just back luck that it was released when it was with all the change that was happening. Having said that, and having ridden many of the latest and greatest "modern" bikes, the RFX is still very much a benchmark on how a bike of this type should feel and handle. I've found that many of the online reviews in the more "popular" publications of these newer bikes can be a little misleading. I can get just about any new bike that I want at this point, but I'm waiting to find one that is a worthy successor to my RFX.
 

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I only have empirical evidence to base my opinion on. My 2019 GT Sensor is by far the best handling bike I've ever ridden, and it is firmly in the whacky nu-geometry zone - it's what I would have hoped the 5-spot would have evolved into. I also recently sold my last Turner, and say what you will, there is no comparison.
1. Apples and oranges - the difference is more due to well designed 29" vs. a well designed 26"; the 29'er will always be less squirrelly
2. Every bike is a trade-off - each will excel in certain situations and perform poorly in others
 

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Interested to see what the opinions are on a more gravity oriented RFXesque 29er?
I've been out of the MTB game for a while, and hadn't perused MTBR for years until recently. But this thread reminded me of a conversation on the Turner forum from over a decade ago. And for kicks I took a few minutes to dig it up. Remember this is over a dozen years ago, the new standards (ex.Boost spacing) and today's commonplace yet beefy components (Fox 36 29r forks, wide rims, etc.) did not exist. And I'm not proud of getting my panties in a bunch later in the thread, but despite my inexperience on 29ers (and in general) I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted out of a bike back then, and the industry has now gotten around to making it a reality.

Quoting myself from this post -

https://forums.mtbr.com/turner/what-do-you-want-see-future-turners-line-337318-post3523371.html#post3523371

This has probably all been covered, but here's what I want. A 5"+ travel 29er. With 150mm TA rear and lower stand-over than the Sultan. With a ~5" travel fork geometry should be a little more slack than the Sultan as well...not too much, though. Spot and/or RFX tubing, Spot/RFX stays. Some headtube gusseting, this frame is gonna get banged around. Available with an air or coil shock.

Plus (not having anything to do with Turner) a Zoke 66/Fox 36-like 29er fork. Around 150mm travel, with travel reduction down to 100 or so. No lockout needed. Thick stanchions, at least 35mm. Air sprung is preferable, a la 36 Talas or 66SL. Rockshox (and 2-step) need not apply.

Goal build weight with XT drivetrain/brakes, Easton/Thomson bits, "AM" wheels, etc. would be similar to the current RFX: 32 to 35lbs. Should take almost as much abuse as an '07 RFX. I wouldn't plan to go downhilling with it, though.

So in reality we're waiting for the fork manufacturers, not Turner. Maybe if he builds it, they will too?
DT's initial response:

Lots of great ideas. Many are seriously considered, who knows when though.....but there will be no RFX 29r untill at least 2010, reason? No fork. I would not go through the huge expense for a frame that only has one fork in the whole world that will work with it. I have talked and talked and talked to the fork powers, and there will be NOTHING as burly as a Pike from any of the of the big 3, and that is for 2009.

(edit: 29r 36, 66, Lyric? Dream on. White Bros 150 is it. I really would never make the Sultan a longer travel frame without a longer shock, I think it is great with 4" and a 1.5" stroke shock. More travel and it would be over what I like to push a XC shock. The tube set is from a Spot, every single tube. It is fine, we have sold a lot of Sultans and there is no one complaining, even Boris who did not like the bike did not complain about the construction. It is a trail bike, like a Flux or 5 Spot, I did not come up short on an RFX design, or over build a Nitrous 29r, I designed and built a 29r trail bike and this bike is just right for what it was designed to do. You want more travel? Get a Lenz lunch box. less travel? Lots of very light hardtails. Want to go for a ride and have fun and not risk serious injury or challenge JHK? Look at the Sultan, it is a nice bike.

Through axle rear. I will do it, it will be a 12mm. That is so it will be Maxle compatable, the best fat axle ever invented. The last time I asked RockShox said it was only 12x135 or 12x150. Someone posted that running a 12mm drill through the 10mm threads on a King fun bolted hub would make it ready for 12mm.

(edit: I will have a 12mm bolt for those that don't want no fiddly parts back there. I spoke to I-9, they have 135x12, so does Hadley, and drilling King fun bolt hub threads is easy. Sounds good to me. Modular dropouts does not, more parts to squeek and bolts to come loose and add weight. If you want lots of bolts to look at and tighten, look elsewhere. The next one will have the same hanger as the current DHR Highline, which is also Saint compatible.

Everyone really ready for full length housing on XC bikes? Really? I talked about designing a bike with full length housing to my roomates in1983. Everyone ready? Would 2009 be too soon?

(edit: full length it is, all models all the time, hope ya'll can be patient, I have wanted to do this for a long time, but when CC and the other riders beat me up next year, you have to kick their a$$ for me)

(edit: Stickers are replaceable, they are not why I am in this business, JN is a sticker maker, anyone can buy a set of any color from him and stick 'em on. My zerk placement is 15 years proven to grease pivots, not bolts, I know it may take almost 15 minutes to drop a wheel and a shock bolt to make it extra easy, but that extra time is also checking over the whole bike. The whole bike is a wear item, a little love now and then will go a long way to making sure you never walk out. I will never put more cable guides than I think is needed, more guides are ugly and brake hoses do not flop around and get caught in spokes, ever. We offer something like 15? color options, over 10 on a list, plus you can have any of the other models color on your frame of choice. Dealers want simple, so 2 it is. We have even started offering the option of paint to match rear, tell a friend. Hey, I have 2 colors of Stainless head badge too! No kids bikes though. I have 3 kids and they get what they get. Around 5' they get the smallest Flux. Before that hardtails and 20-24" wheels.

I am watching.

DT
And another response to me directly further down the thread:

*snip*

PC, I cannot hold my tongue anymore. You want this long travel, 150mm rear spaced Clyde certified, RFX class 29r that will not climb as grudgingly as an RFX? Take a deep breath and think about that. The 150 hub and 83 BB will have to be Highline class, the stays will be longer, heavier or flexier than an RFX, the rims and tires will squash an RFX equivilant by hundreds of grams of rotating weight. You have some neat ideas for combining certain aspects for a non existant model, but you cannot have what is mathematically impossible.

*snip*
...you cannot have what is mathematically impossible.

At the time, he was right within the pre-existing constraints of component availability and industry standards.

But it's pretty damn amazing that the industry figured out how to make it happen.

  • Wider BBs and axles (and hubs), front and rear.
  • Long wheelbases, ridiculously long reach numbers (was reach even a part of the common vernacular in 2007?).
  • Slack HTAs and steeeeep STAs. My 2002 RFX had a ~68* HTA with a shortened Marzocchi 66SL fork. That would be considered criminally steep these days.
  • Super short stems and 800mm handlebars.
  • Wide rims and even wider tires. A 'new standard' of 30mm+ wide rims and 2.5"+ tires on trail bikes?!?
  • Burly stanchioned 29er forks. Hell, Fox doesn't even make a 26" fork anymore other than a dirt jumper. Who would've predicted that a dozen+ years ago?

Now almost every manufacturer of full suspension bikes has a least one 29er model with 5-6+ inches travel. Some even have several models with only 10 or 20mm travel difference between them. The Enduro bike market seems to have exploded and lines up somewhat perfectly with the bike that I was looking for way back in 2007.

It seems like Turner Bikes is in a transition of sorts, perhaps with no future plans to manufacture suspension bikes. Without any official word I wouldn't want to speculate further. But I will say I'd love to get a look at the 29er RFX that Turner would build in today's market, with the knowledge and experience gained from the last decade and without the constraints of yesteryear. I bet it'd be glorious.

And for a little Turner stoke, here's a couple of throwback pics on my '02 RFX earlier this century.

082307003 (2).JPG

082307001.JPG
 

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Man PCinSC, good to have you back. I remember your profile picture from posts long ago!

Interesting points that almost imply the market left Turner behind. The market did what he thought could not be done.

The new crop of LT 29ers almost feel like they are ushering in a new era of mountain biking. They are that transformative.
 

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I hope that if Turner comes back to the game, the new RFX is along the lines of the Mojo HD5 or Revel Rail. I'd prefer to have the travel and agility vs. the bigger wheels.
 

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Interesting look back in time. The bike you describe in your old post is remarkably similar to the Knolly Fugitive (alloy, 29er, 5" travel, 150/157 TA rear, air or coil shock compatible, lower stand over, built to take a hiding), it's just that it took a few years after your post to make it to market. And they didn't need to go 83mm bb either.
 

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Man PCinSC, good to have you back. I remember your profile picture from posts long ago!
Yeah it's been a long time. Had some fun times on this forum BITD.

Interesting points that almost imply the market left Turner behind. The market did what he thought could not be done.

The new crop of LT 29ers almost feel like they are ushering in a new era of mountain biking. They are that transformative.
I missed about 10 years of development in the MTB industry. I rode some during that time but paid little attention to the changes going on.

Imagine my surprise when I started digging into the details of the progressive geometry. It's like a whole different world. There are 'trail' bikes with slacker HA's than my former downhill bikes. And wheelbases that are 5 inches longer! That's insane.

The whole plus/fat tire thing is baffling to me, but I never ride in snow or sand so maybe I wouldn't understand.

I"m sure at some point I'll be able to demo one of these new school Enduro bikes. I'm very curious to feel the differences from the old school. I went from the '02 RFX to a '06 Specialized Enduro, and with only 4 years between manufacture they were more similar than not. The RFX was really too small for me (23" TT and 18" ST) so the Enduro (24.5 TT) fit me much better. On trail performance was pretty similar, the Push'd coil shock on my 5" travel RFX was more responsive but I also ended up putting a long-stroke coil shock (and SX chainstays) on my Enduro netting ~166+ mm travel so that thing was a plow horse in the rough.

But I can only imagine what a super slack, long wheelbase 180mm travel 29er like the Pole Stamina can do in difficult terrain.

As far as the industry leaving Turner behind, I didn't intend to imply that. In some respects he articulated exactly what would be needed to make a beefy, long travel 29er viable (appropriate forks, wider dropouts/hubs, etc) I don't know the what/why of the choices Turner made regarding design and manufacture as those things became a reality. From what I can gather the most radical geometry changes have really happened over the last few years.

I look at the geo specs of the RFX v4 at they seem perfectly fine to me. Part of me feels that if it was a high performing bike a few years ago, it still is. Other bikes with updated geo make in fact be 'better', rider and terrain dependent. Much of that may come down to personal opinion, although almost every media and rider review I've seen has been very positive on this longer/slacker movement. In many cases transformative does seem to be the sentiment.

Other than the high cost of entry, it's certainly not a bad time to be a mountain biker.
 

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Interesting look back in time. The bike you describe in your old post is remarkably similar to the Knolly Fugitive (alloy, 29er, 5" travel, 150/157 TA rear, air or coil shock compatible, lower stand over, built to take a hiding), it's just that it took a few years after your post to make it to market. And they didn't need to go 83mm bb either.
Yes, the Fugitive seems right on target. A former riding buddy of mine moved to a Knolly Chilcotin from a Turner 5 Pack so I get that they are high performance bikes. I'd probably lean toward the LT version with a Fox36, and it's one of a dozen+ bikes I'd love eventually throw a leg over.
 
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