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gravity curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am very close to picking up a 5-spot. I am currently on a blur which is a fun and capable bike for my needs, but I'm ready to try something different. Reading around about the 5-spot, I keep running into the Flux. And darn it, the Flux is starting to gain traction with me. I think either would be an interesting change from the blur. My only issues with the blur are minor (vpp gives granny gear climbs an odd rythm, steep technical climbs suffer for me a little when the rear stiffens up, and I feel a little bit crammed and tall in the cockpit). I'd like to try a little different geometry and something other than VPP. 5-spot and now maybe flux have my attention, I am 95% certain I go with one or the other. And, yes, I am a gear ****, which is probably the main reason for my desired change.

In a nutshell, I simply want a solid but gear-****ty-fun FS XC bike that doesn't blow my gaskets on typically long and steep single track climbs (fitness helps, of course), while helping older guy me keep up on the descents and more technical sections (up and down) with my fearless 10-15 year younger riding partners. I am 90% an XC/trail rider but nonetheless willing to let my aggro hair down occassionally and typically very hard on gear. The spot sounds like the ticket for the techy and descents, while the flux sounds like singletrack nirvana in terms of climbing and quick handling. I suspect both would climb and descend well and could go either way, honestly. I'm not the first to ponder these two options (I've searched the forum), but I would still like a little feedback. Thanks in advance.

Also, I'd appreciate sizing advice for either spot or flux. I am a wisker under 6 feet, 185 lbs, with approx 33 inseam. I currently ride a large blur, which was my first full suspesion last year. I assume I would want a large, but I have seen where people my size prefer the medium.
 

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carpe mañana
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7,308 Posts
Are you getting progressively more aggresive on the bike or are you pretty set in your current riding style? This could help you eliminate one or the other.

The beauty of the 5-Spot is that it can wear many faces. It can be setup anywhere from being a long travel XC bike all the way up to an aggressive Trail bike. Flux is more gingerly, but excells in handling on the tight singletrack and shoots up the climbs. I used to ride a Burner and I don't find myself going any slower uphill on the Spot. I can clear more technical sections and I feel generally more planted and balanced on the Spot. I got a lot faster on the downhill, which is also a result of gaining skills and experience, but placebo effect or not, I instantly felt like I was able to do things faster and better when I first sat on the Spot's saddle.

_MK
 

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ride
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cowDawg said:
I am very close to picking up a 5-spot. I am currently on a blur which is a fun and capable bike for my needs, but I'm ready to try something different. Reading around about the 5-spot, I keep running into the Flux. And darn it, the Flux is starting to gain traction with me.
...
Also, I'd appreciate sizing advice for either spot or flux. I am a wisker under 6 feet, 185 lbs, with approx 33 inseam. I currently ride a large blur, which was my first full suspesion last year. I assume I would want a large, but I have seen where people my size prefer the medium.
I'm just under 6' with long arms and legs and I'm on a large. Fit's me great. I've got a Flux and a Spot at the shop as Demos that I've been spending quite a bit of time on. I've been on them each for about 4 months. I generally prefer the Flux for more all around XC/little bit of everything riding (note - The Flux here is 26# and the Spot is 30#). It's a little quicker handling with a more stretched out cockpit. For long climbs and fireroads or tight singletrack, the Flux has been the ticket. On our annual Fruita roadtrip 2 weeks ago, I took the Flux and didn't feel limited by it in any way.

On the other hand, I much prefer the Spot in steep, rough, or really fast terrain. It's got a tad longer wheelbase, a degree slacker head angle, and about 3/4 inch shorter cockpit. The Spot is super stable at speed and when the going gets really rocky. I personally think it's a bit overkill for most of the XCish stuff here on the front range but it excels in the primitive backcountry riding that's abundant in these parts.

I find that my ride times are similar on either bike until I encounter a long technical descent (favor Spot) or a long mellow singletrack or fire road climb (favor Flux). Tough call - can't go wrong really with either one.
 

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carpe mañana
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I don't mean to hijack, I hope for a single response, but Ignazjr, you must have had a ML-7 in your shop and I am wondering if you spent time on it and how you would compare it to the Flux.

_MK
 

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gravity curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the feedback

Hmm. I feel I could go either way. A lightish spot build with adjustable fork might be just the ticket, as long as I don't go so light that I compromise the bike's abilities. That gives me some room to play with the config over time too. Flux sounds like a good fit as well. It appeals to my lingering "old skool" cycling perspective while still having some fresh sex appeal. This will be an interesting decision. I suppose I'll be happy either way.

MC, I don't know that I am looking to ride more aggro. We push ourselves and local terrain opions hard as it is. That said, most every ride has many thousands of feet of vert to pedal up. If I develop an interest in the more "freeride" game, I think I'd start looking at an mtb quiver with the 6pack or maybe even the new SC Nomad, for that matter. My next bike, however, needs to play 90% XC/technical XC but still survive those occasions when I decide to ride like I ski and take gravity and terrain on a hot date, seeing how far I can get.
 

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ride
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MK_ said:
I don't mean to hijack, I hope for a single response, but Ignazjr, you must have had a ML-7 in your shop and I am wondering if you spent time on it and how you would compare it to the Flux.

_MK
I've had a few ML7s in but haven't spent a gread deal of time on them in the dirt. They're very nice bikes, but I've got to say, I'm a Horst Link guy. I'm not into the action of the rear end of the Mavericks so much. With my limited experience on them in the dirt, they didn't feel like they tracked as neutrally as the Flux with regard to axle path and pedal feedback. That said, the ML7 is a pretty adaptable bike. It feels more like a long tt 5 Spot with the big fork and it feels a little like the Flux with a 100-120mm fork. I do like the Flux better also in that it doesn't use so many propietary parts.

I have to admit, I did briefly have bike envy with this particular one, but it was strictly because of the pain job!
http://www.redstonecyclery.com/photo%20gallery/Bikes/dalemaverick1.JPG
 

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carpe mañana
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cowDawg said:
Hmm. I feel I could go either way....
If you end up going with the Spot, look into the Maverick SC32. It will give the Spot a sporty ride characteristics at full extension (125mm) and supreme fire road climbing ability in wound down setting (80mm, heavily preloaded). These are also stiffer than vanillas, talases, floats. There's the DUC, also, but it will ride a bit more like a dump truck, the way it does with a Z1FR, which is my personal favorite.

_MK
 

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cowDawg said:
If I develop an interest in the more "freeride" game, I think I'd start looking at an mtb quiver with the 6pack
I think you're onto something with that line of thinking. If there's a decent possibility that you'll be adding a second, freeride oriented bike then the Flux is your ticket. As it would be if you like to race.

Otherwise the Spot, as you can see in the 5 Spot Database thread, is a supremely versatile bike. If you were to build a Flux for general trail riding it might weigh 26 pounds whereas a 5 Spot with an identical build would weigh 27. I don't know how rough and technical your riding is, but for a trail bike I would trade that extra pound for the additional travel, stability, and durability any day. The beauty of it is that the Spot is equally capable with a more heavy duty build of 30 pounds or so, much like the Flux could also be built to be a super light race bike. Two bikes are better than one, but for my money the 5 Spot is as good as it gets for an all around bike these days.
 

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gravity curmudgeon
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1,502 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK, I can start thinking about a new bike again. I had a little down time with the upper pivot bearings on the blur and a maintenance blunder (one of those nice humbling experiences). I initially thought the problems would cost me enough $$ to price me out of a new bike; however, SC customer service (Willie) came through and saved my butt. SC cust service really amazed me.

So, back on topic. 1) Turner have solid and consistent customer service? Anything like the SC no questions crash replacement policy? 2) What's the general experience with Turner bushings and regular maintenance? How frequent? How involved? My impression is that Turner CS is very good and from what I've read, I would expect very durable bikes with modest maintenance needs.

I'm also still pondering the flux v. spot thing, leaning toward flux at this moment, having taken a couple of rides with many thousands of feet of vertical climing over very short distances. Descents were cake walks compared to lung busting climbs. As we get into summer here, I'll start riding 5-10 miles up on two track roads to get to single track where the climbing continues and gets steeper and more technical. Would I regret riding a spot in those cases? The flux sounds like it would be the much more efficient long haul climber, but the spot really isn't that different on paper.

In the end, I need to actually put my butt on a spot or flux and turn some cranks. That's proving harder than I expected. I've never even seen any Turner bikes around here. I can probably order a new blur LT for much lower price than I can get a spot or flux (due to the luck of association), and that option has some appeal. But I also have this "Turner" thing in my head. The Homers have invaded my brain somehow...
 

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Took my Flux on it's first ride a few hours ago and I was blown away at how good it climbs and handles. It is my only bike being used for XC racing and trail riding otherwise I would have gone with the 5 spot.
 
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