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a.k.a. MTBMaven
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you guys have to say about this post on the Specialized forum?

"turners are nicer but for the price, specialized is a MUCH better deal. You're getting nearly all the same technology on a specialized bike for a fraction of the cost. (I'm not including S-works in this comparison, which in my opinion are a bit overpriced) The only downside to specialized is the use of bearings instead of bushings in the suspension. they are pretty easy to replace though, so that's a plus.
Turners potentially last longer, but when you can get a complete nicely equipped specialized for just a bit more than a turner frame, it hardly makes sense to spend so much more on the turner. Also turner only has a 2 year warranty, which definitey put me off. That said, I'd love to have a 5-spot." endurowanker

I'd love to get a Spot if I can get a good deal used b/c I can't afford a new one. I've got an '02 Enduro right now. I silently spend a good bit of time on this forum b/c there is great information discussed here...and I like looking at Turners. If I only had a better job and didn't live in LA where it costs so much to live I'd buy a 6 Pack with PUSHed 36. Oooo Nice!

Thanks for comments!
 

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Not an unreasonable opinion. Here's what else I see Turner as having going for them:
-US made (if that's important to you)
-Invariably at the top of the class in tire clearance
-Air & coil shock compatible
-Uninterrupted seat tube

If you're gonna spend <$2k then you'll be fine with a Specialized (unless you can find a good deal on a used Turner), but complete Turners around the $3k mark are probably specced pretty competitively with a similarly priced Specialized.
 

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Pixie Dust Addict
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What you're not getting is the customer service (is Mike Sinyard going to answer the phone if you have a question about how something works on your FSR?) and a highly refined design that is not changed every couple of years for the current dictates of fashion. That said, I am a true four bar/Horst Link believer and I am looking at getting an FSR for my girlfriend because it does cost considerably less than a Turner and if she's not going to ride a bike, I would rather her not ride a $3000 one. If she does end up taking to it, there will be another Flux in the stable next summer.

I think few people buy a Turner as their first bike. I think every new Turner owner I've ever seen post on this board compares the ride as superior to their old bike. But is it worth it to pay a lot more for the CS, superior ride, and superior (made in USA) build quality? That's obviously up to the individual, but to base it solely on features and price (as the poster above has done) is woefully misinformed.
 

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2TurnersNotEnough said:
but to base it solely on features and price (as the poster above has done) is woefully misinformed.
Most of the stuff I buy I make the decision on features and price...the only exceptions for me are FOOD and BEER, taste is key! Maybe "taste" is a feature? :p

What else would you base a decision on? :eek:
 

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Pixie Dust Addict
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So you would buy beer that is the cheapest because they are all made with barley, yeast and water that eventually ferments and makes alcohol? :confused:

You can put 2 bikes on a piece of paper with the same 4" of travel, a 4 bar Horst Link design, and an air shock and if one costs a whole lot less than the other you will automatically go with the less expensive one because they're obviously equivalent on paper so price rules. That's what's made Wal-Mart what it is. You can get the Wal-Mart 4 bar, or you can shop local (e.g. Turner, Titus) and get more personalized service, better manufacturing quality, etc. As I said above, I am looking at the Wal-Mart version (Specialized actually) for my girlfriend because price does matter more than those other less tangible features in her case.
 

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bike moron
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Well I have one of each so....

I think it really depends where your head is at and what you're interested as far as the sport goes. Sure you can get a really nice Spec bike for the price of a Turner frame; if that's all you need to get out there and have fun...that's great....more power to you.

But if you're motivated enough to want to do you own parts spec or to differentiate between frames you'll probably know where the value difference is. I've always liked my Stumpy a lot (and still do), but the difference in a 5-spot is very clear. If an average shmo like me can feel it, someone who's actually good will feel it more and will be able to take better advantage of that. Is is worth it? If you're passionate about the sport and want to be at your best...well you bet its worth it.

You may have trouble finding a used Spot ....people seem to hang onto them pretty much ...actually that seems to be the case with morst Turner frames. So chances are, if you are able to swing a Turner freame you'll hang onto it longer. Maybe that's something you can factor into the decision.
 

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Rolling
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Lets analyze this:

"turners are nicer but for the price, specialized is a MUCH better deal. You're getting nearly all the same technology on a specialized bike for a fraction of the cost. (I'm not including S-works in this comparison, which in my opinion are a bit overpriced)"

Interesting since why does Specialized even have the s-works line? Are they the same exact bikes but at a higher price. That would seem an odd notion to package the same bike with a special label and be able to charge more.


"The only downside to specialized is the use of bearings instead of bushings in the suspension."


Wow, Tony Ellsworth would cringe at this thought. So would Sherwood Gibson!

"That said, I'd love to have a 5-spot."

You got that right...wonder why you want a 5-spot?
 

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2TurnersNotEnough said:
So you would buy beer that is the cheapest because they are all made with barley, yeast and water that eventually ferments and makes alcohol? :confused:
What part of "taste is key" didn't you understand?

2TurnersNotEnough said:
You can put 2 bikes on a piece of paper with the same 4" of travel, a 4 bar Horst Link design, and an air shock and if one costs a whole lot less than the other you will automatically go with the less expensive one because they're obviously equivalent on paper so price rules.
All other things being equal, YOU BETCHA! You must have money to burn if you can buy things other than on price and performance. :confused:

Welcome to the free market. :D You buy what you like and I buy what I like. :D

IMHO - Specialized puts it's money where it's mouth is by offering the life time warranty on their frames. I've had really good customer service from them...that's why I have 5 of their bikes. ;)

FWIW - I think Turners are great bikes, I looked hard at the 5 spot. I just can not afford to spend that kind of cash on a frame that the maker will only back for 2 years!

As far as made here or made there...what kind of TV do you own? Is everything you own "American"?

Is there some reason that a guy (or a robot welder ) in the US is automaticly a better welder that some guy ( or a robot welder) in Taiwan?
 

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I don't have a problem with it at all.

High end products are typically far more expensive, for a relative small improvements...but worth it for some.

Look at high end stereo. You can spend thousands on great speakers and amplifiers...Is it worth it? It depends. I think it is, but as far as bang for the buck....nope.

When you go to high end equipment, you enter the realm of diminishing returns. You definitely get more bang for the buck with lower priced equipment. Once you hit the high end...you pay hundreds..even thousands more for small incremental improvements.

I think that Specialized makes great bikes for the price. In fact, I believe that even dave Turner once posted that Specialized made a good bike for the money....a poor man's Turner...or something like that. That's obviously a paraphrase.....but I think I got the gist of the comment.

I prefer the high end...Turner bikes for instance. Is a Turner bike twice as good as a Specialized at half the price....I say no. but it is better. I can afford a Turner..so I buy it.

Same with cars. Does a $100,000 drive 5 times as well as a $20,000 car....of course not...but they are better...if you can afford them.

Get over it.
 

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Blue Shorts said:
I don't have a problem with it at all.

High end products are typically far more expensive, for a relative small improvements...but worth it for some.

Look at high end stereo. You can spend thousands on great speakers and amplifiers...Is it worth it? It depends. I think it is, but as far as bang for the buck....nope.

When you go to high end equipment, you enter the realm of diminishing returns. You definitely get more bang for the buck with lower priced equipment. Once you hit the high end...you pay hundreds..even thousands more for small incremental improvements.

I think that Specialized makes great bikes for the price. In fact, I believe that even dave Turner once posted that Specialized made a good bike for the money....a poor man's Turner...or something like that. That's obviously a paraphrase.....but I think I got the gist of the comment.

I prefer the high end...Turner bikes for instance. Is a Turner bike twice as good as a Specialized at half the price....I say no. but it is better. I can afford a Turner..so I buy it.

Same with cars. Does a $100,000 drive 5 times as well as a $20,000 car....of course not...but they are better...if you can afford them.

Get over it.
I kind of agree. Is a Ferrari that much better of a performer than a vette - probably not (depending on model I suppose ) BUT its a Ferrari! its a hand made car with more history & heritage then the vette.. which would you rather have if $ is not the object. Yes spec. make a nice bike - but there is a difference i think, I have owned a fsr & really liked, owned titus after that and immeadiatly felt the difference, now have a spot and love it as well - No i cant afford these types of bikes which brings up another point. Re-Sale value, i got nothing for my fsr, because they are a dime a dozen - but when I sold my last SB i practicly got my money back & then got a good deal on the spot so it worked out for me.. As far as price dont be fooled by Spec. If you want the model with all the bells & whistles it will cost you $$$ an 05 S-works Stumpy is 5000$ sure you can get a model speced real nice for 2300 or less. BUT for 5000$ i can get a mass produced taiwan made bike ( not that there is anything wrong with that) ORRR i can get a US handmade bike for me from titus, turner or ventanta speced the way i want - for the same money or propbably less- depending on the shop you are dealing with, that will be made with better,stronger material & probably weigh less. Yes you can get a model for less than a turner, titus, ventana, ellsworth frame - but once you spend some real time on one those frames - you will feel the difference. all these manufac. make a decent bike & i think that spec. is at the top of that game as well - i think for 1800 or what ever it is - ya cant do better - unless you can afford to, i aways recommend Spec. even though i own a spot - because they give you a lotta bike for the money but when ya get to 5000 mark on them i think its time to look at the little guys and have one made to fit you - i think its all about the money - if i could have a M3 outside instead of an altima ( which drives very nice & does its job) i think we know which keys i would take or anyone for that matter. Also remember that the fit is most important - even if ya have the money , if it dont fit, ya cant buy it. both are nice bikes its all just preference
 

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... I guess you won't be
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reason or desire

that's a ratio you have to figure out and justify for yourself.....your reasonable side screams "specialized holds the horst link patent! they have a great parts kit, the frames are nicely made, great warranty, you can remove the "iz" from the stickers and really have something special!, etc...."

but, your desirous side screams "for a lot more, I could have the bike I REALLY WANT!"....

A wise man once told me "when you buy second best, you buy twice....."

You're lucky to have such a dilemma, when you think about it!

I just have to add to the warranty issue, which is a BIG thing for a lot of people.....all my dealings w/ turner and replacement parts go without a hassle. And, I cant remember in the years I have watched this BB, have any turner bike owners has one gripey thing to say about warranty type issues.....most riders get UGI before their old turners are even in that "maybe I should retire the old beast" zone.....
 

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Supersonic Garfield
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I did some extensive testing on the new Stumpjumper fsr 120 this spring for a magazine, and honestly, it's a lesser bike. It sports the same travel as my spot, but the suspension is in no way as controlled. I run 185psi on my RP3, and had to run 260psi (!!!) to make the stumpy pedal with any decency and maintain the same sag. Why? The link on the stumpy is much more progressive in the middle of the travel, and well - pedals shitty in comparison. So you could run <20% sag and not use all travel but pedal ok, or run >25% and have bad pedaling performance - but use all travel. Even MBFiction had a lesser review for once.

Having said that, the fsr-xc is a good bike and I suspect Specialized put a longer link on there without paying too much attention to how the link works with the 5" setting. A more controlled rate would do the trick.

my .2
 

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a.k.a. MTBMaven
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Interesting Comments In Specialized Board

Specialized used to use bushings, and when they went out it sucked, and they went out pretty quick, hence the move to bearings.

This is the deal: Turners are made in the US. Turner can't afford to manipulate tubing in the ways specialized does because if they did it would cost as much as your car. Specialized sources their stuff in taiwan where they get people from the semiconductor industry, pay them better than intel does, and you get top notch builds.

Every weld on a specialized bike is hand-welded except for the join between the 2 halves of the top tube on a stumpjumper or enduro.

The tubing is specially manipulated for EACH BIKE and in some cases even each size of bike (road bikes mostly) to provide the best ride for each frame.

Specialized has the shocks for their bikes custom made for each bike. They get ahold of all the shock manufs and say, "I need a shock with this rate, this rebound, etc" and they all submit one, then they refine it multiple times until one manuf has the best shock for the application. Turner can't do that because the number of bikes their building isn't high enough to be able to dictate that to a shock manufacturer.

People say Turners are 'hand made in the USA' as if that's a selling point. Well, it was in 1993. These days with the economy and price of stuff in Taiwan, you get a much much better frame from overseas because the tubing can be manipulated so that it's the strongest where it needs to be and compliant where it needs to be compliant, for a price far less than American manufacturers can afford to do it.

Look at the tubing on a 5 spot. Notice it's round. It's off the shelf tubing, not specially manipulated for it's purpose. Look at the bottom bracket. It's CNC machined. Specialized cold forges their stuff.

Here's the difference. CNC machine takes a block of extruded aluminum and machines it. Problem is, when you extrude aluminum, the grain structure of the metal is aligned the same way the grain of wood is. And it is stronger in certain directions. Cold forging they take that block of extruded aluminum and stick it in a mold and smack it with 80,000 tons of force. For a second the aluminum goes liquid and flows into the mold where it instantly hardens. Now the grain structure is disorganized and the metal is equally strong in all direcitons. After that process they machine it. You tell me which one you'd rather trust your cojones to.

Now before anyone brings up that "do you like sending your money overseas blah blah and all that crap". Hey, welders in Taiwan gotta eat too. And I can't afford to be replacing a high end frame every time it breaks.
 

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a.k.a. MTBMaven
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bearings vs Bushings

endurowanker said:

"The only downside to specialized is the use of bearings instead of bushings in the suspension."
Yeah, I though bearings are much better than bushings. By better I mean more tortionally rigid and more durable. There was a good article in Dirt Rag about the differences between the two several months ago, may have been in the dog issue.

Why does Turner choose to use bushings over bearings. I understand bearings weigh more, is that it? I know Ventana offeres the quad bearing kit as an upgrade, that indicates to me that bearings are better.
 

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Chutist said:
What part of "taste is key" didn't you understand?
All other things being equal, YOU BETCHA! You must have money to burn if you can buy things other than on price and performance. :confused:
Yes, I'm willing to spend incrementally more on something at my LBS to a) get better service and help when I need it and b) to help a small business, rather than, say, a large Chapel Hill, NC mail order company. I will buy mail order if I think I'm being gouged, but my LBS ends up being within a few dollars on almost everything once you factor shipping into it.
Chutist said:
Welcome to the free market. :D You buy what you like and I buy what I like. :D

IMHO - Specialized puts it's money where it's mouth is by offering the life time warranty on their frames. I've had really good customer service from them...that's why I have 5 of their bikes. ;)
FWIW - I think Turners are great bikes, I looked hard at the 5 spot. I just can not afford to spend that kind of cash on a frame that the maker will only back for 2 years!
As others have mentioned here, there has yet to be a report of Turner not doing the right thing if something goes wrong that cannot be attributed to the rider doing dumb things (e.g. driving your roof rack mounted bicycle into the garage doorr). I agree that Specialized does put its money where its mouth is and takes care of its customers, and that is where a larger manufacturer has an advantage. They can keep a large number of spare frames in a warehouse somewhere and keep older frame parts around for a while.

Chutist said:
As far as made here or made there...what kind of TV do you own? Is everything you own "American"?
This is kind of a red herring. For commodity items, the economics have shown that US manufacturing is probably not signficantly different in quality. That being said, if quality and price are comparable and the manufacture was US as opposed to Asia, I would opt for the US made item. However, I drive a Japanese car because I could not find the features and quality that I was looking for in an American car.

Is there some reason that a guy (or a robot welder ) in the US is automaticly a better welder that some guy ( or a robot welder) in Taiwan?
For the high-end builders, having production in the US makes a big difference. If there are quality problems, the frame builder can go to the manufacturer and deal with it much easier than if your manufacturer is on the other side of the Pacific. Also, the manufacturers know they have to do a higher quality job because they are competing with a bunch of robot welders in taiwan or China.

Please note that I don't believe that the bikes produced by large manufacturers are bad bikes. They sell good quality bikes that make some great designs and technology available to more people. I am fortunate that I have been able to purchase the bike that I believe best suits me and have price as a lesser consideration.
 

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mtnfiend said:
Yeah, I though bearings are much better than bushings. By better I mean more tortionally rigid and more durable. There was a good article in Dirt Rag about the differences between the two several months ago, may have been in the dog issue.

Why does Turner choose to use bushings over bearings. I understand bearings weigh more, is that it? I know Ventana offeres the quad bearing kit as an upgrade, that indicates to me that bearings are better.
Ummmm.... I'm parsing this and the facetious light wants to go on.;)

Please tell me that to overcome fundamental deficiencies with a design (i.e. the inability to handle high suspension loads), it's better to solve the problem by throwing more deficient design at it.
 

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carpe mañana
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mtnfiend said:
Specialized...
So then DT is a true genius of design, since he has such limited resources to work with and manages to make a frame that rides better than anything Specialized puts out in the same category. It seems then, that what you pay for is the top notch design, not the high tech means of manufacturing medicore designs. And as of the strength of the frame, aside from the few reports of sheared seat tubes on 5 Spots, these bikes take a beating for years. And the tubing is manipulated to an extent on Turners, save for the Burner, just not as extensively as the big boys.

_MK
 

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The biggest problem with the FSR design is lateral rigidity. The rear wheel "floats" on a frame member that is not directly attached to the main frame. To get to the main frame, you have to go through the chainstay, or the linkage, since the rear wheel floats on the seat stay. Because of this, it is very difficult for manufacturers to make them rigid. Go look at the chainstays of an intense M1, they are just HUGE, and they are huge because the FSR is not very conductive to lateral rigidity.

This is why many manufacturers are going to "dual linkage" setups, like Giant, Iron Horse, Santa Cruz, etc. This design allows them to get the wheelpath they want, with the stiffness of a solid rear triangle.

To get around this, turner uses bushings in the pivots. Bushings carry many times the lateral load of bearings, are fairly light, and with the grease port any problems with wear/gunk building up are not an issue.

The other problem with bearings is that most of the time, all the load is being carried by one bearing, this causes "pitting" eventually in the race.

There are some more exotic bearings like angular contact bearings and needle bearings that could do similer things that the bushings do, but it's hard to design needle bearings into small pivots, and angular contact bearings are more expensive and heavier.

So at the pricepoint that specialized sells their bikes for, you get a good suspension setup, but it's far from "perfect". If specialized bikes were as expensive as turners, you might see some more exotic types of pivots, like turner uses.

Bearings are not "hands down better" than bushings, it depends on the application, the range of movement, the load forces, and many other factors. When you consider the fact that the FSR design does not have much inherent stiffness, they are an excellent choice in this application.
 

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Pixie Dust Addict
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Are you a Specialized rep? I have yet to read a review for a full suspension mountain bike where the reviewer says that the manipulated tubing makes for a better riding bike. With an FS rig, it's all about having a rigid chassis that does not impede the function of the suspension. Period. If you look at the '05 DHR and 6 Pack, you'll see that the down tubes are shaped where they are welded to provide more contact area between the tubes and minimize the chances of a frame cracking at the welds.

As far as the forging vs. CNC debate goes, I will submit that the forgings on the Demo bikes look really cool and probably make sense for that application. But can anyone tell me if the machined pieces on any Turner frame has failed because the grain structure is aligned? That argument makes a lot more sense for crank arms. That's also why there aren't many (if any) CNC cranks out there like there was 10 years ago.

Interestingly, Turners are spec'd with the highest end shock for the application (RP3 for the lighter bikes, DHX for the heavier ones) from a leading manufacturer. The big manufacturers are going to put out a request for bids for a shock with xxx specifications. The shock manufacturers are going to come back and say we can do this for yyy dollars. The bike manufacturer will probably go with the one that has the lowest price that can meet the requirements. If you believe that Specialized is using the best shock read a magazine review of the Septune equipped bikes. The ones I've seen are ambivalent about it at best.

Again, I have nothing against Specialized. I really do like their bikes, and they are really doing a good job of bringing great technology to more people. But there are other things besides the technology (i.e. the list of "features") that go into a great bike. A well refined design that takes into account suspension quality (4 bar rules), great handling, lots of tire clearance, high torsional and lateral rigidity, high quality shock, and great customer service define a great bike.

I understand the brand loyalty thing. Until yesterday, I had 3 Turners (sold one to a friend yesterday) and I will probably keep buying them because each one has been great for its intended use and I expect that the next one I buy will be too.
 

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Rolling
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mtnfiend said:
Yeah, I though bearings are much better than bushings. By better I mean more tortionally rigid and more durable. There was a good article in Dirt Rag about the differences between the two several months ago, may have been in the dog issue.

Why does Turner choose to use bushings over bearings. I understand bearings weigh more, is that it? I know Ventana offeres the quad bearing kit as an upgrade, that indicates to me that bearings are better.
The bearing bushing debate can be argued all day. I think either are viable. Implementation is key.

If you look at the suspension under your car, you will find bushings on points where pivots have a low degree of motion. That is where bushings work well. The reasons include cost, tolerances, and simplicity. Bearings are best for points that have a high degree of motion or stress.

I think many of the first mountain bikes that had bushings were poorly implemented, thus they wore out quickly. This created the opportunity for companies to differentiate themselves by touting bearings for durability. However, some say that bearings wear just as much (or more) due to the limited motion via "false brinelling" where the contact points at the balls and races wear a dimple and the bearing becomes notchy like a bad headset. But headset fall into this category as well and they seem to be the best solution for the steering.

Bottom line is Turner and Titus have been very successful in using bushings.
 
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