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The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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If done correctly, Ti seems ok, but it's incredibly hard to weld and ensure no weld contamination by air (requires inert gas shielding). Not that it can't be done, but I'm not sure what the benefit is over steel or aluminum.

Still riding my CF RFX hard though.
Both steel and aluminum require a cover gas when being welded. Sure Titanium requires back purging but any decent steel frame fabricator will be back purging.
 

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Both steel and aluminum require a cover gas when being welded. Sure Titanium requires back purging but any decent steel frame fabricator will be back purging.
Yeah, Ti is not really any more difficult to weld than Al or CrMo etc. Cleanliness, & good technique is paramount however
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Hey Spin, I hear that a lot about the Sultan, 'damn good'. I still have one. I have no Burner, no 5 Spot, no RFX, no KingKhan.. But I have a Sultan. Yes I have a bunch of other bikes, but it's in a class of it's own, and there are some rides that no other bike will handle quite like it. So, it sits in waiting for those special rides that the Sultan crushes. And yes, every time I ride it I think 'it can be soo much better'.

Titanium is extremely hard to weld correctly, but also machine head tubes and BBs and dropouts and cable ports and bridges. If a machinist tries to push it to fast it will over heat and work harden, and the tool is dulled. Go slow which costs more per hour, but go to fast, tools are toast. Is also Very difficult to form tapered and butted tubing. The material properties are nothing like other metals used in bicycle frames. Ti is TOUGH all around, that's why frames are more expensive than steel or aluminum, from the material costs thru all the steps to create the final product.
 

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I like that when you call, you may well get Dave on the phone. I also like that he has clear opinions and is not shy of stating them. I am wondering if he was not crazy about trends in the FS market, and did not want to have to choose between making bikes that he was psyched about or ones that would sell? I don't know, but I have to think that FS bikes are a hard market right now. If you don't redesign with more long, low, and slack every two years, you are kind of written off.

I certainly wish him the best of luck with this new direction.
The angle change every 15 minutes holds merit. Hell, I'd burn out on that too! Wait til we're stuck with 95.5° STA's and 45° HTA's...
I think there was definitely an element of that, certainly the number of prototype RFX's that existed but never made production because of changing standards would have even the hardiest soul feeling jaded. . . .

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but perhaps he should have stuck with the overseas alloy manufacturing he was using for most recent Burners (the v3.1 was a damn cool looking bike) and made a 29er version with that sweet DW link and modern-but-not-too-modern geometry. People loved the Sultan, and I reckon a modern version of would have been pretty cool too.
I know Portland is out there politically, but calling it overseas is a bit extreme. v3.1 were welded by Zen Fabrications (same guys as Sapa before they closed shop), I have two hanging in my garage.

I can see how Dave would get really frustrated at the ever changing market. He released the RFX only to have the market then jump to 29" shorter travel, super long front, super short back. I recall him saying he didn't get along with this new geometry which requires being way over the front of the bike. In making the move from my Burner to a 29" bike, I ended up on Banshee rather than Ibis because the geometry wasn't as radical, it had longer chainstays and a higher bottom bracket. I am glad to trade off a little in snappiness and the railing feeling to be able to pedal through most things without slamming the pedals and not having to spend every second going up and down worried if I am positioned perfectly on the bike. Then of course, I am not chasing Strava times, I like the fun of the ride and a nice view.

Most importantly, I hope that Dave is happy with where he, Christine and the company are. He has been in the bike world for 30+ years and for me personally, brought me 17+ years of full suspension happiness (Burner 2.0, TNT Spot, Burner 3.0, Burner 3.1). The only reason I am coming off my Burner is I caught the 29" bug after playing on my Son's Ibis DV9 hardtail. It fits my riding style well (sit pedal, stand, go down, hold on, pray).
 

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Rippin da fAt
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Cary,
I still run the ,96 Burner XCE, '98 Stinger, Fvcking light as it is and the '06 Sixpack. All are custom and still in service since they do their job very well. Dunno if I would call the '06 vintage but anything '90's, I would.

Now, can we guess how many hair pieces Dave has gone through since '94 and the beginning of Turner?

The funny thing is seeing how things had been tweaked over time, the addition of DW link, the plastic fantasy age, etc.
Guess Dave needs to update the Turner Timeline...
 

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Cary,
I still run the ,96 Burner XCE, '98 Stinger, Fvcking light as it is and the '06 Sixpack. All are custom and still in service since they do their job very well. Dunno if I would call the '06 vintage but anything '90's, I would.

Now, can we guess how many hair pieces Dave has gone through since '94 and the beginning of Turner?

The funny thing is seeing how things had been tweaked over time, the addition of DW link, the plastic fantasy age, etc.
Guess Dave needs to update the Turner Timeline...
I am not gone from the family. Still have my DW DHR and wifes DW spot.
 

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I know Portland is out there politically, but calling it overseas is a bit extreme. v3.1 were welded by Zen Fabrications (same guys as Sapa before they closed shop), I have two hanging in my garage.
My bad, I thought the newer Burners were made in Asia like the alloy Cyclosis. Still, there's plenty of fine alloy frames being made outside of the US, I can't speak for your Banshee (have heard good things though) but I've owned three alloy Taiwanese-made Knollys since selling my last Turner and they've all been as well made (if not better) as both the Turners I owned.

Totally agree that if DT is happy with the bikes he is making (and hopefully riding!) that's what matters.
 

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Pixie Dust Addict
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If I had to hazard a guess I would say ti commands a premium over steel and the market for boutique aluminum is extremely small to non-existent. If someone is going to pay big bucks for a frame it comes down to carbon or ti with the occasional retro-geek willing to go for steel. The economics of a small company doing carbon do not work out. It is not just the cost of molds. It is the ongoing QC, which really requires a person in China, and the frequent design refreshes. With few frames to amortize the costs, a small company is basically screwed. You need to ramp up to medium size or not play at all in that arena. So you are left with ti or steel, and you can make better margins with ti.
This reads like someone familiar with the industry wrote it. Well done.
 

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Pixie Dust Addict
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As a happy owner of a Sultan, Czar, Cyclosys V1, and now an ARTi, I would like to see updates to the FS bikes to a longer reach compared to my current frames, along with a bit more travel to separate it from the Czar. The Cyclosys was a great value, and I really enjoy how it rides. At some point in the foreseeable future, an upgrade to Ti will likely happen. The ARTi is a home run, in my opinion. In the short time I’ve been riding it (about 150 miles so far), it’s fast enough with a set of 700x30c tires that I would ride it in a group ride and not have to worry about keeping up. And I am looking forward to putting a pair of gravel-ish wheels on it, and exploring some smooth trails and rough or unpaved roads.
 

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My bad, I thought the newer Burners were made in Asia like the alloy Cyclosis. Still, there's plenty of fine alloy frames being made outside of the US, I can't speak for your Banshee (have heard good things though) but I've owned three alloy Taiwanese-made Knollys since selling my last Turner and they've all been as well made (if not better) as both the Turners I owned.

Totally agree that if DT is happy with the bikes he is making (and hopefully riding!) that's what matters.
The Banshee is welded in Taiwan. The welds look wonderful to me and the Taiwanese have a great track record with welding. I recall Walt of Waltworks making a comment in response to someone critiquing the quality of welds on an inexpensive frame and saying how bad the welder must be, his comment was along the lines of: “Those guys do 20 frames a day, it takes me 2 days to weld a frame. I guarantee you that if you gave them as much time as I have, their welds would look nicer than mine.”
 

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That's not what most of the experts say:


How much Ti, Aluminium alloys, copper, and high tensile ferrous based metals such as CrMo, Quench and tempered etc, have you welded? My day job used to be designing weld procedures and producing test pieces for mechanical and non destructive testing to the relevant standards. Structural and pressure vessel to be exact. I think I might know a little bit about the difficulty involved.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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How much Ti, Aluminium alloys, copper, and high tensile ferrous based metals such as CrMo, Quench and tempered etc, have you welded? My day job used to be designing weld procedures and producing test pieces for mechanical and non destructive testing to the relevant standards. Structural and pressure vessel to be exact. I think I might know a little bit about the difficulty involved.
Ok, I conceed. You are right, all the experts are wrong. The cracked frames are imaginary.
 

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frame specs for the hardtail don't list rear hub spacing 😞 i talked to him on the phone once and he pretty much bashed 148 IIRC so i wouldn't take it for granted its 148..

still tho that Taiwan factory doing these up seems to do good work. there's more than one "boutique" brand running them.
 

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Hey Matt, The Nitrous is 148 Boost. has to be, that is the standard now. Doesn't matter if this asshat talking to you on the phone railed against it, and I STILL rail against the tiny changes this industry makes so that the marketing departments have something to crow about. 6mm ! The standard TODAY is 148 for this type of bike. Can the word standard be applied to tech that is forever changing?

DT
 

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On the subject of planned obsolescence... I am not sure it really happens, maybe in some cases, but I think a lot of the little changes like boost, that affect you guys the end users a LOT when trying to find replacement parts or frames to fit your $1500 wheelset is this: The industry is largely made up of bike fanatics, and 'we' get screwed in on making better stuff. Better stuff according to us, and in that pursuit of improving the products we create we might have to deviate from standards, and justify it by the pursuit of perfection. Now the bigger the company the bigger wider the cluster fvk, like Boost. Trek decided to make a plus bike hardtail and needed chain clearance for the fatter tire, Voila' boost was born. Press fit was was to reduce weight, eliminate the alloy shell in the carbon frame. Then of course the epoxy that holds the threaded shell in the frame can be eliminated and as many companies in the industry know, bonding is a source of warranties. Sure, the epoxy is 'supposed' to be stronger than the aluminum sleeve blah blah blah, but someone has to set up the epoxy system in the factory, if they are off.. epoxy is weak. But as many have attested, tolerances in the PF shells is not always followed and Voila', loose cups in the shell. I am sure there is a interesting story or solid theory on each of the changes made to make the old parts obsolete.
 
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