There are a few brands out there that have managed to keep their cool over the years and always manage to offer truly sexy bikes that are a little different from the norm. Yeti has always had this prestige, Intense cycles has had people dribbling for years and Foes do what only Foes can do - make the Ferraris of the bike world.
The other brand that always pulls people back is Turner.
They've always used a four bar design based on the infamous Horst Link, but last year's bike took a plunge and ditched this link, turning the bikes in to single pivot, linkage activated designs. Much to the dismay of many a Turner fan. Was it done to save money? Was the licensing fee to Specialized for the link that expensive? Was he preparing fans for the chance around the corner?
The sticker says it all...
They're all unanswered questions for now, but the thing that matters is that the new Turner frames are now available in the UK via Silverfish - and they now use the much talked about DW Link.
But how will it measure up against the Horst link, the effective single pivot edition, and more importantly my usual Commencal Meta 5.5 ride?
I still maintain that the Meta is one of the very best 5in bikes I've ridden - if not THE best. Time will tell, but seeing as I've just built my 5 Spot, let's take a looksie...
In all her glory
Does what it says, on the rim
Pimp ass wheels
It's certainly got a striking look. The low slung top tube takes your eyes away from my XL 21in size frame, and the polished rear end emits an aura of class that's only really seen on frames of this calibre. This 2009 Turner 5 Spot frame retails for £1695.00, and certainly measures up on paper - it's geometry nearly mirrors that of the Meta, but with an extra half a degree on the head angle, will have marginally quicker steering.
Low stack height headset
You even get a grease gun to fuel the nipples
The front end has a machined and faced head tube and bottom bracket - as I'd expect on a bike like this - and uses a sensible reinforcing ring on the base of the head tube. The head-tube itself is longer than that on my Commencal, so to mirror the front end height I like, I'm running a minimal stack height Crank Brothers Iodine headset with no spacers, a Hope 70mm stem and some Easton CNT DH bars.
Down below, as I'm sure you've noticed are the spanking new Crank Brothers Iodine AM tubeless compatible wheels - which have that mega tech look that is slightly confusing to the eye, but you can't stop looking at them. True eye candy, and they sound crisp too. There will be a full review on them once I've landed sideways a few times and have rattled down Pipehouse lane and some other local 'wheel straightening' runs.
The construction of the 5 Spot looks first rate, and from all I've spoken to, the ride will far out do the look - but one thing is eating me up - the cable routing. Why can't people get it right? Okay, so this frame allows the use of full length outer cables- great for UK riding, but that also means they can be routed any way. In this case, ugly cables zip-tied on to mounts on the top of the down tube and underside of the top tube - why?
It ruins the look of the bike with black cables everywhere - unless I run white outer cables of course, to help them blend in.
It won't look like this for long...
Note brake post inserts - no stripping problems here
The first thing I'm looking at doing is routing all the cables underneath the top tube to clean up the look of this beautiful bike. But bear in mind I'm pretty anal with this sort of thing - many of you wouldn't even notice, or care. Anyhow, this build weighs in at 29.3lbs, so with tubeless tyres and a little weight saving here and there, it'll be around 28lbs. Spot-on.
Check out Longterm Bikes in MBUK soon for a full look at the bike and the improvements I'll be making on this amazing trail bike...