Turner have been making DHR frames for a decade. This latest incarnation has been in the pipeline for a few years and features a new DW-Link based suspension design. It comes wrapped in hype and no small amount of excitement.
Ride & handling: Light and stiff with good angles, but suspension setup is tricky
The DHR’s race pedigree is instantly apparent thanks to the low 13.5in bottom bracket height, slack 63-degree head angle and 1,219mm long wheelbase. It took a little while to get the rear end of the bike feeling spot-on. We had to do a fair bit of spring rate and compression damping adjustment until we finally settled on running the Elka Stage 5 shock with slightly less compression and a slightly heavier spring rate.
There still seemed to be an almost regressive overall feel as the bike went through its travel, which is why we tried a heavier spring – otherwise we encountered a tendency to blow through around the last quarter of travel and bottom-out on sharper compressions, with a slightly odd sinking feeling occurring around halfway through the travel.
We tried a Fox shock in the bike too, but it didn’t feel as responsive as the Elka, and even after fiddling with the spring rate again, the overall feel through the stroke was the same, which wasn’t ideal. All that aside, chain related forces didn’t seem to get in the way of the suspension eating up the trail, and the slack head angle keeps the bike super-stable at speed.
This was helped by the low bottom bracket, which gave the feeling of being ‘in’ the bike, rather than on it, and really inspired confidence. Despite the long wheelbase, the DHR still made corners without any hassle, and its light weight made controlling the bike easy, both on the ground and in the air. The frame is laterally very stiff and tracks well through even the roughest terrain.
Frame & equipment: Well thought out chassis with a wishlist build kit
The DHR has a 1.5in head tube, 83mm bottom bracket and 12x150mm rear end, as well as neat post mounts for the rear brake and ISCG 05 chainguide tabs. It puts out 210mm (8.3in) of travel through the DW-Link system, which has simultaneously-engineered anti-squat and wheel rate curves, making for plenty of grip while remaining pedal-friendly.
The frame has clean lines and has obviously been well thought through, even down to grease nipples on the special high-loading Journal bearings. Our (large size) test chassis was built up with an Elka Stage 5 shock, RockShox Boxxer World Cup fork and Mavic’s Deemax Ultimate wheelset – this is a truly top-end build kit. It was also shod with e*thirteen DH cranks and SRS+ chainguide, feeding the chain to a Shimano XTR mech, controlled by a Deore XT shifter.
For more on the DHR, check out the video we filmed earlier this year: