The news that owner and designer of Turner Suspension Bicycles, Dave Turner, was making his second suspension format change in five years was met with looks of amazement by the massed ranks of cycling media. Turner himself seems to think it is all pretty straightforward.
Dave Weagle, the man behind the self named dw-link, began talking with Dave Turner about a possible union of ideas about 18 months ago. It didn't take too long for the two to forge a working partnership that eventually has led to Dave Turner's decision to switch entirely over to the dw-link system.
"Since I unveiled the news of the dw-link bikes you see here, I've been asked why 'again', more than any other question," Turner said. "To be honest I feel like this is the first time I've ever changed my suspension. When I was forced to give up the Horst Link, of which I was a preacher, I switch to the fauxbar seat stay mounted link Torque Neutralizing Technology (TNT) system. Hand on heart the difference in performance was, is, negligible for most riders. Looking back as the effect on the ride of the bike, I don't really see it was a change. Going from TNT to dw-link, now that is a change."
Turner and Weagle sat down with their respective needs, geometry and construction was ring fenced by Turner as 'untouchable', Weagle had his own rules governing use of the dw-link concept. Turner tested multiple existing dw-link equipped bikes from other brands.
"I spent a ton of time riding them," Turner said. "Some of them were better than others; there have been some poor dw bikes. But when it works well, it really does -- and remember this is me David Turner speaking here -- ride better. Actually, to quantify that sweeping statement a little, they climb better and ride 'lighter'. I knew that if I could incorporate those positive dw-link characteristics into the traditional Turner ride, I'd, rather, we'd have a better bike. When a better bike is at the end of the mission I feel obliged to go there. However much flak I may take on the way."
Rear end stiffness, often an issue on previous dw-link bikes from other brands, won't trouble the dw Turners, according to Turner. "We've done extensive FEA on our rear end and I can assure riders that it's every bit as good as on our old TNT bikes."
Production bikes are set to hit the market in before the end of the year and What Mountain Bike is on course to test a dw-link equipped four-inch travel Flux model later this month, which we'll be doing back-to-back with the existing TNT designed model for comparison.
See also: 2009 Turner: now with dw-link suspension