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  1. #1
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    New Burner owner

    Back story: Been riding a variety of bikes on technical AZ trails for a few years now. I've been fortunate enough to have a bunch of nice rigs as I like to buy and sell them and try new things. Not a wheel-size snob and have enjoyed a variety of bikes of all sizes.

    If you were to go back in posts several years, you'd note I had a few not-so-nice things to say about 650b. I converted a Prophet awhile back, a bike I liked in its 26er format, but absolutely hated in 650b.

    With the advent of specific 27.5 components, I was anxious to give it another go. Earlier this summer, bought a Bronson and really, really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it so much -- and because I was slightly between sizes -- I sold the L aluminum frame in late August after ordering an XL carbon Bronson.

    Won't go into too much detail, but my Bronson still hasn't arrived and I've had nothing but my SS 29er to ride for nearly two months of prime AZ riding. So I went into my favorite shop and picked up an XL raw Burner frame to build up with all the parts waiting on my garage floor.

    Build spec:

    Frame: Raw XL Burner with CTD Kashima
    Fork: Pike solo air at 160
    Drivetrain: XX1
    Brakes: XT, 203/180 Icetech
    Headset: CC40
    Stem: Thomson X4 50mm
    Bars: RF Sixc carbon
    Pedals: XT
    Saddle: Silverado
    Post: KS Lev
    Wheels: Speed Dream custom Arch EX to Project 321 hubs
    Tires: HR II front and Ardent rear, both tubeless

    Photos post first ride today.

    Awesomized

    Awesomized

    Awesomized

    Awesomized

    My first thought is that the bike is massive. Honestly, I've never owned an XL bike previously. I'm 6'2" with a 35-ish cycling inseam and monkey arms. By both Turner's sizing charts and my LBS recommendations, the XL with short stem was the right choice.

    My second thought is the bike is beautiful in a super-industrial, purposeful sort of way. I've previously owned two Spots and an RFX and I appreciate Turner's quality.

    As shown, on a bathroom scale: 29.2 pounds.

    First ride this morning, on one of my regular loops in Phoenix Mountain Preserves. A lot of technical climbing and steep, ledgy, rocky descents. Very typical of the type of riding I do.

    The Pike was already set up from my Bronson and worked brilliantly. I put about 160 psi in the shock (I'm around 195 in full riding gear/pack). The bike was extremely plush, but perhaps just slightly mushy on steep seated climbs. I think another 5 or 10 psi will be called for.

    First ride ever on XX1. Absolutely awesome. It's quite hard to justify the cost, but I think it really is the future in drivetrains. I'm sure I'll be bummed when I destroy my first XX1 derailleur, but still stoked.

    Overall ride quality: I thought it was exceptional. While the bike looks big to my eye, it disappeared under me while riding. My only prior experience with DW Link was on a Pivot Mach 5.7, a bike that I absolutely hated.

    This iteration of DW couldn't be more different. Plush and controlled but driving forward with each pedal stroke, but incredible traction on technical square-edged climbs.

    With a wheelbase approaching a typical DH bike, I expected the bike to not be super-responsive on low-speed rock crawly-type descents. Again, I was wrong. When you look at the numbers (chainstay length, overall WB) you get a picture; when you actually ride the bike on very technical terrain, you get a different picture, one that doesn't quite add up to what you thought. The totality of the bike, taken as a whole, is different than the individual numbers. The descents are completely intuitive and the frame is responsive to weight-back hip-steering, which is my favored steep descent technique.

    Even after one ride, the bike feels overall dialed. As I said, a bit more fiddling with the shock and the front is pretty tall. I've got about 15mm of spacers under the stem, which need to go away. I could probably move to a 35 or 40mm stem.

    Overall, though, stoked. Thanks for sticking with me if you did. Otherwise, enjoy the pretty pictures.

  2. #2
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    Re: New Burner owner

    Nice review. Thanks for reminding me not to look only at numbers.
    What is going to happen when the Bronson arrives?

  3. #3
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    I cancelled the Bronson order.

  4. #4
    It's carbon dontcha know.
    Reputation: 6thElement's Avatar
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    I'm 6'2" on an XL Burner and agree with your review. The technical climbing ability meant I was cleaning features when I got mine that I'd always struggled with before.
    Rolling on 29", 650b, 8.3" and 23mm

  5. #5
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    Great Review. The Burner is the best looking bike out there IMO. I know it's hard to just go on looks but when a bike performs like the Burner it's hard to ignore.

  6. #6
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    Yep, love my Burner! It's counterintuitive (at least to me) but try running the rebound damping turned fully out and see how it feels. I had a similar mushy/bobbing sensation on mine and backing off the rebound damping was more effective than adding air. (which made the bike kick back too much for me) You can always add more air if the light rebound damping isn't enough of an improvement.

    I also strongly agree that anyone who focuses solely on this bikes' chainstay length is missing the full picture. My riding is pretty cross country-oriented for a bike with the burner's capabilities, and I find the bike to handle, climb, carve and descend (of course!) as well or better than any FS bike I've ever owned.

    Enjoy your bike!
    Last edited by SteveF; 10-22-2013 at 06:31 AM.

  7. #7
    Mr.650b - Mr.27-5
    Reputation: Kirk Pacenti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    When you look at the numbers you get a picture; when you actually ride the bike on very technical terrain, you get a different picture, one that doesn't quite add up to what you thought. The totality of the bike, taken as a whole, is different than the individual numbers.
    Great review. I think your comments above pretty much sum up the 27.5" (650b) experience.

    Cheers,
    KP
    “Those that say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those doing it.”

    PacentiCycleDesign

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Pacenti View Post
    Great review. I think your comments above pretty much sum up the 27.5" (650b) experience.

    Cheers,
    KP
    I thought the exact same thing. It's funny reading on MTBR all of the riders claiming that all of this is industry pushed.

    While at a recent demo I was talking to the Pivot guys and I mentioned that to them and they couldn't disagree more with those theories. Their opinion was the exact opposite and that it was completely market driven.

    The lines at the demo with people wanting to ride the 650b/27.5 were anecdotal at best, but would support their theory. As would their opinions after they rode them.

    I have been demoing bikes for the last three months and originally I was only looking at 29ers but since I have rode this wheel size I can't even explain how impressed I have been with them. The word that comes to mind is "Fun".

  9. #9
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    The bike looks really cool with the xx1 setup and all the free space behind the bottom bracket and along the theoretical chain stay line.

  10. #10
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    Steve: To make sure we're using the same terminology, are you saying to run the rebound full fast or slow it down? I typically like fast rebound. The Burner is set to full fast minus 3 clicks.

    Kirk: I was talking about the Burner in particular but your point is taken regarding 27.5 in general.

    I will say this: I'm one of those guys who can't tell a significant difference between 26 and 27.5. I get on a well-designed bike and the wheel size becomes mostly irrelevant. Every purpose-built 27.5 I've ridden hasn't FELT any different to me. However, the bikes are significantly faster, at least for me.

    What I tell my riding buds: If you have a dialed 26 or 29 that you enjoy, keep riding. However, if you're in the market for a new bike today, I think it's silly to look anywhere but at 27.5.

  11. #11
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    Steve: To make sure we're using the same terminology, are you saying to run the rebound full fast or slow it down? I typically like fast rebound. The Burner is set to full fast minus 3 clicks.
    Yep, that's correct--full fast. I actually have been bouncing from running it full open to one click in and can't decide which is better. I've only owned single pivot and Faux Bar bikes in the past and it seems wrong to run the rebound wide open, but with this bike it seems to work well.

  12. #12
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    cool. I'll try that.

  13. #13
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    Good write up. Not what anyone is expecting to hear regarding the handling especially going from L Bronson to XL Burner.

    I was surprised to find my Burner wheel base equal to my 08 dhr wheel base, seeing as I want my trail bike to be a mini dh bike anyway it's all good.

  14. #14
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    Cool. That didn't take long. Looks like a great build and sounds like you're enjoying the Burner so far. Have you thought about lowering the Float to 150mm? If air pressure changes and/or speeding up the rebound doesn't fix the problem with the rear you might consider it. The taller fork could be affecting the front/rear balance and the rear suspension action.

  15. #15
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    Kent: yeah, man, I was missing a bunch of group rides that necessitate a FS bike. Love my SS, but not as a daily driver.

    Fork is a Pike, so no travel reduction to my knowledge.

    I think some minor fiddling with the shock will get it dialed.

  16. #16
    650b me
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    Thanks for the write-up. Surprised to hear you say you hated the Mach 5.7. (I've demoed one twice now and thought it was amazing.) How would you characterize the difference in the DW-link implementation between the Pivot and the Turner?

  17. #17
    jrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    Yep, that's correct--full fast. I actually have been bouncing from running it full open to one click in and can't decide which is better. I've only owned single pivot and Faux Bar bikes in the past and it seems wrong to run the rebound wide open, but with this bike it seems to work well.
    Steve, how many "clicks" are you getting from full slow to full fast? TIA
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  18. #18
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    Golden: Honestly, I can get along with most bikes. The only bikes I've ever owned that I truly didn't get on with were a Ragley Blue Pig, Salsa Horsethief and the Mach 5.7.

    What's interesting is I know several of the Pivot guys, great dudes, good riders, but the bike was just not for me. Harsh, weird on square edges and just oddly spindly when really pushed hard. Couldn't sell the bike fast enough.

    Keep in mind, I'm still getting the Turner dialed and I'm not a suspension expert. The Burner does seem to be much plusher while still being efficient and high in its travel while climbing.

    Took it out again this morning. Added 7-8 psi into the shock and one more click of rebound (1 click out from full fast). Also moved the 15mm spacer from under the stem. MUCH, much better. Bike still looks huge visually, but it really does disappear under you. Am still considering the 35mm stem, though.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Kent: yeah, man, I was missing a bunch of group rides that necessitate a FS bike. Love my SS, but not as a daily driver.

    Fork is a Pike, so no travel reduction to my knowledge.

    I think some minor fiddling with the shock will get it dialed.
    Yeah, after I said that I realized I ran a 160 55RC3 on my 5 spot without any ill effects.

    So, yeah, you should be fine.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    Steve, how many "clicks" are you getting from full slow to full fast? TIA
    16-ish.

  21. #21
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    can u give u a wheelbase number? must be over 47.5 inch. my head can't get around the fact that at your size and long wheelbase the front end doesn't come up when climbing. is it because it rides high in its travel while climbing or maybe your preferred position is more spread out and not so upright? thanx and enjoy your new bike!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post

    I also strongly agree that anyone who focuses solely on this bikes' chainstay length is missing the full picture. My riding is pretty cross country-oriented for a bike with the burner's capabilities, and I find the bike to handle, climb, carve and descend (of course!) as well or better than any FS bike I've ever owned.
    Glad you guys are loving the burners! As a current Turner Flux rider, I was convinced that a 27.5 would be my next bike and couldn't wait to try the new Burner and Flux at Outerbike in Moab this year. A bit about me, I like a snappy playful bike that I can throw around. This may not be everyones style, but it's what I look for in a bike... and a trail ride.

    After riding Mag-7 on the new Yeti SB75 and Klondike Bluffs on the SC Solo (5010) Carbon, I was able to spend quite a bit of time on both new turners at the trail network near the demo event. Due to the gucci Enve wheelsets, the Turners weren't allowed on the shuttle rides. But damn were they fast.

    With that said, I had the least fun on the Burner out of any 27.5 bike I rode at Outerbike. While pedaling and traction were top-notch on the Burner, riding the bike back to back with a few others and not knowing geometry, the Burner felt a bit long and lethargic. Climbing was good, bump compliance was great, but it was far from nimble and reminded me more of many 29ers I've spend time on. It was simply a bit lazy feeling when things got tight and slow. The 27.5 Flux was a bit better and a pretty fun/playful little rig... however the Enve wheels and weight weenie tires took some of the fun out of Moab riding, and I didn't get a chance to really push this bike.

    By contrast, which a bit tall the in front, the Yeti SB75 pedaled great, opened up on nasty technical descents and still felt nimble and playful. Overall however, I kept coming back to the SC Solo/5010. Even thought VPP is not my favorite platform, this bike was flat-out the most fun bike of the weekend. It felt capable, confident and nimble all at the same time, climbing and descending equally well. A build weight of 26 lbs with Minnion IIs and chunky wheels didn't hurt either.

    Low and behold, I later found that the geo numbers confirmed what I was feeling. Contrary to other posters here, I really did notice that chainstay on the Burner. It was tough to manual, and the bike felt like it simply want to stay put on the dirt. Although Turner doesn't list WB figures, I can only imagine with their generous top tubes that they may be the on the longer side of the group.

    Turner Burner: BB: 13.25, HA: 67, CS: 17.6 WB: not listed
    Turner Flux: BB: 12.8, HA: 68, CS: 17.4 WB: not listed
    Yeti SB75: BB: 13.0, HA: 67.5, CS: 17.4, WB: 46.8
    Santa Cruz Solo: BB: 13.1, HA: 68, CS: 17.1, WB: 45.9

    Just my $0.02. Happy Riding.

    And for those that aren't on the 27.5 bandwagon and don't want to be... Go pick up a Yeti SB-66C. That was the single best bike I've ridden to date for true AM riding.

  23. #23
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    Sorry I missed this. 47.625 for my XL as its built. It is a very long bike

    Quote Originally Posted by starre View Post
    can u give u a wheelbase number? must be over 47.5 inch. my head can't get around the fact that at your size and long wheelbase the front end doesn't come up when climbing. is it because it rides high in its travel while climbing or maybe your preferred position is more spread out and not so upright? thanx and enjoy your new bike!

  24. #24
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    I love my burner, and have no intention of getting rid of it. But I must agree, that front wheel takes a lot more effort to get air then many other bikes I've had. It still rides amazing though, and I'd buy another one in a heart beat.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtndude23 View Post
    I love my burner, and have no intention of getting rid of it. But I must agree, that front wheel takes a lot more effort to get air then many other bikes I've had. It still rides amazing though, and I'd buy another one in a heart beat.
    I noticed the same thing. Prior ride (26" Motobecane with RS Revelation fork) was easy to wheelie. I can lift the front on my new Burner with a hard pull and pedal, but it is not easy.

    Not that I miss it! I never feel like mass is too forward or the bike wants me to go over the bars. On the contrary it is extremely stable on every trail ridden so far, and goes exactly where I point it (albeit with a little more English than the 26).

    By contrast my 26 front wheel washed out often and sort of corrupted my riding for the entire relationship.

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