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  1. #1
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    Czar vs. Previous Endurance Racers

    I've been riding the new Czar for awhile now, with about 15 hours in the can so far. Lucky me! It's going to make a great endurance racer. Light (5.5 with shock, XL), stiff front and rear (unitized upper and lower links?), quick but not nervous handling, a bit playful feeling (short-ish chainstays?), great pedaling, and smooth on the chunky stuff. Cheers for Tuner handling and DW rear suspension!

    My last two endurance racers were an Epic and Camber. Both really good bikes, but the brain bugged me on the Epic, and without the brain, I could never get the Camber to pedal well AND use full travel (more like 3/4). Both were plenty stiff up front, but after riding the Czar, I realize that both back ends were a tad flexy compared to the Czar's stout rear triangle (the Epic and Camber were both aluminum in back, and I do go near 200 lbs). Slot car handling on this bike, without a doubt.

    I'm currently riding it with a 110 fork (from the Camber) and it rides great at that height. I'll probably end up at 100, and would probably not go to 120, only because I'm kind of anal about BB height and cornering, and I think 120 would lift things up higher than I want them.

    Keeping in mind that an mtbr thread is worthless without pix, I uploaded two from my iPhone, but they ended up upside down. TWICE. Then a new set uploaded on their side. Crap! Well, that ought to get me some rep!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Czar vs. Previous Endurance Racers-linkage.jpg  

    Czar vs. Previous Endurance Racers-czar.jpg  

    Last edited by kosmo; 04-28-2013 at 06:38 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Nude pics are always a good choice!

    On second thought maybe not

    Love to see your bike pics - post em up!
    Last edited by BacDoc; 04-26-2013 at 04:38 PM. Reason: Added info

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Nice Review Kosmo

    Your experience pretty much mirrors mine. I've been riding an Epic Expert for a little over a year now, and it does really well as an XC racer and a lightweight trail bike. Before that I owned a Mach 429 and an aluminum Jet 9.

    Handling-wise, it was easy to go between the 429, the Epic and the Czar. The Epic is the most efficient on really smooth and paved surfaces, but the Brain gets to be a distraction on choppy trails. When pedaling on rougher surfaces, I preferred the Czar. Pedaling had little effect on the suspension, but like a good DW Link bike it stayed active when riding over bumps. The XX1 drivetrain really complemented the suspension on the Czar. The short chainstays and 12.75" BB helped give the bike a nimble feeling, while the slack-ish head angle kept the bike stable through the rough stuff. Torsional and lateral stiffness were great, at least as good as the 429, but with a lot less (around 1.5 lbs.) weight.

    It's really nice to see the new crop of carbon 100mm-120mm travel 29ers that are finally seeing the light of day. There's so many good options now, but I'm very excited to be able to get another Turner XC bike that meets my needs (lightweight, 29" wheels).

    Here's a picture of the Czar I got to ride while I was Sea Otter:
    Czar vs. Previous Endurance Racers-8667634634_6e5c4d4b35_c.jpg

  5. #5
    Daniel the Dog
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    I am betting the Czar is a mirror of the Jet 9 RDO. Both are dual links bikes and both are light!

  6. #6
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    Nice review Kosmo. Did you get a feel for how the Czar felt when out of the saddle climbing? How was the suspension feel compared to your DWSultan?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rideon View Post
    Nice review Kosmo. Did you get a feel for how the Czar felt when out of the saddle climbing? How was the suspension feel compared to your DWSultan?
    The Czar's out of the saddle performance has been tested extensively, primarily in high-torque, low-cadence conditions (I'm not much of a sprinter). It is astounding. There just isn't any give in any direction. Rear end lateral stiffness is especially ipressive IMO, and I expect it will be even a bit better with a CTD rear shock (being installed tomorrow to replace interim RP23, report to follow).

    It is noticeably stiffer than my Sultan. Many disagree, but I've always thought the Sultan could stand to be a bit stiffer laterally. It's plenty stiff for a trailbike, but now that I've experienced the Czar, I want a carbon Sultan!

    When considering my comments, keep in mind that I'm a strong, stubborn, near-200 pound Polack!
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  8. #8
    Daniel the Dog
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    A 200 lb Polack who kicks some butt! What are you thoughts about sizing? It is always interesting to fit a 29er for us typical sized guys. Go big and risk feeling like you are riding a bus or small and never get super comfortable.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    A 200 lb Polack who kicks some butt! What are you thoughts about sizing? It is always interesting to fit a 29er for us typical sized guys. Go big and risk feeling like you are riding a bus or small and never get super comfortable.
    At 6'2" with short legs, I stuck with XL, and it fits great. A bit longer than a pure trail or AM bike, but not super stretched out. The tape tells me this bike falls squarely between my XL Sultan and my XL Camber (which is huge).

    There is nothing bus-like about this bike. A very nimble feel (I will NOT be using the word "flickable").

    But I could.
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  10. #10
    Daniel the Dog
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    I am obsessing one one despite my Niner just because Turner has been so good to me. I wonder how much dough they are going to be? I am betting 2.7K...but who knows. Nice effort.

    By they way I rode a large Tallboy for a week in Sedona and enjoyed it a lot; however, it felt big with a 19" downtube. My Niner feels slightly small at times. Tough call.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    I am betting the Czar is a mirror of the Jet 9 RDO. Both are dual links bikes and both are light!
    With the Czar's shorter CS length and slacker head angle, they are going to handle differently. I owned an aluminum Jet 9 that I never really got along with because of the more point and shoot nature of the steering. Whereas the Turner steers best by leaning the bike into the turn.

  12. #12
    Daniel the Dog
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    Yaw

    Quote Originally Posted by 2TurnersNotEnough View Post
    With the Czar's shorter CS length and slacker head angle, they are going to handle differently. I owned an aluminum Jet 9 that I never really got along with because of the more point and shoot nature of the steering. Whereas the Turner steers best by leaning the bike into the turn.
    The Jet 9 alloy I had pedaled awesome but was not very plush. It turned like a crazed bike but I never felt it was very point and shoot. Too steep an HA for that but each to their own. I have a Turner 5 Spot DW bike and find it to pedal awesome and is very plush; however, I do wish for a more relaxed HA (although I have a 2010 model). I'm sure eventually I will buy a Czar because I am a homer at heart. I might wait a year to see if there are any tweaks to be adjusted after the first version...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    The Jet 9 alloy I had pedaled awesome but was not very plush. It turned like a crazed bike but I never felt it was very point and shoot. Too steep an HA for that but each to their own. I have a Turner 5 Spot DW bike and find it to pedal awesome and is very plush; however, I do wish for a more relaxed HA (although I have a 2010 model). I'm sure eventually I will buy a Czar because I am a homer at heart. I might wait a year to see if there are any tweaks to be adjusted after the first version...
    Your experience with the Jet 9 Alloy is the same as mine. I describe the steering as point and shoot because the HA is so steep that when I would get to a turn I would point the front wheel where I want it to go and go through the turn. Whereas with other bikes that I've owned (old & new Sultans, Mach 429 and Epic Expert) I feel like I lean the bike into the turn and flow through it with minimal input through the bars.

  14. #14
    Daniel the Dog
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    Yaw, I loved the handling of the Jet 9 alloy because I used for racing. If I was not racing and doing trail riding it would kind of suck (to me). I found it handled best with a 100mm fork. The Jet 9 RDO is more stable but still a fairly steep HA. It demands a 120mm fork in my view. I will run a 120mm fork on the CZAR. Fun new product

  15. #15
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    Post up when you have some time with a 120mm on your Czar, the frame is designed for a 100 instead of splitting the difference at 110 so I would be very interested to hear your views. The Czar with a 120 would make for a difficult decision in comparison with the Jet 9 rdo.




    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    Yaw, I loved the handling of the Jet 9 alloy because I used for racing. If I was not racing and doing trail riding it would kind of suck (to me). I found it handled best with a 100mm fork. The Jet 9 RDO is more stable but still a fairly steep HA. It demands a 120mm fork in my view. I will run a 120mm fork on the CZAR. Fun new product

  16. #16
    Daniel the Dog
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    No money to buy a Czar at this point I guess I will have to live with a Niner Jet 9 RDO this year! Tough life.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    No money to buy a Czar at this point I guess I will have to live with a Niner Jet 9 RDO this year! Tough life.
    Always welcome to take a spin on mine when we bump into each other.

    For now, I'm sticking with the 110 fork, which I am loving. Next up will be the 100, which I should get installed tomorrow. 120 may be awhile, for various reasons.

    I've now put two long rides in with the CTD rear shock. Compared to the original, possibly-slightly-clapped-out RP23 it is wonderful. Lets me set the sag right around 10 mm for great pedaling in T on smooth trails (D for bumpier stuff), and D is soft enough that I just barely use full travel on the descents. C is just firm enough on the road.

    If I bounce around on the bike in the garage, C seems a little soft, but when I stand and whip the bike up a hill it stays almost perfectly still. I just MIGHT like C to be a bit stiffer, but that would probably limit its use to paved roads only, which seems a bit of a waste, unless this was a dedicated race bike at the complete exclusion of everything else.

    This bike is continuing to inspire me to go too hard, too long. I need a day off!
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    The Czar's out of the saddle performance has been tested extensively, primarily in high-torque, low-cadence conditions (I'm not much of a sprinter). It is astounding. There just isn't any give in any direction. Rear end lateral stiffness is especially ipressive IMO, and I expect it will be even a bit better with a CTD rear shock (being installed tomorrow to replace interim RP23, report to follow).

    It is noticeably stiffer than my Sultan. Many disagree, but I've always thought the Sultan could stand to be a bit stiffer laterally. It's plenty stiff for a trailbike, but now that I've experienced the Czar, I want a carbon Sultan!

    When considering my comments, keep in mind that I'm a strong, stubborn, near-200 pound Polack!
    I agree on the DWSultan needing to be more laterally stiff. I've loved mine, but it definitely needs to be tightened up. It looks like the carbon manufacturing technology has allowed for some design improvements. ie. 1 piece rocker and 1 piece DW link to name a few. Can't see DT looking back.

  19. #19
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    Hey Kosmo, what's your take on 100mm fork vs 110 on the Czar?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rideon View Post
    I agree on the DWSultan needing to be more laterally stiff. I've loved mine, but it definitely needs to be tightened up. It looks like the carbon manufacturing technology has allowed for some design improvements. ie. 1 piece rocker and 1 piece DW link to name a few. Can't see DT looking back.
    I considered my Sultan reasonably stiff, especially with Enve AM wheels. But the way the rear of the Czar is constructed, it really shows the benefit of modern carbon fiber construction. The cross section around the lower link is nice and big and really keeps things in line. I tried to get the Czar to twist by dropping the rear end into ruts and steering out of it, and it behaved very predictably. Probably better than the Sultan.

  21. #21
    Daniel the Dog
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    Czar is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Nothing could ever be better!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rideon View Post
    Hey Kosmo, what's your take on 100mm fork vs 110 on the Czar?
    It's subtle, but I prefer the 100. I haven't had coffee yet, so not sure how to articulate it, except it feels right. Lower BB may be the key for me. At this point, I'd rather ride the Czar on rougher trails at 100 with a big squishy tire like an Ardent 2.4 than slap a 120 on it.

    But I will probably still try a 120 at some distant point in the future.
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