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  1. #1
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    Turner 5 Spot (DW Link) vs Ellsworth Epiphany

    I'm looking to build a new all mountain bike. I had a Moment for the past 2 years, but it is too burley and too heavy for my kind of riding. I ride mostly east coast technical cross country and stay away from any serious drops. I'm 6'0 and about 180lbs fully loaded.

    I love Ellsworth, but I hear to new Turner's with the DW Link are great. I'm trying to build a ~5" bike. I have a RS Pike 454 Air U-Turn I plan to use on the front. Does anyone have an opinion on the new Turner design or the Epiphany? Any other suggestions would be great too.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I'll be very interested in this frame build, as weigh in a 190 with gear and do similar riding on the west coast. coincidentally I recently installed a Pike 545 uturn coil, and my bike has the 4 link rear suspension. I really don't have pedal bob with this set up but want to upgrade to a more contemporary rear suspension.

    The real reason for wanting a new frame is that i think my current frame is snake bit. but that's another story! I love the '09 5 spot! it's a little pricey, maybe at the end the year or something like that.

    right now i'm killing time, At 4 pm I'm picking up my new XTR/ Mavic 321 wheel buld that my guy just completed for me! I hope to lose some weight here too! with the Pike and xtr wheel sets I am losing quite a bit of weight. I'm hoping a couple of lbs.

    keep us posted on your decision and build , that is if it is a 5 spot!!

  3. #3
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    Several rider reviews of the 5Spot on the Turner board. Given your choices, I'd go for the Spot, no question.

  4. #4
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    I've ridden the new spot and I'd go for that, hands down.

    When you mash on the pedals on most suspension bikes, you just bog down. You may not realize it, you may think your bike pedals "well" under most conditions, but trust me, when you ride the DW link you realize what is supposed to happen, you can MASH the pedals, accelerate forward like mad, and the suspension still works. It's simply the best compramise to date. On other bikes the suspension either stiffens a whole lot, bogs down (the bike "bobs" some, but mainly it just doesn't shoot forward) and you just don't accelerate, or it's a combination of the two. I've owned mostly horst-link bikes, but ridden everything else, and working for a Giant dealer I got to ride Giant's Maestro system, which is similer to the DW link. The DW link is even better than Giant's system, but the bottom line is that it's the first real improvement IMO in a long time. VPP can have some of the good acceleration traits of DW, but is going to have more suspension stiffening, horst links (like ellsworth) are going to bog down more when you try and mash on the pedals, high single pivots may pedal well but the suspension action will be poor, and low pivots will bob/bog a lot when you try to mash on the pedals.

    I'd been a believer in the DW link before I ever rode the spot, due to the Giants and Iron Horse bikes I've ridden, but the spot was very good. 5.5" of travel feels like more due to how well it sucks up square-bumps. One of the first bikes I feel that can run an air shock and not really give up anything compared to good coil-equipped bikes. This is mainly because the DW link can run only enough compression damping to deal with the bumps. Every other bike on the market needs to run more compression damping to deal with weight-transfer from your pedaling forces.

    The only negatives of the DW link are in certain executions, like the old iron horse bikes that had poorly designed pivots/linkages (DW didn't design the bike, only the suspension kinematics), or the IBIS design which isn't nearly as rigid as the turner 5spot or pivot cycles designs.

    I've always believed a bike like the 5spot is what 90% of the people should ride, in terms of suspension travel, bike traits, strength, etc. It's not cheap so 90% of the people won't be riding it, but the test ride confirmed my belief that it's one of the best all-around bikes.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  5. #5
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    you might also check out the Felt Virtue line... DW link with added "Equilink" to equalize tension between the rocker and the DW link for super efficient pedaling with uncompromised plushness. Its significantly lighter than the Turner and still has 5" of travel. Great bike!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MooseJuice71
    you might also check out the Felt Virtue line... DW link with added "Equilink" to equalize tension between the rocker and the DW link for super efficient pedaling with uncompromised plushness. Its significantly lighter than the Turner and still has 5" of travel. Great bike!
    The turner has 5.5" of travel.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  7. #7
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    Turner!!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MooseJuice71
    you might also check out the Felt Virtue line... DW link with added "Equilink" to equalize tension between the rocker and the DW link for super efficient pedaling with uncompromised plushness. Its significantly lighter than the Turner and still has 5" of travel. Great bike!
    It is not a DW-Link.

  9. #9
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    Let's see, what many are saying is the best suspension bike executed to date: Turner. Coupled with the best customer service in the cycling industry.

    or

    Ellsworth. I won't take digs on them, but one should do their homework on E's customer service before giving them one thin dime.

  10. #10
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    I tried them both

    I put 12+ miles on 2 DW Spots and 35 miles on an Epiphany comparing them to my 03 5 Spot , I think they are both great bikes but the DW 5 Spot leans more towards trailriding while the Epiphany leans towards the XC style. After 5+ years of honing the ride of my HL 5 Spot I've found that it is now between the 2 leaning towrds the trailbike side and the equal to either.
    The Epiphany bobs more than the DW Spot, less than the HL spot but the latter two are close. The EW supprised me by swallowing small bumps better than either of the Spots but not using all it's travel at the same time, lowering the air pressure helps allow more travel but more bobbing as well. The DW Spot wasn't snappy but it has some antibob effect that allows you to be a sloppy pedaller, the travel seems deeper than 5.5", it's a bit harsher than either of the other on small stuff but it takes the bigger stuff better. It rails berms and seems to jump out of burmed corners. The fit of the Medium was exactly like my old medium.
    For myself I'll keep my HL Spot until I have to replace it (broken/stolen) if that happens I'll go for the new Spot because it fit's better and works better for my style of riding.
    Last edited by slowrider; 02-08-2009 at 07:54 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowrider
    I put 12+ miles on DW 2 Spots and 35 miles on an Epiphany comparing them to my 03 5 Spot , I think they are both great bikes but the DW 5 Spot leans more towards trailriding while the Epiphany leans towards the XC style. After 5+ years of honing the ride of my HL 5 Spot I've found that it is now between the 2 leaning towrds the trailbike side and the equal to either.
    The Epiphany bobs more than the DW Spot, less than the HL spot but the latter two are close. The EW supprised me by swallowing small bumps better than either of the Spots but not using all it's travel at the same time, lowering the air pressure helps allow more travel but more bottoming as well. The DW Spot wasn't snappy but it has some antibob effect that allows you to be a sloppy pedaller, the travel seems deeper than 5.5", it's a bit harsher than either of the other on small stuff but it takes the bigger stuff better. It rails berms and seems to jump out of burmed corners. The fit of the Medium was exactly like my old medium.
    For myself I'll keep my HL Spot until I have to replace it (broken/stolen) if that happens I'll go for the new Spot because it fit's better and works better for my style of riding.
    Nice review, seems honest and fair. Thanks!

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the responses!

    I'm thinking the Turner is going to be my best option. I've heard great things about the company and it sounds like the bike is tailored for my style of riding. I'll keep everyone posted.

  13. #13
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    The Epi is not really an AM type rig. It's more of a lightweight 5 incher, closer to the xc Truth than anything above it.

  14. #14
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    Go for the Turner, I had the chance to ride one it yesterday and I it's an amazing.

  15. #15
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    I agree with JC the Elsworth it is a nice ride but more a light weight kind of, instead the 5 Spot is a real hammer no matter where you put there I am not sure about the considerations made in a previous post regarding sensitivity in small bumps but i will be more concern about the big ones.
    Go for the Turner you can not be wrong
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  16. #16
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    5 spot vs. Moment?

    What about the 5 spot vs. the Moment? Or is it more the RFX vs. the Moment? I am considering getting a Moment and putting a dhx air instead of the stock dhx coil to lean it towards the AM side or riding rather than the AM/FR side it is intended for. Post up! Thanks

    http://www.ellsworthbikes.com/advantage/ their in depth ICT tech video really sold me. Check it out.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by THATmanMANNY
    What about the 5 spot vs. the Moment? Or is it more the RFX vs. the Moment? I am considering getting a Moment and putting a dhx air instead of the stock dhx coil to lean it towards the AM side or riding rather than the AM/FR side it is intended for. Post up! Thanks

    http://www.ellsworthbikes.com/advantage/ their in depth ICT tech video really sold me. Check it out.
    Really? I thought the video was a slam against other manufaturers and made Ellsworth seem like a pompus a$$. Ellsworth actually uses the FSR (Horst) link design from Specialized, aka "4-bar". Ellsworth simply puts their own spin on it (ICT) to make it stand out. The physics that Ellsworth use don't actually support the claims, but I digress. The real point is that Ellsworth slams the other designs, and if you'll notice not many manufactures take the time to slam other designs, and in the case of Ellsworth's claims, the other designs actually work pretty well. The newer VPP stuff works very well, the DW link works very well, Giant's Maestro works well, Specialized Horst links even work pretty good (but the before mentioned systems do offer advantages). Ellsworth tries way too hard to put propaganda out there IMO, and it shows in the video. Ellsworth says they support US manufacturing, but then they get wheels built in Taiwan, as well as they were/are coordinating to buy a taiwan catalog-bike and sell it with the ellsworth name as a lower-cost complete bike (check interbike, it's in the pictures). It's not that sourcing from Taiwan is bad, it's just that you can't claim you support US manufacturing, but I have a feeling that Ellsworth will say anything to sell a few more frames.

    In any case, you should know that under heavier/agressive riders the DHX air tends to blow through the travel, it does not have the same internals as the DHX coil, so if you want more consistant performance, go for the DHX coil. Otherwise, a pushed RP23 or other shock like a Marzocchi Rocco TST air or Manitou might be a better choice. A lot of us have used the DHX air extensively and did not like the performance, although on some bikes that are actually tuned for the DHX air's lack of mid-stroke damping support, it can work well.

    It's hard to know where the moment stacks up with other bikes, simply due to Ellsworth making 6 and 7" versions of the "rogue" a while back, as well as the older joker. There's also the 5.75" Id, the 5.3" Epiphany. Which ones are for all mountain? Which ones can be used for freeride? The Moment is usually built up as an agressive trail bike, and you rarely see forks like 66s and totems or adjustable-travel versions of those forks set to ~170mm of travel. You usually see forks like the talas 36 and domain as the "biggest" forks. This isn't to say anything about the intended usage, just the way that most people build them up, so it might be hard to still compare to something like the RFX. The RFX has always been a heavy-all mtn/light to medium freeride type bike, and people do put things like 66s on em (I have one on mine). The new 5spot is very capable, the 5.5" of travel feels very deep and I guarentee the way it sucks up square-edged bumps is not matched by the Moment or any other horst-link (like i have) bike of similer travel, that's the beauty of the DW link. On the other hand, you'd have to look at the geometry between the two to make a better decision on which one would fit your riding better. If you're going to build up a moment more for "all mountain" as I was describing above, then the 5spot would be just as capable, if you're going to build up with something a little more agressive, then maybe comparing against the RFX is more valid. The Pivot Cycles Firebird is probably the closest match for the RFX, although when the new RFX comes out it may be a little burlier/stronger (heavier).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  18. #18
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    holy crap! thanks for taking time out to write that post/review Sounds like you been in the AM category for ages. Yes, you may be right about ellsworth bashing others but are they right or are they wrong? I am also considering other FS designs. My only thing is I wish it can be much easier. I wish one shop carried them all where I could test a VPP, DW, and ICT all on the same day...

  19. #19
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    Carbon frames are now environmentally evil, and VPP sucks because it is not as 'simple'... I am not sure how 'in depth' that video was.

    How dirty are the plants that manufacture the silicon chips used to film and distribute this "in depth" video? (since that angle is being taken)

    Ride the DW Turner with the overly complicated suspension and see what you personally think of it.

    Or pick up the Ellsworth, throw some slicks on it, never get it dirty and join that crew. (kidding!)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by THATmanMANNY
    Yes, you may be right about ellsworth bashing others but are they right or are they wrong?
    Well, anyone that has to try that hard in my opinion is suspect, and yes a lot of the things Tony Ellsworth has said are flat out wrong. He has claimed his bikes are up to 100% efficient. He has made this claim, but no machines are 100% efficient, so that right there isn't really true. It's not that they make bad bikes, but you can see the trend of propaganda and willingness to sell bikes while not always being truthfull or using good business practices. On the other hand, things like the DW link do offer substancial benefits over the horst link.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by raiblw
    I'm looking to build a new all mountain bike. I had a Moment for the past 2 years, but it is too burley and too heavy for my kind of riding. I ride mostly east coast technical cross country and stay away from any serious drops. I'm 6'0 and about 180lbs fully loaded.

    I love Ellsworth, but I hear to new Turner's with the DW Link are great. I'm trying to build a ~5" bike. I have a RS Pike 454 Air U-Turn I plan to use on the front. Does anyone have an opinion on the new Turner design or the Epiphany? Any other suggestions would be great too.

    Thanks
    Have you thought about the Knolly Endorphin? That bike should be on your short list. On the east coast you want to make sure you have a bike where the pivots will stand up to the mud and water abuse and the Knolly will do that and also has the 4x4design which I think you will want.

    I would try to stay away from Ellsworth I am sure you've heard of the CS problems with Tony and his constant frame changes that a cynic might say are done in order to cancel out warranties well maybe not but the CS probs are enough to keep me away.

  22. #22
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    FWIW I had the chance to compare the (DW) 5spot, the Intense Tracer VPP, Nomad and Pivot and went with the tracer in the end. Having said that the Turner really is an incredible ride - just so sweet. sounds like you can build it up with a 32 or 36 (or equivalent) without upsetting the ride - i was riding with a 55 RC3 (from memory) so it strikes me as incredibly versatile. plus i love the fact that DT and DW (and Mr Intense) keep an eye on the forumns and respond to problems, queries etc. slick CS. No comment on TE (my mother always said...)

  23. #23
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    I own a Moment and love the bike. I've ridden it 2-3 days a week for the past 1.5 years for XC rides, all day rides, long climbs, local shuttle runs, bike parks (bootleg and mammoth) and medium sized (5-8ft) drops and it's always been fantastic, especially when the trail gets gnarly and fast. The frame has given me no problems whatsoever.

    I don't know about the Turners, they look very nice and seem to have all the right things going for them right now. I seems that the Moment is more comparable to the RFX if you build it up burly (~33lbs) and more comparable to the 5-Spot if you build it up lighter (~29lbs). I don't know why you'd want to build it up lighter though.

    I've only had one minor customer service issue with Ellsworth, which was handled very well. I've had no other interaction with the company or the man.

    I also don't buy the contention that there's no difference b/w FSR and ICT. I've ridden both types of bikes and feel more comfortable and in control on the ICT. I can't pretend to provide empirical evidence justifying why, but nonetheless, that's been the case.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowLow
    I also don't buy the contention that there's no difference b/w FSR and ICT. I've ridden both types of bikes and feel more comfortable and in control on the ICT. I can't pretend to provide empirical evidence justifying why, but nonetheless, that's been the case.
    That's because you're ignoring the wide-range of horst-link designs. ICT is just a subset of them, and they are ALL going to ride differently, but they all fall within the horst-link design criteria. There are bikes like the old GTs with their huge horst-link (and hugely bad stinkbug effect when braking), there are more moderate ones from back in the 90s that specialized was using, there are the more ict-ish ones like turner, specalized, ellsworth and others have used, but they are all horst link bikes, and they'll all ride differently due to differences in leverage rates (nothing to do with the wheelpath/horst link design), main pivot point, horst link placement, and so on. No one has said that there's no difference, only that ICT is a horst link, and that recent suspension advancements can give you something even better. The ellsworth horst link will 'squat' during acceleration, you may not feel it, but when you ride a dw-link you'll realize the difference when you 'mash' the pedals. In this respect it is like other designs, but that doesn't mean that it rides the same or feels the same. It's also not 'bad', so don't think I'm trying to say that. I ride a horst-link and kona-style 4-bar right now, the dw stuff is better, but not so much that I need to sell my bikes right now. I'll continue to ride my bikes for a while, and then maybe get a dw-link bike as my next big bike purchase, but that isn't going to be anytime soon.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    That's because you're ignoring the wide-range of horst-link designs. ICT is just a subset of them, and they are ALL going to ride differently, but they all fall within the horst-link design criteria. There are bikes like the old GTs with their huge horst-link (and hugely bad stinkbug effect when braking), there are more moderate ones from back in the 90s that specialized was using, there are the more ict-ish ones like turner, specalized, ellsworth and others have used, but they are all horst link bikes, and they'll all ride differently due to differences in leverage rates (nothing to do with the wheelpath/horst link design), main pivot point, horst link placement, and so on. No one has said that there's no difference, only that ICT is a horst link, and that recent suspension advancements can give you something even better. The ellsworth horst link will 'squat' during acceleration, you may not feel it, but when you ride a dw-link you'll realize the difference when you 'mash' the pedals. In this respect it is like other designs, but that doesn't mean that it rides the same or feels the same. It's also not 'bad', so don't think I'm trying to say that. I ride a horst-link and kona-style 4-bar right now, the dw stuff is better, but not so much that I need to sell my bikes right now. I'll continue to ride my bikes for a while, and then maybe get a dw-link bike as my next big bike purchase, but that isn't going to be anytime soon.
    I've read in various threads people saying things like, "FSR and ICT are the same so just save your money and buy a Specialized" and things along those lines. I didn't mean to imply that someone in this thread said this, and I didn't mean to implicate you. The only point I was trying to make was that you shouldn't dismiss the bike because it's based on a horst link design by assuming that it'll ride like another HL bike.

    When you say mash the pedals, do you mean mashing pedals going up a fireroad or a technical singletrack trying to get over a big rock, etc (or both or none of the above)? I'm curious because I never mash pedals going up a fireroad and I've always felt that my bike climbs technical stuff very well given that it's a 33lb 6" bike.

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