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  1. #1
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    Intense Tracer VP vs. Turner DW 5-spot

    Ok, so here’s the dilemma that I have come to the great minds of MTBR for assistance. I have demo’ed a medium Tracer and a medium 5-spot. They both felt great, but I can’t decide on which. I felt they both climbed well, but for me, felt the 5-spot was just a little better at it. As for cornering and DH’s, again, they both felt great, but the Tracer felt a little more substantial in this area.
    The only problem I ran into with either is that I am right on the cusp of med/Lg in the 5-spot. I had the post extended to the maximum setting and it was just a tad short. I am concerned that a large would be too big. I should be able to tell with a quick ride if it would be and am going to try to get that done in a couple weeks.

    I guess the good thing here is that I probably can’t go wrong between the two.

    Any comments, preferences, or suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Jim

  2. #2
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    You might consider Pivot and the Mach 4 or Mach 5.

  3. #3
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    I've considered the Mach 5, but haven't been able to get a demo on one yet. With exception of places like the Sea Otter or catching a demo day, the only places that I've found to "demo" them actually rent them and that gets expensive. Something to consider tho... Thanks!

  4. #4
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    You also might checkout Giant and their Trance X or Reign X line.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, tried those too. I guess I should have led in with "I've narrowed my search down to the Tracer and the 5-Spot"...

  6. #6
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    Ahh cool. You might want to try.....

  7. #7
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    you provided your own answer....

    Get the 5-Spot. If you read comments on it on these or any other forums, you will find more positive comments on the 5spot, and more criticism of the Tracer. One criticism of the Tracer sticks in my Mind "very sensitive to sag setup". Regarding size, Get the medium, you can fine tune with seatpost and stem choice.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro
    Get the 5-Spot. If you read comments on it on these or any other forums, you will find more positive comments on the 5spot, and more criticism of the Tracer. One criticism of the Tracer sticks in my Mind "very sensitive to sag setup".
    I bought the Tracer VP (wife has a Mach 5) and BOTH are sensitive to sag set up as are all DW link bikes.

    Why not learn to actually set the bike up correctly? Hell if your too lazy to do it get a hard tail then and your worries are gone.

  9. #9
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    i got down to about the same choice + nomad. in the end i went with a tracer and am completely stoked on it. i loved the fast downhill speed of each of them as well as their sure footedness off drops and jumps - massively confidence inspiring for me anyway. incidentally this is where the mach 5 fell away. i got worked on fast stutterbump type descents and felt like i was enduring them rather than pushing trying to go faster and looking for things to jump off. it also rode like it had a massively steeper head angle though i can't remember if it did.

    the tracer got the nod on fast single track over the nomad because the physical bulk of the nomad (size not weight) just felt unwieldy at times. i'm not a big unit so this might be rider specific.

    the tracer got the nod over the 5 spot on technical climbing (surprisingly given the hype) where I felt both VPP bikes were a lot more surefooted climbing really steep technical and/or loose stuff. the pivot needed loads of body english and the 5 spot markedly less so but still more than the other two.

    as for sensitivity on sag, i found it hard to measure the length as it seemed to vary each time, but going by mr intense's guide I have thrown in 15psi less than my weight and never looked back. i'm about 170 pounds and i've never had any of the blowing through travel issues that others talk about.

    i've had some issues that are likely due to getting a first generation bike (e.g. intense changed my whole frame for me within three months due to the rear tire hitting the seat tube and in that time there were noticeable improvements in the bike - different box links). i've had pretty amazing cs from intense and have no issues there. though turners cs is legendary so you're never going to go wrong there. there was a thread on terrible cs from intense by Jonny someone who ended up coming across as a bit of a dick who had had pretty stella service and still gone septic i.e. free shocks, new uzzi frame etc.

    i'm also 5' 10" and fit a medium so not affected by the talk of a slightly steeper head angle on the larger sizes. i do trawl the turner forum as my wifes got a tnt 5-spot that i also ride and any creaking issues with the dw-links seem to have a fix (tracer runs silent and has done for a year now other than a dirty derailleur hanger which took a little finding).

    i would say that the turner website seems to be better with the faq thing but once you're up and riding thats probably here nor there.

    confused??? basically you can't go wrong, which one do you think looks better?

  10. #10
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    My choices were Pivot Mach 5, Turner 5 Spot ad Intense Tracer VP.

    I bought the Tracer. Only complaint bout the Intense is that there is a lot more lateral flex in the rear triangle than either of the other two bikes mentioned here and it is mildly noticible at times with my 185 lbs on it.. oh ya and the head badge fell off on day one... I now have a Dole Banana sticker up there.. if ya read this Intense guys.. show me some love and hook me up with a new badge.

    I much prefer the 5.5 inch setting to the 6 and I run a Magura Thor AM-140 fork which balances nicely. Most of my technical riding is SW Utah (Gooseberry, Guacamole, Little Creek..etc) and the Intense really works well in these areas. I don't do a lot of fast downhill riding but when I have the Tracer feels solid and takes anythng that I toss its way. It works very well in the point and shoot Gooseberry type of riding and it climbs very good especially tricky technical climbs. Another mention... mine came with a DHX 5.0.... Hate, I mean can't f#$king STAND it. I am good at suspension set up and this thing is a royal PITA to set up. I guess its the bomb for the downhill guys but not for trail riding.

    Seriously, I would have been happy with any of the three... I have a Hei-Hei 29er that's my "real" XC bike so the XC'ish attributes of the Pivot were of no consequence to me but very well may be if this is someones only bike. The turner was second by a nose.. but it was a photo finish.

  11. #11
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    oh stt guys point is also good that the difference between the 5.5 and 6 inch mode really are chalk and cheese, the behaviour is quite different between the two. snappy versus cushty. fwiw i tend to leave it in the 6 inch mode

  12. #12
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    I test rode and liked both!

    Riding the Tracer in the 6" mode they are similar on the DH, the Tracer liked gradual climbs better but squatted on the steaper stuff no matter how I set it up.
    The 5 Spot felt sluggish on the gradual stuff but loved the technical climbing and steeper stuff. The most notable trait of either was how the 5 Spot shoots out of burmed corners.
    The 5 Spot has slightly lighter frame, I like the look of the tracer more but I wouldn't have bothered with the 1/2 inch difference in the travel adjustment. I like the 1.5 ht in a bigger frame but I'm not sure I'd opt for it with the Tracer with all the 1 1/8 steertube forks out there that seem to be better matched to the light duty freeride identy of these bikes.
    I'd get the 5 Spot.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowrider
    Riding the Tracer in the 6" mode they are similar on the DH, the Tracer liked gradual climbs better but squatted on the steaper stuff no matter how I set it up.
    The 5 Spot felt sluggish on the gradual stuff but loved the technical climbing and steeper stuff. The most notable trait of either was how the 5 Spot shoots out of burmed corners.
    The 5 Spot has slightly lighter frame, I like the look of the tracer more but I wouldn't have bothered with the 1/2 inch difference in the travel adjustment. I like the 1.5 ht in a bigger frame but I'm not sure I'd opt for it with the Tracer with all the 1 1/8 steertube forks out there that seem to be better matched to the light duty freeride identy of these bikes.
    I'd get the 5 Spot.
    The Tracers travel adjustment make a very noticable difference. Having the Tracer in 5.5 mode makes a big difference in how it climbs and how it accelerates. Mine is built up at 29 lbs with a Magura AM140 fork and ear set at 5.5 and it's great bike. The Turner is sweet as well. Really can't go wrong.

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