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  1. #1
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    5 Spot vs. Azonic Saber

    Anyone w/ experience on both of these? Saber has 6"x6" travel, four-bar, about same weight, but nearly $1000 less (real prices, not msrp) than 5 Spot. Wish I could just afford a Sprot, but can't. Saber is close enogh that "maybe"...

  2. #2
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    I know someone who rides a saber 2003 and loves the hell out of it. It's a nice bike a little over built and only one color (silver). I also know someone who visited azonic's manufacturing facility in china (tawain?) and said it was the best overseas facility he has ever been in.

  3. #3
    FM
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    Search back through the turner boards for posts from both myself and "juice", a friend of mine that owns a saber. The saber has more in common with the turner RFX rather than the 5-spot. But in reality, they don't have that much in common... much different geometry, construction, weight, bearings vs. pivots, clevis-pivots on the turner, on and on....btw, the saber is now available in black.

    really all they have in common is being horst-link 4-bars, and specc'ing romic shocks. Besides that they are completely different.

    Personally, If I wanted a 5-spot but couldn't afford it, I would buy a heckler.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollin'in'Zona
    Anyone w/ experience on both of these? Saber has 6"x6" travel, four-bar, about same weight, but nearly $1000 less (real prices, not msrp) than 5 Spot. Wish I could just afford a Sprot, but can't. Saber is close enogh that "maybe"...

  4. #4
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    5 spot vs. Saber

    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    Search back through the turner boards for posts from both myself and "juice", a friend of mine that owns a saber. The saber has more in common with the turner RFX rather than the 5-spot. But in reality, they don't have that much in common... much different geometry, construction, weight, bearings vs. pivots, clevis-pivots on the turner, on and on....btw, the saber is now available in black.

    really all they have in common is being horst-link 4-bars, and specc'ing romic shocks. Besides that they are completely different.

    Personally, If I wanted a 5-spot but couldn't afford it, I would buy a heckler.
    Thanks FM.

    The Heckler is a more apples to apples comparison, isn't it. I've learned a lot in the past 6 weeks since my initial posting. It's a tough decision, as I love to clock miles of technical trail, but as I get better at drops I'm drawn toward bigger and bigger territory. Because the trail riding is #1 for me, I can't see ever going bigger than 6x6, at least for an "all around" bike.

    Boy, the 5 Spot rides nice.....

  5. #5
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    I have ridden both!

    I have ridden both! Yummy yum yums... Me and my friend had our bikes stolen so we plumped for these bikes. Let me tell you the truth.

    5 Spot - Mine (seach threads for 'Ben's Blue Bike)
    Full XT
    Vanilla R
    Hope/Thompson/Easton/SDG

    Azonic Sabre - John's
    XT/Deore/Raceface mix
    2003 JNR T's
    Hope/Raceface

    Both bikes run the same wheels - Hope Hubs on Mavic F219 rims with Conti Verts 2.3

    The comparison? My Turner is a taught, capable and amazing trailbike. Any review you read will say it climbs like a goat, rips down downhill and is extremely stable or chuckable as you so wish. Its weird because you can ride it for an hour or ride it all day - it doesn't matter.

    The Sabre John has set up is a little more DH orientatied. The JNR T really kicked back the headangle and this makes the 6" at the rear work. It isnt the best climber at all, and it takes a little longer to wind it up to speed (as opposed to the more rocket like Turner). When you turn it downhill the rear end is incredibly supple, tracking the terrain without a fault. It is also the only bike I have ever found incredibly easy to jump - almost defintely because the JBR T really kicks out the wheelbase. It flies straight and true.

    A Sabre instead of a 5 Spot? For the price you can't go wrong. This frame is heavier, and undoubtably tough (although for all the gussets, Azonic don't encourage you to use a tripleclamp or indeed warranty it). With a 5" SC form it would be alot tighter in ride feel, but it wouldn't ride like the Turner. It will however ride extremely well, and for the price I don't think you'll find a better frame going downhill.

    The Azonic isn't the same as a Turner at all, even if it looks similar and morons in the press (MBR) compare the two. I would argue that the 800 dollar (600 pounds here in England) price difference is almost not worth it. Almost. The Turner unfortunately is the best bike I have ever ridden, it has a certain something-something that is untangiable and hard to define.

    I would say that the Turner always makes you grin, but the Azonic will aswell. It's not a Turner, its a damn fine frame in its own right and you should definitely consider it and be proud of it if you own one. And its defintely better than the Santa Cruz 'Flex'ler

    Some piccies of my Turner to boast.



  6. #6
    t66
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    Ya kiddin' right?

    [QUOTE=Rollin'in'Zona]Thanks FM.

    Heckler is a "single pivot", living up to the brake dive and jack that neither the Saber or the Spot exhibit. The design requires a stable platform shock to reduce the bob induced from pedalling.

    A Saber built up light with a SC fork would work quite well as a trail bike, a little more beef than a spot and not quite as SPOT-ON as the turner.

    I rode a Bullit for quite a while after coming off an XCE and I've never been more pleased to recently be back on a 4-bar (RFX).

    You might want to look around for a used Turner frame or complete bike.
    Good Luck!

    NICE BUILD BLIPPO, how's the new M4's?
    Last edited by t66; 05-01-2004 at 05:55 PM.

  7. #7
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    Heckler okay, but not Spot..

    Quote Originally Posted by t66
    Heckler is a "single pivot", living up to the brake dive and jack that neither the Saber or the Spot exhibit. The design requires a stable platform shock to reduce the bob induced from pedalling.
    Yeah...
    Bounced around on Heckler today, and, well... it bounces. I know people who love them, but it's not what I'm lookin' for.

    For what I like to do, it seems the Spot is IT. I'm not going to try to make anything else work just so I can upgrade sooner.

    Thanks to all the posters here

  8. #8
    FM
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    Sure thing.

    In defense of the heckler;
    Last week I did a pretty steep 4-hour XC ride in whistler on my friends Heckler with Z-1, while he rode my RFX w/Z150. The 5th element coil, when tuned right, along with the active pivot placement, covers up many of the typical single-pivot bad habits. I haven't noticed any bob, either while riding the heckler or following my buddy when he rides it- even when he climbs out of the saddle. I hit a 4'+ ladder drop to tranny on it, and was impressed with it's composure. It should be noted that he has 28" bars, 8" rotors, QR20, etc... it's burly.

    With the 5th Element, it really comes down to how the owner tunes it. There's a lot of adjustments to screw up. This bike felt dialed. Can't say the same for every heckler....
    Also his bike felt plenty stiff after a year of whistler riding- but I have another friend who had lots of bushing and stiffness problems with his 2002.5 heckler. After going through about 8 bushing kits in a year,someone suggested ignoring the torque specs, in order to tighten up the shock mounting area. It's been solid ever since.

    The saber is a great bike too, but I do think a few corners got cut to keep the cost down. namely flat linkage plates, which require a longer shock bolt and eyelets, which are more prone to flex, wear out or bend. Turners 3D design allows for shorter bolt and bushings a much better design, but also more expensive to fabricate. At 9lbs, the saber is a lot heavier than a heckler or a 5-spot... and lots of bearings to maintain.... still a great frame though. Definately more FR oriented.

    Basically, I think your riding style is more important than suspension design, when considering new frames.... At 7lbs, I'd have reservations about hitting many drops over 5' on a 5-spot. Wheras SC heckler ads featured a rider doing a nice road gap on a heckler with a dual-crown. I'd prefer a heckler over the azonic personally. Both frames are cheaper than a turner, so you can't quite expect turner quality...

    Don't rule out the RFX! Another friend of mine just found a nice used one... And I sure love mine! They are out there used, if you're willing to spend some time looking. 9lbs, but great geometry for trail riding, turner design and quality.... perfect if you like the 5-spot but want something a bit burlier.

    Airwrecks' eBay link above sounds like the perfect frame for you!

    Just my .02, since I've ridden all three frames and seen them abused by my buddies...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    someone suggested ignoring the torque specs, in order to tighten up the shock mounting area.
    along those lines...
    My SO has been trying to gain plushness on her burner, she's been questioning her propedal float, and pivot break in.
    When I was switching out the rockers(first ever disassembly) I really struggled with the pivot bolts, either that green thread lock is extra solid or the bolts had gotten some extra torque.
    Greased the pivots and reinstalled, torqued, and now she feels the bike is much plusher and she's liking the propedal more.
    Hard to tell what the torque was before with the threadlock factor, but that was an interesting experience and goes to show that suspension tuning goes beyond shock performance.
    Eric

  10. #10
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    Wheras SC heckler ads featured a rider doing a nice road gap on a heckler with a dual-crown.
    It is an ad for the Heckler, but the bike being jumped in the pics is a Bullit. Maybe the Heckler could survive the same treatment, but I'd be skeptical. The whole ad seems pretty misleading to me.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  11. #11
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    I have both an 03 Heckler and a 5 Spot. The comments made about the quality of ride differences between the single pivot and 4 bar are valid. The 5th coil must be set up correctly for firm and controlled single track stuff. Straight out XC type pedaling can be controlled by air pressure, big drops by spring size and preload. But the aggressive singletrack rider has to set the compression and rebound screws to suit his own taste. It really does make a tremedous difference in tuning out bounce and butt slap. That said, the distinction I find between the two is in response. I love the way the Spot "squirts" when you ask it to. Very quick and yet stable and forgiving. The Heckler is a VERY nice ride, it just seems a little numb compared to the Turner. The bottom bracket is low on the Heckler and lower with the sag so it presents some annoying pedal bashing here in Maine singletrack.

    One of the angles that everyone has overlooked in the discussion about the Azonic product is RESALE. I can list my Heckler or my Turner today (NOT) and have customers scrambling to buy either one. A 2 year old Azonic is worth what?
    Everybody dies, but not everyone lives

  12. #12
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    You might want to consider the Devinci Banzai...

    I was basically in the same boat as you 6 months ago. Loved the 5-spot but the price of the Saber was quite an appeal. Ended up buying a Devinci Banzai frame.

    I'm very satisfied with the frame itself quite a bit. Nice needle bearings, great geometry and can take some abuse. However, I'm not as satisfied with the rear Fox Talas shock, not plush enough, probably needs some Push valving! I will ride it this summer and then I'll change the shock for either a Romic or a Manitou 4way.

    Well, all this to say, I think both the Devinci Banzai and the Saber are very good "$$$" alternatives to the 5-spot. However, a 5-spot is a 5-spot, try to find anybody that owns one who has something negative to say about it (this says it all)!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollin'in'Zona
    Anyone w/ experience on both of these? Saber has 6"x6" travel, four-bar, about same weight, but nearly $1000 less (real prices, not msrp) than 5 Spot. Wish I could just afford a Sprot, but can't. Saber is close enogh that "maybe"...

  13. #13
    No, that's not phonetic
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    The Banzai looks like a very cool frame indeed. I would love to check out their needle bearings! They are not available for sale in the US however, presumably due to not licensing the FSR (Horst) patent from Specialized. A wicked shame to put that much effort into such a promising bike and then get shut out of such a huge potential market. It would be worth a road trip across the border to pick one up, I think.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  14. #14
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    Mono M4

    T66:

    New Mono M4s are twice as good as the old. And they were the best on the market.

    tscheezy

    Hmmm... The US is a huge market but so much effort to tap you have to wonder if its worth it - especially if you have to pay a licensing fee to Specialized...

    Europe's not such a small market And cycling is alot more popular in general.

  15. #15
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Apparently it cost about $4 per bike to license the FSR patent, and since Specialized makes money off it I doubt they would make it prohibitively complicated paperwork wise. Other companies have "forgotten" to license the link and so had to stop their US distribution. Maybe they don't care, and more power to them. I was thinking more in terms of it being a loss to US riders who would otherwise have leapt at that frame...
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  16. #16
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    Give it time

    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    Apparently it cost about $4 per bike to license the FSR patent, and since Specialized makes money off it I doubt they would make it prohibitively complicated paperwork wise. Other companies have "forgotten" to license the link and so had to stop their US distribution. Maybe they don't care, and more power to them. I was thinking more in terms of it being a loss to US riders who would otherwise have leapt at that frame...
    Well give it time. Its a competitive market America, and Americans are very proud of their home-made products. I know its a gross generalisation but it seems generally Americans would rather buy home-grown. Whether this is reality or not doesnt really matter becaus as Scapin look in they will think "How can a small company from Italy compete?"

  17. #17
    t66
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well Not Possible

    [QUOTE=blippo_uk]T66:


    New Mono M4s are twice as good as the old. And they were the best on the market.

    No way, my M4's perform just as good as the new, only a few grams heavier .

    For Sale: 2003 M4's

  18. #18
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    Mono M4s

    [QUOTE=t66]
    Quote Originally Posted by blippo_uk
    T66:


    New Mono M4s are twice as good as the old. And they were the best on the market.

    No way, my M4's perform just as good as the new, only a few grams heavier .

    For Sale: 2003 M4's
    Did you know that Hope will machine the gold caps for you in any colour I might get some blue ones to match my Blue frame. It makes them even sexier

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