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  1. #1
    Surfin' da mountain
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    5.Spot vs Pivot Firebird

    How do they stack up?

    DT said in a recent Mountain Bike article, the current 5 Spot is better than any RFX ever built. I'm not challenging that position except before I placed my order, it was a decision between the 5Spot or the Firebird. Yeah, I know they differ by an inch of travel, but consider their intended use.

    Before ordering, I asked "Turner.com" about brake adapters and got a call back from Dave Turner, himself. Dave kindly answered my question and gave me a few extra minutes of his time. We talked about the XX44 headset and ISCG on a 5Spot. I asked Dave if I could order my 5Spot w/ an ISCG and his reply was yes, but the frame wouldn't be anodized. I didn't really want to disassemble and paint my new frame. I barely had the patience to build it. Dave asked what I thought of 12 x 142 rear axle and I replied can I get it on mine? He must have been taking a poll.

    So, considering the 2012 5Spot will have a ISCG and 12 x 142 rear axle how does it stack up against the Pivot Firebird? I like them both!

  2. #2
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    I just put an 11 Spot together with a 36 160 Fox fork and I have a Highline with a 36 160 fork and a shortened rear shock to get the BB height to 14 inches. I had an 08 RFX. The 11 Spot is probably 85-90% bike the Highline is, and is 8-9 pounds lighter and is way more bike than the 08 RFX. The 12 Spot will fit a coil shock, the HA with the 36 160 and an inset headset is at about 67 degrees, and the BB height is at about 13.7 depending what tires you run. Do not under estimate the Spot's capabilities.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheb
    . Do not under estimate the Spot's capabilities.
    Never! Over-estimating its capabilities is where it's at here!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheb View Post
    I just put an 11 Spot together with a 36 160 Fox fork and I have a Highline with a 36 160 fork and a shortened rear shock to get the BB height to 14 inches. I had an 08 RFX. The 11 Spot is probably 85-90% bike the Highline is, and is 8-9 pounds lighter and is way more bike than the 08 RFX. The 12 Spot will fit a coil shock, the HA with the 36 160 and an inset headset is at about 67 degrees, and the BB height is at about 13.7 depending what tires you run. Do not under estimate the Spot's capabilities.
    While I am sure the 2011 5 Spot is a great bike, you really think that by making the headtube angle 1 degree slacker this bike can now take on every previous iteration of the RFX and now even the Highline, without any qualification for the terrain and conditions?

    I rode lift-serve DH at Plattekill in NY state on closing day last Sunday and conditions went from icy turf with patchy snow to hero dirt and shale on the same trail. You are telling me that you would have grabbed the Spot over the Highline for that? What does it even mean that it's 85% to 90% as capable as the Highline? They are completely different bikes!

    Granted, in the hands of Tyler Morland, he would be waiting for me at the bottom of the hill for 5 minutes on his Spot and me on my DH bike but that's hardly an argument that the Spot is all anyone needs.

    There is a hole in the Turner line-up and that's just fine. If one wants a longer travel bike, they can go elsewhere; there are plenty of capable bikes on the market. But arguing there is no hole and that the RFX is obsolete after all the clamoring for this uberbike, at the same time when bikes like the Knolly Chilcotin can't even make it Stateside before they get snapped up is just ludicrous.

    I'll let the man himself do the talking as he posted in a thread in this forum in 2009:

    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes View Post
    [The RFX] will NOT be ready in the spring,remember DHR first, if you WILL be buying in the spring, get a Firebird. You will get the best in pedaling in a big travel trail bike.

    DT

  5. #5
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    RFX to Spot

    There has never been an RFX to best the newest 5 Spot. Sure it had a bit more travel in 08, but the geometry was off the back comparatively. I am sure for lift served riding the 8 lbs of the Highline would have been a better choice, but come on, most don't have chair access, EVER. Pedaling for our turns is the name of the game for most mountain bikers and the slacker, lower TAxled new 5 Spot kills the old RFX up and down. Slacker, better pedaling and dialed geo, oh, and a stiffer rear end with TA. Yes there is a hole, but for most riders it does not exist in their pedal induced reality.





    DT

  6. #6
    Daniel the Dog
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    Apples and oranges. Firebird is a light freeride bike and Spot is a trail bike. The Spot is not a point and shoot bike like the Firebird. Angles are much different.

    The very aggressive riders are buying Firebirds and other big hit bikes. The Firebird pedals very well! I love the pedaling artributes of the Pivot lineup. Really nice bikes but I prefer Turner because of the grease pivots and my mucky riding.
    Last edited by Jaybo; 12-07-2011 at 06:39 AM.

  7. #7
    30-ton War Machine
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    I have ridden Pivot DW bikes and Turner DW bikes, I felt like the Turner was working for me more than the Pivot. The Pivot wasn't as plush on the downs and I felt like it wasn't as linear in the way it acted when climbing. My Mach429 was sort of "spikey" in the ass-end.

  8. #8
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    Let me clarify a little more, and try without bragging. I live near and ride Laguna Beach CA, home of many, many very talented riders. There is a great variety of trails in my backyard, lots of natural features and some man made. Some trails almost require repelling gear to get down. I do not have the ability or balls to drop everything I have access to, even if I had a DHR. I've seen my friend do many on his 07 Flux that I will not do on the Highline, so yes, in the proper hands. As I meander down many of the trails, rocky sections, smaller drops, twisty turns, back to back from the Highline to the 11 Spot, what I notice most is the rear wheel not getting caught in the rough on the Spot like it does on the Highline, thanks DW. The Spot with the 36 and a coil in the rear can handle bigger hits, maybe not as big as the Highline, but if done smoothly, it will do it. I have to pedal up most everything, only one canyon face has 15-20 minute car access shuttle for a 2-5 minute downhill, one which the Spot handles very nicely. I feel almost as comfortable on my Spot most of the time as I do my Highline, 85-90%. I don't think we even need to go into the pedaling part of it. Would the DW RFX be a better bike, of course!!! But it's not here. Firebird??? Based on the numbers the Spot seems pretty close, IMO. The 11 Spot is not a bad choice!!! And its still made in the US!!!

  9. #9
    3.14159265358979323846264
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    Well...

    Quote Originally Posted by cheb View Post
    Let me clarify a little more, and try without bragging. I live near and ride Laguna Beach CA, home of many, many very talented riders. There is a great variety of trails in my backyard, lots of natural features and some man made. Some trails almost require repelling gear to get down. I do not have the ability or balls to drop everything I have access to, even if I had a DHR. I've seen my friend do many on his 07 Flux that I will not do on the Highline, so yes, in the proper hands. As I meander down many of the trails, rocky sections, smaller drops, twisty turns, back to back from the Highline to the 11 Spot, what I notice most is the rear wheel not getting caught in the rough on the Spot like it does on the Highline, thanks DW. The Spot with the 36 and a coil in the rear can handle bigger hits, maybe not as big as the Highline, but if done smoothly, it will do it. I have to pedal up most everything, only one canyon face has 15-20 minute car access shuttle for a 2-5 minute downhill, one which the Spot handles very nicely. I feel almost as comfortable on my Spot most of the time as I do my Highline, 85-90%. I don't think we even need to go into the pedaling part of it. Would the DW RFX be a better bike, of course!!! But it's not here. Firebird??? Based on the numbers the Spot seems pretty close, IMO. The 11 Spot is not a bad choice!!! And its still made in the US!!!
    I ride the same trails you do, and the Firebird is a better bike for Laguna's finest trails. My FB with a 170mm Marz 55 is a great match for these trails. Good for the down, and you can pedal it up. You can do it on the 5 spot no doubt, but you can do it better on a Firebird.

  10. #10
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    Do you have a Firebird for demo there???

  11. #11
    Too easily annoyed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vondur View Post
    I ride the same trails you do, and the Firebird is a better bike for Laguna's finest trails. My FB with a 170mm Marz 55 is a great match for these trails. Good for the down, and you can pedal it up. You can do it on the 5 spot no doubt, but you can do it better on a Firebird.

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  12. #12
    biking is fun
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    So by saying it can handle a lot of abuse, how much are we talking here? I love short travel trail bikes but need one that can handle jumps (up to 20 feet) and drops (up to 10ish feet). Would the 5 spot hold up to that abuse? There are quite a few "XC" style trails that you pedal for 30-45 minutes uphill to then rip down a bermed jump trail and then back up again.

    Right now I am on a GT distortion which is a rad bike but if the 5 spot can handle the same abuse but have a bit more travel and the DW link then I may have to try one next year.

    Also, to anyone who owns one, How lively does the bike feel? I like a nice progressive bike that gets lots of pop and can air off little rollers.

  13. #13
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    I had the same choice about 4 months ago, buy a Firebird or 5spot - when I really wanted a RFX.

    I made my decision having never ridden either bike, but having owed a turner afterburner for 13 yrs... hasn't broken?? its been raced, jumped, freeriding, all mountain and raced cross country (no i didn't win). So i know Dave makes fine bikes. Also have an old RFX (2002?).

    My impressions are the firebird favours the more free ride style riding and handles that domain nicely. Its very plush (RC4 on rear), very predictable and pedals very well for a bike with nearly 7 on the rear. I also hated the look, initially, but it has grown on me.

    With Daves endorsment of the firebird being the best bike if a RFX wasn't available, what was I to do, when a local shop had a Firebird frame cheap. After riding the bird if I could go back and buy a 5spot I wouldn't. The firebird does everything I want and I am having a lot of fun riding it.

    Now what I really want is a RFX with 7 in the rear, a 66 head angle, 142 axle and the handling that at least my last 2 turners have had, they just feel natural to ride.

    Decide what you want the bike for- if you want possibly the best all mountain bike out there, 5spot, if you want a bike that leans more to light freeride, but still predals well, choose the firebird. If you want some of the best customer service avaliable well thats an obvious one... Many years ago I call Turner up, Daves wife gave me his mobile (he was at the welders) I had a problem with a disc mount and needed a couple of bushings, he sent the to Australia, no charge, no fuss.

    Why do Turner frames cost 4k+ per frame over here... Our dollar is good, the importer must have his own private jet....

  14. #14
    yelgatgab
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    I spent a day on a Firebird and currently own a 2011 Spot. The Spot is better in the rough, corners better and (to me) has a much better cockpit feel. The Firebird is a great bike, no doubt, but I liked the Spot better, so I bought one. The Spot's biggest e-weakness is its lack of travel compared to other bikes. If you can overlook that single factor, you'll see an extremely capable bike.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagtagley View Post
    The Spot's biggest e-weakness is its lack of travel compared to other bikes. If you can overlook that single factor, you'll see an extremely capable bike.
    We we're having this conversation the other day, how much travel do you really need? Having seen people rip on hardtails I don't think you need much. A good well tuned fork, head angle and appropriate tires will go a lot further.

    So if the question is the rear travel, if your not dh racing and wanting to go Mach speeds through chunder then it sound like the 5spot, with the quality suspension it is, will do in most situations.
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  16. #16
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    How much travel do I need? None.

    How much travel do I want? as much as possible with destroying the bikes all round handling and still being able to pedal to the top - even if slowly.

    Quality is always better than quanitity, no ones going to argued against that, but when you can have more travel and still retain quality.... I have a hardtail that I only commute on, suspension is makes riding so much more enjoyable off road.

    I would love to try a 5spot out and compare it to my firebird, but they are rare in these parts and demo days are rarer still.

  17. #17
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    the 5spot WILL BREAK if used for light freeriding by someone 170+

    The firebird is better suited if you plan on going on pike parks like whistler or jump and take drops that are 4ft+ constantly

    I have seen at least 5 DW 5.spots break (and many of the older ones) in the hands of experienced and fast riders, they are great bikes and the warranty is great if you do break them, but I wouldnt trust it at Whistler.

    So, I think the FIrebird is better suited for my riding style

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetpilot View Post
    the 5spot WILL BREAK if used for light freeriding by someone 170+

    The firebird is better suited if you plan on going on pike parks like whistler or jump and take drops that are 4ft+ constantly

    I have seen at least 5 DW 5.spots break (and many of the older ones) in the hands of experienced and fast riders, they are great bikes and the warranty is great if you do break them, but I wouldnt trust it at Whistler.

    So, I think the FIrebird is better suited for my riding style
    Man, that's ********.

    Sure, the firebird is better if you plan on going mostly going, in bike parks, etc.

    Don't consider 4 feet drop too big for the spot.

    I rode mine on the North shore for a winter, big abuse, and two summers in Whistler; A-line, lower canadian open (Yes, so gnar for the spot, but still handles awesome), Fade to black. Garbanzo all the way down. Didn't have any issue with it.
    Breaking might just be a badluck for your friends that broke their frames.

    But please, don't under-estimate the spot. This is the most brilliant bike I've ever had.

  19. #19
    GAME ON!
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    i would have a hard time bringing my spot to a park. doesn't feel right.
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  20. #20
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    Hmm.
    A 5 spot with a fox 36, 2-ply tires and a skill rider can handle most things.
    Proven.

  21. #21
    GAME ON!
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregmazo View Post
    Hmm.
    A 5 spot with a fox 36, 2-ply tires and a skill rider can handle most things.
    Proven.
    it's not the bike's capabilities i worry about (necessarily).
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregmazo View Post
    Hmm.
    A 5 spot with a fox 36, 2-ply tires and a skill rider can handle most things.
    Proven.
    You guys say it will handle most things, but a couple of days at whistler taking runs at Aline, dirt merchant, etc by an intermediate/advanced rider (over 170lbs) will most probably crack that frame

    and most frames not designed with light freeriding will crack the same way, its not the Spot that is not of high quality or craftsmanship, its just its intended design

    The Firebird will hande more things and it pedals really good but not as good as the spot and will end up heavier (30-34lbs most probably)

    In the end I would say it is a pretty easy choice between the two, you just have to look at your inteded riding. Both bikes are, for me, some of the best in the market right now

  23. #23
    Crazed Country Rebel
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    Quote Originally Posted by damnwinter View Post
    Man, that's ********.

    Sure, the firebird is better if you plan on going mostly going, in bike parks, etc.

    Don't consider 4 feet drop too big for the spot.

    I rode mine on the North shore for a winter, big abuse, and two summers in Whistler; A-line, lower canadian open (Yes, so gnar for the spot, but still handles awesome), Fade to black. Garbanzo all the way down. Didn't have any issue with it.
    Breaking might just be a badluck for your friends that broke their frames.

    But please, don't under-estimate the spot. This is the most brilliant bike I've ever had.
    so why are you selling it?
    Stupid, but sometimes witty. Occasionally brilliant. Slow and fat though.

    Specialized sucks dong

  24. #24
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    The one I'm selling is a friend's.
    Still got mine. Had a 2009, then a 2011. And will for a long time.

    By the way, rode mine in Whistler bike park for weeks. Never had any problems.

  25. #25
    Crazed Country Rebel
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    Quote Originally Posted by damnwinter View Post
    The one I'm selling is a friend's.
    Still got mine. Had a 2009, then a 2011. And will for a long time.

    By the way, rode mine in Whistler bike park for weeks. Never had any problems.
    what kind of build?
    Stupid, but sometimes witty. Occasionally brilliant. Slow and fat though.

    Specialized sucks dong

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