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  1. #1
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    Any climbers riding Five Spots?

    You know who you are. You revel in cleaning the impossibly technical and steep uphills as much as you do railing the downhill corners.

    So in your (climbers) opinions is their any disadvantage to going with a Spot over a Flux?

  2. #2
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    As a climber....

    I kinda like going up more than down, seem to fall a lot less

    Seriously, I bought the 5 spot to climb technical stuff. Period. I did not really care about the downhill ability or cornering of the bike. The 5 spot delivers. Especially since my previous bike was a single pivot. I am now looking to get a RFX to finish off what the 5 spot still has trouble with.

    RT

  3. #3
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    Dunno about the Flux (even though I had a 4" Burner). I did clean some really good stuff over the weekend though on my Spot. Two times on a tough trail I passed some folks who were either going around some gnarly stuff or didn't clear it. The first time I hammered over some roots, the second I had my Revelation dropped and finessed my way around a steep rooty turn. Both times I was more than happy to have the extra travel.
    Then I got to the other side of the hill
    Big hoopy.
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  4. #4
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    As posted elsewhere...

    Speedthrills and I have no trouble clearing stuff with the Flux. It's usually the quick-engagement, FR wannabe wankers that will tell you off the bat you need a Spot. Spots are nice, but the Flux is capable within its design parameters. It can handle some technical riding, is a fantastic descender and ascender. You want light? You want sharp turning? You want a bike that can come alive at high speeds as well as low?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    the Flux is capable within its design parameters. It can handle some technical riding, is a fantastic descender and ascender. You want light? You want sharp turning? You want a bike that can come alive at high speeds as well as low?
    word!

    i have a flux and a '02 rfx that i have set up much like a spot. both are fun to ride but nuthin ive ever felt compares to the flux's ability to adapt to reasonable levels of tech and rocket up the climbs. as a non climber, it almost makes me look good when things go towards the sky and thats sayin alot for the bike, trust me here.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  6. #6
    MK_
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    I tell you what, I went from a Burner to a 5 Spot and it climbed better. I just went from 5 Spot to the RFX and it climbs technical even better. It is less snappy, but you have more traction. The tall 66SL at 165 or so mm of travel makes the front end really easy to wheelie over obstacles, too.

    _MK
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  7. #7
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    The Burner's XCE style suspension will not climb as well as the newer horizontal rockered models.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    I tell you what, I went from a Burner to a 5 Spot and it climbed better. I just went from 5 Spot to the RFX and it climbs technical even better. It is less snappy, but you have more traction. The tall 66SL at 165 or so mm of travel makes the front end really easy to wheelie over obstacles, too.

    _MK
    Same here. I went from a Spot to a RFX and yeah it's heavier but man does it claw it's way up steep techy stuff. I also keep my 66SL way out for just the same reason to get up over lip-ups and stepups and such during tricky climbs.

    I'm certain the Flux is a superb climber, but more travel did not imped my technical climbing, it improved it. I would suppose either bike can climb the same thing but the less plush one will require more finess.

    To further muddy the waters:
    I recently timed myself up one particularly difficult longish sketchy techy climb (JC:Ned's Left Lung) and got the same time for both bikes. The spot at 31lbs the RFX at 36.5...same wheels and tires. It was a lot easier with the plusher bike. I attribute a lot of this to the shocks... The RP3 can't hold a candle to the DHX-C on techy stuff. When the Spot had the DHX it felt very much like the RFX on climbs.

    So setup is at least half the game.
    Last edited by Bikezilla; 05-21-2006 at 10:34 PM.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  9. #9
    Daniel the Dog
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    Spot climbs well

    But, it doesn't climb as well as the Intense Tracer I had or other cross country bikes with sharper head angles. Have a U Turn fork helps on long climbs but the Spot is a fairly relaxed 69 degree HA bike with a 501A-C fork. You put a Z1 or something on there and it becomes a bit choppered on climbs. You want the best climbing bike around get a true cross country bike.
    That same cross country bike won't be nearly as good downhill or in technical terrain.

    Jaybo

  10. #10
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    Idunno Jaybo, I didn't find a steeper head angle helpful in "in cleaning the impossibly technical and steep uphills". I think it would be superior for long grinding climbs, and a firmer rear would be helpful for prolonged standing efforts, but for truly techy stuff I like a light balance on the front end so I don't have to apply so much physical effort to get the front over obsticals too big for the front to roll up over. Having a the extra plush in the rear allows me to carry more momentum into the vertical face and still have traction under hard pedaling. Just another point of view.

    YMMV
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  11. #11
    Daniel the Dog
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    I'm talking about smooth, long climbs...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    Idunno Jaybo, I didn't find a steeper head angle helpful in "in cleaning the impossibly technical and steep uphills". I think it would be superior for long grinding climbs, and a firmer rear would be helpful for prolonged standing efforts, but for truly techy stuff I like a light balance on the front end so I don't have to apply so much physical effort to get the front over obsticals too big for the front to roll up over. Having a the extra plush in the rear allows me to carry more momentum into the vertical face and still have traction under hard pedaling. Just another point of view.

    YMMV
    I agree with you wholeheartily about technical climbs. The Spot is better on such climbs than my Tracer was but the Tracer was a climbing machine. I do find that the 4 bar bikes tend to get hung up in rocks on climbs compared to a less active single pivot design.

    Jaybo

  12. #12
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    Smile Flux is the better climber - for me

    Having ridden my Flux and Spot up some really nasty stuff of late, I'd honestly say I'd choose the Flux for climbing any day - especially if you're racing to the top

    Riding them back to back, the front end of the Spot does wander noticably (not bad but very noticable) and the few grams extra weight makes it harder on the legs on the longer climbs. The Spot also has a tendancy to pop the front wheel up on really steep stuff where the Flux goes more forward. On the plus side (for the Spot) the higher bottom bracket height does help getting over really nasty stuff.

    Note: Both bikes have the same build other than frame and fork (and bars - 1 carbon 1 not) so I'm assuming the main differences in fell are due to the frame.

    Thats my $0.02 worth.

  13. #13
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    I've ridden the 5-Spot for +500h and the Flux some 2-3h.

    I am 182 cm or ~6'.

    My 5-Spot has a Vanilla RLC 130 and is size L with a 90 mm stem. Romic Twin-Tube.
    The Flux had a Maveric SC32, size M and a 110 mm stem. Fox RP3.

    I had trouble keeping the front down on the Flux compared to the 'Spot. But the Flux bobs less when climbing.

    They're both great climbers, to bad I could not test the Flux on the climbs I know best.

    I have a piece of trail at home that I still have not cleared uphill. It can be done and I've done most of it but not in a full blow (my lungs wont let me just yet).

    I love tech-climbing, but not when the drivetrain fails. That tend to hurt.
    Regards,
    /Tobbe - In Mud We Thrust / Carpe Diem

  14. #14
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    Kinda wondering here if tires are as big of a contributor to tech climbing as travel. I have been having greater success with my 2.35 Nevs/BGs on my Burner through the rocky, nasty stuff than before - traction baby!

  15. #15
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    I went from a Hammerhead (Racer-X 100) to a 5 Spot. I do miss the lower front end sometimes but the extra travel is nice for handling the rocks and roots on steep technical climbs. With the right setup, you can probably get either bike to do what you what.
    Long Live Long Rides

  16. #16
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    5 Spot vs Flux

    I have both.

    For technical climbing with step ups, the 5 spot is better. I hit my pedals on the Flux easier than the spot. I have to say though that the Flux is an amazing bike. It can do just about anything the 5 Spot can and I really need to hold myself back from doing stupid stunts on the Flux it feels that capable. I find that if I will be doing a lot of technical climbing, there is usually technical descending involved as well and in that case, the 5 Spot is much better.

    C

  17. #17
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    OK, since my Spot is out of commission, I've been riding my hardtail in the meantime. It's under 23 lbs, and I'm running a SID in the front. I did a long ride yesterday, and flew up the long climbs faster than I ever did on a full suspension bike. For a sustained (1-3K vert feet), smooth climb, you can't beat the direct transfer of power and light weight (3-5 lbs lighter) of a hardtail. Now, when the going got rough, that's another story - tech sections were definitely harder on the hardtail - as has been mentioned.

    I hadn't ridden my hardtail in almost 2 years. It was pretty fun to go "backwards" - you can really see how a full suspension bike changes how you ride. I had to pay alot more attention to what I was doing overall - both up and down. I spent alot more time out of my saddle, leaning into corners and picking lines on descents. The thing I missed most was disc brakes - going back to vees demonstrated just how much better discs are.

    I bet my overall time would've been about the same on the Spot - faster on descents and slower on climbs. I'm certain that I would've been less beat up - I think I chipped a tooth on one descent. I'll probably ride my hardtail a little more, even after getting my Spot back, just to remind me not to get too lazy...

  18. #18
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    Setup makes a big difference

    I have been riding my new Flux lately while the 5 Spot sits. From the very first ride I knew the Flux would be faster on smooth sustained climbs but most of my local rides don't have that kind of terrain. We have a lot of very steep, loose, rocky climbs and the name of the game is traction.

    After my first couple of rides I thought that the 5 Spot was the better climber for this type of terrain because I was losing traction and stalling out on the Flux. I had the Flux setup "racey" with 2.1s and 20% sag on the RP3.

    I swapped tires on the Flux to some 2.25s, ran a bit less tire pressure, lowered my air pressure in the RP3 a bit, and moved ProPedal lever on the RP3 to the "-" on the climbs. Instant traction at less overall weight than the 5 Spot. Sweet!
    Eat Food. Chop Wood. Ride Bike.

  19. #19
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    I don't know if it's me, my bike, or simply the illusion of confidence I get from my Flux, but I'm regularly blasting down the rough, rocky, and rooted hills with turns faster than the buddies I ride with on longer travel rigs. Like the main fire trails from the top of Blue Mountain. We blast down from the top and I'm always the first one down. Don't know where it comes from, but even my Burner was great with its "puny" 3.6" of travel.

  20. #20
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    I wouldn't call myself a climber by any stretch of the imagination, but the Spot does an awesome job when pointed up. Like others have said - the right setup will make your climbing only limited by your lungs. When I bought my Spot - from the very first ride I was clearing stuff I'd never cleared before. That's also a testament to the excellent geometry and ride.

    There seems to be a sweet spot with some fairlyy meaty tires and plush suspension settings that make it unstoppable. That of course runs contrary to the XC geek setup of skinny tires and stupid stiff suspension. I personally believe the best traction comes from the tires being able to follow the terrain, not just skip over it. But some say that saps your energy and its less efficient. Theoretically that may be true - or at the pro level it may be ture - but I'm faster than ever and I can climb stuff I could never clear before.

    So my setup is uber plush and I run big, squishy tires, but I always have tons of traction and the rear really digs in like nothing else I have ridden - including single pivots and VPP's. All that traction translates to lots of forward momentum, the Spot really motors.
    The red couch has moved from Alaska to Florida...

  21. #21
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    I don't have a Flux, but my Burner XR plays one on TV...comparing the 4" Burner to the 5" Spot, I'd have to say the Burner is a faster climber, more agressive on the uptake and more responsive in tight technical moves (think about some of the real steep rocky sections on Slick Rock or Flat Pass where you're just grinding it for all you're worth in the 34 cog). The Burner's about 27lbs, so for long slogs, it's less burdensome than the Spot to gain altitude.

    The Spot climbs slower overall but behaves better through rough terrain like loose babyheads, bigger ledges and step ups, it's more forgiving than the Burner if you lose your prime line, and with the fork cranked down to 115 it's a pretty nimble ride. I think the shorter chainstays on the Flux would probably make the Flux a better climber than the Burner and definitely more race worthy.
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  22. #22
    Baked Alaskan
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat
    I think the shorter chainstays on the Flux would probably make the Flux a better climber than the Burner and definitely more race worthy.
    FYI -- Spot/Flux rears are identical, its the pivot placement that makes the difference. When I bought my TNT rear the line on the invoice even reads 5-Spot/Flux rear triangle.
    The red couch has moved from Alaska to Florida...

  23. #23
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Chris
    FYI -- Spot/Flux rears are identical, its the pivot placement that makes the difference. When I bought my TNT rear the line on the invoice even reads 5-Spot/Flux rear triangle.
    It is also identical to the Burner. When I first bought my Spot I wanted black rear, so I called Turner and asked Casey and he said they are identical.

    _MK
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  24. #24
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    It might not necessarily be fast going up the smooth stuff but it sure can climb. It's great climbing the technical stuff. Here's a picture of me climbing "Red Ringer " in Palos Verdes back in Jan 2006. Take a look at the power lines in the background to get an idea of how steep that is.


  25. #25
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    The chainstays are not identical - the Spot and Burner have 16.9" stays, the Flux uses a 16.75". This moves the rear wheel a little closer to the BB for better climbing performance - you can check the specs on the Turner website.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

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