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  1. #1
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    Czar vs Burner vs Spot!

    Quick Observations: 2012 Five Spot vs 2013 Burner vs 2013 Czar

    I've been riding for over 25 years, and most of those years on Turners. My bike last year was a buffed out 2012 5.5 Spot. I took delivery of a Burner and a Czar several weeks ago, and here are a few quick observations:

    Czar: Full XTR 3 x 10 drive, Enve XC Wheels, Maxxis Ardent 29 x 2.25, Float 29 100cm travel, Weight as built: 25lbs 12oz.
    Czar vs Burner vs Spot!-czar.jpeg

    The Czar is a thoroughbred. It is most definitely a Turner. Very fast and responsive on the straights. Pedals like a dream. Super responsive in the turns, almost feels high strung. To tell you the truth I don't find it any less responsive on switchbacks, etc than smaller wheeled bikes. (I do sort of miss the lowest granny on climbs - see below.) I found the Czar is harder to perfectly tune the suspension for my weight and riding style than other Turners, and I have been making very slight adjustments to suspension and tire pressure. I feel like I almost have it dialed. The bike is respectable through rocky sections at speed, but best to pay close attention.


    This bike was over a pound lighter as built by Turner (entirely due to the tires). The original tires were Conti Race Kings - waaay too slippery on the typical loose over hard pack trails up here in Aye-dee-hoe. I switched to some Ardent 2.25s. All in all this is a beautiful bike and feels fast as hell. This bike is definitely my pick for any 20 mile+ XC ride.

    Burner: Full XTR 3 x 10 drive, Enve XC Wheels, Schwalbe Hans Damf 27.5 x 2.35, Rock Shocks reverb drop seat post, Float 34 140cm travel, Weight as built: 28lbs 12oz.
    Czar vs Burner vs Spot!-burner.jpeg

    Wow! This is the bike. Unbelievable. I switched out the tires, quickly set the sag and tire pressure for a plush ride, and this bike rocks right out of the gate. Super solid in all conditions. This bike DEVOURS rocky sections of trail that used to be a bit uncomfortable. Not as spry to pedal as the Czar, and ever so slightly heavier up hills, but wow what a beautiful performer. . . I am blown away at how much more capable this bike is than my 5 Spot.


    Although the Burner could be built quite a bit lighter than my bike, I wouldn't change a thing.

    2012 5.5 Spot: Full XTR, 3 x 10, Weight as built: 26lbs, 12oz.

    Oh yeah, my favorite bike from last year, the 2012 5.5 Spot? Well soon to be for sale. . .

    P.S. Probably my only complaint regarding the new bikes is the loss of the lower end "granny gear" due to the increased circumference of the larger wheels. I was curious how much I am losing. Since I have the same exact Shimano XTR on all three bikes, I measured how far the bike would move with one complete revolution of the crank. The numbers are:

    5 Spot 26" wheel 54"
    Burner 27.5 wheels 57"
    Czar 29" wheels 60"

    So for each revolution of the crank, I have to push the 29" wheels 6 inches further than the 26" wheel. That is a huge difference on a big climb.

  2. #2
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    What size Czar? Also, what do you weigh, in regards to the shock tuning of the Czar?

  3. #3
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    p.s. Beautiful bikes. You're right about the Ardents on the Czar, they are pigs.

  4. #4
    Nothing can stop me now
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    Wow! Do you have Enve rims on the Spot? What are your typical rides like?

    Did you consider a Sultan?

    Bob

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    What size Czar? Also, what do you weigh, in regards to the shock tuning of the Czar?
    I'm probably 155 w/ camelbak riding a medium frame. On the Czar120 lbs in rear shock, 80 lbs in front, running Ardents at 22 front and 26 rear. Would love to find a light, high volume tire that rolls well, grips well, and doesn't have paper thin side walls. . .

    With the Czar I find myself thinking in terms of compromise. Everything should be light. With the Burner, I don't think twice about weight, and compromise later when climbing!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobo_krkk_NIN View Post
    Wow! Do you have Enve rims on the Spot? What are your typical rides like?

    Did you consider a Sultan?

    Bob
    These bikes are my first with Enve wheels, so not sure how they change the ride or how to compare with how the good ol' Spot rode without Enve. All I know is that I really like the current combination!

    Typical rides around the Sun Valley / Ketchum area are on buffed single track. Very typically we have to climb A LOT to earn our descent. Yesterday did this ride on the Burner:

    BCRD Summer TraiLink - Pioneer Cabin/Johnstone/Bear/Parker

    Never tried or considered the Sultan - not really sure why.

  7. #7
    Nothing can stop me now
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    Thanks! Good stuff. I would have guessed that the Czar would be the perfect bike for those types of rides based on my riding tastes. I hate it when people actually have real world experience. Gives use iPad riders nothing to type about...

    Have fun! I am Enve-us...

  8. #8
    Nothing can stop me now
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    Now you need to add a Flux to the mix...

  9. #9
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    Czar vs Burner vs Spot!

    Quote Originally Posted by edroid View Post
    Would love to find a light, high volume tire that rolls well, grips well, and doesn't have paper thin side walls. . .
    Czar vs Burner vs Spot!-imageuploadedbytapatalk1372132666.439036.jpg

    710g, 60mm casing width on Flow rims, tubeless ready, EXO sidewall.

    Great stable, by the way!

  10. #10
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    I second the recommendation of the new Ikon in 2.35. Has delivered well in mud, hardpack, rocks and roots.

  11. #11
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    Wow, nice bikes. You win the prize for the best toys in town.

    I currently ride a flux - great bike but I ride where there are plenty of rock gardens. Thanks for the write-up on the Burner - it sounds like the future bike for me

  12. #12
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    You mentioned taking the approach that if it's for the Czar it has to be light, for the Burner, no worries. I get sucked into that too, but last week, I threw my Sultan wheel set onto the Czar, and holy crap! The Czar has much more range than I thought it did after putting countless hours on it with pinner xc race weight weenie tires. The Ardent 2.4 and Bonty XR4 might have been overkill, but when race season is over, the Czar is getting a set of 2.3 Ground Controls or XR3s for the long fall rides done without computers or heart rate monitors.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by edroid View Post
    I'm probably 155 w/ camelbak riding a medium frame. On the Czar120 lbs in rear shock, 80 lbs in front, running Ardents at 22 front and 26 rear. Would love to find a light, high volume tire that rolls well, grips well, and doesn't have paper thin side walls. . .

    With the Czar I find myself thinking in terms of compromise. Everything should be light. With the Burner, I don't think twice about weight, and compromise later when climbing!
    With 120psi on the shock, where does that put you with sag? I just moved from coils to air and we almost weigh the same. My Monarch RT3 feels a bit harsh at 30% sag. (either that or I'm just way to used to coils)

  14. #14
    North Van/Whistler
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    edroid. I'm using the stock RK in BC trails in the rear but in the rockier trails (I'm thinking of say going down N Hyndman or Long Gulch) that ProTection sidewall probably will suffer from cuts. Second the recommendations of the Ikons. Wonderful tire.

    The Ardent front is a super good choice too for cornering. For steeps maybe a bit undergunned even.

    kosmo. Rail that Czar. It begs to be ridden hard. Amazing how hard you can push it.
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the input!

    I am going to order some Ikons and give them a try.

  16. #16
    Daniel the Dog
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    The Ikons are sweet tires. I'm running some non tubeless one's tubeless and they have lasted nearly a year. Best race tire out there. Much be than Ra Ra's in my book.

    The new Turner 27.5 Flux looks sweet. Nice review.

  17. #17
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    Definitely would add to the +1 on the Ikon 2.35" as the tyre you're looking for - EXO casing is super stout, yet doesn't weigh a ton. Sweet bikes BTW, really sweet.
    Quote Originally Posted by edroid View Post
    ........Would love to find a light, high volume tire that rolls well, grips well, and doesn't have paper thin side walls. . .
    Quote Originally Posted by nybike1971 View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    710g, 60mm casing width on Flow rims, tubeless ready, EXO sidewall.

    Great stable, by the way!
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  18. #18
    T , V , & K Rider
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    Nice write up !
    " A way to a deep freedom " - Tarja

  19. #19
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    I would recommend replacing the Hans Dampf on the rear of the Burner and replacing for something faster. Save it for the front. Mine was destroyed in less than 100 miles, serious wear down the middle, torn knobs everywhere etc. LOVE it on the front and won't run anything else. I also picked up some serious speed on the climbs once I replaced the rear as well.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    I would recommend replacing the Hans Dampf on the rear of the Burner and replacing for something faster. Save it for the front. Mine was destroyed in less than 100 miles, serious wear down the middle, torn knobs everywhere etc. LOVE it on the front and won't run anything else. I also picked up some serious speed on the climbs once I replaced the rear as well.
    I have been considering something different on the rear. I put the Burner in a bike stand to re-adjust how the bike fits and the stand had a roller that fried my sidewalls on the rear!

    What would you recommend?

    Tires are one of those things where there are so many choices that you could go broke trying them all.

    Thanks

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TIGMAN View Post
    Nice write up !
    Thanks!

  22. #22
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    Ardent 2.25, Ground Control 2.3, Bonty XR-3 in 2.3. If it's drying up for the season in the Big Wood Valley, you can get a great combination of cush, speed, and cheapness with old-school Geax Suguaros in 2.2.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  23. #23
    Over the Hill
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    I just built up a Czar on the heavy side, just under 27lbs. Reba 120, 2.4 Hans Dampt on Stans Arch front, 2.4 Rocket Ron on Stans Flow back...riding many Laguna steeps feeling very comfortable going downhill. Narrow fast tires are not fun in summer loose Laguna Beach. What has impressed me is how stiff the bike is and even overforked it climbs very well.

  24. #24
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    I am looking at the Czar and I would like to use a 120 fork up front. Did you notice any wandering of the front end on steep climbs? Any other thoughts on how the bike performs with a 120 would be great.

  25. #25
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    No I did not find any wandering with the 120. My 2008 RFX with a 2006 Zoke 66sl wanders.

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