At the 2008 Sea Otter Classic I twice chatted with Dave Turner of Turner Suspension Bikes. Iíve known DT since 2000 when I first met him while looking for a more ďfully activeĒ replacement for my Santa Cruz Superlight which had begun to really irritate me with its rocky trail conditions energy sapping pedal feedback.
We talked for maybe a half hour twice about many things. Heís always interested in riderís impressions and desires for future suspension and bike design. His suspension bikes are very well known for durability and quality, and more lately versatility on swapping linkages to produce hybrid longer or shorter travel and frame angle changes. Dave was a Cat 2 road racer in the Ď70ís and Ď80ís and he has some of the earliest mountain bike suspension experience working in the Ď80ís for Horst Leitner at AMP Research when the Horst link was first developed for bicycles with some incentive from Specialized.
We talked about the DW-link some too and he defended Dave Weagle for getting a little irritated in occasional MTBR posts when asked for detailed explanations of how the DW-Link works any differently than other designs. DT realized that with rare exceptions MTBR readers just donít have the mechanical aptitude to understand technical knowledge without background knowledge of physics and mechanical dynamics. Iíve experienced DWís criticisms for myself when DW calls some of my hobby of suspension punditism wrong a few times and he has referred me to some background reading, particularly Tony Foaleís motorcycle suspension design book.
DT had the opportunity to demo ride a Mojo that a distributor had left at his shop for a few days due to some logistical problems the distributor had. He was most impressed with the bike while climbing and looking down watching the suspension moving over bumps but not having to scoot forward to the nose of the seat sacrificing leg reach and power. He found it remarkable that a rider could stay back comfortably centered on the seat even when climbing got fairly steep and the suspension was still working well.
Iíve occasionally written reviews in the past about seat position while climbing on other bikes with what I now know is due to differing rates of anti-squat suspension geometry, even back to my í99 Superlightís ability to climb without squatting rearward and needing little rider shift forward to the very uncomfortable pointed end of the seat. But the combination of no squat while the suspension remains active to bumps was only partially-true for Horst links and now as DT pointed out is fully effective on DWís designs.
Iím pretty sure if it wasnít for the DW-Link and the high quality bike builds of Ibis using the DW-Link Iíd most likely be riding a couple of Turnerís bikes.
An interesting side note. While visiting the Turner tent I also chatted with Gregg Wolf, the lead builder and warrantee manager at Turner Suspension Bikes. Iíve known Gregg nearly as long as DT when Gregg was still working at Intense Cycles as their warrantee manager and through a mutual friend Gregg got me a demo ride on a Tracer which sold me on buying one in 2001 which I rode until 2 years ago when the Mojo was the first bike I found that excelled the very versatile Tracer in every way. About a year later DT recruited Gregg to Turner Bikes, and Gregg has been perhaps one of the main reasons that Turnerís repeat and multiple bike sales has skyrocketed in loyalty for Turner bikes while Intense only maintains a smaller growth in sales in comparison.
Gregg has built up a 650b Sultan using shorter chainstays from a Spot and a White Bros. 650b fork with 45mm offset to keep steering better balanced with larger wheels than 26 inch forkís normal 35mm offset. Greggís custom personal bike had 71.2/73 degree head and seat angles and 13.4 inch BB height. Gregg allowed me to pedal around on his bike and although Gregg is about the same height and size as me Iím used to 23.5 Ė 24 inch top tubes and his 650b Sultan/Spot was over 25 inches in length so felt too stretched out for my liking. However it steered quickly even with the long top tube and it was very apparent that the 650b wheels really hit bumps nicely. My Mojo has a 650b wheel in front and I benefit from noticeably smoother and more even bump hits front to rear, but this was my first experience riding a 650b in the rear too, and it is very nice. Iíd be very curious to try a 29íer in front and 650b rear as I like the size difference for a bump hit more even feedback balance and cornering traction balance improvement.
Years ago before Ibis made it public they were returning to business, and I was not satisfied with the finish quality and handling geometry of existing early model DW-Link bikes available then, I had posted in the Turner forum that if Turner built a DW-Link Iíd be buying one with no hesitation. Turner makes great quality bikes with very balanced handling qualities and has customer service that perhaps only Ibis can compare to now.
Last edited by derby : 16 Hours Ago at 07:50 PM.
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Thread: DT on a mojo!
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