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  1. #1
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    DT in Mountain Bike Rider Mag

    Sorry if this has been posted before

    Source

    David Turner, Turner Bikes

    What is the primary function of suspension on a mountain bike?

    DT: Traction, control and comfort

    Can air sprung forks and shocks match the performance of coil sprung units, or are they just one size fits all, lightweight alternatives?

    DT: If performance is gauged by Lake District rocks or downhill racing, then no, air does not perform as well as coils. On a XC bike grinding up moderately rough climbs or smooth forest single track then yes, air performs as well as coil. There is no denying that air is way lighter than metal so lighter weight can be “performance” as well. If the leverage ratio is high enough the stiction of air shocks is easily overcome for most riders to be happy with air most of the time.

    Are comfort and control opposite sides of the same coin?

    DT: Ones suspension can give the vehicle considerable control yet not provide 'comfort' as the word is defined. With massive variations in chain angle in relation to the pivot, how can any manufacturer claim to have optimum anything? There are gear combinations that work better than others on any given bicycle suspension design.

    Variable rate suspension or constant rinsing rate?

    DT: I like more leverage at the start of travel for plushness on small bumps and less leverage at the end of travel for more resistance to bottoming.

    There is a trend for suspension uniformity within brands, but do bikes with different intended use benefit from being restricted to one suspension design?

    DT: If there is a benefit to being restricted to one design it would be that the designers and engineers become very familiar with the idiosyncrasies of that design and are able to increase performance through familiarity.

    Are there ideal amounts of travel for each application (XC, Trail, FR, DH)?

    DT: Absolutely! And whatever I write today may be outdated next week!

    Are new suspension designs driven by performance or marketing?

    DT: Both of course, depends on who you talk to.

    What is the biggest misconception about bicycle suspension?

    DT: That all Horst link suspension does this…. And all mini links are that…..
    And all single pivots are this….. and finally if it looks like an egg therefore if cracked a raw egg will pour out.

    Do linkage suspension designs offer real benefits over single pivots?

    DT: There are links both Horst style and mini link style that function almost identically to raised single pivots.

    If intellectual property didn't exist, which rear suspension design would everyone use?

    DT: Hopefully whatever the designers and engineers knew how to make the best bike with.

    Why is it that a rearward axle path is often assumed to be better than a vertical or inward one?

    DT: Because the bike is travelling forward. Of course a completely rearward axle path is not the holy grail of suspension, just ask anyone that has ripped a rear mech off at full travel.

    Can a good shock/tune compensate for a poor suspension design?

    DT: Custom tuning can certainly improve any suspension, good or bad. The variables of customers and terrain are almost infinite, so getting a shock 'tuned' to the rider, terrain and bike will certainly ride better.
    To the point, no a crap bike cannot be made fantastic by sending the shock to PUSH, improved yes, transformed no.

    Is suspension set-up and the array of adjustments currently on offer overly complex for the average rider?

    DT: Almost every Turner rider has had several different brands before they get a Turner so I don't consider my customers average. They are usually quite experienced, but there are still questions to be answered, especially when one suspension adjustment overlaps another. Just wait 'till we have high AND low speed compression damping like many of the motocross models do! I am dizzy thinking about it.

    What does the future hold for mountain bike suspension?

    DT If I knew the future I would have invested heavily in Microsoft and be riding my bike more!

    The following people also answered the same questions:

    Jose Gonzalez, director of suspension technology at Trek
    Dave Weagle, president of e.thirteen and inventor of the Split Pivot suspension design
    Jean Christophe Charrier, oversees Bos Engineering's mtb project
    Mick McAndrews, Specialized's forks and shocks guru
    Steve Wade, founder of Orange Bikes
    David Earle, independent design consultant, Sotto Design
    Joe Graney, head of engineering at Santa Cruz Bicycles

    DT out of interest have you been to the Lakes District and what did you think?

  2. #2
    TLL
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    Taken as a whole, that is a very informing article. I like Dave's responses the best, as I feel they do a better job of reflecting a rider's perspective.
    Hadley rear hub service here and here.

  3. #3
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    It was interesting to see the different responses.

  4. #4
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    That was a pretty good article. I thought all the guys had good answers for different questions. DW sure does seem stuck on his design as being the only sure fire suspension setup worth riding though.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky351
    That was a pretty good article. I thought all the guys had good answers for different questions. DW sure does seem stuck on his design as being the only sure fire suspension setup worth riding though.
    Heh, same thing with the Orange guy.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  6. #6
    gravity curmudgeon
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    Simple clear answers from DT.

    DW ... whoa ... talk about dilatory obfuscation.

    Lot of interesting replies with more similarities than differences, IMHO.

    In science I find that when we have it nailed, it is easy to explain. When we're stuck or don't have the full picture or don't know how something we think applies to reality, the explanations become their own wandering journeys in search of a destination.

  7. #7
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    I like Turner's answers from a rider perspective, but -- as usual -- Dave Weagle is clearly the smartest guy in the room.
    d

  8. #8
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    I found the lost interview!


    What is the primary function of suspension on a mountain bike?

    TE: It allows up to 110% efficiency.

    Can air sprung forks and shocks match the performance of coil sprung units, or are they just one size fits all, lightweight alternatives?

    TE: Air with lockout is the way to go, but my bikes don't need lockout, but sometimes I put it on there anyway.

    Are comfort and control opposite sides of the same coin?

    TE: Yes, and breaking is important too.

    Variable rate suspension or constant rinsing rate?

    TE: I find that variable instant center tracking with psuedo holistic frequency attenuation is the way to go.

    There is a trend for suspension uniformity within brands, but do bikes with different intended use benefit from being restricted to one suspension design?

    TE: ICT.

    Are there ideal amounts of travel for each application (XC, Trail, FR, DH)?

    TE: Absolutely! That's why we make the Id, the Moment, the Epiphany, and the Distance, because you can never have enough bikes for one application!

    Are new suspension designs driven by performance or marketing?

    TE: ?

    What is the biggest misconception about bicycle suspension?

    TE: That any one system is better or equal to ICT.

    Do linkage suspension designs offer real benefits over single pivots?

    TE: Yes, except when comparing against the single-pivot bikes that I make, those are an exception because they too are capable of 112% efficiency.

    If intellectual property didn't exist, which rear suspension design would everyone use?

    TE: "ICT is internationally patented and quantifiably the most energy-efficient suspension design in the world, period."

    Why is it that a rearward axle path is often assumed to be better than a vertical or inward one?

    TE: It is.

    Can a good shock/tune compensate for a poor suspension design?

    TE: See the answer to the "which design would everyone else use" question.

    Is suspension set-up and the array of adjustments currently on offer overly complex for the average rider?

    TE: Not on an ellsworth. Once you ride an ellsworth, you know.

    What does the future hold for mountain bike suspension?

    TE: Everyone will pay me for ICT!
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  9. #9
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    rambling

    Well there sure is a lot of guarded words in that article eh?

    DW is the smartest.

    TE and SW are the, uhhhh, most brief.

    What was that bs about eggs?

    DT

  10. #10
    Bite Me.
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    I'm "quite experienced" - cool! No one would have ever guessed it by the way I barely flopped up the hill on my morning climb today.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes
    What was that bs about eggs?
    hungry when ya did that morning interview, werent ya?
    Last edited by cactuscorn; 07-11-2008 at 12:47 PM.
    No, I'm NOT back!

  12. #12
    trail fairy
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    I'm experienced with eggs
    I can do
    egg omelete
    egg bene
    scambled egg
    poached egg
    boiled egg
    hardboiled egg
    barbeque'd egg
    schrimp eggs
    runny eggs
    snotty eggs
    eggs n bacon
    eggs and sausage
    kiwi eggs
    eggs over easy

    etc

    DT great answers love it, mans man answers no BS way to go


    The one answer I like from DW though!

    What is the biggest misconception about bicycle suspension?

    DW: That you need it. The more time I spend on my hardtail, the faster I get on my DH bike. Sure, you need it to race, but if you want to corner like a champ and learn to control your bike, nothing beats the razor-like precision that a hardtail demands.
    Just riding a muddy trail. . ..

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailadvent
    I'm experienced with eggs
    I can do
    egg omelete
    egg bene
    scambled egg
    poached egg
    boiled egg
    hardboiled egg
    barbeque'd egg
    schrimp eggs
    runny eggs
    snotty eggs
    eggs n bacon
    eggs and sausage
    kiwi eggs
    eggs over easy

    etc

    DT great answers love it, mans man answers no BS way to go


    The one answer I like from DW though!

    What are Kiwi Eggs??

    churrrrr
    Astigmatic Visionary

  14. #14
    trail fairy
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    Quote Originally Posted by S-Works
    What are Kiwi Eggs??

    churrrrr
    They got lots of churrrrrrrrrrrrr

    or 5 raw shaken but not stirred for breaky every morning

    chir..
    Just riding a muddy trail. . ..

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  15. #15
    Silence and Thunder...
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    hmmmmmmm....

    ""What is the biggest misconception about bicycle suspension?

    DW: That you need it. The more time I spend on my hardtail, the faster I get on my DH bike. Sure, you need it to race, but if you want to corner like a champ and learn to control your bike, nothing beats the razor-like precision that a hardtail demands. ""


    ...might help explain the rising popularity of rigid/HT bikes...SS and 29er's...
    ...every day sends future to past...

  16. #16
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by xjbebop
    hmmmmmmm....

    ""What is the biggest misconception about bicycle suspension?

    DW: That you need it. The more time I spend on my hardtail, the faster I get on my DH bike. Sure, you need it to race, but if you want to corner like a champ and learn to control your bike, nothing beats the razor-like precision that a hardtail demands. ""


    ...might help explain the rising popularity of rigid/HT bikes...SS and 29er's...
    Naw, my 6pack is outta service for a week or so (DT ratchet drive) so I'm riding the 29er HT. Holy crap I get bounced around on rocky trails and there's nothing that stops your momentum like a big rock in a huge sea of rocks. You do your best to unweight it correctly and flow through, but there's only so much you can do. Remembered riding it 2 days before on the 6pack and the fact that I could just keep pedaling through all kinds of crazy rocky parts that are nearly impossible to do the same with on the 29er. Big wheels? Big deal, sure it does roll over some things, but it gets hung up just like any other HT bike. When your primary bike is a slack 6x6 bike, you don't really notice any "improved" rolling-effects in terms of technical ability. I notice how they carry speed due to their inertia, and that is most definitely prevalent. I agree with DW that you have to be much more precise and carefull in terms of lines, and that probably helps overall, but I'd seperate the "technical" aspect of a rigid or HT 29er from the "momentum" and faster travel over obstacles, if it gets technical they start to fall behind quick in my experience.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  17. #17
    trail fairy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Naw, my 6pack is outta service for a week or so (DT ratchet drive) so I'm riding the 29er HT. Holy crap I get bounced around on rocky trails and there's nothing that stops your momentum like a big rock in a huge sea of rocks. You do your best to unweight it correctly and flow through, but there's only so much you can do. Remembered riding it 2 days before on the 6pack and the fact that I could just keep pedaling through all kinds of crazy rocky parts that are nearly impossible to do the same with on the 29er. Big wheels? Big deal, sure it does roll over some things, but it gets hung up just like any other HT bike. When your primary bike is a slack 6x6 bike, you don't really notice any "improved" rolling-effects in terms of technical ability. I notice how they carry speed due to their inertia, and that is most definitely prevalent. I agree with DW that you have to be much more precise and carefull in terms of lines, and that probably helps overall, but I'd seperate the "technical" aspect of a rigid or HT 29er from the "momentum" and faster travel over obstacles, if it gets technical they start to fall behind quick in my experience.
    I suspect hes not talking about 29er hardtails!

    SS DJs are where its at
    Just riding a muddy trail. . ..

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  18. #18
    TLL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Naw, my 6pack is outta service for a week or so (DT ratchet drive) so I'm riding the 29er HT. Holy crap I get bounced around on rocky trails and there's nothing that stops your momentum like a big rock in a huge sea of rocks. You do your best to unweight it correctly and flow through, but there's only so much you can do. Remembered riding it 2 days before on the 6pack and the fact that I could just keep pedaling through all kinds of crazy rocky parts that are nearly impossible to do the same with on the 29er. Big wheels? Big deal, sure it does roll over some things, but it gets hung up just like any other HT bike. When your primary bike is a slack 6x6 bike, you don't really notice any "improved" rolling-effects in terms of technical ability. I notice how they carry speed due to their inertia, and that is most definitely prevalent. I agree with DW that you have to be much more precise and carefull in terms of lines, and that probably helps overall, but I'd seperate the "technical" aspect of a rigid or HT 29er from the "momentum" and faster travel over obstacles, if it gets technical they start to fall behind quick in my experience.
    This should be required reading for every 29er zealot. 29ers may carry speed, but at the expense of acceleration. And they are stable, but at the expense of flicability. I'll take a slack 26" bike over a 29er in tech terrain anyday.

    I love my 29er, but I luuuve my RFX more. waaay more.
    Hadley rear hub service here and here.

  19. #19
    Hisforever
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    DT you are a Man of Class!


    Much Respect.

    Thank you for building great Bicycles.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailadvent
    I suspect hes not talking about 29er hardtails!

    SS DJs are where its at
    He said, "rigid/HT bikes...SS and 29er's..."

    ??
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by toons101
    Variable rate suspension or constant rinsing rate?
    Constant rinsing? I only rinse my bike once in while and try not to get water on the suspension components. Is there something these guys know that I should know?

  22. #22
    trail fairy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    He said, "rigid/HT bikes...SS and 29er's..."

    ??

    Where! not in that paragraph..I re-read it I must be missing something somewhere, no surprise..
    Just riding a muddy trail. . ..

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  23. #23
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailadvent

    Where! not in that paragraph..I re-read it I must be missing something somewhere, no surprise..
    Oh, I wasn't replying to DW, just to the guy that quoted him. Maybe that's where we went astray!
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  24. #24
    trail fairy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Oh, I wasn't replying to DW, just to the guy that quoted him. Maybe that's where we went astray!
    Ah that was XJ he was qouting me above where I qouted DW thought it was weird, it was a full sus interview couldn't find any other ref, and he [DW his HT] made ref to his Dh bike and I find the Dj bike similar to ride hence I said DJ HT lol
    Just riding a muddy trail. . ..

    MAXXIS 4C!
    Helmet for your neck

    Leatt FAQs


  25. #25
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    I'm way too confused.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

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