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  1. #1
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    My Weekend with the Czar

    I got home last night from Sea Otter, where DT very generously let me take the Czar out for a couple of extended test rides. This consisted mostly of a pre-ride of the XC course that covered about 1/2 and then the long Sea Otter XC course as a participant in the MTB Gran Fondo. So I was able to get 4 hours of saddle time in on it.

    I guess the first thing that comes to mind after riding this bike is it's fast! This is a bike that encourages to keep pushing a little bit harder, both on the ups and the downs. With the long front triangle, and the short rear, I found myself feeling stretched out over the front to keep my weight centered. With the short chainstays, it was easy to keep enough weight over the rear wheel to maintain traction while hammering out of the saddle. On the descents, I would find myself looking for the rougher line to see what would happen. On the relatively smooth Sea Otter course, I was able to feel confident that the bike could take whatever I could give it. In ruts, the large chainstays kept the wheels in plane, and I did not notice any sort of vague feelings where the back half of the bike wasn't sure if it wanted to go in the same direction as the front. As far as the handling goes, it's pure Turner. I felt very confident on the wide open high speed stuff, and with the shorter rear end the bike really carves the singletrack well. I'm looking forward to riding a Czar on my local tight singletrack trails in the Central Coast chaparral.

    The demo bikes were set up with Turner's top end XX1/Enve kit. This makes for a bike that weighs a little over 23 pounds, ready to ride, but did not feel flimsy under my 210 pounds of out of shape XC rider. After flogging it around the 20+ mile SOC course, all I can say is that lighter is better. The 1x11 drivetrain is impressive. The bike was set up with a 30T front ring, and with the 42T rear cog I was able to ride "The Wall" (a 75 yard granny gear climb) on the Sea Otter XC course without wanting to throw up at the top.

    After riding an Epic for a little over a year, I am very happy to be back on a DW Link bike. On the Epic, I had to turn the brain way up in order for it to pedal acceptably well. With the Czar, I rode the CTD shock in the D position for the entire Gran Fondo, and it did not bob excessively. For long pavement or fire road climbs, I would probably switch it to the C position. But for most everything else, the D position works well.

    I think the 2+ years DT spent developing this bike certainly paid off. This bike distinguishes itself from the many other carbon XC bikes that are out there. I am looking forward to building up one of my own.

  2. #2
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    It's starting to sound more and more like it's time to retire my Flux.

  3. #3
    Daniel the Dog
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    Any word on pricing? I am betting 2.8K.

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    I say 3.2

  5. #5
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    When the Czar was first up on the website I swore it had an MSRP of $2995, but it has since been changed to 'TBD'.

  6. #6
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    My Weekend with the Czar

    Arm+leg, just as all carbon bikes are. As they say in the car world, speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    When the Czar was first up on the website I swore it had an MSRP of $2995, but it has since been changed to 'TBD'.
    i saw that as well. or in a press release, but for sure the number was $2995

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    When the Czar was first up on the website I swore it had an MSRP of $2995, but it has since been changed to 'TBD'.
    The product info tag that was on the bikes at Sea Otter said $2995. The TBD may have been cached from an earlier version on the page by your browser.

  9. #9
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    I was actually referring to Turner's website. Not sure where I saw the $2995, but I know I saw it somewhere!

  10. #10
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    really interested in a Csar as an allrounder. I am a big bloke at 240 and 6.5 and love the Turner stiffness and ride but just didnt get on with the Sultan. It was too sluggish for me - you'd expect that from an XL 29er. I preferred the ride of my old TNT Sultan over the DWL as it was racier, lighter and better in the slow tight stuff. If I could afford one - it would be 11 speed with a dropper post, 110mm TA fork, short stem and wide bars and beefie tyres. The one bike for 96% of my riding.
    Well done Turner
    How you just need to get the Australian distributors fired up to champion your brand - they are as passionate as a $25 hooker. Seriously my 5 year old could offer better customer service than the distributor.
    Australia needs love too DT.
    Last edited by johnd663; 04-22-2013 at 11:14 PM.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the review 2Turnersareneverenough, sounds mighty impressive.

    Do you still have access to the bike, I was wondering if you can you tell me what the wheel base comes in at? What size frame was it by the way?

    And yes Johnd663, who is the Aus distributor? I agree with you, most 5 years are more cashed up than this and can afford far better hookers than the $25 ones - I think that is what you meant....

  12. #12
    Snapper
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    Quote Originally Posted by WilliamK View Post
    And yes Johnd663, who is the Aus distributor? I agree with you, most 5 years are more cashed up than this and can afford far better hookers than the $25 ones - I think that is what you meant....
    no William you missed that one a touch - my 5 year old is not offended

  13. #13
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    When I asked DT about pricing, he hollered 2900 or so
    Awesome bike to look at. And I was equally impress with the
    SRAM xx1 set up

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WilliamK View Post
    Thanks for the review 2Turnersareneverenough, sounds mighty impressive.

    Do you still have access to the bike, I was wondering if you can you tell me what the wheel base comes in at? What size frame was it by the way?
    Sadly, I had to give it back. I didn't get a chance to measure the WB, but I'm 5'10" and rode a large.

  15. #15
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    Anyone thinking of using a 120mm fork with the Czar?

  16. #16
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    If anyone cannot get them in your area, drop us a line. As long as there is no ACTIVE and supporting Turner Bikes people we will sell direct. There are too many gaps in the Turner Bikes dealer map to not go direct.


    PS, this thread us USELESS without photos, lots of them.

    DT
    Last edited by turnerbikes; 04-23-2013 at 07:02 PM. Reason: PHOTOS!

  17. #17
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    Noted, thanks DT.

    Big kudos for a great looking bike and some very purposeful geo...

    Can I trouble anyone for a WB measurement on a L Czar please?

  18. #18
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    Thats why the shop I run out here is a dealer.

  19. #19
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    DT,
    How far is Murrieta from Santa Clara?
    I will be in the area middle of May,
    I wanna test ride a medium Czar too if possible ;-)
    When trails gets tougher, Just stand up and deliver.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullit_cn View Post
    DT,
    How far is Murrieta from Santa Clara?
    I will be in the area middle of May,
    I wanna test ride a medium Czar too if possible ;-)
    About 400 miles... SC is Northern California, Murrieta is Southern California, north of San Diego.

    Bob

  21. #21
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    About 6 hours drive or 1+ hour flight if you're really motivated. Well who knows how long a flight will be with the new security these days. Driving might be faster.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobo_krkk_NIN View Post
    About 400 miles... SC is Northern California, Murrieta is Southern California, north of San Diego.

    Bob
    Thanks Bob,
    Seems my chance is very slim :-(
    When trails gets tougher, Just stand up and deliver.

  23. #23
    SCV
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    When the Czar is launched SCV will be happy to supply. We have been eagerly awaiting its arrival. Feel free to call us and talk to us. More than happy to discuss any issues you may think we need to address.
    SV

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnd663 View Post
    How you just need to get the Australian distributors fired up to champion your brand - they are as passionate as a $25 hooker. Seriously my 5 year old could offer better customer service than the distributor.
    Australia needs love too DT.
    Hi johnd663, sorry to hear of your experience with Aust distro. Mine has been quite the opposite. The guys at SCV have been very helpful to me with my Turner Flux. I can't wait for the czar to arrive in Aus.
    P.S. I like your proposed setup - bring it on!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes View Post
    If anyone cannot get them in your area, drop us a line. As long as there is no ACTIVE and supporting Turner Bikes people we will sell direct. There are too many gaps in the Turner Bikes dealer map to not go direct.


    PS, this thread us USELESS without photos, lots of them.

    DT
    !
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My Weekend with the Czar-czar.jpg  


  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by etanc View Post
    Anyone thinking of using a 120mm fork with the Czar?
    Absolutely! Love my Flux with the 120mm fork...when's that XL Czar hitting the shelves? Any plans for an aluminum Czar??

  27. #27
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    Re: My Weekend with the Czar

    This is the bike ... I've been away from a turner for a year and have had to ride a tallboyc (which has been good but just doesn't peddle as well). Anyway my order is in .... One large black one medium orange for the girl. We are in the UK so were going to be behind you lucky fellas.

    Any more reviews hanging around.

    Can't wait. Thanks DT.

  28. #28
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    My Weekend with the Czar

    When is the czar hitting the shelves?

  29. #29
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    Anyone know what the warranty will be ? Niner 5-year would make this bike a no-brainer for me.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes View Post
    If anyone cannot get them in your area, drop us a line. As long as there is no ACTIVE and supporting Turner Bikes people we will sell direct. There are too many gaps in the Turner Bikes dealer map to not go direct.


    PS, this thread us USELESS without photos, lots of them.

    DT
    I was too busy having fun pedaling the bike to stop and take pictures. But here's the obligatory shot (from the other Czar thread) of it in the wilds of Ft. Ord.


    If I can come down and borrow the demo bike again, I'd be glad to take lots of pictures of Central Coast trails.

  31. #31
    Daniel the Dog
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    Quote Originally Posted by digifun View Post
    When I asked DT about pricing, he hollered 2900 or so
    Awesome bike to look at. And I was equally impress with the
    SRAM xx1 set up
    2900 is a lot of dough. Not a Turner only thing but the bike industry is getting expensive. Luckily, buying a Turner is like buying a lot of customer service and an awesome bike that will last.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by etanc View Post
    Anyone thinking of using a 120mm fork with the Czar?
    I suspect anyone not a pure XC racer is thinking about that.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  33. #33
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    How are you guys thinking of building these up?

    Wheels? Forks?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by YamaDan View Post
    How are you guys thinking of building these up?

    Wheels? Forks?
    I'm going to take the Enve XC wheelset and XX components that I currently have on my Epic and put them on the Czar, along with a SID World Cup XX fork. In other words, an entry-level build.

  35. #35
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    I'm thinking XT across, Enve Wheels, 120 Talas..

    The XT buys me budget room for the Enve's.

    I'm selling what I currently have, so I'm doing a reboot.

  36. #36
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    XT, Fox 100 up front, carbon wheels ($$$ where it counts the most), dependable Thompson post and stem.

    Done.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  37. #37
    Daniel the Dog
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    I would stick with a Sultan unless I raced, which I try to do . The Sultan is so good and Turner alloy and pivots last so long. It seems like a no brainer to stick with a Sultan for a weekend machine.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    I would stick with a Sultan unless I raced, which I try to do . The Sultan is so good and Turner alloy and pivots last so long. It seems like a no brainer to stick with a Sultan for a weekend machine.
    You have not ridden a Czar yet huh? Throw a leg over one, your decision gets very difficult.

  39. #39
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    I have a 2011 Sultan and love it except for the heft.

    With a gravity dropper, X.9 build and Stans Flows, I'm guessing that its over 30 pounds.

    I'd love a low-mid 20's pound bike, but I'm not sure I'd like going back to 100mm of travel.

  40. #40
    Daniel the Dog
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    First, a very expensive frame at 3k. Second, I would probably wait a while to see if any bugs come forth and third this is a race bike for the most part. I just love Turner alloy for a weekend trail bike as I have always had such great experience with their alloy bikes (even if I broke one).

  41. #41
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    My Weekend with the Czar

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    First, a very expensive frame at 3k. Second, I would probably wait a while to see if any bugs come forth and third this is a race bike for the most part. I just love Turner alloy for a weekend trail bike as I have always had such great experience with their alloy bikes (even if I broke one).
    Ditto, everything Jaybo said, including braking one of mine too.

    A lot of existing carbon frame company's talk about how they have developed there products over various designs (years) to get to their best application yet (!). Their designs include armoured this here, armoured this there and on the face of it look like everything you could ever want in a HD Carbon frame. I am glad Turner started their own carbon development path on a bike that is not what I'm after, this way when they make the 150SpotCarbon27.5 DT would have nailed their application of carbon frame building.
    HappyTrails All

  42. #42
    Daniel the Dog
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    Quote Originally Posted by YamaDan View Post
    You have not ridden a Czar yet huh? Throw a leg over one, your decision gets very difficult.
    I think this project is very impressive! I ride a carbon Niner FS bike and enjoy it. I am interested in the CZAR because I really like Turner as a company and the sizing is better for me than the Niner. I am running a longer stem on my Niner than I like because of a shorter top tube. I also don' t like the Niner internal cable routing (a solution looking for a problem and a PITA). I'm sure the CZAR will find its way into my garage eventually

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    I think this project is very impressive! I ride a carbon Niner FS bike and enjoy it. I am interested in the CZAR because I really like Turner as a company and the sizing is better for me than the Niner. I am running a longer stem on my Niner than I like because of a shorter top tube. I also don' t like the Niner internal cable routing (a solution looking for a problem and a PITA). I'm sure the CZAR will find its way into my garage eventually
    People always ask me "why Turner" and I always give them the same answer, "well thought out." Over the years, several turners later, each design has always been tested and well thought out prior to release. You never hear about work arounds. Their stuff get ridden hard. When I used to race, they were working on a new DHR, and our team got to test the proto-type. We broke it, I felt so bad, horrible. I gave it back to David and he was stoked! He said that's why we got to ride it. He made some design changes, and we got to test that one too. The final version of that DHR was awesome!

    That's what I'm sure has gone on with the Czar. The proto's have been tested to the nines. Ridden by some very gifted and some very normal riders. That way when you and I ride them, they'll be awesome.

    I can't wait!

  44. #44
    Daniel the Dog
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    The 5 Spot took a couple years to get the bugs out.


    Quote Originally Posted by YamaDan View Post
    People always ask me "why Turner" and I always give them the same answer, "well thought out." Over the years, several turners later, each design has always been tested and well thought out prior to release. You never hear about work arounds. Their stuff get ridden hard. When I used to race, they were working on a new DHR, and our team got to test the proto-type. We broke it, I felt so bad, horrible. I gave it back to David and he was stoked! He said that's why we got to ride it. He made some design changes, and we got to test that one too. The final version of that DHR was awesome!

    That's what I'm sure has gone on with the Czar. The proto's have been tested to the nines. Ridden by some very gifted and some very normal riders. That way when you and I ride them, they'll be awesome.

    I can't wait!

  45. #45
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    I will be ridding myself of the Tallboy when the XL's hit the shelf. I recently switched from a Fox Float 120 Fit RLC to a Sid 120 RT3. So far the Sid is doing a great job. I will be running this Sid on the Czar when mine arrives, it it holds up. Besides, this groupo is just begging to adorn a Czar!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My Weekend with the Czar-943643_10200810205033294_1186357488_n.jpg  

    Last edited by El Chingon; 05-20-2013 at 07:56 PM.
    Team Sanchez; "Always hittin the upper lip"

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chingon View Post
    I will be ridding myself of the Tallboy when the XL's hit the shelf. I recently switched from a Fox Float 120 Fit RLC to a Sid 120 RT3. So far the Sid is doing a great job. I will be running this Sid on the Czar when mine arrives, it it holds up.
    Ben, this bike is made for guys of our size and power. Really stout in the flex department. I got to ride it back to back yesterday with a Buddy demoing an Epic on some super-smooth Bend trails.

    The Epic, with brains at both ends, is a better parking lot bike, and POSSIBLY a slightly better 2-hour anaerobic threshold xc race bike on a really smooth course. The Czar exceeded it everywhere else, and by a greater margin in the chunky sections (only a few present). Smoother, no brain clunking (which has gotten more muted), and a bit stiffer laterally in back.

    The Czar was also, indisputably, a better "super fast trail bike" (a new category of bikes!).
    Whining is not a strategy.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    The Czar was also, indisputably, a better "super fast trail bike" (a new category of bikes!).

    NO-NO-NO.....please , such talk is making me crumble !
    " A way to a deep freedom " - Tarja

  48. #48
    Daniel the Dog
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    This bike is much like the Niner Jet 9 RDO or Pivot 429 carbon or even Santa Cruz Tallboy. It is just the Turner rendition; which I would choose because I am a homer. I don't believe it to revolutionary but it is for Turner.


    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Ben, this bike is made for guys of our size and power. Really stout in the flex department. I got to ride it back to back yesterday with a Buddy demoing an Epic on some super-smooth Bend trails.

    The Epic, with brains at both ends, is a better parking lot bike, and POSSIBLY a slightly better 2-hour anaerobic threshold xc race bike on a really smooth course. The Czar exceeded it everywhere else, and by a greater margin in the chunky sections (only a few present). Smoother, no brain clunking (which has gotten more muted), and a bit stiffer laterally in back.

    The Czar was also, indisputably, a better "super fast trail bike" (a new category of bikes!).

  49. #49
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    anyone know a place to test ride a medium Czar near the bay area?
    I'm in town right now ;-)
    When trails gets tougher, Just stand up and deliver.

  50. #50
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    Good to hear Cosmo. I expect nothing less from a Turner. With an Ibis Mojo HD, and a Czar in the stable, I'll be quite content for at least a year.
    Team Sanchez; "Always hittin the upper lip"

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