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  1. #1
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    Royal Birth Announcement

    I'm pleased to announce the birth of a new large Czar. After a successful delivery by Brown Santa, the new frame was assembled with loving care by its owner and was ready for its appearance into the world this week.

    In honor of the arrival of such a highly anticipated frame, many fine components were bestowed upon it. This includes a SRAM XX drivetrain and Enve XC wheels that he got as hand-me-ups from his older brother, the Specialized Epic Expert 29. His birth was commemorated by the gift of other fine, new components, such as a SRAM X.0 38/24 crankset, Chris King headset & BB30 bottom bracket, XTR race brakes, and a RockShox SID World Cup XX fork. With all of these strong, light (and not cheap) parts, the birth weight was 23 lbs. 12 oz. in ready to ride form.

    Here's a picture in the delivery room hanging on the scale to get its birth weight (without pedals) and still needing a little bit of work before it was ready to go out and meet the trails.



    Thanks to Turner Bikes for creating such a great frame. I've been looking forward to this day for a very long time. I am sure there will be many new PRs on our local climbs with this bike.

    Bike setup:
    * Frame Size & Color: Large Czar, Clear (black uni CF)
    * Rear Shock: Fox CTD w/Kashima coat
    * Fork: RockShox SID World Cup XX
    * Brakes: Shimano XTR Race
    * Shifter: SRAM XX w/Problem Solvers Mismatch adapters
    * Cranks: SRAM X.0
    * Chainring: SRAM 38/24 w/bash
    * Rear Derailleur: SRAM XX
    * Pedals: Time ATAC Titan Carbon
    * Stem: Thomson X4 90mm x 10
    * Handlebar: Easton Monkeylite XC low-rise
    * Seatpost: Thomson Masterpiece
    * Saddle: WTB Rocket V
    * Bottom Bracket: Chris King BB30, red
    * Cassette: SRAM X.0 11-36 10 speed
    * Headset: Chris King Inset 44/56, red
    * Grips: ESI Chunky
    * Front Tire: Racing Ralph 29x2.1
    * Front Rim: Enve XC
    * Front Hub: DT Swiss 240s OS w/15mm thru-axle
    * Rear Tire: Racing Ralph 29x2.1
    * Rear Rim: Enve XC
    * Rear Hub: DT Swiss 240s Centerlock

    * Future changes: Little longer stem (100mm) with zero rise, second set of wheels with wider rims and more aggressive tires

    *Rider Setup
    *Weight: 205 lbs.
    *Height: 5'10"

  2. #2
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    Congrats! Cigars for everyone! How bout a few more pics?

  3. #3
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    Great stuff, you must be very proud. When are you going to christen it?

    Also, that is much more interesting than the new royal birth's we've been having over in the UK.
    'I've got a bike, you can ride it if you like. It's got a basket, a bell that rings, and things to make it look good' - Syd B

  4. #4
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    Here's some pics that a more artistically inclined friend of mine took during it's first trip to the park:







  5. #5
    My cup runneth over
    Reputation: rmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2TurnersNotEnough View Post
    Here's some pics that a more artistically inclined friend of mine took during it's first trip to the park:
    Dang, that looks nice. By far the best pics of the Czar so far. Ride report shortly?

  6. #6
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    I've not been able to tell from previously posted pics- is there any armor on the downtube? If not, any concerns?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlhrd View Post
    I've not been able to tell from previously posted pics- is there any armor on the downtube? If not, any concerns?
    No armor. And for this bike's intended use, I'm not worried about it. I need to put some "helicopter tape" (e.g clear adhesive urethane) onto the exposed parts like the downtube, the drive-side chain stay and the areas susceptible to cable rub to try and keep the surface wear down to a minimum.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmac View Post
    Dang, that looks nice. By far the best pics of the Czar so far. Ride report shortly?
    Did my first ride this morning where I had the shock and tires with the correct air pressures and the biggest thing I noticed is that my stem is too short and my bars are too high. I felt like I was on the bike, rather than in the bike. So I didn't get that "Turner feel" that I usually get where the bike feels balanced and neutral handling and feels best when you're carving turns (I did not run into this when I demoed the Czar at Sea Otter, where the bike had a longer negative rise stem and flat bars). I'm 5'10" and I'm riding a large frame, with a 90mm-10 Thomson stem, low-rise bars and 20mm of spacers. This puts my grips right about saddle height, which seemed to high for a bike that wants to go uphill. So now I need to decide if I want to just get a zero rise stem, flat bars or both.

    The shorter rear end and the lighter weight frame definitely are nice for being able to easily lift the front end over roots and rocks. And the steering is very responsive. It's almost night and day different compared to the monster truck feeling I sometimes get when I ride my Sultan. And the bike really is a rocket when going uphill. I don't remember the last time I pedaled a mountain bike on the trail where the bike accelerated so well for the amount of effort I was putting in. It's really something special. My Epic Expert 29 could be like this, but the where the Brain giveth on smooth sections, the Brain taketh away when pedaling through rougher ones. The Mach 429 is similar to the Czar, but noticeably heavier.

    More to come once I get the cockpit dialed in and really feel comfortable pushing myself on it...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2TurnersNotEnough View Post
    Did my first ride this morning where I had the shock and tires with the correct air pressures and the biggest thing I noticed is that my stem is too short and my bars are too high. I felt like I was on the bike, rather than in the bike. So I didn't get that "Turner feel" that I usually get where the bike feels balanced and neutral handling and feels best when you're carving turns (I did not run into this when I demoed the Czar at Sea Otter, where the bike had a longer negative rise stem and flat bars). I'm 5'10" and I'm riding a large frame, with a 90mm-10 Thomson stem, low-rise bars and 20mm of spacers. This puts my grips right about saddle height, which seemed to high for a bike that wants to go uphill. So now I need to decide if I want to just get a zero rise stem, flat bars or both.

    The shorter rear end and the lighter weight frame definitely are nice for being able to easily lift the front end over roots and rocks. And the steering is very responsive. It's almost night and day different compared to the monster truck feeling I sometimes get when I ride my Sultan. And the bike really is a rocket when going uphill. I don't remember the last time I pedaled a mountain bike on the trail where the bike accelerated so well for the amount of effort I was putting in. It's really something special. My Epic Expert 29 could be like this, but the where the Brain giveth on smooth sections, the Brain taketh away when pedaling through rougher ones. The Mach 429 is similar to the Czar, but noticeably heavier.

    More to come once I get the cockpit dialed in and really feel comfortable pushing myself on it...
    Great build. I am 5 10 on a large with 90mm 0 rise Thomson with 10 mm spacer above and below my stem and 700mm wide Enve flat bar and think I've got a good balance for climbing and descending with room to change if needed. You could start with what you have and just play with moving the spacers around before cutting or buying anything.

  10. #10
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    Initial Ride Report

    Finally got the Czar dialed in and took it for a little XC ride this afternoon and holy smokes is that thing fast. The rider can use some work on his fitness, but I came close to setting a PR on one of my local loops, while being nowhere close to really fit. This bike is something special. Definitely faster and more comfortable than the Epic.

    I finally figured out why I wasn't able to come to grips with getting the bike to turn. The trick for me is to countersteer in order to get the bike to lean into a turn. Once I remembered that, my confidence in the bike to turn the way I expect it was established, and I felt comfortable to start pushing it.

    I'm really looking forward to spending a lot more on the Czar. I think it's going to be a long, happy partnership. Sadly, I'll be parted from it this week while I'm at Interbike, but I'm confident my eye will not wander.

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