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  1. #1
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    Jordan
    if you don't mind me butting in, i can give some impressions of the air/air 6-pack that they had at the show (DHX air, Fox 36 TALAS RC2)... first, the bike was set up WAY too soft for me, which was remedied by the fox shox guys that were set up on the trail. GREAT IDEA by fox to do this. once they helped me dial in the air pressure and pro-pedal settings, the bike felt amazing. i'm 5'11", and the large with a 70mm FSA stem felt great to me (bars maybe a little wide, but that's personal preference). it railed through corners with stiffness i haven't felt outside of my foes (it felt stiffer than a 5 spot to me), and it was totally smooth on the rough stuff. this is a bike that feels great at high speeds- i'm not a very fast rider, and i was pushing my limits because i felt so comfortable on it. it's a tad heavy, but with air on both ends, the frame weighs in the mid 8 lb range, which is okay for a trail bike. plus, with the travel adjust on the front end, you can steepen the head angle for climbing relatively easily. although you lose some of the super-slacked out feeling you get from the 36 van, i think it's worth it (especially if the 6 pack is going to be your only bike or your main bike). plus, the way they mount the shock allows you to reach the propedal knob really easily from the saddle. so if you hit a climb, you can crank it up a few clicks without dismounting. and yes, if you set the shock up right, you can get the bike to ride bob-free while seated. for reference, i weigh 215 with gear, and the fox guys recommended 170lbs in the DHX air. they suggest putting in more air pressure and backing off the pro-pedal as necessary for a smooth ride. all around, this is a GREAT bike. i see now what you turner guys have been talking about all these years.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  2. #2
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    TNT Reviews...speculation free.

    I figure it's time to start a thread with actual input rather than lots of guessing, so here are some of the initial reports from people who actually rode a TNT. (thanks fellas)

    Please feel free to add your own experiences on the new designs, or any refrenceable reviews you may have spotted (not what you've heard)...but if you haven't been on one perhaps you could save your speculations for the other threads.

    I'll link each review in the poster's name. If you have follow-up questions or discussions you may want to do that in the source thread, but you can do it here if you think the authors will reply.

    Hope this helps, otherwise delete it.


    *Edit: Man I really hate how the posts somehow get out of chronological order...how the heck do replies get ahead of opening posts? I thought it was a time zone thing but hey these are all from me!
    Last edited by Bikezilla; 09-30-2005 at 08:19 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Scott@GO-RIDE.com
    I didn't test all the models, but I did test the TNT 5 Spot and TNT 6 Pack at the dirt demo, and have both of those bikes with HLs built up at my shop. IMO there is no difference in pedaling and braking. They feel exactly the same to me. However, I did notice a difference in bump performance. The TNT bikes feel more at ease through rocks and rough corners. I'd have to attribute that to a slightly stiffer rear end compared to a HL bike. This is something I've always noticed about the Ventanas.
    Personally, I just don't see any benefit to Turners with HLs. IMO there are a number of bikes out there with HLs.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  4. #4
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    krispy@go-ride.com
    Just got back from the ‘show, and rode the new spot,pack,nitrous and every other 5- 6” trail bike I could find.
    First let me say I could not feel the difference between the old and the new, but I do not own one and only rode each bike for 30 minutes. I did set them up (I carried a shock pump with me and set up each bike carefully)
    This makes me wonder how far foreward the IC really was on the older bikes, especially under sag.
    I feel the biggest difference between the new bikes and the Ventana/Kona etc are the very minor details. The pivot of the Turner is indeed higher than the Ventana is, the turners are in line with a 22t ring. The ventana is below a 22t by a little bit. This matters, as well as the BB height. These combined with the rate the link provides makes for a quicker accelerating Turner. The feel of the rate is not as soft initially and that gives the Turner a bit more initial solid feel.
    If it wasn’t for the flat link of the spot the horst would be worse than a low single pivot. All the horst bikes of the past are more soggy feeling than a low single pivot is if it is not ICT
    I found that between all the vpp bikes I rode and the new turner/single pivot bikes was that you could take a sp bike and put the pivot in a location to mimic the vpp 95%.For instance the Blur feels so damn similar to the heckler it makes me wonder if all those pivots are really worth it. I call it marketing.
    Really what I’m trying to say is that on the graph the old one was 5% better but possibly the new one is stiffer in terms of fighting flex and that is more important to me.I told dave that I was considering a pack but I did not want the horst link and now he makes the bike I want!
    Really there is no God.as long as we have 3 rings to deal with even ICT has its limits,so why not go single pivot and gain some strenght and stiffnes?
    Now if that pivot was just up 10mms or so it would be my personal favorite setup giving a hint of firmness to the granny and a little more snap to the middle ring.
    Kris.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  5. #5
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    Ventanarama
    Well said Cactuscorn. One thing to certainly consider right now....while we only had a short time on the bikes, and not in perfect conditions or setup, the conditions were the same for everything we tested. For example, we still came away from it liking the 6-Pack the best of all the bikes in it's class that we rode. I can also tell you that there were people who didn't even know about or notice the design change until after they rode the bikes (ie: dealers returning from test rides and commenting how much they liked the bikes and then asking if anything was changing from 05' to 06').
    I couldn't disagree more with the generalization that all HL bikes ride similarly and all faux-bar bikes ride the same. Execution of the design, geometry, stiffness, etc. all factor in to the way the bike rides, and this is where Turner excels over some of the lower priced big-brand stuff. You have to look at the whole package and determine what works best for you personally. A well executed faux-bar beats a mediocre (or ill fitting) HL any day IMO. In some cases there may be more similarities than differences, but they are still not the same.
    That's it for now, off for one more night of heavy sleep deprivation, partying, and staring at beautiful women
    Larry Mettler
    http://www.mtnhighcyclery.com
    Last edited by Bikezilla; 09-30-2005 at 08:20 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Tscheezy
    Turner Flux (TNT)- Fox RLT 100/RP3 (4x4"). Fox RLT not a very compliant fork. We got at most 3 of the 4 inches. The Fox may be a bit short for trail use. The front end rode a bit low and the steering was quick, but precise. It railed like all Turners, but some turning ability was sacrificed by the incompliant front and a Maxxis tire which did not hook up that well. The front skated on me a few times. Braking performance was hard to evaluate due to the pea gravel the trails were largely covered with making traction a bit sketchy anyway. The RP3 was also set up firmer than what was optimal for me since I was the lightest rider in the group (CrashTheDOG, Ventanarama, El Beastro, myself, and later Bob the Wheelbuilder joined us). I typically try to evaluate all bikes with a minimum of help from platform shocks so I get a feeling for what the linkage design brings to the pedal stability. With the RP3 set in the minus mode, the bike still pedaled very well, but the rear was a bit less plush than it could have been due to the high main spring pressure, I think. Overall solid. I was not blown away by any of the XC bike we rode (Flux, Giant Trance, Mav ML 7.3).
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  7. #7
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    Tscheezy
    Turner 5-Spot (TNT)- Fox Float 130X/Fox DHX Air (5x5"). I hardly rode this model. It was very light though. Impressively lighter than my 5-Spot as built. I may try to get more time on one tomorrow.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  8. #8
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    Tscheezy
    Turner 6-Pack (TNT)- Fox 36 Van/Fox DHX Coil (6x6"). The Fox 36 Van is a brilliant fork and compliments the Pack perfectly. The height compromises climbing a bit and some ability to moderate height would be nice, but overall performance was excellent and worked in concert with the DHX Coil. This was my first time on the 36 Van, but due to our bike switching I did not spend much time on the 6-Pack, and while on it I was mainly concentrating on the Van. My thoughts on the 6-Pack are well known, and today did not change my impression, TNT or not. A very solid, good pedaling, overall great performing heavy-duty trailbike... Turner 6-Pack- Fox 36 Van/DHX Coil (6.5x6"). Since we took two 6-Packs out this afternoon along with the Nomad, and I got more time on the 36 Van, I thought I'd add a few more comments. This bike just stands out from the other 6" rigs in terms of overall ride quality, and this was a point all of us could pretty much agree on. It just pedals, cruises, climbs, descends, and handles as a complete package in ways that the others could not match, though the Knolly threatens and the 6.6 comes close. I have liked VPPs in the past and was eager to try the Nomad and 6.6, but after squirreling around on all 3 on the same trails, I have no qualms at all about sticking with my 6-Pack. As far as I could tell the TNT version pedals just as well as my Horst version. I will reserve any speculation on braking effects until I can get on some nice firm, grippy but rough ground to do some side by side comparisons, but at this point I can say I can't feel any apparent detriment to braking performance on the Bootleg Canyon trails. It also takes to the 36 Van in a way the other bikes did not. A Z1 or 36 is the fork for this bike imo.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  9. #9
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    Tscheezy
    Turner Nitrous- Fox 80X/Fox RP3 (3x3"). I felt much more at home on this bike this year than last. They specced a shorter stem and a straight post and the increase in cockpit comfort definitely helped in all aspects of handling for me. It is still rocket-ship fast and has a lot of hardtail-like qualities, most notably acceleration. It also takes the edge off trail obstacles very effectively and keeps the rubber in contact with the ground improving traction and steering where a rigid chassis would buck and skate. I personally find the Nitrous to be plenty stiff and it exhibits excellent pedaling manners (I rode it in the minus setting on the PP selector). The 80X worked pretty well and seemed to know when to lock out and not. It is a very quick handling bike but I don't find it to be nervous or twitchy at all. The increased feeling of stability over last year may be due to the shorter cockpit layout due to component choices. It is not a sit back and rail bike like the 5-Spot, and it does require a bit of attention, but it gets up and moves out with authority and alacrity
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  10. #10
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    Tscheezy
    Turner Highline (TNT)- Fox 40RC/Fox DHX Air (8x8"). The frame execution is very impressive. It is burly and to-the-point, and in the raw finish almost industrial looking. Each and every pivot gets a zerk. The main pivot has a zerk in a cool, side-port spot. I got to pedal this one all the way up to the pass at the Caldera Loop, including climbing up sections of the Girl Scout Trail singletrack. The top tube of the size large measured a full 24", but the stem was a pretty diminutive 50mm or so, so the cockpit was pretty short and upright. The weight distribution was not overly rearward as it seems to be on the AS-X, VPFree, and other FR bikes in this class, which helped in climbing noticeably. While not a pleasure to pedal up hills, it was certainly manageable. The Mr Dirt chainguide also came with a single, 36t ring, which added to the challenge, but I was able to muddle through the climb effectively (It didn't hurt that it was the first climb of the day and before the temps rose to the mid-90's). The bike pedals impressively for such a big rig. The weight seemed manageable (compared to the AS-X) and the suspension was not like drowning in a bowl of Jell-o (again, like the AS-X). In fact, even out of the saddle pedaling resulted in negligible movement. Dave obviously knows something about doing single pivots right after experiencing the great pedaling manners of the DHR last year. Descending was smooth and confident. The Turner balance was in full evidence. There was no wheel flop or pushing through corners. The turning behavior was actually surprisingly sprightly for a big rig.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  11. #11
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    2TurnersNotEnough
    I rode both my "classic" Flux and a TNT Flux at the I-Bike demo and the TNT Flux handled identically (what truly distinguishes Turner from other bikes IMHO). Climbing traction seemed to be the same. I don't have the best calibrated butt in the world to tell if braking was any more or less effective in the dirt, but they both seemed to brake the same to me. Suspension action felt identical to me in the bumps and the bike pedaled the same. A poor shock setup will make a MUCH bigger difference in how the bike rides than a different pivot location on the dropout.
    I have been a H-L fan since my AMP B3 from 10+ years ago, and I have an emotional attachment to the classic Turner H-L execution. From the ride of the two versions, they could have been the same bike. Also, if you look at the Nitrous and previously the Stinger, you'll notice that the pivots are much closer to what EW does (probably to get around the FSR patent), so it's not like DT hasn't gone away from the design before. Besides, it was pleasing to me to not see ICT stickers on the '06 frames.
    I have no problem recommending the TNT Flux to a friend of mine that has been longing for a Flux after riding mine.
    Just my $0.02.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  12. #12
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    _MK
    I also liked the ride of the TNT Pack, and I was one of those guys who was unaware of the change until I got back home and yesterday started reading about the TNT. I was gone for good part of last month, therefore I completely missed the whole TNT trauma. At any rate, I wish I was aware of the change at I-bike and have ridden a 5* in order to compare it to mine. All in all, the issue I see with the TNT is that it is almost as good as HL 4-bar and very few people that spend $2K on a frame want to hear that. It might be mere 1.1mm of difference at the axle, yet it is 1.1mm from the nirvana of the classic and as someone who came to Turner when it was sporting the Horst Link, the TNT is simply inferior on paper.
    _MK
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  13. #13
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    El Beastro
    Personally, after riding 2 of the TNT equipped 6Packs, a TNT equipped Nitrous, a TNT equipped Flux, and a TNT equipped 5Spot at I-Bike; the Pack was my one of my 2 favorite bikes of the 25 I rode with the other being a Pugsley. The Turner lineup absolutely rocked!! If the TNT rear end effected the handling, feel, and control of the bike like so many Homers are afraid of, I sure couldn't feel any difference over the Horst link Turners I've ridden, at least not in the conditions we were in.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  14. #14
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    I went to the Turner demo today in Fontana and got the chance to try out a Flux(TNT). Man, what a fun bike! It was light and nimble and seemed to just shoot up the climbs. I took it down a number of rough and rocky descents looking for evidence of brake jack or rear-end stiffening, but never felt it.

    I admit that I was concerned when I read about the design change, but today's test ride certainly removed any reservations I had.

  15. #15
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    velocipus
    I've ridden my pal's 5 spot a couple of times. I've also ridden the Moment. Coming from a Blur, I am highly impressed with the 5spot and Moment's ability to pedal through anything. I was more partial to the 5spot because I've always wanted a Turner and don't feel like I need the beef and bulk of the Moment. The performed equally well. The longer travel on the Moment was nice, but still I was for the Turner. I rode an '06 5 spot at Bootleg Canyon and though it is still a nice ride, I did notice a different. I noticed the "squat" under hard braking. I didn't notice a difference in pedalling efficiency. It is sandy out there and I attributed any sluggishness to that.

    I thought a little brake squat ain't that bad. After all, I'm on a Blur and "squat" is better than "jack" (back end wants to "jack-up" under hard braking). I talked it over with a friend who knows infinately more about rear suspension than I and who sells a lot of Turners. He said, "sure, the new design ain't that bad, but why spend the money on a Turner when you can get a Kona that'll do the same thing?"
    I'm scrapin' up all the cash I can to get an '05 Turner before they're gone... Or maybe I'll wait forthe Ibis

    Let the flaming begin.
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  16. #16
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    SkullCrack
    My girlfriend and I went to the Turner Demo today in Fontana. She's been riding a Kona Kikapu for the last year. Today she tried a Five Spot and a Flux. She brought her Kona with her so she could ride it on the same trails as the Turners back to back. She was amazed by how much better she liked the Turners. On a number of occasions, she surprised herself by easily cleaning some technical sections on the Turners she had difficulty with on the Kona. She said she felt much more confident on the Turners and had a huge smile on her face the whole time she was riding them.

    To equate Turners to Konas simply because they share a pivot location is foolish.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  17. #17
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    SlowMoe
    Hey Guys,
    I was able to participate in a true head to head comparison of TNT versus horst link Flux's. I have a 2005 Flux obviously equiped with horst link. My friend got a 2006 demo Flux, obviously with TNT. We rode on Monday. Both bikes are medium. Both bikes have the same rear shock, both shocks had exactly the same pressure. Both bikes also had the same tires front and rear, also with same pressures. The component spec is identical except for the forks. The dirt was perfect. It had rained a couple days earlier, so traction was abundant. We had about a 2 mile paved climb. We traded bikes several times, and could not distinguish a difference in pedaling. Next was about a 4 mile fire road climb. Loose, sandy dirt and fairlt steep and rocky. Again we traded bikes back and forth. We could not tell a difference. We got to the top of the climb and prepared for the descent. We lowered the seats of both bike to the same height. The dh is semi-technical, rocky and very flowy. When we would get to the more technical sections, we would trade backs back and forth. We hit each section several times on each bike. Handling was exactly the same. Which is what you would expect from 2 bikes with identical geometry. What was most interesting was the we could not tell any difference in the more technical sections. We would even brake in turns and over rocks, purposefully making small errors. Again we could not tell them apart. Bottom line-We both had a great time on the ride.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  18. #18
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    Yours Truly
    So here goes: My 1st contribution to the TNT reviews. This thread is Part One: “Getting to Know You” let's consider it a preliminary run for now.
    This was a very hectic day, try as I might I just couldn’t get enough time to do a B2B test. That’s coming though.

    Switching the triangles was easy enough I won’t bore you with the all the details but I do have some thoughts to share on the process.
    1) It went smoothly and quickly.
    2) I realized I needed to have a longer der cable housing since the ferrules are in a different location because of the pivot and dropout change.
    3) I am Totally impressed in Turner quality and consistency! I used exactly the same shims on my brake caliper and it was absolutely dead on! You can’t get this kind of attention to detail from just anyone. We’re talking about two completely different triangles a full production year apart and alignment and caliper placement were identical. Kudos to DT for sweating the nines.

    I by the time I got to the trail I had 1.5 hrs to sundown. Plenty of time to wring this baby out on my favorite loop. The weather has been perfect for riding. The woods a pure treat. My loop consisted of a mixed bag of wet and dry, steep torquey power climbs, plenty of choppy rocks, roots, holes, rollers, a couple of minor drops, and lots of tight and twisty singletrack. Everything anyone in the NE might encounter.

    Now the bad news: You may want to sit down for this.

    My 5 Spot felt just like it did before. That’s really bad news because I know it defies the on-paper predictions. I know you all are going to want to hang me for not finding some kind of difference. To that end I’ll just reserve final conclusions for same day B2B testing. My experience today, for 1.5hours of very familiar trail riding was no different than any other day. The bike felt responsive, plush, controlled and seemed to me exactly like I had it set up before. I dragged my rear brake like a noob…Over every thing I paid very,very careful attention to my pedals and how they felt on climbs in all the gears. I used 22T and 32T rings and the upper half of my 34T cassette. I got no pedal feedback whatsoever on climbing up over rocks, lips roots, fallen trees etc. I got no pedal feedback descending brakes on or off. I dragged my brakes far more than I normally would and every thing was as I recall my HL setup to be.

    The ride just got more fun by the moment. Not because the TNT was magic, but because my bike was as perfect as it always had been when everything was right. Silent, no creaks sqeaks or rattles. No der or chain noise (running a DRS chain tensioner) and above all else totally solid. Maybe, just maybe it felt a little stiffer I don’t know for sure. Let’s just leave that for the B2B as well. I did try a very similarly equipped HL bike from another vendor and I noticed it to be less stiff than my HL. So believe I can tell the difference. I made some minor shock changes (5psi, + half a turn out on the BO) and I certainly felt that. I could feel the difference between 3 -5 clicks on my PP knob, and I prefer to run my shock with only 3 from full out, and 3 from full slow rebound. So I’m not a total lead bottom, and I run a fairly active setup.

    Man, was I having fun though. This would have been a lousy ride if I felt the slightest compromise, I didn’t. Now I’m not yet ready to say both the TNT and HL perform identically, I have some other things I would like to check out first. And doing a reverse B2B, that is going from the TNT to the HL should indicate to me any change I would find significant.(It certainly did going from the RP3 to the DHX) Having spent an hour and a half on this setup and having spent 3 years getting by bike dialed exactly the way I want it, I’m of the mind that any difference I find could be very minor. I’ll withhold final conclusions till then. I imagine if I put either the HL or the TNT in some extreme travel-torque-brake situations I’ll find some artifacts. (I’ll try that next) But for my riding, pushing myself the way I always do…nada. Not once did I get the blahs or felt something was missing (like I did with the RP3) I’ve read some of the our MTBR engineers here could find artifiacts even in the HL setup, so I’ll look for other ways to smoke them out on the trail.

    (BZ insert: it was getting dark)Perhaps another good test because I couldn’t see much of what I was riding over, and only felt my way out. No issues whatsoever. I gotta say from a rider’s perspective, being an average rider, so far, this is a non-issue. There is no question in my mind that going to any other bike would have far greater impact than the change in triangles. Heck even a two clicks on my PP knob had more impact. So did changing tire pressure by 5psi, so did changing BV pressure by 5psi. These changes I DID notice.

    Standard discaimers apply:
    -I'm no expert. Just a average rider at best.
    -My experience is limited to my bike, on my trails, using my riding style.
    -Your milage may very.
    -I could have missed something someone else with more knowledge, experience or different requirements may find.
    -Despite what you may think, I'm not a total focking idiot.

    More to come. This is fun!
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  19. #19
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    The Squeaky Wheel (BZ insert: see author's thread for photos)
    Darren Murphy from PUSH Industries received a TNT rear end from Turner Bikes and asked me to give it a good run. For the purposes of this discussion TNT will refer to the new seatstay pivot and HL for Horst link/chainstay pivot.

    Testing ground was Horsetooth Mountain Park in Fort Collins, CO which offers a variety of first class terrain varying from long fireroad to hard singletrack to loose ball-bearing scree to stairs & drops. It’s biker heaven

    Darren & I are about the same size & weight and our Packs are virtually identical. We use the same DHX spring & have identical control ergonomics so riding his bike is no different than riding my own except that his is unbelievably light due to a lighter wheelset and is stocked with an absurd amount of shiny Ti bling.

    Main components: medium Pack/RF6 with 550 lb spring PUSH’d DHX, PUSH’d Pike Team coil u-turn & 2.35 Kenda Blue Grooves.

    On to the ride….

    Fireroad Climbing: the initial climb is 1500’ of smooth fireroad. Nothing technically demanding here. Just a good old fashioned 25 minute grunt up a fairly steep road.
    I actually think the TNT climbs a tad better on the fireroads. This was quite subtle and I wonder if some of what I felt was due to the decreased weight & rolling resistance of Darren’s bike, but the bike just seemed to bob slightly less under rider input.

    Technical Climbing: I could discern absolutely no difference between the TNT & HL when climbing through the gnar. Both tackle the terrain adeptly with the limiting factor being the human engine.

    Braking: The park offers 1500 feet of elevation and I rode up n’ down a bunch of different trails. The only time I noticed a difference between the TNT/HL rears was on a long section of steps. These steps are 3-4 feet apart and each has an 8-12 inch drop. Plus, there are a couple of 90 deg turns and some large scattered embedded rocks just to keep things interesting.
    The steps are the only time I really depend more on my rear brake than my front since riding the front will result in a nasty endo and a possible 30 foot fall to the downhill side.
    Only on the steps did I notice minor rear end extension, AKA brake jack. It was very mild, manageable and predictable and did not cause any loss of control. After the first few stairs I simply altered my technique to compensate and pretty much forgot it was happening thereafter.
    At no time did I experience a loss of braking traction as has previously been postulated to occur universally on seatstay pivot bikes.

    Dismount? Yeah, right. Let’s hit some stairs.
    (BZ insert: see author's thread for photos)

    Suspension: TNT/HL pretty much identical with one small exception. The TNT rear actually feels slightly more supple on small compressions.

    Stiffness: no difference. Yeah, I know seatstay pivots are supposed to be stiffer but I couldn’t detect it. The Pack/RF6 is just plain rock solid.

    Conclusion:
    Much has been made of TNT and I’m glad I had a chance to ride one. I've read with interest all of the theoretical benefits of HL & ICT but in real life there just isn’t much to it. The bike still rides like a Turner.
    The bottom line is that I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a TNT equipped bike and I’d be perfectly content if I received one on a warranty call.
    Now if I can just get Darren to throw me some Ti…….
    Last edited by Bikezilla; 11-08-2005 at 07:57 AM.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  20. #20
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    Your's truly, again.
    This is my third and final ride on the TNT triangle. The 1st ride was a good long get to know you ride. The 2nd ride was just a fun ride, and a chance to get some trail shots while the fall foliage was still nice. It also gave me a chance to get more familiar with the TNT triangle before the B2B test.

    Sunday, I had to run on a very tight schedule in order to squeeze two rides back to back, plus include wrench time in-between and stay out of the family dog house. Just for the sake of understanding how the whole thing ran, I am including time stamps, based on my stopwatch. I paused the clock for any fiddling, photography or parking lot conversations (Howdy SpongeBob @ Crew!) I did not pause my watch for breathers. Bear in mind this chronological information only not for timing the loops since I paused at different times, places and durations for different reasons.

    I will post my bike build later. The only things changed between runs were:
    Rear triangle
    Rear der housing loop (a slightly longer one required for the TNT)
    Rear der cable (frayed between changes)
    Der hanger (Oh Pleeeazze)
    Other than that, I didn’t even empty my bladder until then end of the day, and I’m not talking about the camelback either. Okay that’s probably too much information. I tend to get mighty focused sometimes.

    NOTE: I will to be my typical wordy over introspective self in this post. If you don’t want all of the mental BS, skip down to the conclusions. If you want to follow along for the ride, then by all means, read on.

    1st Loop: TNT
    @ 0 mins I’m in the driveway loaded up and ready to leave. I start the clock and hit the highway.
    @12 min arrive at the trailhead parking lot. Nice commute eh?
    @27 min after some organizing, pre-ride measuring etc, I’m ready to hit it and head out.

    Pre Ride Measurements:
    Pack filled with standard kit + 1.5L H20
    DHX-C
    BV: 120 PSI
    PP: 2 clicks from full out
    RB: 2 clicks from full slow
    BO: 1 full turn in from full out
    Sag measured at 15 mm fully kitted
    Rider weight fully kitted: 248lbs standing on bathroom scale on top of picnic bench (Yes I brought a scale it with me)
    Front and rear tire pressure: 38 PSI

    @44min I finish climbing up and into the primary loop. This climb was mixed singletrack and carriage, rocky, twisty, roots rolling etc. Lots of good stuff.
    I now enter “Stinger” from the low side.

    This means this trail is mostly climbing too. Much more technical and challenging than what I just finished. Most people take it down. I usually take it up for the challenge in hopes to improve my riding. There are tricky step-ups, logs, roots, tight and twisties, everything NE singletrack is all about.

    I then take quick spin over to “SIS” which is much longer and even more twisty.
    There are fewer super techy things but plenty of things to climb up and over, bigger logs, table-ups and rock spines.

    Plus lots of fun faster pedaling rolling terrain. It’s also a pettier loop. That leaves me off on a rock-garden of a carriage trail to descend on then some more twisty singletrack back to the lot.
    @1h:13m I get back to the lot set my camera down, (Hmmm…) I load-up the bike and drive over to the other lot where there is a ~25 yard wooden staircase.
    The idea here was simulate descending a rock garden but also provide a sustained, regular, repeatable bumpy run. This (in theory) would allow me to focus my attention on how the suspension and the pedals felt. It was not necessarily a test of traction. I wanted to keep moving and I have a shot of the staircase so I don’t take the camera with me. (Hmmm…)

    I make 4 passes down the staircase:
    Pass 1 Moderate even braking
    Pass 2 Strong rearward bias braking
    Pass 3 Light intermittent front braking only (to approximate no brakes but try to keep similar speed)
    Pass 4 Strong rear braking only while pedaling

    @1h:21m I hit the highway and head back home to swap triangles. (In the back of my mind, did I forget something in my haste? Hmmm…)
    @1h:31m I arrive at the house (Did I mention nice commute?)
    @2h:32m Racked and ready: I’m done swapping over to the HL triangle. I lost ~10-20 minuets futzing with a frayed R-Der cable and ultimately put in a new one, and retuned my der.
    @2h:48m I’m back at the main lot

    2nd Loop: HL
    @2h:49m and 59 seconds: Dude! Where’s my Camera!?!?!?! Holy cow It’s not in my gear bin. I stop the clock and search the lot. Yeah like nobody spotted it in the hour since I left. It’s not here. I drive over to the staircase lot, nope not there either. Stupidity is the mother of all upgrades. I restart the clock and repeat the 4-run Stair test on the HL.

    @2h:53m I bounce back to the main lot and start to gear-up. I’m still thinking about the camera and what would I have done with it. Put it on the roof? Wait a sec… there it is wedged in the now dual-purpose roof rack camera keeper. It survived the nasty park roads and two highway trips. Woah, talk about being blessed!
    @3h:05m I finish verifying tire pressure, pack contents, rider weight and sag (now 16 mm) I start loop #2 on the HL Since the sun was setting I didn’t stop much.
    @3h:50m I’m back in the lot it’s dark and I’m ready to go home and think it all over.

    Impressions, thoughts and conclusions:
    Okay here are my thoughts. Having gone back to back, my impressions have changed a bit in some respects and have been confirmed in others.
    Standard disclaimers apply:
    -I am not an expert of any sorts
    -This is a test of how both triangles feel, not a empirical measurement of anything.
    -My impressions are based on my preferences, my experiences, my setup, my terrain, my riding style.
    -Your mileage may vary and quite possibly will.
    -I am very certain about what I felt. Declaring the sources of the differences is beyond my ability.
    -You have every right to dismiss or accept any part of this.
    -I’m still not a focking idiot.

    Also note: My climbing is often very slow, steep and technical. There are times I’m just short of trackstanding. Other times I’ve heard snails yell “on your left!”. My climbing is short and anaerobic, and I still feel like death warmed over after 15 mins. This is nothing like long grueling fireroads or singletrack climbs.(can you tell I’m missing Moab?)

    What’s the same since my last two rides on the TNT:
    I could not detect any pedal feedback on either triangle
    I could not detect any additional bob on the TNT (more on this)
    I could not detect any loss in traction, climbing or descending. PERIOD. I slipped and spun on all the same things, I skipped and dragged in all the same places. Overall both behaved quite the same to me.
    I could not detect any stiffening or jacking. PERIOD. I spent a lot of time on my rear brake.

    What’s different since I could test them B2B on the same day: Better sit down for this…here’s where I’m sure to loose a lot of people’s respect especially if you don’t agree.

    The TNT felt ever so slightly firmer all around. Coasting, pedaling, braking, and climbing. This was to a very small degree. The best way to describe the difference in feel is that it is 3/16 of a shade bluer than dead on pink. What the hell does that mean? Exactly. On the smaller ping-pong-ball sized hits it would feel just a little firmer on the instant impact but climbing up over the peak and dropping off the backside of any sized hit felt exactly like the HL. We’re talking very very subtle. Also you must keep in mind I’ve been riding superduperstupor plush. Consider I was using only 2 clicks of PP, 120PSI and 1 turn of BO, on a 650lb spring under a 248lb rider. That’s redicu-soft so these differences are more apparent. When I was in Moab I hated that setup and immediately boosted my PSI, PP and BO. Even with this slight difference I could not detect any difference in traction while climbing or braking.

    The TNT felt a good deal more confident and I somehow was inspired to push certain things more. The best way to describe it is that the bike stood up more. It had more get-up and go whenever I goosed it. It railed a bit more in the corners. When approaching the last quarter of a techy climb I felt like I wanted to stand and launch earlier than with the HL. And I was rewarded in how the bike responded by ripping up and over the climb. I really enjoyed standing and seated acceleration much more. The HL made me feel I *Had to remain seated. Standing efforts felt less inspiring because of the mid-stroke softness. The HL felt like it was moving more in the midstroke under heavy peadaling. I can’t confirm this but this is the feeling I got. Spinning both felt superb, but the HL felt ever so slightly delayed under acceleration. Remember my super soft setup.

    But again the traction seemed the same between the two. It’s contrary, I know, but I also know what I felt. I did not slip and spin more with either setup. I am trying very hard NOT to say this but I had a bigger grin factor on the TNT However (maybe it’s new-thing-itis) I found myself wanting to to dial in some adjustments to get the HL to pedal like the TNT. I also found I wanted to dial in a tad less edgyness into the TNT. One thing for sure is I’ve been running the HL way too soft, there was just too much motion midstroke, which is something I did not notice until I tried the TNT. To this end I seriously plan on playing with the adjustments on the HL going forward. I wish I had more time to do it that day.

    On the Staircase:
    The one thing that kept going through my mind was “Thumpa thumpa thumpity thump thump!”
    Seriously, I could not tell the difference in either setup. All this proved is decending on medium sized hits these two feel the same.

    Pedal Feedback I found you! (Oh wait no I didn’t.)
    For all you non-experts like me, I would like to share how I almost fooled myself into thinking I found pedal feedback.
    As a test I kept rolling down a short rocky bit of carriage trail. Not too steep. I went back over it several times.
    Brakes on firm & coasting: nothing
    Brakes off & coasting: nothing
    Brakes off & pedaling: nothing
    Brakes on firm & pedaling: POW there it is! The pedals would stop for an instant on every hit bigger than a cantaloupe If I had the brakes on. This did not happen on the smaller hits. I don’t often pedal while braking hard. And it didn’t happen if I wasn’t braking hard and hitting something that big and pedaling all at the same time. What I found was the HL did exactly the same thing. My guess, the tire was locking up the instant of time the wheel was in the air dropping to the ground off the backside of the hit. Both did it to the same degree so I guess it’s NBD.

    Overall conclusions:
    On the sheer matter of performance under my conditions it was a draw.
    For extreme plushness at very low speeds HL has the edge.
    For pedaling and climbing the TNT felt better. Kill me that’s how I felt.
    Braking traction was a draw. Remember my terrain setup and style could be different than yours.

    Climbing traction was the same. Yes I know plusher should have more traction but that’s not what I experienced. Consider the extra plushness was only felt on the initial face of small lowspeed bumps. Everywhere else the difference in plushness was much smaller. This excludes making significant changes to the shock like spring, BO or BV pressures.
    Decending at moderate speeds both felt the same.

    In the end I totally loved my bike with either rear, and the TNT did not once have me thinking about switching back. It did have me considering keeping it though. Sue me.
    The overall differences are as I first said very small. What I explained above is mostly me reaching to find something different between the two. My bike was still absolutely my bike with both setups.

    Because the differences were so small, I would suspect one could easily be tuned to ride like the other.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  21. #21
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    PUSHIND
    Howdy MTBR people and stuff,

    Well, it's true....I have a TNT equipped 6 Pack. What do I think? It Rips. But it's not a HL? I know, weird huh. It Rips. I didn't ride it any differently, I didn't adjust anything. Bolted it up and went. Got done, ate a steak. Good times.

    Dave actually quoted me as being a HL believer and I am. From an engineering standpoint it is a valid design....no question. Can you make a bad HL bike...Absolutley. Can you make a bad Non-HL bike...Absolutely.

    See, the balance and control that one gets from these 2 wheeled machines comes from several items and features, and it's THE SUM of these items and features that equate into a good bike. I think we'll all agree on that. The SUM of the parts is still awesome in my opinion.

    All good bikes have compromises, yes I said it....ALL. There isn't a single bike that has maximum pedalling efficiency, maximum small bump sensitivity, maximum big hit performance, optimum BB height, perfect geometry, etc. The 6 Pack TNT is no exception. It is a great bike.

    Darren
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  22. #22
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    jncarpenter
    (BZ insert: Reminder Click author name for link to orig thread)
    Preliminary Matutinal Thoughts:

    I am not going to offer any extensive conclusions, just yet. I have several familiar epic rides (~30 mi) that I have been doing of late on the HL that I will now mirror on the TNT. Of course I will replicate (ad nauseam) ALL quantifiable variables such as: caloric intake, blood sugar levels, body pH levels, sun screen et al. I have decided to forego the drivetrain conversion (XTR --> X0) until post-TNT reviews....I could foresee the blind disparagement by this forum's present carpet-baggers!

    I will offer this intial impression: WHOA!
    ( I am actually surprised at the definite INCREASE in pedalling firmness. There is no perceivable feedback....the pedalling traits simply FEEL a good bit firmer with the same shock settings. I repeat "THIS SURPRISED ME" & I am going to test these findings extensively. RE: brake feedback, I have not really had opportunity to test this in a suitable "laboratory"...however, so far there are no obvious symptoms. I repeat, this is simply a preliminary response to a moderate ride on the TNT-equipped bike....please reserve the cynical verbal diarrhea for later use; it seems you may need all the help you can get!)

    (BZ insert: 2nd part of prelim review)
    ...I will try & reserve my overall conclusions until I have spent more time on the TNT, however this last comment regarding braking observations from today:

    I am very blessed to have a trail system in the middle of our city that is quite diverse in terrain. There is easily 15 miles of singletrack that is very challenging for the average rider. Fast, rooty/ rocky descents abound. I focused the riding today on riding/ re-riding the same sections with minor adjustments to rider position vs. damping adjustments.

    DISCLAIMER:For the record, the ride today was done sans front brake. One thing I did realize today is I don't typically brake very much...lol. So I had to do alot of "on purpose" braking along sections of DH that I typically would probably avoid when selecting a "line" during descent. I am also predominantly a front brake user & it did take me a few runs at the same section with "rear brake only" to find my sweet spot, positionally.

    I found that varying my body position from a front weight bias to a more rearward bias had the greatest influence on traction. One section where the rear lost a bit of traction initially was remedied by re-riding the same section @ the same speed while shifting my weight a bit rearward. I also was able to replicate this solution by decreasing the rebound damping 3 clicks (faster rebound). I also think, from preliminary results, that the TNT (while braking) is reacting identically (as the HL) to this familiar terrain with this rebound damping adjustment. Initially it seemed that the rebound settings I use for the HL setup were a bit slow (during braking), but once I made this adjustment I never once lost traction or had it "skip" around at all. Again, I have much more testing to do & will conclude with another thorough round or HL tests sans front brake, for comparison.

    I spent a decent amount of time on the HL prior to the swap familiarizing myself with the various characteristics, in preparartion for the TNT tests...and will follow up with the HL for back to back comparisons. I am pretty sensitive to the response of suspension during rear braking from my DH racing backgound and can honestly say that I feel pretty positive regarding my overall, objective evaluation of the TNT. However, as I said, I will reserve the remainder of my thoughts for the final review.

    'Til then.......

    Jay
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  23. #23
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    Not a review exactly, just some prototype porn.

    F*ckin' Good 1134A
    Proto 17











    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  24. #24
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    jncarpenter
    (BZ insert: reminder click the author's name for link to thread with pix and comments)
    THIRD INSTALLMENT:...having just returned from another long, in-depth, analytical venture, I decided to post my thoughts to keep the wheels spinning.

    This ride was devoted to, again, put the braking traits of the new TNT linkage under the microscope. I adjusted ALL forms of damping control to their minimum setting. First, I did some tests on pavement. I rode flat sections, hilly sections with the ETA engaged to remove input from the fork. Testing the brakes at all different velocities, with all manner of application (hard braking, soft-scrubbing braking, constant-medium braking) I could not feel ANY form of brake induced input. Next, I hit the trails. The trails today were ripe for traction testing given that they were still slightly wet from last nights rainfall, covered with wet leaves & it was around 40 degrees out. Initially the rear was exhibiting some slight hopping over various rooty, rocky sections. I assumed this was due to a rebound setting that was faster than optimal (I selected the fastest rebound setting intially, specifically to test this). I then stopped, returned the rebound to 3 clicks in from full-off & resumed the ride. No more hopping. I tested sections of high speed, off camber corners with front brake only & rear brake only to see if I could notice a variance in rear wheel traction...I could not. I did lose traction with the front wheel several times during this process however (front brake ONLY). That did not surprise me, as I often ( at other times) only add rear braking to stabilize my front wheel traction. I tested on long downhill sections with plenty of roots/ rocks, using a constant moderate applied brake over the whole section & I could literally FEEL my rear wheel staying glued, responding to trail obstacles perfectly, never once stiffening, hopping, or skidding. IMHO, the Hope brakes are the best modulation on the market, I know many have their beef with them, but I have never heard a case against their superior modulation. Because of this, they are a perfect candidate for this test. Once again, I could not discern the loss of traction. Mid-ride, I began to have so much fun railing some sweet technical sections & just flying along on the trails....I forgot I was supposed to be scrutinizing the TNT. I admit it. I am sorry! I quickly came to my senses & resumed my analytical persona. Because I still had an incredible, twisty, fast DH section left in the ride...and because I was now in a seriously aggressive mood , I decided to do some DH/ Moto style turns (body weight slightly forward, inside foot out & forward), which would have been "iffy" today on the HL due to the present trail conditions. Once again, the TNT performed beautifully, the Spot behaving exactly as I have grown to anticipate. I broke traction several times, on purpose, with controlled power-slides through technical turns. The bike reacted as I intuitively anticipated. If I hadn't known better, I would have assumed I was on the HL.

    So again, there you have it. I still cannot flush out any decisive negative braking traits from the TNT. But, don't worry, I am still determined to try.....for a bit longer!
    To those who commented in other threads that someone who cannot detect the difference between the HL rear & the TNT (Low SP), could not tell the difference between the Low SP braking & High SP braking.....absolutely NOT TRUE. I spent a good amount of time on a Yeti AS-X prior to the Spot purchase. There was quite a noticeable difference in brake feel between the two bikes. I still cannot feel a difference in braking between the TNT & HL Turner 5 Spot & I am trying my darndest!!!!!

    More to come.....
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  25. #25
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    DGC
    (BZ insert: Remember to click the Author's name above to link to the orig thread with pix)
    Remember this is for the 05 Turner 5 Spot I own.
    After some good mileage on my local trails, I feel 100% confident in the following results.
    To start with, the change over. Switching from my 05 HL rear end to the TNT 06 rear end was easy, done in minutes. Worthy notes in changeover are the rear caliper mounted up in the exact position as the 05, no rotor rub, no more or less shims needed, exactly spot on. I have run it for 1 week now, today I switched back and forth from the HL to the TNT. In doing so, the bushings felt like they had the same smoothness as mine. Cycle the rear ends and both felt basically the same. Excellent.
    The riding terrain is worth speaking of.
    Any of you having ridden Tahoe a lot, will know what kind of variety we have all around the area. I spend lots of time on granite slabs, on rock strewn trails with boulders, shale rock, baby heads, ledges, roots, berms, ruts, steep technical, twisty, straight fast, and whatever else I can find. Many sections I re-did over and over trying to get as much feedback in my head as possible, climbing and decending both. I kept every aspect of the bike exactly the same, other than the rear ends.
    Up til today, the difference in HL to TNT I could not feel. At least not the performance difference others have so vividly claimed it would be. Remember, numbers dont lie...!!!!

    In the case of HL vs. TNT the rider is what it all comes down to, and by far more important than numbers.

    Speaking of today, the trail was perfect. Tight, twisty, slow and fast sections mixed with sweeper curves and sharp sudden switchbacks, braking bumps, etc.good braking test. Climbing it is steep and granny ring opportunity for sure, lots of good sized rocks everywhere, a few water bars and dips, but everything is bedded in the dirt, solid ground. This is a 1.5 - 2 mile one way distance section of a ride I used for the test, and have ridden a lot before. I would end up climbing up, turn around and bomb down.
    I decided to go a step farther in trying to find some differences in these rear ends. I ran an old school shock, with no platform damping. One of my old Vanilla RC coil shocks, a good 5 years old but in excellent shape.

    Run #1 I started with the same set up as the last 5 rides, TNT rear end and the DHX-A. Then run #2 I switched from the DHX-A to the Vanilla. Man does this sucker bounce. At first, I could tell no difference in braking or climbing, except a lot of bounce climbing that shock, and buttery smooth when on straights. I thought I was onto something in running this shock though.
    Then run #3, I decided to switch to the HL rear end keeping the Vanilla on. As I climbed up the downhill backwards, I thought for sure I had felt something clearly different this time, going up, over, down into a log water bar followed by a good sized sharp rock, same type features except one is round one is sharp. Many places on the trail like this. Felt like I went through it easier/smoother.....??? I redid that spot again. So I went back down and put the TNT rear end back on immediately, still keeping the Vanilla on.
    Run #4 I retraced my tracks exactly. I was kinda bummed though this time, I could not feel the difference I had felt just 15 minutes before. ???. Redid the section again to be sure. felt the same. Now getting baffled.
    (Later on, all I could come up with was i was now warmed up and climbed all of run #3 a little easier now being warmed up and no longer 38 degrees...!!!!)
    Went down and changed yet again to the HL rear end, run #5..... Basically run #3 all over again. Back up to the same spot. Nope, no difference this time. Redid the same spot twice, still no difference. Back down for the last time, switched back to the TNT rear end and DHX-A this time.
    Run #6, faster than run #5 felt. This time I could feel a shock difference. The DHX-A would not sag into its travel as far as the vanilla, and takes a little more force to get moving. With the vanilla I really thought I would feel something different since it was much easier to go deep into the travel where most of the difference is said to be. Run #6 all I could feel different was the more stable chassis with the DHX-A. Finally it was back down for some rest and food. Then it was time to do the entire ride as a loop=about 13 miles. Now riding entirely different terrain, the last 4.5 miles is decending, and into the same lower area as I spent the entire morning riding. Still no detectable change of any kind in braking or climbing, except for that run#3. I believe it was just being warmed up. Run #5 proved that.

    After all of this, I can tell you something I can feel is different.
    The lower stay is beefier. If you get on rutted or off camber ground you might feel more lateral stiffness, you might not. I could feel it a few times. Not all the time. It is stiffer, but not a night and day difference at all. The HL is plenty stiff. The TNT is laterally stiffer, and some riders might feel it, some might not, the difference is minimal.

    Thats really it, I thought I had felt it on run #3, once you block out the vanilla bounce, and focus on whats happening late in the stroke then the rider can feel whats going on. Sooooo, on paper its supposed to be there, but to the rider it seems to be damn hard if not impossible to feel. Others having posted on TNT experiences have basically reported similar.
    I personally prefer to run the TNT rear end. It looks stiffer and cool, It feels stiffer at times, It wont make you go faster, it does not change the shifting, the ride experience is exactly the same-all smiles and lots of fun. Now if DT will put a 12mm axle on it and get King to make a hub for it.....yummy!
    P.S.....time to put all this HL vs. TNT to bed. Unless someone can show me a better way to FEEL the difference while riding, I am convinced TNT is perfectly fine, at least as good if not better than the HL was.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

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