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  1. #1
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    Jan 2006

    Turner Flux vs. Blur XC

    I'm going to replace my 5 yr old superlight and wanted some feedback from someone that has ridden both a blur xc and a flux. I weight approx 195 lbs and am 6'3" tall, so I'm not fly weight. However I do a few races a year and am very xc oriented. Why is a flux better than a blur xc or vise versa? I have heard a lot of issues with the blur's bearing system, so it sounds like the flux is a lot better since it uses bushings instead of bearings. I'm also a little skeptical of the size of tubing the blur xc uses, they seem too small to be really rebust and stiff. If someone could give me some pros and cons to both I would appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Lay off the Levers
    Reputation: Bikezilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Others will chime in with some bike to bike comparisons but here are some things to consider meanwhile.

    Geometry is a major factor for comfort and riding control. If the bike feels cramped, nervous, serpentine or sluggish handling you'll notice that more than almost anything else.

    The SC bikes are quite often designed with a tight cockpit and short eff TT. For a tall guy you may need to really throw a leg over a couple of different sizes to make certain you choose the correct size for your body geometry. People with long trunks fit bikes quite differently than people with long limbs.

    The Turners have a tendency to fit a wide variety of people w/o a lot of tweaking. Many people comment on how natural they feel right out of the box. You'll really need to try the bikes to get a good idea of what's what.

    The other thing is handling geometry and wheelbase. Consider what kind of riding you want now and down the road. If you want to pick-up the challenge and ride more aggressively then a slightly longer wheelbase and a slacker head tube will instill more confidence to take it to the next level. If you shoot for a pure XC geometry you may not feeo the inspiration to take it to the trailbike level of riding.

    So the short of it is, what are you looking to do now and down the road?

    Another differnece to consider is pedaling characteristics. The VPP uses chain tension to firm up the suspension and depending on the design and travel, this can make the bike fell more zippy under hard pedaling and acceleration. This can give it an edge on sprinting and smooth climbing. The Turner OTOH uses a more active suspension that is largely unaffected by chain torque and is more sensitive to terrain features. This can give it an edge on technical climbing, small bump compliance, and overall traction. I would imagine the Blur will pedal more like your Superlight than the Flux. I cannot speak to the magnitude of the difference but it's something to think about in terms of what you want. Remember shock selection and adjustments also play a big role here.
    Last edited by Bikezilla; 05-16-2006 at 01:43 PM.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2004

    Add don't replace!

    Hello Ssuperlight (SL),
    Before I got my Burner (very similar to a Flux), I rode a Superlight for 4-5 years. I never needed to replaced my bearings.

    The ride difference in the SL vs. the Burner is remarkable especially considering how versatile the SL is as an everyday bike. The Burner climbs a lot better the SL in rocky guardens and it decends better in rocky areas. Part of the improvement in decending is the efficacy of a good four inch coil (Fox Vanilla) vs. a three inch coil (Marzochi Atom).

    Why not get a five spot and keep the Superlight for racing? The Superlight is a superb racing machine. Before you buy a Blur xc ride the LT and a Five spot. Let the best bike win!!!

    You will be very impressed by the Turner. If you can't find one to ride, come to the Bay Area and ride a Turner at Sunshine Bikes in Fairfax. My buddy bought his bike their last season and he has been very happy. They ususally have a demo to try out.



  4. #4
    gravity curmudgeon
    Reputation: cowdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Owned a blur classic before getting a flux, and my wife has had a blur xc for about 6 weeks now.

    Both are good bikes. The main differences are geometry, on-trail feel, and tire clearance (flux has huge tire clearance -- blur xc is a tight fit for anything over 2.0; height is the issue more so than width). The flux may have a bit stronger tubing than the blur xc, but I'm not positive.

    The flux feels more active, while the blur's VPP suspension really smooths things out. It really depends on what you like. Both pedal very well, with subtle differences in feel. I think the flux is a little better sit and spin technical climber and feels a little more stable descending at silly speeds (longer wheelbase). The blur (at least with the classic) is very solid descending over technical terrain (e.g., rock gardens) -- a bit more smooth feeling than the flux in the hairy stuff. Few bikes can accelerate like a blur, and you feel that when putting down the hammer. The flux is a bike that is faster than it feels, for some reason. For many riders a blur feels very good right off the bat. The flux is a bike that feels like you grow into it, while it grows with you. My flux continues to surprise me with its abilities. Anyway, these are my impressions. Overall, the flux and blur/blur xc are comparable rides in terms of abilities. Both are great bikes.

    BTW, my blur had pivot/bearing problems. I think a Turner FS frame is much easier to maintain over time.

  5. #5
    ... I guess you won't be
    Reputation: jokermtb's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
    I raced/borrowed a friend's blur in a 12 hr race and got some good insights on how the bike performs....yes, it does put "the pedal to the mettle" very nicely - very solid power transfer - it just moves forward. It's a very "crack the whip" kind of also floats over rough stuff quite nicely. The only odd thing about the bike is that it felt more tall than long - you ride on the bike, not in it. It took me a few laps to get used to the cockpit, but after that, I just railed on it. I liked it!

    But, the deal breaker for that bike is the horrible pivot reliablility and longevity.....any blur rider knows of this curse. If you're willing to accept the fact that you will be servicing the pivots regularly, then go for it. Sure, the bike rides wonderfully on fresh pivots, but they go bad quickly. Great riding bike, but cursed with the VPP pivot fragility [not to mention the rear triangle alignment quality control issues, but I digress...]. Needless to say, despite the great moves, my buddy couldn't deal with the pivots going out all the time, he ended up selling it and getting a Titus Moto-lite which is reliable and he really likes it.......

    The Flux, well it's just another nice ridin' turner....what's not to like.....

    Lastly, you'd probably be better off buying a new superlight [a solid reliable design], and getting the Fox shock sent to Push Industries for a revalve....

  6. #6
    Baked Alaskan
    Reputation: AK Chris's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
    I was thinking about a Blur when I bought the Spot - now this was back in 03 when Blurs were THE frame of the moment and the Spot was just hitting the market. Then I rode one and was less than impressed. It is a nice ride, but for me it was sized a bit odd. Their TT's are too short and their ST's are too long. If they stretched them out a bit I may have given them more of a serious look.

    Also the reports of bearing failure - everyone I know with one has replaced them at least once spooked me. Finally the sad tire clearance - which has since been improved but still lacks behind the Spot was the final nail in the coffin. The Flux shares the same rear with the Spot - so tire clearance is great into 2.5's and such.

    Then Turner blew out the XCE's at Superblow and I decided I was going to ge the Turner I've always wanted, but they sold out. So I bit the bullet and bought the Spot instead. Legend has it - the frame I wound up with was actually Tscheezy's at one point - but the delay with the first run of the frames dropped it into my hands.

    FYI, I just took apart my frame and the bushings barely look used - they'll easily last another few years, try that with a pivot bearing.
    The red couch has moved from Alaska to Florida...

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    Jan 2006
    Thanks for all of the info. I need to try and get a ride in on both frames. I'm probably leaning more towards the flux, since it looks like it will be a little more robust. I've looked at both frames up close and the craftsmanship of the flux looks much better than the blur.

    Thanks for all of the great feedback.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2006

    I've owned both.

    I really like each of them. I found the differences to be subtle.

    I think you would be happy with either bike, but keep in mind that Turner's warranty is great. They honor their warranty and to me, that's worth a lot and is one reason I will always own a Turner.

  9. #9
    \|/Home of the Braves\|/
    Reputation: RedRocker's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
    I've always been confused about the difference in the Blur's rear travel and the recommended fork length. 4.5 rear and 105 max front. Nobody ever seens to mention it so I guess it doesn't bother folks.
    Big hoopy.
    Turner Sultan / On One Inbred

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Coldass's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    I moved from my much loved Superlight to the Flux early this year. I considered the Blur. The Flux won because of its proven design and quality bushes (I loved the reliable Superlight). I was put off by all the Blur pivot points and comments of mixed quality here. It (Flux) also had geometry I prefer (the Blur is a bit bigger than the Superlight and I would need to large a frame to get a long enough TT). But your bigger than me so you might fit the Blur better.

    I can say I am very pleased to have the Flux - and it was a good change to the Superlight. A better trail bike yet still good for racing.

    Turners service is also a big difference. If something goes wrong with my Flux I feel really confident that Turner will 'care' for me. Santa Cruz don't offer that personal touch and are really a main stream brand now.

    Only thing I am not 100% happy with is the Fox RP3. I feel little difference between the three platform settings and would prefer a wider adjustment range or a 5th Element. That said the Flux doesn't seem to need a platform shock anyway (I think I'd simply prefer lockout for those times I want a firm rear).

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DLine's Avatar
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    May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Coldass
    a 5th Element.
    Careful what you wish for. A Swinger 3 way might be a better choice, since the 5th Element has had real reliability issues. I've heard that after this year, they won't be servicing this shock anymore, either. Just a rumor, but still...

  12. #12
    Reputation: Jerk_Chicken's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    That is fact about the limitation on service of 5th shocks.

    As far as the Blur vs. Flux, the points above are all very valid and along the same lines of my experience.

    What I found:

    Blur has a shorter top tube. I would have needed a longer stem, but most likely one size up from what would have been comparable on paper to a Flux and a shorter stem. I was pretty upright, in a criuser-like fashion, by comparison.

    Blur's pedaling is very hardtail-esque. The rear is noticeably flexy at my riding weight (220) on turns. So in a straight line, on power, it feels great. On turns, it does feel like the bike itself is bowing.

    I think traction is a wash, with the technical climbs over less than ideal terrain going to the Flux, no doubt. I wish I could specify the source as being balancing on the frame vs suspension action, but I can only speculate both are in favor on the Flux, as the Blur's suspension doesn't seem to work so well under these high torque conditions. I also climb in the middle ring, so that may have an effect on the VPP effect.

    Descent is very close, although there seems to be loads more balance and neutrality to fast, downhill turns on the Flux. I think straight down there's no major difference except when the BB height comes into play, but this is a bit counterintuitive, as I think they have nearly the same heights, but I smack more on the Blur, no doubt. The rear on the Blur is stiffer on descents with braking, but I couldn't tell at the time if it was due to jacking or not, but the suspension does work on downhills+braking. I don't know the rough percentage of lockout, but it wasn't a problem.

    I don't know if it was mentioned above, but there's like ZERO mud and tire clearance on a Blur.

  13. #13
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    Jan 2005

    Owned an '04 Blur classic and now a Flux

    I'll second what Cowdawg says in an earlier post. My Blur was a pleasure to ride. It did take a while to tune in the 5th element. After a rebuild it was rock solid - difficult to tune in but when it got there - very sweet. I also pushed the front Fox RLC fork and shortened the stem to 90mm. With a pair of Kendas front and back the ride was incredible. Acceleration was like a rocket. Could climb with ease and the downhill always put a smile on my face. The bad - too much maintenance. Besides the pivots constantly needing attention the full XTR package was taking too much cash to keep up.

    Sold it and bought a Flux. Much different ride. I wasn't one of those that took to the Flux "right out of the box" It took me a while to get used to. I felt, at first, the cockpit was too stretched out and I was suffering in tight, technical trails. Well, what I discovered was the problem wasn't the bike, it was me. 300 or 400 mile later the bike and I are getting along a lot better. I remember the turning point. I had just started a descent on a technical downhill trail with plenty of tight switchbacks, rock gardens, roots, you name it. It wasn't 2 seconds into the run and I hear a rider come up on my rear. Took a look and recognized the guy. A local racer and quite good. I didn't feel like letting him pass so I opened the Flux up and threw it into high. I could tell he took the challenge and we flew down that hill at breakneck speed. At the bottom all he said was "good job". That was the best compliment I guess I could have gotten. All I could think about though was how well the Flux responded. The Flux will take you to a higher level if you let it.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
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    Oct 2004
    Hey Ssuperlight

    I, like you, am very XC orientated, race and of similiar stature - 6'4" and 198lbs. The flux is amazing, though I cannot compare it too the Blur. It shines on any course infact, the gnarlier the better.

    When I go to Wales with my mates, it destroys some of their longer travel bikes (maybe its their lack of skills ) in the rough stuff. The flux will allow you to put the hammer down when you want too and are feeling really on it, or comfort you through a ride when you're not.

    All in all a fantastic bike.


  15. #15
    textbook under achiver
    Reputation: con-r-man's Avatar
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    Sep 2004

    WhaT tHe FLux

    Hey Ssuper,
    I'm a bit lighter than you at 175lbs. and 5'11.....
    Been riding these high pivot bikes for years (Pro-floater, Heckler, Superlight) mostly for the feeling of the power transfer underfoot. The problem I noticed with the high pivot bikes after riding active sus.bikes (Fsr, Intense, burner, etc.) was sometimes compression (hitting a bump) while powering, transfered resistance (chaintightening=shortening?) or kickback to my knee. The mechanism that allows the power-transfer works both ways.....I realized that I also used a little more "body english"? in climbs while on the semi-active bikes (high pivot). This required more energy from me on climbs because I was moving around so much.
    On the trails (rough technical low ring ascents prior to fast rocky 15-25 mph singletrack) I rode, the active (flux type) suspension took less out of me. I rode faster (even though I felt faster on the high pivot bikes), longer and had more FUN.
    You can test this on your bike....ride up a reasonably rocky / bumpy hill in your small ring gear, then do it in your middle ring gear....You should notice that the middle ring gear makes for a smoother ascent, while the small gear gives a feeling of power (you will likely feel the kickback over bumps as your climb slows and you add a bit of muscle to the cranks)
    The blur I test rode a few years back had a tiny bit of kickback in the pedals that reminded me of the high pivot bikes. It was a subtle feeling that I was unable to tune out of the bike. New shocks might allow you to tune it out if you have the patience....very worthwhile in certain cases. both designs descend well....but I did feel kickback (on the blur) on fast power descents....sometimes to the point of locking out the suspension over a fast roller and unsettling the bike. The Burner never did that.
    These days I just want to ride. Tune less and just have fun. So I personally would go for the active setup and a platform shock to firm it up underfoot.
    Of course, there may be a shock to tune the kickback out of the blur.
    Pivotpoints are an inherit weak point, even if well engineered.....more pivots = more potential weak points.
    but if they work well for blur owners as long as they own the bike who cares if they get flexy years later.
    IMO the flux might suit your greater mass a bit better and may take a bit more abuse.
    Ride before you buy if at all possible.....and don't be afraid to play with the shock and fork settings. Buy the bike that makes you smile bigger, more often.

    I have my own dilema: Flux built reliable, 575, or lighter build 5 spot. I've ridden them all.......and like em' all.
    WhaT tHe FLux???
    I wANt To bE DiffeREnT JusT LiKe EveRyOne eLsE!

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