Should I upgrade my 100mm Turner Czar to something with more travel?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Should I upgrade my 100mm Turner Czar to something with more travel?

    I bought a V1 Turner Czar many years ago. I thought I was going to do a lot of XC racing, which turned out not to be true.

    Most of my riding is just pedaling hard around the trails in the rocky, rooty, hilly NY woods for a good workout. I wish the trails here were more fast and flowy, but they're not. There are ugly rock gardens and roots ever 2 minutes - and they start to annoy me. I know some people ride hardtails through this sh!t, but I'm more of a sit-and-pedal kind of guy.

    I love the Czar, but I was never impressed with the small bump compliance or rear comfort in rough terrain. I now have wide enve rims and 2.6 tires for extra cush. It's Ok but there's still a lot of chatter in the rear through over root and rock garden.

    Will upgrading to something with 120-130 rear travel make a difference for this kind of terrain? Medium-speed riding through rock and root gardens? Or am I being unrealistic and more travel is really only helpful for high-speed riders? I'm not a particularly talented or fast rider. I don't go flying down descents or do jumps.

    Most of the time I'm convinced I should just ride what I have. Suck it up buttercup, learn to ride smoother! But every time I get hit in the ass with the saddle I wonder if I should just increase the rear travel - I'm not racing, why not drive a Cadillac?

  2. #2
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    Now I'm looking at Pivot Trail 429's and Ibis Ripley LS's.

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    For your riding, yes. Have fun
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  4. #4
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    As much as some people tried to make it out as a trail bike and "way more capable", in my mind 100 is XC territory and for racing and very flat places. And as much as I like turners, I would agree that it's not the right bike for riding in a rough place.

    Also, consider that life is too short to not have a bike that can take a coil shock, as in coil shocks are far more plush/responsive/able to suck up bumps, than air shocks. Even in 2019, it's a magnitude of difference.
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  5. #5
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    Should I be looking at 120mm travel - like the Pivot 429 Trail and Ibis Ripley LS? Or maybe a 130/140 Norco Sight?

    I'm open to the idea of keeping the Czar as a race bike and adding a second for trail riding, so the trail bike doesn't need to be a compromise. Just remember, I am not a descender. This bike is for pedaling through rock gardens, up hills, and over roots and logs.

    Dammit Jayam - coil shocks? Hahah. Can you suggest an example frame to pair with? Or is the idea to get the frame I want then have a custom-tuned coil shock made for it?

  6. #6
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    Definitely a 120 rear with 120 or 130 fork would be a huge improvement in the fun department. I recently purchased back my V1 Czar from a friend. I had a 120 on the Czar but felt it was a much better XC bike in 100/100. I also have a Django 29 which is a 120/130. Very fast on the roots, rocks and square edge. Weighs about 27 pounds, and I am faster in many areas vs the Czar. It shines in the Southwest rocks and sand. Is it the perfect bike? Is any bike? No. I'll ride the Czar for mega long days of climbing (12-15K, 8+ hours) where the multiple bottle option is nice, and the 23.5 pound weight is even nicer. But as a pro racer told me, "if you're not racing why ride a race bike?" This pro racer is a top 20 national guy, but his play bike is a pig heavy 30+ pound Knolly, and he absolutely destroys everyone.

    It's not the bike. And life is too short to question if you're having the most fun possible.

  7. #7
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    Give the Turner Flux a look. It sounds perfect for the type of riding you do. I've been
    very happy with mine.

  8. #8
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    I was in the same boat a couple of weeks ago. I have the V1 Czar and I love it but it was missing the fun factor. I "race" 1-2 times a year on long endurance events, but for my everyday riding I wanted something with a lot more fun. I wound up picking up an Ibis Ripmo which is quite a stretch from the Turner as far as spec goes but for my local trails it is the most fun I have had on a bike since my early days SC Heckler. If you are not racing then get something you enjoy!

  9. #9
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    Previous Czar owner here. Loved the bike, but since moved on to a long travel 29er for some of the same reasons you mention. If you wanted to avoid spending alot of coin on a new bike you could upgrade your Czar (120 fork, sending your shock off for custom tune etc), which will make the bike more trail oriented. In the end though, you'll still have a 100mm bike, short wheel base and somewhat steepish HTA, especially based on today's new geo 29er's. DT originally made that bike for marathons and racing.

    If you get a new bike, I would recommend looking at a 130 rear or more to really make a difference, especially if you keep your Czar. One of the biggest surprises I've had with my long travel 29er is the use of a dropper post. Never had one on the Czar. I can tell you going down those rough sections with more suspension, longer wheel base and a dropper, your only regret may be that you didn't do it sooner
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridetheridge View Post
    If you wanted to avoid spending alot of coin on a new bike you could upgrade your Czar (120 fork, sending your shock off for custom tune etc), which will make the bike more trail oriented.
    I already did both of those things. And a dropper.

    Quote Originally Posted by ridetheridge View Post
    .If you get a new bike, I would recommend looking at a 130 rear or more to really make a difference, especially if you keep your Czar.
    That's what I'm thinking as well.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyV View Post
    I wound up picking up an Ibis Ripmo which is quite a stretch from the Turner as far as spec goes but for my local trails it is the most fun I have had on a bike since my early days SC Heckler.
    Thats awesome. Is it fun because you do faster bombing descents? Or even just when pedaling over crap in the flats?

    You don't miss the czar on the climbs?

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the responses. They all seem to be pointing in one direction. My wallet does not thank you.

    One option if I want minimize cost would be to find a frame that allows me to reuse many of my duplicate parts from my Czar (wheels, fork, dropper, cranks, stems, bars, etc.). Is there a 120mm travel 29er frame with 142x12 thru axle that is worth considering? Pair with my 120 Sid fork and has a modern-ish geo?

    I'm guessing that's just the path of regret though. The other option is to find a lightly used newish bike. I'd have to rebuild my enve rims on new hubs if I wanted to move them to use them there. Grrr

    There's a Rocky mountain instinct (140-140) not far from me.

  13. #13
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    Is it possible to use adaptors for your wheelset to mount on a boost frame?

    The Ripley LS would be a very good option for you. Running 2.6" tires will also help immensely, especially if you can run them at a lower pressure.

    My evolution was from a Yeti 575 to a Pivot 5.7c to a Yeti SB5 and now a Giant Pro 29 Trance. I just got back from riding in the St. George area and even at the lower 115mm of rear travel, + 29" wheels coupled with the current generation of rear suspension (DW link, Maestro, Switch Infinity, etc.) AND 2.6" tires at the lowest pressure you can run without rim strikes, squirm, etc. the comfort level is very pleasant.

    Also, the newest forks and shocks are very good. I'm a complete suspension snob and love to spend money and the one thing that pi$$es me of about the Giant is that the lower end Fox 34 Performance fork and DPX2 Performance shock are both too good to replace! Now I have to find something else to spend the kids' inheritance on.

    My 115mm of rear suspension on the Giant feels way plusher than my 127 on the SB5 and at least equal to the 144mm on the Pivot (though the Pivot is closest) so absolute magnitude of travel can be deceptive.

    I demo'd the Ripley LS and really liked it, but I have to say, I liked the Giant more, for northern Utah, St.George and Moab combined with my style of riding. If you want more travel another option could be a Ripmo (the NX is reasonably priced) but I'd get something that you can put 2.6" tires on, at least. And, I think some sort of mod of a DW link is hard to beat for plushness.
    Last edited by MSU Alum; 04-04-2019 at 08:50 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Is it possible to use adaptors for your wheelset to mount on a boost frame?
    Absolutely, as long as you aren't going super-boost. I'm running a boost pivot frame with my "old" non-boost wheels. Spacers for the axle and spacers for the brake rotor. There are kits all over ebay/amazon. Super easy.
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  15. #15
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    Another previous Czar owner (and actual "development" rider for the bike). It rips. The second fastest 100 mile mtb race bike I ever owned. But......you'll have WAY more fun in your stated conditions on a modern 130 bike.

    130 rear/140 front would be the sweet spot IMO. Fuel EX suits me very well these days. The RM Instinct you asked about would also be a great "second" bike (your link takes me to an add for pears?).

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  16. #16
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    Doesn't Turner have a trade-in deal? You can save some hassle of selling the bike and trade it for a longer travel bike. DT is a pretty cool guy, he hurls lots of insults at me when I am racing

  17. #17
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    Love the Czar, but on rooty trails 100mm is not enough. Found a good deal on an RFX and it eats roots - a worthy combo. Given all the changes in bike standards you will likely be better off to buy a new bike and either keep the Czar or sell it whole - it is hard to imagine that it will be cost effective to strip it and sell the carcass.

  18. #18
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    Those Enve rims aren't helping with compliance.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Another previous Czar owner (and actual "development" rider for the bike). It rips. The second fastest 100 mile mtb race bike I ever owned. But......you'll have WAY more fun in your stated conditions on a modern 130 bike.

    130 rear/140 front would be the sweet spot IMO. Fuel EX suits me very well these days. The RM Instinct you asked about would also be a great "second" bike (your link takes me to an add for pears?).

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    Thanks for all the responses. They all seem to be pointing in one direction. My wallet does not thank you.

    One option if I want minimize cost would be to find a frame that allows me to reuse many of my duplicate parts from my Czar (wheels, fork, dropper, cranks, stems, bars, etc.). Is there a 120mm travel 29er frame with 142x12 thru axle that is worth considering? Pair with my 120 Sid fork and has a modern-ish geo?

    I'm guessing that's just the path of regret though. The other option is to find a lightly used newish bike. I'd have to rebuild my enve rims on new hubs if I wanted to move them to use them there. Grrr

    There's a Rocky mountain instinct (140-140) not far from me.
    $2200 for a Fezzari Signal Peak with a FOX DPS Kashima. CF frame, lightweight, modern geo. Sizing is normal, ride a large get a large. I'm 6', normal proprotions, I can run a 170mm dropper and a 35mm stem. I suspect you could make the 142 fit with a boost adaptor, if not you could swap hubs/hub internals.

    I ride one, it's a great bike for moderately rough trails and putting in miles, I do put the shock in Propedal for long bumpy climbs, otherwise it stays open. It'll take a 2.6 29er, high or low flip chip on rear suspension. I have mine set up with a Pike 140, but I'm going to a SC 34 120 soon.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Those Enve rims aren't helping with compliance.
    I'll second that.

    EC70 Trail carbon rims were a bad choice for me. Replaced with Arch Mk 3, what an improvement. Also used a Pike 120 with Minion DHF. It all gave the Czar new life on the trail, but in the end it's still a XC race bike.

    A lot has happened since the Czar. I suggest cutting through the theory with a few demos so you can see what bikes you connect with.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by She&I View Post
    I'll second that.

    EC70 Trail carbon rims were a bad choice for me. Replaced with Arch Mk 3, what an improvement. Also used a Pike 120 with Minion DHF. It all gave the Czar new life on the trail, but in the end it's still a XC race bike.

    A lot has happened since the Czar. I suggest cutting through the theory with a few demos so you can see what bikes you connect with.
    Yup, lipstick on a pig ...

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Yup, lipstick on a pig ...
    My pig already has all the lipstick.

    Best advice was from Kosmo.
    It was good indeed. But it's not like anyone disagreed with him. This is one of the most unanimous threads in the history of MTBR.

    I'm pretty convinced. Now the task of picking a bike. Parking lot rides are useless. Long trail rides are difficult to fine. Time to read lots and lots and then hope I pick right.

  24. #24
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    More on the rims. . .
    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/opinio...d-to-head.html

    I wouldn't move em to a new build.

  25. #25
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    Best advice- go demo a 130/140 bike first. I live in MD and I personally think 120mm is the sweet spot unless you're riding big stuff every day.

    Keep in mind some of the people giving advice are out west, their trails are much different from ours. If I pedaled up for 40+ minutes and then had a long downhill I'd be on a completely different bike.
    I had a TBc 100mm then went through a few 140+ bikes and settled on 120mm.

    Currently on a OG Ripley, waiting to see what Ibis puts out next. If it's not some updated 120mm bike I'll be looking at the Signal Peak or Sniper.

    Giant Trance 29 may be a good candidate for you as well.

    IMHO a lot of people are pedaling around a lot more bike than they need. Everyone always talks about how great this 140mm bike climbs, just as good as this 120mm bike. Suspense is suspension. 140mm isn't going to feel as playful/poppy as 140mm. If you tune that 140mm to be poppy, you're going to lose the suppleness. Anyway take it for what it's worth.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Best advice- go demo a 130/140 bike first.
    This is fantastic advice and I would love to! But I'm having trouble finding anyone in my area who rents high-end mountain bikes. I'll keep asking around and try to find someone.

    EDIT: I found a place that rents the Specialized Stumpjumper 29

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    This is fantastic advice and I would love to! But I'm having trouble finding anyone in my area who rents high-end mountain bikes. I'll keep asking around and try to find someone.

    EDIT: I found a place that rents the Specialized Stumpjumper 29
    Compared to some of the other rides, that one will pedal pretty soggy, you'll have to use the shock setting to help, which will make it more harsh, so I wouldn't judge all the bikes that way, and again, 140+ gets to be pretty soggy in general, could be the ticket for your area to give some decent cush, but different suspension designs and travel might give you your "golden bb" setup.
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  28. #28
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    The Stumpjumper is a very poor climbing bike. And on seated powerful pedaling over rocks and roots, it is indeed mushy.

  29. #29
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    Update! I purchases a used 2018 Rocky Mountain Instinct (140/140) and have two rides under my belt. Some initial thoughts

    I like it! The geometry is nice. I like the slacker head angle. The BB is nice and high so fewer pedal strikes in rock gardens. It climbs great, particularly chunky stuff. It feels more stable overall in difficult terrain, even at slow speeds. I am assuming this is the significantly longer wheelbase on the Instinct.

    It's definitely more compliant than the 100mm Czar, but it's actually not as plush as I expected. I don't know whether this is because I have unrealistic expectations for a mid-travel bike, or because this particular bike isn't super compliant. This review did say, "rides like it had 20mm less travel than it actually does." so maybe I'm not crazy.

    This bike also has aluminum wheels, so I'm still left wondering how much of the improved comfort is just moving from my brick Enve M70's to these E-thirteen trs+ wheels.

    I'm also not using all the travel. I removed all the volume spacers and set the sag to 20% fork and 30% shock, but I'm still using only around 3/5 of the fork travel and 3/4 of the shock travel. I dont' know if that demonstrates that I don't need so much travel.... or if it's a characteristic of the bike and suspension.

    There's also one short-but-rough, rooty downhill (pic below) that the backend gets a little unhappy on, bucking a bit. It does best if I dialed almost all the rebound out of the shock, but then in the flats it's a bit bouncier than it's supposed to be. I haven't done this particular hill on the Czar, but I'll try it at some point.

    EDIT: don't ask me why this stupid forum software rotated the picture. You'll have to use your imagination on what it looks like in the proper orientation.
    Should I upgrade my 100mm Turner Czar to something with more travel?-20190418_184931.jpg

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    Update! I purchases a used 2018 Rocky Mountain Instinct (140/140) and have two rides under my belt. Some initial thoughts

    I like it! The geometry is nice. I like the slacker head angle. The BB is nice and high so fewer pedal strikes in rock gardens. It climbs great, particularly chunky stuff. It feels more stable overall in difficult terrain, even at slow speeds. I am assuming this is the significantly longer wheelbase on the Instinct.

    It's definitely more compliant than the 100mm Czar, but it's actually not as plush as I expected. I don't know whether this is because I have unrealistic expectations for a mid-travel bike, or because this particular bike isn't super compliant. This review did say, "rides like it had 20mm less travel than it actually does." so maybe I'm not crazy.

    This bike also has aluminum wheels, so I'm still left wondering how much of the improved comfort is just moving from my brick Enve M70's to these E-thirteen trs+ wheels.

    I'm also not using all the travel. I removed all the volume spacers and set the sag to 20% fork and 30% shock, but I'm still using only around 3/5 of the fork travel and 3/4 of the shock travel. I dont' know if that demonstrates that I don't need so much travel.... or if it's a characteristic of the bike and suspension.

    There's also one short-but-rough, rooty downhill (pic below) that the backend gets a little unhappy on, bucking a bit. It does best if I dialed almost all the rebound out of the shock, but then in the flats it's a bit bouncier than it's supposed to be. I haven't done this particular hill on the Czar, but I'll try it at some point.

    EDIT: don't ask me why this stupid forum software rotated the picture. You'll have to use your imagination on what it looks like in the proper orientation.
    On the linkage blog Linkage Design the Instinct appears to have a very progressive leverage ratio, which would be perfect for a coil shock, but it's probably going to feel pretty harsh deep in the travel, as the additional ramp-up of the air-spring prevents further travel. A coil like a CCDB in-line would probably be a very good match based on the numbers.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    On the linkage blog Linkage Design the Instinct appears to have a very progressive leverage ratio, which would be perfect for a coil shock, but it's probably going to feel pretty harsh deep in the travel, as the additional ramp-up of the air-spring prevents further travel. A coil like a CCDB in-line would probably be a very good match based on the numbers.
    +1

    OP, to clarify, you removed the volume reducers from both the fork and shock? Also, on some bikes, "full travel" does not mean full shaft travel. An example is the Fuel EX, which uses only 52.5 mm of it's exposed shaft travel, IIRC.

    It's been awhile since I've seen a bike that won't use all its rear travel with NO volume reducers in a Fox shock.

    Nice pic. I've given up posting pics here. It's so archaically complex, compared to simple drag and drop approaches.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    On the linkage blog Linkage Design the Instinct appears to have a very progressive leverage ratio, which would be perfect for a coil shock, but it's probably going to feel pretty harsh deep in the travel, as the additional ramp-up of the air-spring prevents further travel. A coil like a CCDB in-line would probably be a very good match based on the numbers.
    The progressiveness also changes when you change the Ride-9 setting. I've moved it to "9" which is the most XC (higher BB and steepest head angle) and this also makes the suspension the least progressive (although still progressive). I'll see if this helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    OP, to clarify, you removed the volume reducers from both the fork and shock?
    Yep, I removed them from both. I was using more of the shock than the fork. It wasn't the most aggressive riding so I need to ride more before I do anything drastic.

    I'll try adding a little more sag to both and see what happens. I followed the Fox recommendation on the fork (15-20%) and then let out a little more on the trail, but I'm reading that range is if you're really thrashing the bike. I'll give 30 a try.

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