For attention of Andy N's re Hillclimb- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    For attention of Andy N's re Hillclimb

    a question for Andy N
    I wonder if he has had a chance to try a DW Spot up this hill to compare it with his HL Spot, if so what were the results?
    As I recall Andy N was one of the few that recorded this difference between the HL and TNT, so it would be interesting to check out his climbing skills on a DW Spot.

    Andy N's original post
    Being a Horst-link believer for so long, and that being a major reason for the purchase of my 5 spot, I was quite saddened when the news of TNT broke. Slowly the speculation gave way to reviews by many Homers whose opinions I have come to respect over the past couple of years. I began to come around in my thinking. Maybe the HL was all just marketing BS, after all the world is full of it.

    I had to find out for myself.

    My review-

    I won't go into too much detail on the many areas that my experience paralleled that of the previous reviewers.

    Braking- Noticeable lack of extension in the rear when braking only with the rear brake, at first I thought it was squat but after watching the shock I found it wasn't compressing. This did indeed give a stablizing feel, if traction was affected I couldn't feel it.

    Cornering- Stiffer rear end, despite the argument of others, I do not attribute this to the TNT rear being new and the HL old. When braking into a corner the bike felt more balanced front to rear, I'm guessing this is because of the lesser amount of extension in the rear. I can't say for sure what the reason, but the TNT felt better in the corners than the HL did.

    Pedaling- A firmer feel on the TNT, maybe less compliant would be a better description. After returning to the HL after three weeks on TNT, the HL felt smoother on small bumps. I think the TNT may pedal better while standing and mashing but I can't say for sure.

    Now there was only one real test left to ease my worries about the prospect on my HL being replaced with TNT.



    Steeper, looser, and longer than it looks in this photogragh, this section of tight singletrack is unforgiving when it comes to traction, front end lifting, and if even for a second you lose your line.

    Whenever I make changes to my ride, stem length, new fork, saddle postion and so on, I use this hill to see what effects it will have on super steep loose climbs.Over the past year and a half I have gome from a 110mm stem down to a 50mm, 110 to 100, 100 to 90, 90 to 70, and finally 70 to 50. Each stem change significantly changed the body position required to make this climb. The same held true for the switch from the Vanilla to the Marzocchi, the slacker head angle really made me work to get up this hill. But with every change if I just gave everything I had and stayed forward the rear end would hook up flawlessly and I'd power up it. Only on one occasion did I have to make a second attempt to clean the hill, this was after the 70 to 50mm stem length change, which I guess just caught me off guard. Bottom line, if I can still climb this hill with TNT, then all is good.

    On the first day attempting this hill with the TNT rear I failed 14 of 14 tries. I was crushed, and exhausted. I drove home after the beat down wondering what the hell could have been wrong.

    Two days later I went back, angry. That f-ing hill was mine.

    Nope, 8 tries and 8 failures.

    Every possible adjustment was made to make it up with the TNT rear, shock settings, pressures, body position, full out mashing on the pedals, steady cadence, you name it.

    My conclusion as to the reason for failure; I was unable to keep the front end down and maintain traction at the same time. Was the rear squatting under power? It felt like it. Did the rear end hook up as well as the HL? No.

    I went back the next day after reinstalling the HL rear and made it up on the first try usual.

    I'm sure that by making adjustments to my ride that I could make it up with the TNT rear, but those adjustments would surely have a negative effect on descending.

    I'd be very interested to hear other Homer's experiences in similar conditions. Basically find a super steep and loose granny gear climb, and see if you too can't feel a difference in favor of the HL.

    12-20-2005 #2
    cactuscorn
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    what a climb! a good test and one im not sure has been addressed before now. good write up too. not all can be golden i guess.
    ______

  2. #2
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    I haven't been back to that climb in over a year, long before having the DW.

    The last time I scoped it out there had been quite a bit of erosion, it was so rutted and nasty I don't recall anyone even making an attempt. The line was not well thought out, just ridden in by trials motorcycles heading straight up/down the fall line, so it has degraded with each passing year.

    That said, I have yet to find a steep climb where the DW didn't outperform the HL, and especially the TNT. When I see that hill again, if the trail exists, I'll give it a go and get back to you.

    A

  3. #3
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    Andy
    Many thanks.
    Have a great time on your DT DW Spot!

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    I thought that the DW broke traction more than my TNT on loose climbs until I let a bit of air out of the shock, but then I had BO problems. Nothin' a coil wouldn't fix though. Still, I was very happy to be back on my TNT.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn. Biker123
    I thought that the DW broke traction more than my TNT on loose climbs until I let a bit of air out of the shock, but then I had BO problems. Nothin' a coil wouldn't fix though. Still, I was very happy to be back on my TNT.
    Really? Rear end traction under pedaling loads is one of the big improvements over the old rocker designs. I can get out of the saddle on my Sultan and mash down and the rear end hooks up with no shifting required.

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    That was my experience on the demo bike. I try not to get out of the saddle either. I run about 38% sag on my CCDB and I can climb anything AndyN can on his DW...guaranteed.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn. Biker123
    That was my experience on the demo bike. I try not to get out of the saddle either. I run about 38% sag on my CCDB and I can climb anything AndyN can on his DW...guaranteed.
    Ha!

    Had some good stuff this morning eh...

    It's cute how you're still so threatened by me that you have to try and call me out on the boards any chance you get. And by cute I mean pathetic.

    Carry on with your pathetic 500 worthless-posts-a-day existence.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2TurnersNotEnough
    Really? Rear end traction under pedaling loads is one of the big improvements over the old rocker designs. I can get out of the saddle on my Sultan and mash down and the rear end hooks up with no shifting required.

    No not really. Mtb123 has no idea what he is talking about, and has had only limited time on a demo DW on very mellow terrain.

    He's just butt-hurt that his TNT ain't the latest and greatest.

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    I'm so sad! Can you tell?



    Definitely the latest, but not the greatest

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    Haven't you heard...

    It's dry as hell around here!

    I'm not calling you out. I just think that it should be noted that a TNT/HL (when set up properly) can perform equally with the DW. Don't take offense to that just because you dropped so much coin on your new ride .

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn. Biker123
    It's dry as hell around here!

    I'm not calling you out. I just think that it should be noted that a TNT/HL (when set up properly) can perform equally with the DW. Don't take offense to that just because you dropped so much coin on your new ride .
    A TNT or HL, when set up properly, is still going to have much more low speed compresssion damping than a DW to prevent chassi movement.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  12. #12
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    Jayem,

    Please take this argument to the Chumba forum where it belongs

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    Offset it with tire pressure.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn. Biker123
    It's dry as hell around here!

    I'm not calling you out. I just think that it should be noted that a TNT/HL (when set up properly) can perform equally with the DW. Don't take offense to that just because you dropped so much coin on your new ride .
    Against my better judgement I'll engage you in dialogue concerning the differences I have experienced with regards to HL>TNT>DW when climbing steep terrain.

    HL & DW exhibit anti-squat characteristics which help the rider to keep the front end planted on really steep pitches. I have found that the DW seems to have much more anti-squat than the HL, so on any given climb there is less tendency for the front end to lift and wander. This same anti-squat is responsible for increased traction as the tire is forced downward into the ground.

    The problems I experienced with TNT were limited to very steep inclines. When powering up a steep climb the rear end would tend to sag excessively and struggle for traction, at the same time the front end would lift and things would get ugly.

    It takes a steeper incline to force the HL into this traction/front end wander struggle, and steeper still for the DW.

    They are all great bikes IME, but the differences are there.

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    Very well put. Thank you for entertaining the idea of carrying on a legitimate conversation here.

    I found that it was "forced down" to the point where there was deflection rather than absorption. My TNT while requiring a bit more effort (remember my bike weighs considerably more) was much more comfortable on the loose climbs. Mainly because I could crawl up them rather than having to "blast" through. When I tried to get the DW to react in this way (shock settings) it suffered greatly on the chunky descents.

  16. #16
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    Maybe you should be comparing the old Spot with the new Spot, not a two generation old RFX (like mine) to a new Spot?

    They're not exactly designed for the same type of riding and comparability is pretty tough.

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    Well, in that case JC, shouldn't the new spot be noticeably better on the climbs compared to the RFX? Or is it your opinion that the RFX climbs every bit as good as the TNT/HL spot? There was a noticeable difference in the amount of speed that I was able to carry into/during climbing, but the overall performance was lacking IMO.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn. Biker123
    Well, in that case JC, shouldn't the new spot be noticeably better on the climbs compared to the RFX?
    I don't know. Lots of variables there. I also wouldn't tune a Spot to be an old RFX. It might not work to its potential.

    Or is it your opinion that the RFX climbs every bit as good as the TNT/HL spot?
    I don't know. I push my pedals and my bike moves forward. The more continuously I push, the less I worry about points of engagement.

    There was a noticeable difference in the amount of speed that I was able to carry into/during climbing, but the overall performance was lacking IMO.
    Fair enough. No need to slag on AndyN's experience.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn. Biker123
    Very well put. Thank you for entertaining the idea of carrying on a legitimate conversation here.

    I found that it was "forced down" to the point where there was deflection rather than absorption. My TNT while requiring a bit more effort (remember my bike weighs considerably more) was much more comfortable on the loose climbs. Mainly because I could crawl up them rather than having to "blast" through. When I tried to get the DW to react in this way (shock settings) it suffered greatly on the chunky descents.
    Well, like JC said below, we're comparing apples and oranges here.

    To add to that, you only had a brief stint on the DW.

    It should also be noted that you're a "tuner" (like many of us), and I doubt that you magically arrived at your ideal pressure/sag/rebound/propedal/saddle/h-bar settings on that single ride. Then there's the lack of an air canister shim on your demo. You mentioned bottom-out being an issue when you adjusted settings, many DW owners have also experienced this and remedied with a shim, or Push's BO bumper.

    You've spent years, and mucho coin, getting your ride dialed. So it's pretty unrealistic to think you'll jump on any other bike and prefer it hands down, especially when you didn't spec the build or have time to dial in the settings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken


    Fair enough. No need to slag on AndyN's experience.
    It is possible that I was trying to mimic the feel of my RFX on a lighter bike, but that is because I enjoy the ride so much. I would love to find a bike that I could drop 5 lbs on and still have the same reliability, and performance range. I was also looking for a bike that might climb even better that the RFX, as it seems that I do have to run lower pressures for loose climbs. This causes me to suffer quite a bit on longer rides. So, what I am saying is that my experience on the DW Spot was lacking somewhat in the area that I needed improvement. I never really had an intention on purchasing a DW spot when I found out DT would release the RFX next year, but I was interested in the dynamic of the DW Link. It was not the "holy grail" of suspensions by any means.

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    Fair enough, thanks!

    However, I think I can dial things in enough to know if I will like the overall feel. I did feel extremely comfy in the cockpit, though.

    I was impressed with your build and if I were to build up a bike like that I think you set a good example for folks who have a similar riding style. If we ever put down the swords for more than a week, I'd really like to give 'er shot.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn. Biker123
    I was interested in the dynamic of the DW Link. It was not the "holy grail" of suspensions by any means.
    Opinions vary.
    I have found the DW Turners to be the best performing suspension design I have ridden.
    This includes years of Horst link bikes, any number of different configurations of single pivot & linkage driven single pivots, several different VPP bikes from SC and Intense, Giant maestro and DW IH bikes.
    I had limited time on the IH and Giants, only a few days each, the rest were typically ridden for about a season +/-.

  23. #23
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    I came off a SP to the DW Spot and there was definitely a tuning/get acquainted time for me. I rode a demo and wasn't totally blown away, mostly because of the build and setup. But when I got out of the box and imagined my setup on the frame I was sold on it. I tend to get very type-A with tuning and getting things just right. I also get very in tune with my setup and feel when just about anything is off. So the initial transition had some bumps. Now I love the bike.

    Once you have a properly tuned shock the only thing I've observed that would make the DW Spot not feel as good as another bike on some climbs would be the low BB. The BB on the spot is a .25"+ lower than my last bike so that took some time to get used to. I remember thinking my SP climbed better for the first couple months. Since getting dialed with the lower BB and the setup I wouldn't say that. Plus the cornering and descending is sick on the DW Spot.

    Also, MtnBiker123 I've noticed when riding a 160mm bike you do get the feeling that you can tractor up and over anything especially if the BB is up there. I can understand where you're coming from. There would be a significant transition for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LncNuvue

    Also, MtnBiker123 I've noticed when riding a 160mm bike you do get the feeling that you can tractor up and over anything especially if the BB is up there. I can understand where you're coming from. There would be a significant transition for you.
    My BB is far from up there. I have just made adjustments. The cornering was questionable. In undulating tight'ish turns the g-outs were pretty sloppy. I experienced that mid-stroke wabble (probably because I was running the shock pretty low, which seems to be norm). I could see that with a 160mm fork and a coil it could be as good as my TNT RFX in these areas, but again, I don't think "better" would be a word that I would use.

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    How did it feel on fireroads?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn. Biker123
    My BB is far from up there. I have just made adjustments. The cornering was questionable. In undulating tight'ish turns the g-outs were pretty sloppy. I experienced that mid-stroke wabble (probably because I was running the shock pretty low, which seems to be norm).
    I hear ya. I've worked to tune out the mid-stroke wabble you mention. The bike can rip through turns undulating or not. I rode some freshly rained on trail yesterday and got to fully open her up through some sweet linked turns. The bike allows you to carry great speed and tracks so well. This is kind of moot in regards to your situation I *think* given your riding style you wouldn't be happy on a spot anyway. Feel free to correct me

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    Your right, I'm not at all interested in the spot, but, I am trying to determine whether the (air sprung) RFX with DW link might be a viable upgrade. Of course since there are minimal details on the RFX in regards to specs we won't really know if it will be just a "big brother" or a completely new design like the HL was.

    My point is that I just don't think (from what I have experienced so far) that the DW can "out-perform" the older models. AndyN is right, though. I did spend a lot of time and money dialing in the RFX, I just doubt I will have that kind of time and money if/when the DW-RFX comes out. It will need to be pretty spot on without requiring any kind of custom dampers. The good news is that the 66 should move right on over with the purchase of a cheap upper headset cup.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn. Biker123
    So, what I am saying is that my experience on the DW Spot was lacking somewhat in the area that I needed improvement. It was not the "holy grail" of suspensions by any means.
    This is your main point (and a valid point) that has been repeated by many others. Remember in the first reviews of the dw 5-spot most professional reviews said it was a nice improvement over an already good design - going from a 9 to a 9.25.

    Most suspension designs are quite good and are only going to be incrementally better, in my opinion, than other designs. Most all claims are hype - no matter if it comes from that Chumba fellow, Tony E or DW.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2TurnersNotEnough
    Really? Rear end traction under pedaling loads is one of the big improvements over the old rocker designs. I can get out of the saddle on my Sultan and mash down and the rear end hooks up with no shifting required.
    Same experience here...in fact, if one were to go back & read my initial impressions of the dw, it was the limitless (seemingly) traction while mashing uphill in the rough that really blew me away. I have never ridden a design that maintained the amount of traction that the dw does, and that includes the 2 Horst Turners and the 4 TNT Turners I owned prior.


  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyN
    Against my better judgement I'll engage you in dialogue concerning the differences I have experienced with regards to HL>TNT>DW when climbing steep terrain.

    HL & DW exhibit anti-squat characteristics which help the rider to keep the front end planted on really steep pitches. I have found that the DW seems to have much more anti-squat than the HL, so on any given climb there is less tendency for the front end to lift and wander. This same anti-squat is responsible for increased traction as the tire is forced downward into the ground.

    The problems I experienced with TNT were limited to very steep inclines. When powering up a steep climb the rear end would tend to sag excessively and struggle for traction, at the same time the front end would lift and things would get ugly.

    It takes a steeper incline to force the HL into this traction/front end wander struggle, and steeper still for the DW.

    They are all great bikes IME, but the differences are there.
    I agree. My Burner is a HL and it doesn't squat. My former Spot was a TNT and it squated a lot (Hmmmm... Squatedalot...) and it didn't climb as well as my Burner (maybe because my legs couldn't get full extension?) and the front end would lift. The DW Spots I demo'd didn't squat, the front end didn't lift and all was good.
    Who's in charge, the thinker or the thought?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn. Biker123
    Your right, I'm not at all interested in the spot, but, I am trying to determine whether the (air sprung) RFX with DW link might be a viable upgrade. Of course since there are minimal details on the RFX in regards to specs we won't really know if it will be just a "big brother" or a completely new design like the HL was.

    My point is that I just don't think (from what I have experienced so far) that the DW can "out-perform" the older models. AndyN is right, though. I did spend a lot of time and money dialing in the RFX, I just doubt I will have that kind of time and money if/when the DW-RFX comes out. It will need to be pretty spot on without requiring any kind of custom dampers. The good news is that the 66 should move right on over with the purchase of a cheap upper headset cup.
    Did I miss something or are you comparing the DW Spot you rode with a couple of Spots you owned in the past? Or are you only comparing it with your heavyweight current RFX?
    It just doesn't seem like you have a basis for knowing if the DW Spot rides differently than Spots of old.
    Who's in charge, the thinker or the thought?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus
    This is your main point (and a valid point) that has been repeated by many others. Remember in the first reviews of the dw 5-spot most professional reviews said it was a nice improvement over an already good design - going from a 9 to a 9.25.

    Most suspension designs are quite good and are only going to be incrementally better, in my opinion, than other designs. Most all claims are hype - no matter if it comes from that Chumba fellow, Tony E or DW.
    pretty dumb statement here. while i agree that some designs are hype, this doesn't mean most of them are, including DW link. do you have extensive time on a DW link bike? or a DW Turner for that matter? i do, and while i have ridden other designs that don't live up to their claims, DW's desgin is the real deal. all the naysayers can trash it all they want, but until you own one and have enough time on it to have it tuned right, you can't possibly understand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unclekittykiller
    pretty dumb statement here. while i agree that some designs are hype, this doesn't mean most of them are, including Jonas Brothers link. do you have extensive time on a Jonas Brothers link bike? or a Jonas Brothers Turner for that matter? i do, and while i have ridden other designs that don't live up to their claims, Jonas Brothers's desgin is the real deal. all the naysayers can trash it all they want, but until you own one and have enough time on it to have it tuned right, you can't possibly understand!!!!.
    This is how I read your post.
    Slow-core. -.. .-. .. -. -.- .... --- -- . -... .-. . .--

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    Quote Originally Posted by unclekittykiller
    pretty dumb statement here. while i agree that some designs are hype, this doesn't mean most of them are, including DW link. do you have extensive time on a DW link bike? or a DW Turner for that matter? i do, and while i have ridden other designs that don't live up to their claims, DW's desgin is the real deal. all the naysayers can trash it all they want, but until you own one and have enough time on it to have it tuned right, you can't possibly understand.
    Yup. Hype.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by notaknob
    This is how I read your post.
    no wonder, you've apparently dumbed yourself down from watching Disney channel 24/7. time to grow up and be a big boy.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus
    Yup. Hype.
    BREAKING NEWS: DW Link is nothing but HYPE!
    this message has been brought to you by an all-knowing E-speculator who has never ridden one. yup, it must be hype.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unclekittykiller
    BREAKING NEWS: DW Link is nothing but HYPE!
    this message has been brought to you by an all-knowing E-speculator who has never ridden one. yup, it must be hype.
    It's funny you say that because that's exactly what another company did on another forum just recently, and got their ass handed to them when they opened another can of worms, so to speak, and widened the scope of the original issue.

    What I find interesting is that DW and VPP are being looked at and bashed by "old timers" in the business, or those using "older" designs, which are likely still well-performing, but seem so threatened that they paint it as "fangled" and "hyped". Jesus. It's just a suspension. It's different. Nothing fangled about it. It moves up and down, just like theirs, but does things differently.

    It's almost like when Rock and Roll started coming around and it got panned and maligned as the devil's music.

    I haven't ridden one, but really, if it rides well, then what's the point of maligning it so bad? It's just as viable as anything else out there.

    Hell, I'm sure when we went from urt and high single pivot to multi-link, things heated up there, too.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by unclekittykiller
    no wonder, you've apparently dumbed yourself down from watching Disney channel 24/7. time to grow up and be a big boy.
    I take offense at that. It's a lot of work to come up with sarcastic humor that's easily discernible to the average Internet user.

    And you'll never get me to me stop thinking of Annette Funicello on the Disney Channel. She's just dreamy.

    Slow-core. -.. .-. .. -. -.- .... --- -- . -... .-. . .--

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    It's funny you say that because that's exactly what another company did on another forum just recently, and got their ass handed to them when they opened another can of worms, so to speak, and widened the scope of the original issue.

    What I find interesting is that DW and VPP are being looked at and bashed by "old timers" in the business, or those using "older" designs, which are likely still well-performing, but seem so threatened that they paint it as "fangled" and "hyped". Jesus. It's just a suspension. It's different. Nothing fangled about it. It moves up and down, just like theirs, but does things differently.

    It's almost like when Rock and Roll started coming around and it got panned and maligned as the devil's music.

    I haven't ridden one, but really, if it rides well, then what's the point of maligning it so bad? It's just as viable as anything else out there.

    Hell, I'm sure when we went from urt and high single pivot to multi-link, things heated up there, too.
    No one is maligning anything. Each company will claim they are the best. Most of these claims are hype. Simple. Hype.

    We are actually saying the exact the same thing.

  40. #40
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    Well, there can be only one #1 so, really, all others are just hype....but which one is #1?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn. Biker123
    Well, there can be only one #1 so, really, all others are just hype....but which one is #1?
    Well DUH, Chumba's suspension is number one! It's so good, it's worth banning both Jerk Chicken AND Jayem from mtbr.
    ****

  42. #42
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    Hah, in some time, mtbr and chumba will be asking themselves if it was worth it.

  43. #43
    trail fairy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn. Biker123
    I thought that the DW broke traction more than my TNT on loose climbs until I let a bit of air out of the shock, but then I had BO problems. Nothin' a coil wouldn't fix though. Still, I was very happy to be back on my TNT.
    Ya got a very well setup RFX dude and thats the secret most don't get, still I do like and have grwon to like the current DW Turners, not that Ive had the pleasure you have.

    So very interesting thoughts!

    chur
    Just riding a muddy trail. . ..

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