After years of collaboration and months of anticipation and secrecy, it has finally become official that the next company to use DW-Link and build the next DW-Link downhill bike is Turner Bikes.
Check out their 2009 line up:
Here are DW's own words where he explains how the DHR, and other new Turner bikes have improved and his reasons for moving to Turner:
Everyone who has spent time on the interwebs and cycling forums knows that the Turner homers are some of the most passionate and opinionated riders to ever ride and scrutinize a bicycle. As someone who thrives on riding and scrutinizing bicycles, I am thrilled to join your family.
Thanks to all of you who have sent kind words of support, encouragement, and excitement about the dw-link / Turner partnership. I’m as excited as you are. Many of you who know me, either in person or through years of talking on forums, know that Turner has been one of the brands that I’ve really looked up to since I first got into mountain bikes in the late ‘90s. I’ve always been a big fan of the Turner hallmarks of quality, straightforward design, and customer service. I think that this new dw-linked line really will help keep that tradition going. As a rider, I can say that the Turner dw-links are each as individually unique as the dw-link designs used by Ibis and Pivot. I urge you to test the bikes, whatever opinion you hold from a picture or prior experience will be backed up with real, live experience. I am looking forward to hearing all of the homer feedback. To that end, I’ll be available at the Turner, IBIS, and Pivot booths at Interbike and Dirt Demo for Q&A, general grilling, and hopefully a lot more talk about great rides than the finer points of rear suspension..
I’ve briefly scanned the hundreds and hundreds of posts / questions that have popped up since yesterday on the multitude of boards. I will try to answer some of the more commonly occurring questions that I saw.
- Can you switch links back and forth between different dw-link Turner models
A: Nope, dw-link is a lot more reliant on specific pivot location and kinematic layout than FSR or TNT. The ability to tune and characterize dw-link’s comparatively complex anti-squat and wheel rate curves comes through closely calibrated suspension geometry. Even very small changes, less than 2mm, can have major and unplanned effects on performance.
- Will the Turner dw-links ride like other dw-link bikes that I have ridden
A: The development of a new dw-link bike is a collaborative affair. For the Turner bikes, the process starts with frame geometry developed by DT himself. This is the first part that gives each bike a unique Turner personality. All dw-link bikes ever made share one common factor. I was responsible for the development of the suspension kinematics for each of these bikes. Whether it’s an Iron Horse, Ibis, Pivot, Turner, or IF, the how’s and why’s of the dw-link suspension begin and end here. So from one standpoint, the bikes are going to ride similarly in some respects, but for the most part they are all very different.
The heart of the dw-link system is its position sensitive anti-squat, and this is shared by all dw-link platforms. There is a very wide range of variability in wheel rate possible within the dw-link system, and I use this to help create each unique suspension bike’s personality. I work hand in hand with each manufacturer to help them realize their idea of what the ultimate suspension bike feels like on the trail. Based on the feedback that I gathered from talking with and riding with Dave Turner and his trusted advisors, I developed wheel rates and ultimately leverage rates to give us the “feel” that we were looking for.
The realization of these ideas on “feel” are what makes each bike special. For example, an Ibis Mojo was engineered to have a coil-like feel using a lightweight air shock, a Pivot Mach 4 was made to have a racy XC feel with very neutral braking, and a Turner 5-Spot was designed to eat small bumps and still take the big hit.
- I think that the bikes look sweet, ugly, like IH bikes, like a Turner, etc
A: I think that this is another area that really lets a company like Turner showcase their abilities. If you put these bikes in a lineup of 100 frames, I could pick them out as Turners instantly. Round downtubes, CNC pivot blocks, bushing pivots, square chainstays and seatstays? I can think of only one manufacturer that combines these elements. The bikes are uniquely Turner, and in a world of swoops and forming I think that they are refreshing.
Someone commented that this is what the dw-link Iron Horse line would have looked like moving forward. To all of the you who commented really like the look of the Iron Horse dw-link bikes, thanks for the nice complement, these were my babies, and I developed every inch of them from the ground up. They were my first (and for now I am content to say last) attempt at styling a whole line. For sure there are things that I would have liked to do differently, but the situation at IH did not allow that. Either way, I am proud of those bikes and it was a great experience for me. If I had decided to allow IH to continue building dw-link bikes, they would have been much different looking than the Turner bikes. Aside from the general dw-link layout the similarities would have ended there.
- Is the DHR a new Sunday etc
Back in 2000 and 2001, when I really was heavily into developing dw-link, I spent more time than I should have posting on the MTBR forums about the finer points of suspension design. During that time, the number one downhill bike that I recommended to riders was the DHR. I knew when I designed the Sunday that this was the benchmark. Since then it seems like the Sunday has become the new downhill benchmark, but I still thought that I could improve upon it based on my experience on the World Cup circuit and feedback from many talented riders. Think of the new DHR as an evolution of the ideas that made both the DHR and Sunday successful.The things that I specifically put attention into with the new DHR include
- a pretty nifty dual progressive leverage rate curve that is supple in the early travel, with the end travel ramp that the Sunday lacked.
- modified spring rates, so that a 155 lb rider will now use a 350lb spring rather than a 300lb spring. This will give lighter riders more tuning options.
- lighter weight layout. The Sunday was impressively light, but this bike’s frame takes it to a new level in my opinion. Alone it weighs in the 7’s, and in the low 8’s with shock. Its light and strong at the same time.
I'm sure everybody wants to see the bikes now
5 Spot Geo
Sultan 29 Geo
The Highline is missing from the lineup, maybe in the future we will see whether there are any plans for it.
The 2009 Turner website
is up as well.