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First Look: Turner's Carbon Racer - Sea Otter 2013

Apr 18, 2013
by Mike Levy  
Turner Czar

A Turner First

The rise of carbon fiber and its advantages, both perceived and actual, has meant that handmade aluminum frames don't carry the same panache as they once did. This fact has transformed the market, with nearly every brand offering carbon models throughout their lineup. Turner Bicycles is company that had stuck to their guns, though, by producing US-made frames that many riders sought out regardless of their aluminum make up. David Turner, the man behind the name, knew that he would have to offer a carbon model at some point, though, and the 100mm travel Czar is their first stab at full carbon fiber frame. No, Turner's aluminum models won't be disappearing anytime soon, but expect carbon to play a big part in the California company's future.

While Turner's 125mm travel Sultan 29er can be assembled as a light duty trail bike, the shorter travel Czar has been penned as true cross-country race weapon. Having said that, the bike will also likely be embraced by those who might not race but are still looking for an sporty ride as their everyday steed. The frame's 5.3lb weight (with a FOX Float CTD shock) also means that gram counters out there have a good platform to start their build on. Turner plans to offer the Czar frame for $2995 USD, just $500 more than their aluminum Sultan.

Turner Czar Details

• Completely new 29er model
• Carbon fiber front and rear triangles
• Rear wheel travel: 100mm
• DW-Link suspension
• Journal bearing pivots
• PF30 bottom bracket
• 12 x 142mm DT RWS axle
• Two bottle mount locations
• Frame weight: 5.3lb w/ FOX Float CTD shock
• Made in Taiwan
• MSRP $2995 USD


Turner Czar

Tuned DW-Link

As you might expect, the Czar employs Dave Weagle's renowned DW-Link suspension layout that Turner utilizes throughout their entire lineup. Turner told us the Weagle has made some very important changes to the system's pivot locations to better suit both the bike's 100mm of travel and race inspired intentions, with the specially tuned FOX Float CTD shock and the bike's anti-squat characteristics being different from what is found elsewhere in Turner's lineup. Interestingly, while many suspension designs are being optimized for use with either a double or single-ring setup, the Czar's DW-Link system is laid out to function well with a standard triple-ring drivetrain. The reasoning for this, Turner told us, is that he feels many riders still prefer and use three chain rings, despite the movement to simpler drivetrains.

Pivot hardware has also seen an update, with lighter weight fasteners holding everything together, as well as new threaded-in grease ports that should make for a more reliable maintenance system (the old style press-fit ports could push out if overfilled with grease). Journal bearing pivots are still used at each location.

Turner Czar

Frame Details

While the Czar's front triangle is a single bladder molded unit, the bike's rear end is actually manufactured in three different pieces and then bonded together. Yes, it might have been simpler to construct the back of the bike in one go, but doing it in three different sections allows the factory to attain proper void-free compaction of the complicated areas around the yoke and link attachement points. Up front, Turner has gone with a true press-fit headset cup interference rather than the far more common ''drop in'' setup used by most carbon frames. There is no aluminum sleeve - the cups press in against the carbon tube - but Turner is confident that the snug interference fit is far more robust in the long run.
bigquotesWe're going to place the carbon bikes in our line where we feel they're most advantageous to the type of rider they're aimed at. We're going to look at those people who are hyper conscious about saving every gram they can. - David Turner, Turner Bicycles

www.turnerbikes.com

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73 Comments
  • 25 9
 It looks HAWT, and the metal wear plates, such a great idea, Turner is a genius.
  • 9 0
 It is a very nice looking bike and the Metal wear plates are a great idea. I think the nod goes to Santa Cruz for those recessed plates though.. www.pinkbike.com/photo/6358516
  • 8 5
 Actually Trek has been doing metal wear plates for years.
  • 9 4
 if you are referring to the 'carbon armor' business on trek, those are not metal plates, those are hard plastic protectors for rocks and debris.
  • 3 1
 @NorthVanMan, I was thinking the same thing, on the money, that bike is hot
  • 3 0
 they're definitely gonna get an XC team with this thing.
  • 11 0
 The metal wear plates have been around for a while, especially on carbon rode bikes. Not Turner's genius idea. Bike looks really sweet though.
  • 2 1
 Interesting location for the derailer cable, on top of the chainstay. Good thing those one way clutch derailers work well..
  • 3 2
 nope never been done before. not on a Mojo or Undead frame. oh, wait... d'oh!
  • 4 0
 Titus did on their 2009 FTM.......
  • 5 3
 I like that the bike is full carbon not the carbon front triangle only that most companies try to pass of as a carbon bike. *Specialized*
  • 1 0
 Dam I going to miss those sexy handmade welds found on all turner frames but I guess carbon going to take over. What is up with the wild low bottom bracket height? On all turners??? Even the new turner dh frame is soo low I see people walking thru rough sections because of clearance and confidence issues. The frame is like a piece of artwork but clearence problem makes it more of a wall hanger. My a.m. bike has same bb height as the turner dhr and only 6" travel. With 9" inch travel you going to smash everything on the trail.
  • 1 0
 bb drop = excellent handling.
  • 1 0
 Ya I am well aware of the concept behind low bb, I come from bmx racing the lowest bb's ever. My question is for the dhr, having 9" travel sagging to 30% your chainrings are 2 milimeters off the ground just sitting still. Add 30mph and a couple drops and guess what??? Now your handling the ground smashing your chainring/bb area. The reason I bring this up is because I have witness someone on dhr having to walk around tech sections while I cruise right thru. Hows that low bb handling now lool?? I'm a big fan of turner and think their construction is top ranking. Geo is another story. Maybe race bikes don't suit the average skilled rider.
  • 1 0
 You just sail over that stuff. That's the technique. Jump it.
  • 3 0
 In all seriousness, no they dont. They are low, long and slack. And difficult for an average rider to ride correctly. They perform best at mach 10.
  • 1 1
 I know that and you know that but 99% of riders are not going anywhere close to mach 10. Even at top speed one rogue rock could send your low rider sag machine into the tumble dry.
  • 13 1
 Good to see posts for us XC riders too. Thanx Pink Guys!
  • 7 0
 Nice to see Turner getting into the Carbon play ground. With all the sleek looking carbon bikes out there, kinda cool he kept the industrial look !
  • 5 0
 Pimp bike Dave. Expect nothing but high quality from anything with your name on it.
  • 5 0
 I don't do xc but if I did im sure id be droolin!
  • 8 1
 I do xc and I'm drooling
  • 6 2
 Excited to see the Made in Taiwan sticker/laser etch.
  • 1 0
 I'm pretty sure this is one of those "if you're asking how much it is you probably can't afford it" bikes
And I'd rip the shit outta it. Straight to the N. Shore to ride with Tippie on his new RM carbon xc bike. At night.
  • 2 0
 I am still waiting for Turner to put out the RFX that they said was going to come out a while ago.
  • 2 0
 after riding a Knolly Chilcotin for over a year and spending some time on my friends Pivot Firebird i really think the 5spot is all you need to rip freeride. If you feel like you need more travel get a DH bike or go to a spring shock/fork on your 5-6in bike. The chilcotin/firebird 6-7in bikes RIP trails like Ashland OR and Downieville CA where you want the travel but still have a little pedaling but they are not quiver killers.
  • 1 0
 I think that project kinda turned into the new 27.5" burner, that seems to be their new am/enduro aimed bike, that and the fact the 5 spot has been tweeks in recent years so it can be run as a trial bike or stick a bigger fork and single ring on it for a more "free ride" style, same can be said for the burner.
  • 1 0
 I still think the RFX has a place, but maybe I am a minority and it's not worth putting the bike into production. something similar to the firebird would be perfect, which I though the RFX was going to be. Although I wouldn't mind a slightly slacker HA. I am not a huge fan of the firebird in some aspects of its geo. I like my 6Point which I have slackened out and changed the shock on, but it isn't in production anymore. Maybe i'll go for a Banshee Rune and see how that rides.
  • 2 1
 Turner, Burner, That bike is a boss! From Downhill to Country to Cross, Yet Pricey, Why buy a bike dicey, SO GO WITH TURNER!
  • 1 0
 carbon isn't just for XC - I don't care about weight, I have a carbon nomad because I love the ride quality that the stiffness brings
  • 3 0
 Sad to see the elevated chainstay disappear.
  • 2 0
 Carbon, carbon, carbon....Is there any aluminum frames out there? Cos' I still love a good welding job!!
  • 2 2
 Great to see Turner with a proper rear triangle instead of that horrendous monstrosity DW Link thing they have on most of their models now. Thats a sweet looking frame.
  • 5 1
 The DW*Link design & prominent label must be a little out of place on this "proper" rear triangle then.
  • 1 0
 12x142 on an XC bike? That's something I've not seen before. I guess hubs are moving in that direction, though.
  • 1 0
 Pretty common on modern XC bikes. Started with the Specialized Epic 29er. It's just a better way to attach a wheel to a frame and is the way mountain bikes should be going anyway.
  • 2 1
 I like turners. But I don't like the execution on this bike.. looks like 1990's carbon esthetics
  • 1 0
 I want that exact set-up, but I'll save $2000 and go with Stan's wheels over the ENVEs. Damn that is a fine looking bike...
  • 1 1
 32t chainring and a 44t big-cog on the cassette? Is that a 29er set-up thing or something? WTF is a 44t cassette cog, where did THAT come from?!?! ... weird.
  • 4 3
 my head will explode if anyone says this looks like a ____ .
  • 9 0
 looks like a pretty nice rig.
  • 1 0
 Boom.
  • 4 0
 Norb?
  • 1 0
 Grease ports for bushings?
  • 1 0
 Yep. The journal bearings is another name for bushings. Pivots that last seasons, sometimes the life of the frame.
  • 2 1
 sick as a leper with an itch
  • 2 0
 no RFX no care
  • 1 0
 "czar" is a polish word which means "spell". like magics and stuff
  • 1 0
 and it's an english word for Tsar
  • 1 0
 I wonder where their hiding the carbon dhr?
  • 1 0
 those housing guides on the chainstay - so simple - so perfect!
  • 1 1
 oof. I guess I need to get out more.
  • 1 0
 awesome sause
  • 1 0
 sauzze*

or zauce
  • 4 0
 Or sauce even.
  • 2 2
 Is that an ibis rear triangle? lol...
  • 1 0
 SCHWING...!
  • 1 0
 Weird looking IBIS
  • 1 0
 Exactly....disappointing
  • 2 2
 Looked at wheel size.. 29er... lost interest.
  • 1 0
 damn so hot
  • 1 0
 $2,995 is funny.
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