After returning to cycling from a necessary break due to school, I was in the market for a new ride about 5 years ago. My background, (from a kid growing up in the 90’s) was hard tails and BMX bikes. Not being interested in another hard tail MTB, I built up a Mountain Cycle Fury – a singe pivot 5 inch all mountain rig with a Rock Shox PIKE in the front.
It was a blast to ride. The suspension was very active, soaking up most of what I could throw at it, but it had it’s negatives, and they were significant. Being a single pivot design, the rear suspension was very active while pedaling, a trait that got worse the steeper you climbed. It was also a bit loose in the rear end. The amount of flex was very noticeable in certain conditions (sharp turning, rocky trails, etc). Also, it was a tank, partially due to the components I had built it up with, but still, more of a chore to get up the hill than I often wanted to deal with.
Not being completely satisfied with the Mountain Cycle, I decided on a used 2002 Turner RFX, after doing a little more research and spending some time in the Turner forum at www.mtbr.com After building it it, I was amazed at the difference in build quality and overall stiffness of the frame. It still had plushness, but without the flex of a weaker single pivot design.
This bike was a blast to ride, but even worse than the Mountain Cycle, it was heavy (nearly 36 lbs with front and rear coil shocks, Mavic 823’s and burly tires – once again, partially my fault). When Turner had his blow out sale in 2008 right before switching to the DW link design, I picked up a new 5.5 Spot, and have been loving it ever since.
It’s at least 5 pounds lighter than my old RFX, and it has nearly the same amount of travel. Being a bike that can do it all, it’s one of Turner’s best selling models. I haven’t had a chance to ride one of the new DW link bikes yet, and I often get upgrade-itis while browsing around on the internet, thinking about how cool it would be to have one – but every time I take my Spot out, it all seems to fade.
Spec list below.
Fork – Rock Shox Revelation Dual Air Race
Headset – Cane Creek 110
Stem – Hope 110mm x 10 deg with Hope spacers
Bars – Easton EA70 Hi-rise Monkey Bars with Cane Creek Ergo Control II Bar Ends
Grips – ESI Chunky Silicone
Brakes – Formula The One
Shifters – Sram XO Grip Shifters
Front Der – Shimano XT
Rear Der – Sram XO
Crankset – Shimano XTR-M970 with Blackspire 24-36 rings and a Superlight BBG Bashguard
Bottom Bracket – Enduro “Zero” Ceramic Hybrid
Cassette – Sram PG-990 11-34
Seatpost – Thomson Elite with Thomson seat post collar
Wheelset – Chris King ISO hubs laced to Mavic 819’s
Front Tire – Bontrager FR3 Expert
Rear Tire – Bontrager FR3 Expert
Seat – WTB Laser V with ti. rails
Pedals – Time ATAC XS Carbon