Long Termer Review: Jamie’s Turner 5-Spot

March 1, 2012

Jamie's finally got all the bits to build his extra-large Turner 5-Spot together - what are his plans then?

Silverfish http://silverfish-uk.com/
£2,199 frame & shock with anodised finish
Jamie's build so far...

Price: £2,199 frame & shock with anodised finish

From: Silverfish

The arrival of my Turner 5-Spot frame for long-term test certainly caused a stir when it arrived in the lead up to to Christmas.

In this first instalment, I’m going to offer my views on why I picked it, the components I’ve chosen to complete the build and what I plan to do with it over the next few months.

The 5-Spot is a trail bike that Singletrack has had plenty of experience with. It was first tested back in 2003 (Issue 12) in its original four bar, Horst link guise. In 2006 it was changed to a TNT design, Turner-speak for a faux bar single pivot. In 2009 Dave Weagle helped redesign the suspension system, the bike moving to a DW-link and we rode that bike in Issue 48. Now, revised further and referred to as Version 4.2, it retains the well-received DW-link, incorporates various design tweaks and revised geometry, bringing it bang up to date. It’s a design that’s been adapted and gradually evolved over time.

I was particularly drawn to the 5-Spot after spending four years on the carbon fibre but similarly DW-linked Ibis Mojo. I think it’s going to be interesting to see the shared characteristics and nuances between these two interpretations of the DW suspension platform.

There is also some small part of me that wants to fly against current trends. After being an early converter to the second generation of carbon fibre built mountain bikes with my Ibis, I’m interested to see if a premium-priced aluminium frame can still compete in the continued onslaught of the carbon world.

During its nine year lifespan the 5-Spot has always cleverly traded on its versatility. That’s certainly something I look for in a bike; able to handle the sort of local riding I do, whilst still being up for some bigger distance adventures and even being capable of Alpine riding if required.

I’m also drawn to it aesthetically. There is definite appeal in it’s classic lines and the carefully considered, subtle features. It’s a frame full of fine detail. I also think it’s definitely a bike that is more appealing in the flesh, even in its XL sized proportions. The anodised, somewhat burnt (autumn?) orange finish is easy on the eye, without being shouty or too understated. I think it’s just right; classy and quietly purposeful. For those looking for even greater stealth, anodised ‘black’ and ‘raw’ finishes are also available.

My initial focus for parts to compliment the 5 Spot has been all about finding sensibly priced components that will cope with a broad range of UK riding.

So far I’ve got a set of non-tapered 2012 Magura Thor forks with 150mm of travel. Drive-train comes in the form of SRAM’s revised X7 groupset (2X10) from Fisher Outdoor Leisure, partnered with a Shimano 2012 Deore brakeset (180mm F&R) and a Shimano 2012 XT Trail wheelset from Madison. I estimate that the build will weigh around the 28lb mark despite the extra large frame, which isn’t bad for a sensibly built trail bike. Having that as a starting point should give me plenty of room for manoeuvre each side of the scales, depending on intended use. My build is almost complete now thanks to the arrival of an FSA headset from Windwave and I’ll be reporting back as soon as I’ve been able to get out on it.

Lastly, I should note that my bike came fitted with a Fox RP23 shock but UK distributor Silverfish are speccing the new Fox RP23 Kashima coated shock as standard now.

I’m keen to hear if anyone else is building up a 5-Spot and the direction they’re taken with their build – so leave a comment below…

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Bikes Long Termers