Interbike 2010: Turner Bikes and Belt Drives

by Chipps 24

It’s always a pleasure to see David Turner at events like the Sea Otter and Interbike. David is a great engineer (and a pretty handy rider too) but he’s got no time for marketing and hype. His always refreshing take on things is worth parching in the desert for. If he’s having trouble developing a prototype, he’ll tell you. If he thinks that a new hub, or BB standard is silly, he’ll tell you that too. His bikes come in simple colours, with simple graphics and he’s happy to chat about any aspect of them.

So without further ado, here’s the new RFX prototype.

Turner RFX

The flat grey of an unfinished proto, rather than the flat grey of a finished bike.

DW Link gives 6.5in/165mm of travel

This'll be Turner's first frame with the new 142mm thru-axle rear 'standard'

Unbolt-able dropouts in case of incident. Turner's first new derailleur hanger for 11 years appearently.

This was before the essential installation of technical zipties for the hose of the Rockshox Reverb uppydowny post.

Full 1.5in/44mm headtube for big (or tapered) forks. Lovely bit of head tube embossing too.

No, you can't buy one. That's why it says 'Prototype'. Out in 2011 though.

Turner Sultan

And now here’s the Sultan. A bike that Turner was initially a little sceptical about introducing a few years ago, but it’s proved to be a very big hit. For 2011 Turner has shortened the headtube (and is running a 44mm semi inset headset) to keep the front end down for 120mm forks.

Maybe it's just us, but big-wheelers are looking less kooky than they used to.

Tapered Fox 29er forks up front, a 44mm head tube and a degree slacker head angle to 69.5°

Post mount rear, first seen last year, Turner has now integrated it into its dropouts - which feature replaceable trunion bolts for the hamfisted.

Turner DHR

That’s not a 29er… Nope, the Turner DHR is finally in production. And by the sound of things, Turner reckons it’ll run out again in about three weeks, such is the demand for the first run of bikes.

There's a DW Link in there somewhere.

Now that's a low and mean looking stance.

Gates Carbon Drive

Gates has just launched its new Centretrack – OK ‘Centertrack’ in their parlance, as an update to the carbon belt system first introduced in 2007. The new carbon drive belt is thinner than the old one, and features a central slot which engages in the newly redesigned cogs.

Brand new sprockets in aluminium (or probably steel for hub gears)

Chunky aluminium chainring is actually lighter than the old one. Here's a good angle on the belt's slot.

The new narrow belt means that it should clear frames with Alfine hub gears better. It'll also keep the belt running centrally even if knocked off line (or if you've set the chainline up wonky)

The Squirt lubes guys were providing a fine public service, weighing bikes. We might run a few 2011 models past this tomorrow and see how silly bikes are getting these days.

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Comments (24)

  1. I do love the ‘industrialness’ of the styling and finish on the Turners ……

  2. Thanks for posting.

    What about the 5 spot?

  3. Anyone else think the new centretrack looks like it will get gunked up (particularly if wet) and then not mesh correctly with the gearing? Which defeats the ‘simple’ nature of the belt drive?

  4. Thanks for being quick off the mark Chippy!
    Don’t journos take their own scales anyway?

  5. I had a quick spin the DHR last month, feels really light (about 38 lbs) and really solid and super plush.

  6. I’d have thought a couple of chain-guide type devices, one at the back and one at the front would have been a simpler solution to keeping the belt running centrally.

  7. Great info so far…. Any news on changes to the Flux for 2011?

  8. Love the replaceable bolt insert thing.

  9. Hopefully the 2nd generation belt design combined with the new 11 speed alfine might mean a few more ‘mainstream’ hub gear belt drive bikes soon.

  10. mmmm that RFX looks nice.
    Why is it I always love the raw prototype finishes.

  11. Agree the RFX looks great, it looked good last year at Interbike too. I wish he’d get it out in the shops.

  12. The biggest improvement Gates could make would be to start selling their belt and sprockets in a wider array of sizes. Hopefully they will be doing that with this new design.

  13. that RFX is a right dogs dinner…

    what happened to the long awaiting all new designed rfx? ditched the idea as it is too expensive?

  14. Get the RFX up on those scales!

    Any idea what size shock the RFX has Chipps?

  15. Chunkypaul – personally I’m glad the curved tubes have been ditched. I think it looks great. Of course this prototype might not be how it turns out, but I noticed the image has changed on the official site too.

  16. i was initially wanting to update my 6 pack with the new RFX, but ended up with a more adaptable and better built Nicolai with what’s still considered the better [Horst Link] suspension design.

    does that RFX have any adjustability on rear travel ?

  17. “a degree slacker head angle to 69.5°”
    Isn’t that a typical head angle for 26″ wheeled 120mm (XC) bikes? Let alone a 29″er?

  18. If anything is typical then yes. But what do you mean “let alone a 29″er?”

  19. The Flux and 5Spot appear unchanged for 2011, but I’ll ask when I see him today

  20. Jeez, change the record t_l_r, we all know you have a hard on for Kalle…

  21. The Flux and 5Spot appear unchanged for 2011, but I’ll ask when I see him today[/I]

    Are you sure? I’ve heard lower bb, slacker and 44mm head tube.

  22. the finish on the sultan looks to be anodized…true? any info as to whether the bikes might be ano’d?

  23. Yep they’re getting the ano finish

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