Long Termer Review: Jamie’s Turner 5-Spot

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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…

Review Info

From:Silverfish http://silverfish-uk.com/
Price:£2,199 frame & shock with anodised finish
Tested:by Jamie for

Comments (0)

    Good luck with the build Jamie. Mine is just being built at Blazing Saddles at the mo. Its a bargain 2010 frame and its getting a mix of new bits and stuff from my old 5 spot which has lasted 7 years or so. Will probably come up at least 30 pounds. Can’t wait to pick her up on Saturday. Enjoy your bike, I know I will!

    Built a 5 Spot up last summer and absolutely love it. I built mine up with a XT groupset and Dt Swiss forks and comes in around 29lbs.
    Love the colour you’ve got. Enjoy the ride

    Looking at folks in the states, 160mm forks, angleset headsets and even 1*10 are being considering for the new spots.

    Jamie, I think they’ve downgraded the shocks on 2012 models. Think it’s an rp2.

    Cant seem to find in issuse 49 where you first rode the DW?

    Can you point me in the right direction please!

    *editor* It’s been fixed now – should have been Issue 48

    I rode my 03 5spot for 8 years on DH race courses, at 24hour races and trails in Oz, NZ, USA, UK and EU!
    I now have an 2011, my wife has a 2010 and hopefully they’ll have similarly adventureous lives. Awesome bike! I don’t look at other bikes now!

    Cheers Chips!

    I’ve been riding a 2010 5 spot for the last 18 months and love it! Been tinkering with the build all the way through and have settled with 160mm bomber rc3 ti’s (brilliant!), works components angleset (1 degree slacker head angle), reverb seat post and 1×10. It’s a bit portly at just over 31lbs, but still climbs pretty well, descends brilliantly and is very reliable. Have fun building yours up – that orange looks really good! ISG mounts a massive bonus too.

    How tall are you that you needed an XL ??

    Thanks for the initial feedback. Clearly some well-heeled riders returning to newer incarnations of the 5-Spot, after years spent on older frames. Bodes very well.

    As has been mentioned, the new model really does offer plenty of options for the eternal tweaker in you.

    A few answers…

    The rear shock: True to our 2012 Silverfish Catalogue, UK buyers get the Fox RP23 Kashima coated shock upgrade, as standard. Incoming 2012 Turner frames are scheduled for landing in early April. Should anyone be looking for a complete build, your local Turner dealer will be able to talk you through the options.

    Sizing: The 5-Spot comes in 5 sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL) so you can even go up a notch, should you be more vertically endowed. This XL frame has an effective TT of 24.5inch (622mm), marries a 6ft 3″ human, 34″ leg nicely.

    Hi, this will be interesting as I’ve gone the other way and just built up a Mojo SL from a HL 5 Spot. My build was light at about 26lbs, the Mojo is 25lbs and, in my opinion, a much more capable and stiffer frame; but I’m coming from an old HL 5 Spot; I suspect the DW Spot is similar to the Mojo. As a massive Turner fan (I also have a HL Burner) I’d say their customer service is a huge bonus, as are the bushing with the grease ports that just last forever. Both ace bikes I guess, so I’m interested to see how you’d compare them. I have some Stans rims with American Classic/Hope II hubs with DT Revs and 2.25 UST Racing Ralphs – can’t fault them for reliability, weight and not had a flat for 2 years now. I found the DT Swiss EXC 150 a great, reliable fork for the Spot – huge maintenance interval. Cheers, Mac

    Has this been finished yet ? I recently bought a 2004 5Spot and i can honestly say, after riding numerous full suspension bikes, this is definitely the best ! Grin factor is off the scale. All up weight, 27.5lbs (in old money)

    anthemrules! Sincere apologies, it has been a very busy summer (including riding this mainly!) We’ve actually got the 5 Spot scheduled for a full Grinder Review in our next Issue – 77 (November).

    Thats ok singletrackjay. I’m curious to hear what you have to say about it. Would like to know if the original design has been updated for the better, or just following fashion……

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