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Gear

Turner RFX

>THE TECH

Before you all start thinking we really have finally gone completely stark raving mad, we do realise that the bike you see before you does in fact say ’Six Pack’ on it, not RFX, but fear not, it is one and the same. Mr Turner obviously decided that he should never have got rid of the old name and so has brought it back from the dead, unlike his Horst link! I don’t know if they really want much attention brought to the fact that their bikes are no longer true 4–bars, but I can’t help it. In the end it may not make as much of a difference as many would like you to believe, and that’s certainly what Turner now argue, but it just amuses me slightly that for years you probably couldn’t have found a bigger supporter of the 4–bar than Dave Turner. Anyway, whether the change was purely brought about by the financial burden of having to pay someone else for the right to build a frame that way, or simply because of a genuine reassessment of what really matters, we’ll probably never know, but what we do know is that a Turner will not drain your bank balance to quite the same degree that they used to.

There is still no mistaking that this is a Turner though, the build quality is still up there with the best of them, and those rocker plates somehow just scream Turner at you. If you remember the old ‘Burner’ frame from the 90’s then you’ll no doubt know what I’m on about, if you don’t then all I’ll say is that its looks weren’t a million miles removed from the RFX, and until the arrival of the Intense M1 it was probably the most coveted bike on the DH circuit.

One area where Turner certainly haven’t changed their beliefs is the use of bushings for pivots rather than bearings. This didn’t seem that odd years ago, but with almost every other manufacturer using cartridge bearings these days, it does now start to stick out. Those of you with bad bushing experiences might be put off immediately, but you shouldn’t be. If done correctly bushings can easily out perform your average bearing, in all sorts of ways, and are in fact much more suited to the repetitive small angle rotations that you’ll find at any pivot. The beauty of a Turner is that every single pivot has a grease port to help keep things super smooth with a massive lifespan. I know several people with Turners that are donkeys years old, and not one of them has had to do anything other than give them the odd squirt from a grease gun, and they’re still running as sweet as the day they left the factory.

The finish of this frame is undeniably beautiful, and the machined seat and chain stay yolks are not only pleasing on the eye, as they also provide far more tyre clearance than you’d normally expect from a company based on the considerably drier side of the pond. This ethos of not making something stunning just for the sake it can be seen throughout the frame, and it’s one of the things that will always make a Turner special, it may look like a work of art, but it sure as hell isn’t designed to be treated like one. The only possible piece of criticism that I could level at this frame from a design point of view is the rear dropout. It may well be replaceable, but I would have liked to have seen it made just a little bit more substantial so that it doesn’t need replacing quite so often. I suppose if you’ve got an X.0 mech hanging off it you may be glad that it gives way quite so readily. Anyway, as for the crucial matter of whether this bike still rides as well as the Turners of old, I’ll let Steve answer that one… Ed.

 

>THE RIDE

The six inch travel Turner Burner ridden by the likes of the Misser brothers and Will Longden in the mid nineties were pretty sought after machines, they appeared rugged, silent with a deadly competitive finish. On track they got the job done with the minimum amount of fuss and the bike left a positive image in the world of racing. The Six Pack, or RFX as is now known, is a descendant of those bikes and seemed a likely contender for a challenge in todays six inch travel market.


The geometry on this bike is not terribly far off those Burner’s and the bike supports a fork heading on for six inches thereby enabling us to start thinking about the type of riding we’d be heading for. The coil shock backed this up, but the light weight had us heading up the road pedalling to the hot spots rather than sling it in the van and off to some shuttle runs. This is something that has been an issue lately, what are these bikes for? Six equals big, thirty six equals heavy. For longer rides at least. But the Turner is not heavy and if the component speccer’ had gone for some more lightweight items then this would be even better. The Enduro, Nomad and Reign don’t need any chances remember.

Probably more of a long travel trail bike, an occasional downhiller, the Turner is an easy bike to head off into the woods to scout out some tricky descents. Its weight makes any ride over a few hours more than bearable, which a number of six inch bikes might shout about but the reality is far from it. The Six Pack’s seat tube, head tube angle and stem all go towards a middling, do-it-all type of bike.
The ride is middling also and it doesn’t tend to lead you into any particular type of riding. Uphill’s were easy and when you turned the bike in the opposite direction a riders angle and positioning did not seem compromised. Turning is balanced, the bottom bracket is about right for occasional attacks and the bike is quite manoeuvrable. Fitting a short stem will give more attack but anyone nearing six foot might need to try out a few sizes depending on the type of riding they’ll be doing. We found the longer stem and medium bike good for most things.

The change in the rear swingarm over previous models makes this bike very similar to the Kona Coiler in ride characteristic. It’s only OK over the small bumps and needs a battering to get the travel to operate and it’s happy to accommodate when bullied into rocks. This surprised us on the Coiler, and so too on the Six Pack that the only real niggle that nearly all bikes seem to have was noise, and a wrap of Velcro here and there should sort that out easily enough. In short it’s a good fun bike to ride that’ll not spring any surprises on you. Steve Jones.

>SPEC

 

Frame: TURNER RFX, 6” TRAVEL

Rear Shock: FOX DHX 5.0

Fork: MANITOU SHERMAN FIREFLY PLUS

Headset: RACE FACE DEUS

Stem: RACE FACE DIABOLUS

Bars: RACE FACE DIABOLUS

Grips: TIOGA

Shifters: SRAM X.9

Rear Mech: SRAM X.9

Front Mech: SHIMANO XT

Brakes: MAGURA LOUISE FR

Hubs : HOPE BULB

Rims: MAVIC XM-321 DISC

Tyres: NOKIAN NBX 2.3”

Chainset: RACE FACE DIABOLUS

BB: RACE FACE X-TYPE

Cassette: SHIMANO XT

Chain: SRAM PC-971

Seatpost: RACE FACE DIABOLUS

Saddle: TITEC

Sizes: SMALL, MEDIUM, LARGE, EXTRA LARGE

Colours: ANODIZED GREY, ANODIZED GREEN (CUSTOM COLOURS AVAILABLE)

Weight: 8.5LBS WITH COIL SHOCK, 7.7LBS WITH AIR

Price: £1595.00 (FRAME ONLY)

CONTACT: ROUNDEL MTB 01925 727 286

WWW.ROUNDELMTB.COM

Before you all start thinking we really have finally gone completely stark raving mad, we do realise that the bike you see before you does in fact say ’Six Pack’ on it, not RFX, but fear not, it is one and the same. Mr Turner obviously decided that he should never have got rid of the old name and so has brought it back from the dead, unlike his Horst link! I don’t know if they really want much attention brought to the fact that their bikes are no longer true 4–bars, but I can’t help it.

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