Turner Flux is Reborn With Perfect Wheel Size

We give Turner's new Flux a perfunctory pedal on Park City's Wasatch Crest Trail.

A few years back, Turner decided to discontinue the Flux, a model first born nearly 20 years ago. Bikes with 26-inch wheels just weren’t selling. With the massive in-flux (giggle) of the wheel size that the industry can’t even agree on what to call, the folks at Turner felt it was a great time to give the Flux a chance at a new life. With 120-millimeters of dw-link suspension travel, 68-degree head tube angle and 12.8-inch bottom bracket, I found the the Flux to land on the XC side of the trail bike category when running a 120-millimeter fork. Turner recommends forks up to 140-millimeters.

The Flux is a great climber. During most of our ride on the Wasatch Crest Trail, I left the Fox CTD adjust shock in descend mode, as the dw-link provides very good pedaling stability. On longer climbs, I’d reach down and switch over to trail-1, but that’s the most platform I ever felt I needed, even on the aptly named “Puke Hill”. Of course, there are always two more trail settings, plus climb. The long, 442-millimeter chainstays keep the front wheel planted on even the steepest of climbs.

Turner aficionados have probably already noticed the top tube without me having to mention it. Dramatically different looking, the curved top tube negates the need for the top tube-seat tube cross-member found on all other Turner bikes, while still offering reasonable standover.

I like how the axle threads are in the dropout and not the frame itself. While I've personally never seen the course threads used on 142 x 12 axles bugger up, it's certainly possible. Having the threads in the dropout means you didn't just render your frame a very expensive, very large paperweight.

While the Flux is a capable descender, it’s not an overly aggressive one. Perhaps the slacker head tube angle a 130 or 140-millimeter fork would provide would change the bike’s attitude a bit. I certainly didn’t mind the more “racey” feel of the bike – I didn’t have a problem going fast on the descents, thanks to the stability of those long stays and low bottom bracket. Still, I found myself wishing for a slacker head tube. If a playful bike is your jam, the Flux may not be right for you. For all the descending and climbing stability the chainstays provide, the bike gives up manualing ease, and it just doesn’t feel as playful without that trait. If manualing isn’t really your cup of tea anyway, the Flux may be just what you’re looking for.

Available July 2013. To be clear, it has 27.5-inch wheels.

For an up-charge of around 1,000 bucks, Turner will offer Enve wheels as an upgrade to any build kit. While they're not extremely light, they're incredibly stiff, providing a ride quality that is tough to beat.