By Vernon Felton
Photos by Anthony Smith
Carbon bikes may not be news in and of themselves, but when a brand like Turner unrolls the carpet on a composite frame, people tend to take notice. David Turner has been crafting frames out of aluminum for years now. Carbon is a whole new venture for the man and the brand. And yet…for a freshman effort, the new Turner Czar is noteworthy.
Ostensibly a cross-country bike (the 29er model possesses four inches of travel), Turner feels the bike is capable of more and makes an apt trail bike as well. At its core, the Czar really is the kind of bike you expect from Turner a low-slung DW-Link design…it just also happens to be crafted from Toray High Modulus Carbon Fiber.
Here are some of the key details:
*142×12 thru axle
*dw-link suspension design tuned for 29er wheels
*Zerk fittings to keep those bearings lubed
*PF30 bottom bracket
*1-piece rocker and dw-links
*Post-mount disc mounts
*2 water bottle mounts
The Czar is available in Medium, Large, Extra Large and, interestingly, Extra Extra Large. If you are short of stature, you might be out of luck here with the Czar. The Medium has a top tube of 23.5 inches and a standover height of 30.0 inches. Turner notes that the Medium will fit someone down to 5’6″. That might be so, but it’s going to be a bit of a stretch for someone at 5’6″ and if you’re shorter than that, this is probably a no-go. On the flip side, if you’re tall, you’re going to dig that Extra Extra Large’s 26.5-inch top tube.
In the past, we’ve been impressed by Turner’s DW Link bikes. We’ve tested God-knows-how-many Sultans and Fluxes. The bikes have always possessed a solid combination of efficiency (fast as hell under pedaling loads, really) and calm handling traits. The Czar looks like a solid addition to the line. A 5.3-pound carbon frame? It’s an interesting new path for the company with such a long legacy of Made in the USA aluminum frames.