Dave Turner, owner of Turner Bikes, has for a very long time stood behind their range of boutique handbuilt frames that have been exclusively crafted from aluminum. For 2014 however, that looks set to change with the introduction of their very first carbon fiber mountain bike, the 29er Czar.

“We’re going to place the carbon bikes in our line where we feel they’re most advantageous to the type of rider they’re aimed at. “We’re going to look at those people who are hyper conscious about saving every gram they can.” – David Turner, Turner Bikes.

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The Czar is a 100mm travel dual suspension 29er, and fills a bit of a gap in the Turner lineup as a dedicated XC Race/Marathon rig that is likely going to please those with more competitive ambitions. Turner is keen to point out that the Czar is not simply a ‘carbonized’ version of the alloy Sultan, which is a more relaxed and burlier trail bike in comparison. There are also a host of new features that set it appart from it’s alloy brethren. With responsive geometry, the stable DW-Link suspension and a claimed frame weight of around 2.5kg, it looks like the Czar will be one of the fastest bikes Turner has ever produced.

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Here’s the key features:

  • 100mm (4″) Travel
  • dw-link Suspension Design
  • Designed for 100-120mm Fork Travel
  • Tapered Headtube
  • PF30 Bottom Bracket
  • Post Mount Rear Disc Brake
  • 142x12mm Thru-Axle
  • Journal Bearings
  • Zerk Lubrication Fittings
  • Full-Length Cable Routing
  • Dropper Post Ready
  • Sizing: Medium through to XX-Large

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While there must have been a temptation to go for internal cable routing, we’re glad to see well-thought out full-length external gear cable routing and simple bolt on guides for hydro hoses and a dropper post cable. The tapered head tube up front is a departure from the dedicated 44mm tube used on the alloy frames, with a 44mm upper that flares to a 56mm lower for use with a Zero Stack headset like the Cane Creek model pictured. This helps to lower handlebar height and means Turner can spec a headtube from as little as 102mm (4″) on the Medium frame size.

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The Czar utilises the famed d-link suspension design, as have the rest of the Turner line for the past 5 years. The links are CNC machined, with the upper rocker being a very elegant one-piece unit. Journal Bearings are employed at each 4 pivot points rather than traditional sealed bearings, which has been a hallmark of Turner bikes for an age. Journal Bearings are simply a bushing, and so are ridiculously easy to maintain, lightweight and stiffer in lateral loads than a ball-bearing. Down below the linkage is the big PressFit BB30 bottom bracket, a departure from other Turner frames. A boxy downtube meets a shapely seat tube that is heavily formed to allow for plenty of tyre clearance to achieve a short rear end.

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From Turner:

“Led by bicyclist David Turner, Turner Bicycles has been making high performance suspension mountain bicycle frames since 1994. We’ve earned our winning reputation by delivering performance, pedaling efficiency, and reliability—and have a large following of devoted Turner Riders who have come to rely on the progressive evolution of our bikes and our exceptional customer service. Turner Bicycles has been at the forefront of suspension bike technologies with our Burner, Stinger, Nitrous, RFX, Flux, Highline, and Sultan, among others. At Turner Bicycles, we ride what we build, so we design and build quality without compromise.”

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Aside from that, we’re still hanging out for further frame and spec details, as well as pricing information. Keep your eyes peeled though, as we’ll have updates as soon as they come as well as details on our first test ride…

If you’re lips are smacking though, make sure you drop the folks at SCV Imports a line to get your pre-order in: www.SCVImports.com.au. Or keep an eye out on www.TurnerBikes.com for further info.