The American-Made Trailbike For The World
We have been testing versions of the Turner Flux since 2005, but the 2014 version, dubbed Ver. 3.0, is different from all the previous Flux versions
in every aspect but attitude. Rather than request the $7941
Shimano XTR Flux build (who is not going to love that
ride?), we requested the TR build, Turner’s most affordable
Flux at $3499.
WHO IT IS MADE FOR?
The Flux is a lightweight trailbike that is sporty enough to
be pressed into service as a cross-country or endurance racer.
On the other side of the spectrum, the Flux could serve well
for enduro events where the course is full of flow. The Flux
is the bike for riders who want versatility and refuse to be
locked into a single segment.
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
Turner’s raw-finish, anodized aluminum frames are made
in America and use a dw-link rear suspension design that
pivots on journal bearings. The swingarm is asymmetrical,
with the drive-side stay elevated well above the chainline.
Turner also uses post-mount disc brakes, eliminating the
need for adapters. The bottom bracket, lower-link pivot and
shock mount are integrated into a single piece of carved aluminum. The head tube works with a tapered steerer fork and
the new 44XX lower headset bearing from Cane Creek. With
the upper-bearing bore now at 44 millimeters, the rider has
the ability to run a zero-stack headset on top. This setup will
lower the hand position up to 10 millimeters.
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
Turner delivers the TR model at such an attractive price
because of a wisely chosen parts mix. And honestly, you just
won’t find any “cheap” shortcuts on this bike. The Fox shock
is custom-valved for Turner’s dw-link rear suspension. The
XT Plus/SLX/Deore drivetrain keeps everything in the
Shimano family. Race Face supplies the bar, stem and seatpost. Mavic 27. 5 CrossRide wheels get the job done. You
even get Schwalbe Racing Ralph tires (not a cheap add-on).
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
The setup: You can really tell the shock
was valved for this bike. That means
no need to compensate for rear sus-
pension’s characteristics by messing
with more or less sag or rebound.
Set the shock at 20-percent sag
and the rebound around four
clicks out from the slowest position and you are set. Set the fork
to your preference and you are
The fit: Turner keeps everything lean and mean on the Flux.
Even with ample rear-tire clearance,
the rider’s legs never come in contact
with the rear stays. The handlebar height
feels normal, and that’s sweet because you are on
Moving out: The Flux does not feel like a 5-inch-travel bike
under acceleration. It feels more like a 4-inch cross-country
bike, and we mean that in a good way. The bike is responsive
and lively. The 2x10 drivetrain works great in this application.
Cornering: Turner brags about a slacker head angle, so we
were prepared for sluggish cornering performance at lower
speeds. Nope. The operative word here seems to be “lively.”
The Flux is nimble and quick on tight corners and a blast on
switchbacks. Turner walks a fine line here because once your
speed increases, the bike relaxes and slows things up. It is the
best of both worlds.
Climbing: Leave the shock in the Trail or Descend ProPedal
setting and hammer away. The bike works well even when
the rider is out of the saddle when you need to punch over
something. Or, just stay seated. Again, the bike feels more like
a 4-inch cross-country bike in this situation than a 5-inch trailbike.
Descending: The big wheels, balanced suspension and well-matched brakes make descending as much fun as it should be.
The Flux has a low bottom bracket that adds to its downhill
cornering chops, but you do need to pay attention to your
crank position so you are not tagging rocks with your pedals.
Braking: For riders who thumb their noses to anything
below a Shimano XT-level component, you need to ride these
Deore brakes. They proved quiet, plenty powerful and produced very nice modulation. Even on our bone-dry, dusty
trails, we were not locking tires and skidding.
TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS?
Even with the elevated drive-side stay and the Shimano Plus
rear derailleur, the chain makes noisy contact with the stay
when banging down descents. Adding a chainstay protector
or Scotch 2228 moisture-sealing electrical tape will protect the
stay and your ears.
The Turner Flux 27. 5 TR