After months of sitting in my workshop unassembled, our Turner Burner project build has finally come to life. The hold up? That would be sourcing a 44mm headset for a tapered steerer, until Token stepped in and offered up one of their new TK036A headsets along with their matching bottom bracket. With the delivery of a few bearings the entire project came together with parts from Turner, Rockshox, Sram, Token, Enve, Maxxis, Shimano, Absolute Black and more.
Check out the build weight, details, and first impressions after the break!
Up front the Turner is all business with the new Rockshox Pike. Out of the box the Pike is one of the most plush forks I’ve encountered and incredibly easy to set up. As long as the fork proves to be durable, Rockshox has a winner on their hands in this fork.
Holding the mighty Pike in place is Token’s TK036A 44mm tapered headset. To run a tapered fork on a 44mm head tube you need a 1.5″ external lower cup, and a 1.125″ internal upper which is currently offered by Cane Creek and Chris king in the US, though the Token runs quite a bit cheaper at $37.50 for the set. Currently Tufo North America is the distributor for Token, though the TK036A is not yet listed for sale on their site since it is new.
Considering the cost for both the headset and bottom bracket ($27), the quality is pretty impressive. The headset is nicely sealed and includes stainless bearings which are incredibly smooth.
The bottom bracket bearings may be the smoothest steel bearings I’ve ever used. Installing the crank was a little tough since the seals were so tight, but that should result in better performance from keeping the gunk out. Once installed, the crankset spun freely like no other external bottom bracket I’ve seen. Will this result in decreased longevity? We’ll have to see, but for now the bearings in both the headset and bottom bracket feel fantastic. Weight isn’t bad for the two, either.
It should be noted that if you are purchasing a Turner Burner frame, Turner stocks the necessary headsets so you don’t have to source one for yourself or your dealer.
Originally, I had planned on running a 2×10 drivetrain but it turns out I didn’t have the right front derailleur on hand. On a side note, if you are using a derailleur with dual pull capabilities, you will definitely want to check out Turner’s Front Derailleur Modification Guide which is necessary to keep the swingarm from hitting the unused arm on the derailleur. Basically, you can just use a hack saw to cut off the offending member and you’re good to go. Turner offers a great tutorial on exactly what to do, just click the above link and open the fr.der.mod.guide PDF.
Without a double front derailleur at my disposal, I decided to use an Absolute Black chainring we just got in for review. The XX1 style ring is anti-drop like the other rings from third party manufacturers that have popped up and is just one of the many anti-drop chainrings they offer. This one happens to be a 32t, 104 BCD ring that bolted up nicely to an XT double crankset. At 36g, the ring is nice an light, and has proven so far to be drop free – even when I forgot to turn on the clutch for the XTR Shadow Plus derailleur. I still would like more gearing than the 11-36×32 provides, but the more I ride 1x systems, the more I like them.
Currently as it sits, the Burner weighs in at 26.81 pounds (12.16kg) with XTR trail pedals. There are a few spots like the crankset that you could lose some weight, but it’s light enough that you don’t think about the weight at all out on the trail. The Maxxis Ardent 27.5×2.25 tires are set up tubeless on the Enve AM carbon wheels. I would prefer to have a dropper post on the bike, but currently all my posts happen to be 31.6, not the necessary 30.9. We’ll see what we can line up in the future.
Wow. This bike rips. Whether it’s the wheelsize, the carbon hoops, or the bike, the entire package results in one of the most lively, fun bikes I’ve had the fortune to ride. An interesting bit about the wheels, is that they weigh almost the exact amount as the 26″ wheels I was riding previously. So comparatively, I’m just on bigger wheels that weigh the same with the same tires and the benefits are hard to deny. Compared to 29ers with less travel than the burner, I can get the handlebar lower on the Burner without resorting to crazy drop handlebars and super negative stems.
I’ll wait for some long term riding to make a final call, but for now the Burner is certainly living up to its name.