Back in 2009 the very respected Turner Suspension Bicycle company switched their entire product line to the DW Link system. Dave Weagle has designed a patented and revolutionary rear suspension design that Issac Newton would be proud of. Their partners in crime include Turner Bikes, Independent Fabrication, Iron Horse Bikes, Ibis Cycles and Pivot Cycles. Although Dave Weagle’s website will chatter on about physics with terms like anti-squat and variable chainlines, the truth is rather easy to appreciate if you get the chance to ride a Turner with the DW Link. People can get a little lost trying to decipher what works and why when it comes to mountain bike rear suspension. Soooo many variables to contend with while trying to maintain a consistent and predictable suspended rear end. Boiled down, that rear shock cartridge is asked to do two separate jobs on all mountain bikes. First, it needs to resist the force of the rider’s weight when you are sitting on and riding the bike. That means the shock is trying NOT to compress too much. The second job is too compress when the rear wheel receives an impact. That means it also needs to be ready to compress to absorb an impact from the wheel while resisting compressing from the weight of the rider as well as the additional load of pedalling. So, most mountain bikes with rear suspension have been asking shock companies to make a shock that can simultaneously perform two opposing tasks, resist compression from the rider while also compressing and absorbing impacts from the trails.
To the credit of companies like Fox
and Manitou, they have managed to create the schizophrenic shock that most bikes require. The essential beauty of the DW Link is that the mechanical linkage does the job of compensating for that compression from rider weight called “sag” leaving your beautiful Fox RP 23 rear cartridge only one job to perform, maintaining rear wheel contact with the ground no matter what you decide to ride over! Without having to perform two contradictory jobs at the same time, this rear suspension is unleashed and you can now experience what dual suspension can really achieve.
My partner at the shop, Mike, has just finished putting together a 2010 Turner Sultan sized Large with the Pro parts package. With a few minor tweaks he has managed to get the total weight down to just over 26 pounds! Not too shabby considering it is a 29er with 120mm of travel front and rear! That new Fox 32 F29 FIT RLC fork featuring their new FIT damping system and 15mm thru axle is VERY sweet. Formula brakes have incredible feel and the XTR drivetrain re-defines “quick” when it comes to shifting.