Dirt Merchant Bikes has medium, large & X-large RFX bikes available for demo in the Seattle area.
Reserve your demo at http://www.dirtmerchantbikes.com/demos/
or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
NOTE on Comparing Star Ratings between Interbike 2014 and 2015 bike tests: I’ve found already that the new bike designs I’m riding this year are a step better than the best bikes I rode last year. What was a 5 star rating last year would only be a 4 star rating this year.
For this first day of Outdoor Demo at Interbike, riding the new 2016 Turner RFX v4.0 was my top priority. With over six years having elapsed since production ended on the prior version of the RFX, to say that expectations are high for the new RFX is an understatement. I’m excited to say that the new RFX is hitting on all cylinders and the RFX will be the new core of our demo fleet based in the Seattle area. Now for the details:
Climbing - 5 stars
Turner’s implementation of the dw-link in their bikes provides a feeling that the pedals are directly coupled to the rear wheel in a way not dissimilar to how a hardtail feels when climbing. Hammering on the RFX, creates instant forward motion without rear suspension movement softening the directness of that connection. The main difference between how the RFX climbs versus a hardtail is the 160mm of always active rear suspension that digs in on loose, technical climbs. Some riders will state that suspension performance for climbing doesn’t matter because they can always lock out a rear shock, but the RFX’s dw-link suspension allows rear shocks to run with minimal compression damping providing better traction on loose, technical climbs. So the RFX provides an exceptionally high degree of climbing efficiency together with the advantage of a fully active rear shock maximizing the amount of available tire traction.
The RFX has climbing abilities at least equal to the Burner that has 20mm less suspension travel. The Burner itself is no slouch at climbing with several of my testers participating in our tire tests commenting that it climbed better than their shorter travel bikes. I am unable to make a more direct comparison between the climbing capabilities of the RFX vs the Burner as my experience with the Burner in our demo fleet is with Enve M60 wheels and 2.25 Schwalbe tires while the RFX I rode today has M70 wheels and 2.35 Schwalbe tires that add a bit of rotating weight.
Descending – 5 stars
As well as the RFX climbs, it is far from one-dimensional in its strengths. The RFX settles well into its suspension travel and is intuitive feeling on descents providing the rider with great control to make small handling adjustments with body movements or braking. Compared to other dw-link bikes, Turner’s implementation provides the climbing ability that the dw-link suspension design is known for with no compromise to descending stability. The RFX has a head angle and frame geometry that provides steering that is neither too fast nor too slow. The head tube angle is precisely balanced between enough slackness to provide the right amount of downhill stability while being steep enough to eliminate wheel flop on tight corners. I got in over my head on a dropoff, but I never felt like I lost control of where I wanted to go with the RFX. Being intuitive in its handling allowed me to feel confident in pushing the limits of my riding abilities.
In addition, though the RFX I tested weighs 26 lbs with a heavy SRAM GX component group and Enve M70 wheels (which are stiff but not particularly weight saving), it was designed with an eye towards frame stiffness. The stiffness of the RFX frame shows in how the RFX is able to plow through rocks and higher-g corners with no wavering in the rider’s selected line.
Cornering - 5 stars
What was really special to me about the RFX was that it provides a level of downhill stability substantially greater than the Burner while losing none of the Burner’s handling agility. Again, the RFX is not the fastest steering bike available, but rather strikes a balance between nimbleness and predictability in its steering. Adjusting cornering lines mid-turn requires only minimal body movement and steering. The RFX corners like a faster steering, shorter travel bike with the mid-turn stability of a big travel bike.
This is a one-quiver bike that I would choose to ride for all types of trail conditions in the Pacific Northwest. Typically, our trail conditions provide good grip so it’s fairly easy to get into higher-g cornering for which the stiffness of longer-travel bikes is helpful in resisting side loading forces. At the same time, the RFX steers fast enough that it doesn’t give up much in nimbleness to shorter travel bikes while providing an exceptionally intuitive level of downhill control.
If this sounds like a superlative review, it is indeed intended to convey the unique balance of strengths that the new Turner RFX offers.
For another opinion on the RFX, check out Pinkbike’s review located at: http://www.pinkbike.com/news/turner-rfx-v40-enduro-review-2016.html
Excerpt from Pinkbike’s review: “…for those new to the brand, test-riding an RFX will be an unexpected pleasure. David Turner is one of the more talented riders to occupy the top seat of a bike-making business, and his vision of the perfect mountain bike - versatile, balanced, and confidence inspiring - reflects a lot of saddle time.”
But, don’t just accept our opinions on the new RFX. We invite you to try out the RFX for yourself to see if it is a good fit for your riding style and preferences. Dirt Merchant Bikes expect to have our RFX bikes available for demo in the Seattle area around mid-October and are considering also having RFX demo bikes available for monthly demo sessions around the SF Bay Area. Feel free to contact us at email@example.com for more details on RFX demos.
5 stars - Absolutely outstanding
3 stars - Solid performance, meets expectations
1 star - Misses expectations by a wide margin