juillet 04, 2013

A Brief History #6 | TURNER bicycles

2007 Turner Sultan

Turner Bicycles founder David Turner ( no family links with Paul Turner and Gary Turner) has been at the forefront of MTB suspension since the technology's inception in the 1980's. As a professional racer, 
MBA SpyPhoto: circa. Novemeber 1991.David helped designers at Rock Shox, Mongoose and AMP Research race-test and fine-tune early advancements in suspension design. After retiring from full-time competition, David worked with legendary design guru Horst Leitner to create some of the most progressive and lightweight suspension bicycle frames and forks the sport had ever seen.
Knowing how a full-suspension mountain bike should ride, David looked to the Industry and could not find any viable solution and as a result the vision of Turner Suspension Bicycles was born. Driven only by a meager budget and his own determination, Turner Bikes began to take shape. In late 1991 early prototypes found their way under top pros and into magazine spy shots (see photo to the right) but David's first priority was to change people's expectations of how a bike should ride rather than just to meet it. The company's focus had a tenacious grip on the design of the bike and not the image, "Form follows Function" was the unspoken creed.
2008 Turner Highline
1993 – Turner Suspension Bicycles was started by David Turner in Laguna Beach, California where he began designing and testing his own frames. In 1994, David Turner entered the bicycle market with high-performance frames bearing his own name. Turner suspension frames quickly earned a winning reputation by delivering levels of performance, pedaling efficiency and reliability few riders had ever Eric Carter, Team Mongoose Rider. circa. 2004.experienced. Numerous NORBA, World Cup and UCI Championships have been won on Turner frames, relabeled by other bike companies to be ridden by their professional riders. Turner Bikes became a dominate force in the shadows of the industry for years to come.
 In ‘94, after the introduction of the 1st batch of 150 original production V-1 ‘95 Burners (Version 1) were made by Ventana Mountain Bikes in Rancho Cordova, California. Many were raced by the top pros of the day yet you would be hard pressed to find a Turner logo on those bikes since most of those riders sponsored by other bike companies. 
Ventana could no longer keep up with the demand for Burners so fabrication then moved into the Tempe, Arizona shop of FTW (Frank the Welder) for 1995 models. This factory warranted mods were done to fix cracks that developed on frames that were being raced in d/h events. Of course, these repaired frames were completely refinished and so began the now famous Turner customer service.
David Turner was there, working with Horst Lietner of AMP Research when the Horst Link (HL) was 1st drawn up in ‘90 and continued to use it on all his 4 Bar frames even after the rights were sold to Specialized who then licensed it to all takers in 2000. A few years later, he licensed ICT (Instant Center Tracking) from Ellsworth Bicycles in order to (in short) continue to use the HL and a flat profile rocker. 
In 2006, Turner dropped the much touted HL that was used from the very beginning for TNT due to a growingly difficult licensing agreement and the discovery of a way to design around it without any loss of performance, as agreed upon by most riders who have tested both back-to-back. Some will even say there was an improvement that a pivot point between the swing arm and axle has been relocated to the shockstay. The move to TNT negated the ICT patents and freed Turner to return to doing things their own way on their own terms.