2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

After testing the concept for years on frames built for him and his wife’s personal use, Dave Turner introduced his first production cyclocross bike in April this year, just prior to our closeup look at Sea Otter Classic.

Then, just prior to the current cyclocross season, we had a couple weeks to ride one around our local gravel paths, ‘cross training loops and trails. Unfortunately, they needed it back before Interbike to use as a demo, so it didn’t see any racing action, but we packed in as many hard, fast and jumpy rides as we could to test the alloy frame to the limit…

2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

The Turner Cyclosys uses a butted and shaped 6061 T6 aluminum frame paired with TRP’s carbon cyclocross fork. From a distance, it looks fairly standard, but closer inspection of the details reveals its finer points that separate it from price-point alloy bikes.

2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

A 44mm headtube is the darling of the small builder community, allowing virtually any combination of headset type and fork steerer shape. Here, you’ll find a tapered carbon steerer with external lower headset cup and a Zero Stack upper cup that lets you get the stem almost slammed if you like to get low when the whistle blow. Shifter cables and rear brake hose all enter the frame on the downtube, which puts them out of the way of water, dust and dirt. It also keeps them from rubbing on the knee when standing to sprint, something that can be an issue with cables entering too far back on a headtube.

2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

The bike uses a PFBB30 to allow for the larger diameter, lighter weight crank spindles. Our test bike used an adapter bottom bracket to fit a Shimano 24mm spindle, but the stock build available for order is SRAM Force with a proper 30mm crankset. This BB shell size also lets you run an eccentric BB to set things up singlespeed.

2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

Asymmetric chainstays put an oversized tube on the non-drive side for additional stiffness. Combine that with the flared shape of the seat tube and you’ve got very efficient power transfer. Fortunately, the seat tube’s flare morphs to round just in time for a standard front derailleur clamp. So, if you’re running a 1x, you won’t see any unused mounts or adapters on the frame – very clean.

2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

Out back is a 12×142 thru axle with a massive dropout/derailleur hanger piece. It’s replaceable, but it’s also very overbuilt and should hold up to more than a few spills.

2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

Post mount rear brake mounts are positioned to minimize their appearance and tuck the caliper neatly inside the rear triangle.

2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

Tire clearance is billed at up to a 700×43. With the WTB Nano 40c tires, there’s plenty of room for mud and debris to find their way cleanly through the frame and TRP Carbon Cyclocross fork.

2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

The top tube is shaped into a shoulder friendly profile in the middle.

2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

The complete bike will come stock with a Thomson seatpost and stem, Zipp handlebar and Cinelli bar tape. Our demo bike had more than a few non-standard bits on it. Stock wheels are Stan’s Iron Cross with Schwalbe X-One tubeless ready tires on them, not the Stan’s Valor Carbon and WTB’s shown here.

2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

Complete bike weight without pedals in size XL was 19.53lb (8.86kg).

RIDE REVIEW

2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

The solid frame, fork and wheelset combo was sturdy in the fast swooping corners, holding the intended line. And it stayed stiff and strong on the climbs and sprints, too. The curvy lines belie its sturdy workhorse abilities.

And the tires let it roll over everything, chasing down bikes with 33mm tires over the rough stuff without breaking stride. Even they commented how much less effort I seemed to be putting into handling over the really rooty sections, catching them with utter ease. To be fair, a lot of that has to do with the larger 700×40 WTB tubeless tires absorbing their fair share of the bumps, but the bike was able to handle the additional speed with no quirks to detract from it.

Those oversized tires, which would be illegal in any UCI-sanctioned race, may have also cushioned the expected harshness from an alloy frame with large seatstays. The Cyclosys, as spec’d (and Dave was very excited to spec the new 40mm WTB Nano tires), was a smooth ride. I’d suspect narrower tires would transmit more ground imperfections through to your arse and wrists, but that’s racing. Put these bigger tires on for everything else and it’s awesome.

2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

They also mitigate the impacts…

2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

…of big jumps…

2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

…and hard landings. Click to enlarge for dirt spray landing sequence. If it were video, you’d hear the most horrendous ever brrdrdrdattt sound of tires squirming under low pressure. Surprisingly, they didn’t burp any air and stayed on the rims just fine.

My only grumbles were occasional toe overlap with front wheel, possibly partly due to the larger tires installed, but I was also riding the XL…which has a 575mm ETT. Normally, I’m riding more of a 585mm ETT, but a) the 2XL frame jumps to 590mm, and b) the 2XL frames weren’t in stock yet. That, and there’s no clearance for a Stages power meter between the crank and chainstay, so you’ll have to find alternate means of measuring power output if you’re into such things.

2016 Turner Cyclosys cyclocross bike ride review and actual weights

For those with an alloy budget, the Turner Cyclosys makes a fine option. I rode it plenty of miles on the road between trail and path sections, and plenty of miles off road, too. All were enjoyable. The high speed handling suggests it’d make a great partner in your ‘cross crusade as well as a trusty companion on all day exploratory rides, too.

Frame sizes run XS through 2XL, all available now. Frame & fork combos retail for $1,499. Complete bikes with SRAM Force run $3,712 with your choice of either 1×11 or 2×11 Force groups (hint, take the double, then simply add a 1x chainring and remove the cable and front derailleur…at least then you’ve got the front shifting parts for later). Upgrade either the frameset or complete bike with Stan’s NoTubes Valor carbon wheels for $1,403 more. Available in Black/Sky Blue as shown here or Raw Metal with black graphics. Custom powder coat colors are available for $150 more.

TurnerBikes.com

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22 Comments
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r1
r1
6 years ago

Where is the frame manufactured?

desertbikeguy
desertbikeguy
6 years ago

Turners are manufactured by Zen Fabrications in Portland, OR.

Vassago and several other brands are manufactured by Zen.

Devin
Devin
6 years ago

Zen Fabrications in PDX. Rock and roll Turner, your stuff is rad.

Rpet
Rpet
6 years ago

Big jumps

BeeJay
BeeJay
6 years ago

40c wtb nano’s are soooo amazing. Forealz

K11
K11
6 years ago

These cyclocross frames are made overseas, according to a BR article on April 25, 2015. From the article – “While most of Turner’s alloy bikes are made in the U.S., the Cyclosys is made overseas but is still 100% their own design.” Unless something has changed since, just another foreign made product sporting a designed in USA patriotic sticker.

Some won’t care, others will care that it is foreign made. I think a lot of Turner fans will be the latter. (yes, i know their carbon mtbs are made elsewhere-need to say or some will “let me know”) I am a fan of Turners.

Ilikeicedtea
Ilikeicedtea
6 years ago

Pssst. We live in a global economy.

Ilikeicedtea
Ilikeicedtea
6 years ago

Also, where is the computer you use to type responses on BR made? Your television? Your clothes?

#Murica!

Greg
Greg
6 years ago

Aluminum, I’ll pass.

Veronica
Veronica
6 years ago

@ilikeucedtea. No, we live in a “turn a blind eye economy”.

PTymn Wolfe
PTymn Wolfe
6 years ago

Big jumps? That’s cute

Phil Jones
Phil Jones
6 years ago

40c tires, tubeless, tapered headtubes, thru-axles, hydraulic discs, 1x drivetrains… and the talk of dropper posts. It’s like the early 90’s XC scene bastardised with the modern XC scene.

Frippolini
Frippolini
6 years ago

@ Greg, Why pass on aluminum, what’s wrong with it and what’s so significantly better with other material?
Have you ever ridden a high quality aluminum frame?

Adam
Adam
6 years ago

I am not sure when usa cycling or any race bodies decide to enforce tire rules but some people are really pushing it on cross tire size. 40c nano does not belong on race course.

K11
K11
6 years ago

(deleted)

WannaBeSTi
WannaBeSTi
6 years ago

142×12!? The all mighty, bestest, most important, all knowing, and (let’s face it) most innovative without dying, Specialized says the bike should be scrapped for having an industry accepted and widely available rear hub configuration.

Cheese
Cheese
6 years ago

Why does a 40C tire not belong on a race course, Adam? I haven’t registered for a UCI race in the last five full CX seasons and I prefer not to have a bunch of stuffy old European roadies telling me that my bicycle is inappropriate for racing.

On, and it’s “find their way,” Tyler.

TomM
TomM
6 years ago

Looking at the geometry numbers, the head tube angles are very slack compared with most other CX bikes and the fork rake is 47mm, shoving the front wheel way out front. What will that do to handling?

fast foreward freddy
fast foreward freddy
6 years ago

@tom

It won’t change handling in a major way, longer rake offsets the attributes of a slacker head angle. Mostly it will shift the weight bias more to the rear which will make the front wheel les likely to slide out under hard cornering. You want the rear wheel to slide first because it is much easier to recover from than front wheel slide. This may hurt the traction on off cable sections though.

fast foreward freddy
fast foreward freddy
6 years ago

*off camber sections*

TomM
TomM
4 years ago

Chiming in late here with an important correction: The production frame chainstay layout was changed versus this bike in the review. The production bike will fit a ~43mm wide tire like the WTB Nano only with a 1x drivetrain. It will also not fit an Ultegra 46 chainring under any circumstance. I am currently learning this the hard way on my own Cyclosys. Even the Turner website had it wrong, though I alerted them. :-/