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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 109 > DAVID TURNER

DAVID TURNER

CHIPPS TRACKS DOWN THE QUIET MAN WITH HIS NAME ON THE FRAMES AT TURNER BIKES AND FINDS OUT THAT YOU’RE EITHER ENDURO, OR YOU’RE NOT, WHY TURNER WAS FORCED TO SHIFT PRODUCTION AWAY FROM THE USA – AND WHY THEY’LL NEVER MAKE A CARBON BURNER.

You know what I think is the most surprising thing about Turner Bikes? The fact that David Turner’s name is on them. It’s not that he isn’t involved in the development and design of every frame – he couldn’t be closer – but it’s that once you meet this enthusiastic, but deeply modest man you just can’t see him as one of those ‘look at me, I do cool stuff!’ larger-than-life personalities you might see at other brands. (Brands that he’s quick to praise too.)

Stepping through the subtly branded door on a nondescript trading estate in the town of Murrieta, a couple of hours east of Los Angeles, it’s hard to miss the signed photos, the old race frames mounted on plinths, and there, in a small side office, David Turner. He sits way back on a low reclining chair, chin almost on the desk and his arms level with the keyboard as he beats on the keys with the ease of someone who spends a lot of his day in front of a screen.

It’s romantic to think that modern carbon mountain bikes are completely designed as hand-cut and welded aluminium prototypes, only being magically turned into carbon when all that ride testing is done; the dull truth is that much of it is done in CAD and FEA on computer, with regular economy class flights to Taiwan to check that the factory is doing what it said it was going to do.

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About Singletrack

UK Adventure: Jacob’s Cracker – The nicest man in mountain biking, Nick Craig, gets some Glaswegian encouragement from Sanny as they see who can clear Jacob’s Ladder without stopping. International Adventure: Iceland – Bikepacking in Iceland. Best bring your thermals. International Adventure: The Scottish Connection – Three Scottish friends meet up for an epic road trip round New Zealand before they all go their separate ways. Interview: David Turner – Chipps talks to the reluctant icon behind this cult brand. Classic Ride: Sutton Bank – This steep Yorkshire road climb is known for being too horribly busy (unless it’s been blocked by a misguided lorry) to ride. But how are the trails away from the fumes of brakes and clutches? Bike Test: Sub £1000 hardtails – We check out three hardtails under the magic figure of a grand. There’s no carbon and no full suspension at this price point, but is there fun? You bet there is! Grouptest: Dropper Seatposts – We check out the highs and lows of the current dropper post market. Grinder: The team bring you goods ridden through the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. And possibly a touch of mud. Feature: Trail Leader 3: You literally put your life in the hands of a mountain bike guide. What goes into that experience? Silver Shredders: Mountain bike life doesn’t stop when work does. We look at a bunch of riders making full use of their newfound spare time.
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