Turner Flux 4.0
- Lightest in group
- Exceptional ride quality
- Outstanding Knight carbon wheelset
- Superior combo of XC and Trail capabilities
- Among most expensive in group
- Rear shock adjust difficult to reach on the fly
The Flux is light and nimble, without the raked out front end so common on trail bikes, yet it has 120mm (4.7 inches front and rear) of travel on 27.5 inch carbon wheels. The suspension is responsive and provides capable anti squat technology minimizing unnecessary movement. While it’s very difficult to find flaws in this bike, it is quite expensive and the rear shock is tricky to lock out on the fly. *Editor's Note: The model we tested had 1x11 but the 2017 models will have choice of SRAM Eagle 1x12 setups. Also, the Flux we tested was built up in a way that's not available as a package on Turner’s website – the closest option would be the 2017 SRAM X01 Eagle.
Turner’s Flux Version 4 is an all carbon ride with an XC pedigree which shows up in the ride quality of this bike. The DW Link suspension seeks to limit unwanted movement and enhance the movement you do want through the arc of the wheel’s travel. The bike rides nimble and fast, sharing many of its qualities with the cross-country bike that it once was in previous years. There is less rake on the front end (compared with other trail bikes), with a 67.5-degree head tube and 120mm of travel on FOX’s Factory 32 front fork. Put this on a 27.5" wheel and you get a snappy and precise steering bike giving the Flux uphill qualities of a cross country bike and the downhill qualities of a trail bike. One criticism of the Flux is the placement of the rear shock adjustment, which is low, and challenging to reach while riding, especially in an aggressive riding situations.
With an XC pedigree, the Flux has a noticeable strength in power transfer. The Flux is adept in moving pedal motion to forward momentum without any discernable suspension movement. The Flux is unusual in trail bikes in that you can pop out of the saddle without fully actuating the suspension, a characteristic of the DW-Link rear suspension, as well as the FOX Factory 32 front fork. The Flux is stiff in all the right places, with no torque or twist. Carbon SRAM XO cranks on our model rounded out the cockpit’s rigid feel, and we welcomed the stiffness given the suspension was forgiving when required. Of the bikes in this category, this one reminded us how fun it is to stand up and pedal hard which is not always enjoyable on a trail bike.
Climbing on the Flux is very much like climbing on a high-end XC bike. The Flux has a more upright cockpit and ours came with a wide carbon bar by Deity. The front end feels less raked improving the climbing style and efficiency. The Flux is also light, weighing in at 25.1 pounds. Of course every part that could be carbon is carbon, giving the Flux additional stiffness where it matters, and less weight as well.
Given the more XC qualities of the Flux, you may expect to pay a penalty on the downhill, and for those looking for a pure-bred trail bike, that may be the case, however we found a very capable descender in the Flux. Suspension by FOX on front and rear (120mm) along with the DW-Link rear suspension offers plenty of give on the front and rear when you want it. The carbon frame is stiff, as is the carbon bar by Deity and the SRAM XO carbon cranks. Putting this all together you get a nicely balanced platform on a stiff frame, with ample suspension. The 27.5" carbon wheels add to the rigidity and offer superb tracking in the corners. On fire roads or less technical descents, you won’t notice that you are riding a trail bike, however, when you hit more technical rides, drops and rocky trails, the bike transforms underneath you to a trail ride.
Components: Drivetrain, Shifting and Brakes
The Flux we tested was built up with components not currently available on Turner’s website. It was most closely aligned with the SRAM Eagle build. Our test bike had SRAM XO 11 speed, Guide RS brakes, and a variety of carbon parts including the Knight Composite carbon wheels. As of press time the Knight Composite wheels are a free upgrade on the Flux. SRAM’s XO 11 speed on a 10-42 SRAM cassette provided ample spread of gears (though we can’t wait to ride the 12-speed SRAM Eagle), and crisp shifting. The Guide RS brakes offer great power and modulation, although the levers are a bit mushy for some; thankfully on this bike you can brake less and leave your hands firmly wrapped around the carbon bar. The Flux comes equipped with a KS Lev Integra dropper, a smooth and partially internally routed seat post that we fully enjoyed.
The DT Swiss hubs with Carbon Knight Composite wheels are currently a free upgrade on the Flux 4.0, and this is a huge bonus. The Knight wheels are a perfect complement to the carbon Flux, maintaining the race pedigree and keeping the weight down. Maxxis Ardent tires came on our bike. These are solid tires that perform well in trail or XC conditions with lower rolling resistance than some, but great stick in the corners at speed.
While the Flux 4.0 is the highest-priced bike in our test, it's still a decent value at the current listed price, considering the spec, and especially with the free upgraded carbon wheels currently available on Turner’s website. This is a bike with legendary pedigree, and a performance background. For a XC-oriented rider who may like to race occasionally—but loves the added descending qualities of a Trail bike—it is well worth the investment.
How We Tested It
The bikes in this test were used on 30-50 miles of root-infested, mud-slopped, baby-head-strewn New England and/or Colorado trails and some dirt roads. Most bikes were ridden by two testers, and often ridden one after the other on the same route or segment, on climbs or especially gnarly sections or sketchy descents, to compare performance. Riding varied from longer segments to test ride feel and frame comfort, to explosive climbs and sprints for performance.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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