First Impressions: Turner King Khan Full-suspension Fat Bike

Though other companies, such as 11Nine, have offered full suspension fat bikes for over a year, it’s taken some of the bigger names in the industry to really get the idea rolling. With the Salsa Bucksaw being one of the most talked about bikes at Sea Otter 2014, it was only a matter of time before other companies began releasing their own versions. Turner was the next in line when, at the Kamikaze games only a couple months ago, David Turner unveiled his new full-suspension fat bike, the King Khan. What’s revolutionary about the King Khan? It’s the first full-suspension fat bike to utilizes a dw-link four-bar suspension design.

We built up the King Khan and walked outside to find it sprinkling rain at our Southern California offices for the first time in months. Many months. We decided to take it out for some fire road laps to get a feel for the bike. Within a few pedal strokes we realized it would create a riding experience unlike anything we had ridden before. Fat tires had always been associated with rigid frames, so it certainly took some time getting used to, but we quickly found ourselves at home on the beast of a bike.

Without a doubt, the rear suspension is leaving us with more control than we’re accustomed to having on a fat bike. It’s enabling us to hook up better in corners without being bounced around and leaves us more confident on the descents.
The contact patch was wider than our phone! On this specific day, the 4-inch wide tires kept us atop the damp dirt where narrower tires would have surely been digging in.
Made in the USA, with a paint job that is among some of the brightest we’ve ever seen.

The King Khan feels solid when picked up by the saddle. There isn’t any play in the linkage, nor have we found any creaks or issues right off the bat. In other words, the solid design it delivers visually is also apparent in its build and ride quality. We’ve taken it out on some forgiving loops out our backdoor, but we really look forward to putting it through its paces on a trail that fully utilizes a full-suspension design. Our main issue with many fat bikes has been their tendency to bounce around rather than hug the ground, which leaves us hoping the dw-link suspension is the ticket to a smooth ride.

We’ve now taken it on a handful of rides, but it’ll require some considerable testing to determine whether the King Khan exceeds or disappoints. So far, so good. With full suspension and a build kit that will satisfy the most demanding rider, is it the fat bike that doubles as a fully capable trailbike? Look for our full review in the coming months for an in-depth opinion.

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