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best place to get a BMW Race Link

krazydher1

Monkey
Apr 12, 2002
228
0
hey who all sells the bmw race link frame? i was hoping to get it a little cheaper than $3300.

i thought go-ride.com used to carry them, i guess not anymore.
 

no skid marks

Monkey
Jan 15, 2006
2,514
26
ACT Australia
I agree. Everytime I read about about someone posting their *new* used BMW's it seems they've just come back from the factory after a full rebuild with new hardware and even repainting.
because they last,so people get new bearings,etc installed and get a fresh paint job so they get the new bike feel.Personally do it myself,but I have the right tools.
Steel Vs Ally.
 

krazydher1

Monkey
Apr 12, 2002
228
0
lol...ok send me a pic

i used to ride a balfa bb7 with a monster, sold it like 2 summers ago and now i'm dreading to have a new bike...and i am soo getting an avy fork 24" 26" wheels with 3" tires...old school baby, oh yeah

atleast ithat seems oldschool now???
 

c.o.d51

Monkey
Oct 5, 2005
137
0
lol...ok send me a pic

i used to ride a balfa bb7 with a monster, sold it like 2 summers ago and now i'm dreading to have a new bike...and i am soo getting an avy fork 24" 26" wheels with 3" tires...old school baby, oh yeah

atleast ithat seems oldschool now???
Clean out your pm box por favor.
 

jonKranked

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Nov 10, 2005
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because they last,so people get new bearings,etc installed and get a fresh paint job so they get the new bike feel.Personally do it myself,but I have the right tools.
Steel Vs Ally.
^^^ what he said. My friend has racelink #42 (or is it #43?) Its at least 5 years old, has been ridden very thoroughly, and still rides as good if not better than a lot of the new bikes I've ridden.
 

Bulldog

Turbo Monkey
Sep 11, 2001
1,009
0
Wisconsin
^^^ what he said. My friend has racelink #42 (or is it #43?) Its at least 5 years old, has been ridden very thoroughly, and still rides as good if not better than a lot of the new bikes I've ridden.
Like my Turner. :rolleyes: Gosh, it's not some magical property of steel. If a bike is overbuilt and/or well-designed either material can last a long long time.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
Like my Turner. :rolleyes: Gosh, it's not some magical property of steel. If a bike is overbuilt and/or well-designed either material can last a long long time.
My friend also still has his Dirtwork DH rig in decent condition and its over 5 years old. Its not overbuilt either. He raced it hard for 3-4 seasons with numerous top 5/podium finishes [in expert class]...
 

krazydher1

Monkey
Apr 12, 2002
228
0
not 24 24
but 24 26 on 3"

i'm mainly into straight hucking and plowing throught rocks...i like racing but i'd rather just have fun...and i hope to God i can go to whistler this summer. i'd also like to check out deer valley and northstar
 

no skid marks

Monkey
Jan 15, 2006
2,514
26
ACT Australia
Like my Turner. :rolleyes: Gosh, it's not some magical property of steel. If a bike is overbuilt and/or well-designed either material can last a long long time.
Steel has a higher resistance to fatigue than aluminium. Your turner is far lighter than a Racelink. You do the math. Turners are one of the strongest aluminium frames and you don't hear much about them failing,but tested under the same circumstances,I think it's safe to say a BMW will out last a Turner.The Turner is a lightweight race bike. One of the lightest even.The fact it has less travel and a less bump compliant design is also something to concider.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,721
290
VT
Steel has a higher resistance to fatigue than aluminium. Your turner is far lighter than a Racelink. You do the math. Turners are one of the strongest aluminium frames and you don't hear much about them failing,but tested under the same circumstances,I think it's safe to say a BMW will out last a Turner.The Turner is a lightweight race bike. One of the lightest even.The fact it has less travel and a less bump compliant design is also something to concider.
He doesn't have a modern DHR - some of the older revisions were overbuilt and heavy before Turner brought more use-specific models into their lineup.
 

bushrider

Monkey
Jul 4, 2006
147
0
NYC
Racer's Edge is probably the best shop to buy a BMW from as the owner and head mechanic Gerald has a lot of expirience working on BMWs.
Its one of the cheapest shops in the NYC area and is the most popular shop for more extreeme types of cycling (street BMX, street hardtails, DH, FR, dirt jump etc).

Your unlikely to get a big reduction in the price of the frame but you'll probably get all the labour charges for building it up heavily discounted. There are also a number of worthwhile upgrades like a profile Ti axle for the LHD cranks that you can probably get a bit of a discount on when buying the frameset.

Racers Edge ph 718 531 3100

Also www.brooklynbikeriders.com has a classifieds where 2nd hand BMWs often show up.
 

Bulldog

Turbo Monkey
Sep 11, 2001
1,009
0
Wisconsin
He doesn't have a modern DHR - some of the older revisions were overbuilt and heavy before Turner brought more use-specific models into their lineup.
I don't even have the older ('02) DHR anymore. Though that old 12+ lb beast would count in this discussion I was actually talking about my '01 RFX outlasting and outperfoming most bikes out there today.

Steel has a higher resistance to fatigue than aluminium. Your turner is far lighter than a Racelink. You do the math. Turners are one of the strongest aluminium frames and you don't hear much about them failing,but tested under the same circumstances,I think it's safe to say a BMW will out last a Turner.The Turner is a lightweight race bike. One of the lightest even.The fact it has less travel and a less bump compliant design is also something to concider.
I never mentioned anything at all about the DHR and I won't argue the fatigue properties of the materials. It just irks me how every BMW rider thinks that steel is magically indestructible and no aluminum bike could ever last more than 1-2 years when it's simply not the case. The devil is in the details and the designer's goals are what really count. Both materials can last was my simple point.

Now, do you want to discuss my bushings vs. your bearings? j/k ;):homer:
 

Ian Collins

Turbo Monkey
Oct 4, 2001
1,428
0
Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA
Steel has a higher resistance to fatigue than aluminium. Your turner is far lighter than a Racelink. You do the math. Turners are one of the strongest aluminium frames and you don't hear much about them failing,but tested under the same circumstances,I think it's safe to say a BMW will out last a Turner.The Turner is a lightweight race bike. One of the lightest even.The fact it has less travel and a less bump compliant design is also something to concider.

i disagree....turner is light but engineered well... bmw is overbuilt and under-engineered....i've seen quite a few bmw bikes fail, some even catastrophically....at $3300 and 22 pounds or whatever ridiculous weight they scale in at, you shouldn't see a single one ever fail....

i've seen way less 10-12 pound turners fail than i have 20+ pound BMWs......and thats sad because there are way more turners out there than there are bmw's
 

daisycutter

Turbo Monkey
Apr 8, 2006
1,516
42
New York City
for 12 years now and I have seen one BMW fail in that time and that was a park bike. A tuner DHR is a great bike but there is no way on gods green earth it will out last a BMW. BMWs are made to be beat on not really raced. A DHR being stronger then a BMW? Son that argument is pure weak sauce.
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
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one thing a lot of you are forgetting is that you are talking about a bike design that is nearly a decade old and comparing it to bikes that are much newer. 10 years ago, that bike was (arguably) revolutionary. Weight issues aside, it is still one of the best bikes out there. Pedaling and suspension are right up there in terms of performance with all the super bling, high end stuff that's being produced today. One thing it does NOT have is modern race geomtry - but again, the spec's are what they were 10 years ago. very little changed about the racelink throughout its lifecycle. Doc designed a lot of the smaller bits and pieces to be modular, and hence upgraded throughout its lifespan.

Another lesser known subject... prior to parting ways with BMW, Doc (the designer of the racelink) was in the process of upgrading the bike to the modern times. The last few years he was seen on what was known as the racer X, sporting much more modern, and racier, geometry. Not only this, but the frame went on a severe diet. Now that he is heading up Superco, he is planning to once again create a steel downhill bike (as far as I'm aware, and based on his historical love of steel). Based on what I've seen of his new stuff so far, my expectations are high; and so are the expectations of many other riders who know him.

I've seen racelinks (these heavy bikes some of you love to hate) built up as low as 43-44 lbs. Many of us who know him and have seen his latest work are expecting the new bikes to break the 40lb mark.



and in regards to the pricetag... yes its expensive; no if's and's or but's about it. But how many other companies can tout a DH bike that is 100% handmade (in the United States no less)?
 

Ian Collins

Turbo Monkey
Oct 4, 2001
1,428
0
Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA
for 12 years now and I have seen one BMW fail in that time and that was a park bike. A tuner DHR is a great bike but there is no way on gods green earth it will out last a BMW. BMWs are made to be beat on not really raced. A DHR being stronger then a BMW? Son that argument is pure weak sauce.
i've seen the mainframes bend, kink, etc.....i never said the turner would outlast a bmw, you don't need to put words in my mouth......but it's strength to weight to cost ratio is far superior.....

all i'm trying to say is that for $3300 and 22 pounds i would expect better engineering than, "well lets use steel, thicker tubes, and put gussets everywhere we can instead of thinking this through and designing the frame properly"....just because a bike is overbuilt doesn't mean it's strong, that's all....
 

c.o.d51

Monkey
Oct 5, 2005
137
0
i've seen the mainframes bend, kink, etc.....i never said the turner would outlast a bmw, you don't need to put words in my mouth......but it's strength to weight to cost ratio is far superior.....

all i'm trying to say is that for $3300 and 22 pounds i would expect better engineering than, "well lets use steel, thicker tubes, and put gussets everywhere we can instead of thinking this through and designing the frame properly"....just because a bike is overbuilt doesn't mean it's strong, that's all....
22lbs? Um, no. Try 12.9 w/o the jackshaft and cranks and about 16-17 with the full frame kit. As for you claiming to have seen main frames "bend kink etc" that might be true for the first 14 Race Links, but beyond that, I highly, highly doubt it. Hell, then only ones I know of with broken front triangles fell of lifts 50+ feet in the air. Doc cut out the bent tubes and put in new ones. And better engineering? I'm sorry, but the bike was so far ahead of it's time that it wasn't even funny. Like jonKranked said, the bike is getting close to a decade old and is still comparable to bikes being built now. And honestly, the Race Link's suspension is quite possibly the best I've felt, period. Doc did his math right, and made one of the most well designed frames that this sport has ever seen. It's not without its shortcomings, like the geometry, which is partially why I'm selling mine.

Those are just my feelings, which may be skewed because I'm an avid fan of Doc's work. However, every time I look at the frame, I'm still in awe of what Doc made. Like I said, those are just my feelings and feel free to disagree with them. However, I do feel that calling the bike under-engineered is just plain wrong.
 

no skid marks

Monkey
Jan 15, 2006
2,514
26
ACT Australia
c.o.d51 Have you thought about getting a slightly different dog bone link made to drop the BB height? Ideally you'd also get the swingarm shortened a touch,as by dropping the BB the swingarm would lengthen slightly(not nessacerily a bad thing),you could make the cut in front of the lower shock mount and get an insert put in for strength where you'd make the join. Or move the top shock mount.Lots of easy and not very expensive ways to drop the BB height and therefore slacken the head angle also. You could also mod the other link possibly,to get less travel,lower BB and less leverage ratio on the shock(not that it needs it). Just some ideas,I've been toying with.The Linkage site won't work on my Mac to work it all out.
 

Bulldog

Turbo Monkey
Sep 11, 2001
1,009
0
Wisconsin
And better engineering? I'm sorry, but the bike was so far ahead of it's time that it wasn't even funny. Like jonKranked said, the bike is getting close to a decade old and is still comparable to bikes being built now. And honestly, the Race Link's suspension is quite possibly the best I've felt, period. Doc did his math right, and made one of the most well designed frames that this sport has ever seen. It's not without its shortcomings, like the geometry, which is partially why I'm selling mine.
The racelink is almost 10 years old? I remember when that came out, pretty sure I was still at the shop and passed on it to buy one of the last '02 DHR's in 2002. Maybe I'm wrong?

And as for the "math" in suspension, how could borrowing a real engineers MX linkage to use on a bicycle really be treated as a ground-up, ahead-of-its-time design? Clever, yes, but borrowing technology from MX is what this sport is all about!

Lastly, the DHR has been around in the same basic form since 1999 so it too is nearly a decade old. It just hasn't been left to fall behind the times. You'd think something 100% handbuilt in-house would actually be able to stay with or ahead of the times better that something built in a factory, no?
 

c.o.d51

Monkey
Oct 5, 2005
137
0
c.o.d51 Have you thought about getting a slightly different dog bone link made to drop the BB height? Ideally you'd also get the swingarm shortened a touch,as by dropping the BB the swingarm would lengthen slightly(not nessacerily a bad thing),you could make the cut in front of the lower shock mount and get an insert put in for strength where you'd make the join. Or move the top shock mount.Lots of easy and not very expensive ways to drop the BB height and therefore slacken the head angle also. You could also mod the other link possibly,to get less travel,lower BB and less leverage ratio on the shock(not that it needs it). Just some ideas,I've been toying with.The Linkage site won't work on my Mac to work it all out.
Yeah, I actually have. If my RL doesn't sell, I will have a new linkage made up for it. Been thinking about doing that for as long as I had the bike, haha.

Bulldog said:
The racelink is almost 10 years old? I remember when that came out, pretty sure I was still at the shop and passed on it to buy one of the last '02 DHR's in 2002. Maybe I'm wrong?

And as for the "math" in suspension, how could borrowing a real engineers MX linkage to use on a bicycle really be treated as a ground-up, ahead-of-its-time design? Clever, yes, but borrowing technology from MX is what this sport is all about!

Lastly, the DHR has been around in the same basic form since 1999 so it too is nearly a decade old. It just hasn't been left to fall behind the times. You'd think something 100% handbuilt in-house would actually be able to stay with or ahead of the times better that something built in a factory, no?
The Race Link is more like 7 years old, but it's getting closer to a decade, I should have been more specific. I would still call the Race Link ahead of its time though, even if it's suspension is borrowed from the MX world. The BMW's suspension works so darn well you would think other people would copy it too.

As for the DHR, that bike evolved with the times, like the Race Link should have. I guess what still surprises me is that I can hop on my Race Link, which was designed 6 or 7 years ago and hasn't really been changed in that time and compare it to frames coming out now. I definitely wish that it had evolved with time, and man I can't wait to see what Doc comes out with next.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,051
1,054
01776
My 2001 racelink #17 is still going strong...I'm the third owner, I believe. Hand welded by Doc himself, this one was before welding went to kinesis in WA.

Yeah, slapped on gussets and underengineering is a joke. If anything, the bike is overengineered. Take a look at the turners massive headtube gusset and the goofy-arsed square toobing and tell me that isn't just for looks or slapped on as an afterthough. The turner is a great bike, for sure, but why would people be drilling linkages if it were perfect out of the box?

I love my bike. It's great for east coast riding. Yeah, the HT is steep and the top tube is short. The top tube is my least favorite part, but you get used to it in a short while. It really lets you force turns in steep situations. I've run my bike in 24x2, and 26/24 configurations, and I come back to the 24/24. The big front wheel made it too wandering for areas around here. I'm sure the the WOT california trails would change my mind, but it's too tight around here to really complain. I'm looking forward to dual 26's this year (yeah I'm a holdout, but I ride what I have, not what sam hill has).

And the frame complete with cranks and jackshaft weighs 14-17lbs. Terry's (TMX) racelink came in at 44lbs, and that's with a non-air 888. I wouldn't be surprised if you could get the bike down to 40-42 lbs with the new crop of geeked out lightweight parts (boxxer air, lighter cranks, ti spindles, etc). That being said, I love the suspension action on my bike and I loooooooooove the low maintenance and super solid feel.
 

no skid marks

Monkey
Jan 15, 2006
2,514
26
ACT Australia
I can't remember(someone else can search)but my RL weighed under 41lbs 2 years ago,It might have been under 40 even,I can't remember. it was with 40s and Ti. The one I'm about to build will be under 40 with Kowas.
 

xy9ine

Turbo Monkey
Mar 22, 2004
2,765
178
vancouver eastside
i believe sverre's bike was hovering around 40 lbs. the rl's aren't tanks by any means, though many owners tend to build them up as such.



doc's current dh ride has the same configuration of the old rl, but weighs ~38lbs. definitely stoked to see what the new big bike looks like.
 

Ian Collins

Turbo Monkey
Oct 4, 2001
1,428
0
Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA
i believe sverre's bike was hovering around 40 lbs. the rl's aren't tanks by any means, though many owners tend to build them up as such.



doc's current dh ride has the same configuration of the old rl, but weighs ~38lbs. definitely stoked to see what the new big bike looks like.

i'll take my 10 pound frame and DOWNHILL parts over an overbuilt frame with road and xc/trailbike parts...i would mangle everything on that bike(save the frame and cranks) in 1 run...my bike weighs about that much, but didn't cost an arm and a leg....plus everything i have spec'd is proporionate in terms of strength:weight:cost:performance.......
 

xy9ine

Turbo Monkey
Mar 22, 2004
2,765
178
vancouver eastside
i'll take my 10 pound frame and DOWNHILL parts over an overbuilt frame with road and xc/trailbike parts...i would mangle everything on that bike
what's suspect on that bike? i don't really see anything that wouldn't be wc worthy. regardless, it's a several year old design, low production boutique bike. denigrating it in comparison to current production race frames seems pointless. those that love them, love them allot. and if you don't get the attraction, no worries; there's lots of other great bikes out there. bikes (to some, anyways) are more than the sum of their specs & cost / weight ratios. my old tmx was great case in point. the frameset weighed ~20lbs (which i tried to offset non-cost effectively with a bunch of light bits & a heap of ti bolts), was expensive even as a used frame, and had outdated geometry. it was still one of my favorite bikes ever, and i have fonder memories of it than some of my more modern, lighter & faster hardware *sheds tear*. i love how bikes, the inanimate chunks of hardware they are, can instill that passion, and that's a subjective thing. no need for quantitative rationalization.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,051
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01776
i'll take my 10 pound frame and DOWNHILL parts over an overbuilt frame with road and xc/trailbike parts...i would mangle everything on that bike(save the frame and cranks) in 1 run...my bike weighs about that much, but didn't cost an arm and a leg....plus everything i have spec'd is proporionate in terms of strength:weight:cost:performance.......
wow...usually I have quite a bit of respect for your input. Normally I feel like you're an asset to this board...but I too fail to see what doesn't belong on that bike. Maybe the saddle is skinny, and yeah the road cluster and dérailleur, but those are pretty common on DH bikes now...plus it's made of metal, so I fail to see any weakness. Seatpost and stem are thomson, one of the best. Fork is skinny, but saying the boxxer isn't a proven design is quite foolish...profile cranks, regular platforms...maybe the rims? I can't tell what kind they are but they don't look too bad to me....saint brakes...come again? Are you bashing this bike because of some personal vendetta? did one run over and kick your dog?

The racelink may no longer be the future of mountain biking, but discrediting it as a piece of junk because your turner weighs less is bunk.
 

w00dy

In heaven there is no beer
Jun 18, 2004
3,412
28
that's why we drink it here
I like how the term overbuilt is being used in a derogatory tone. I won't deny it. My frame is over-built where it matters. The bearings for the swing arm pivot are massive compared to everything out there. The linkage bolts are all nice chunky grade 8 hardware. I never have to touch the thing and it never makes a peep. If you like light bikes, good on ya. To each their own. I'm hard on my bikes, and I hate servicing them. This is the bike for me.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,051
1,054
01776
As for pricing...

For around 3g's you get a north american made frame with franks, an excellent shock, a floater, and a chainguide.

For the same price you could buy a Knolly DT, which has perhaps MORE bolts than the racelink, is welded somewhere in NA, has no floater or any other gadgets (so add money for decent cranks and a chainguide) and what you end up with is a MORE expensive frame that is very arguably less engineered than the racelink.

Sure, your welded in taiwan sunday or mass-produced turner costs less, but these are boutique bikes. Take a look at the lahar...it'll cost you almost 4.2grand plus a lawsuit to get one of those.
 

Ian Collins

Turbo Monkey
Oct 4, 2001
1,428
0
Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA
i guess its not that skimpy on the build....i halfway stand corrected.....i just saw a dura ace derailleur, scrawny rims and tires, and that puny stem on a giant stilt and thats all it took for me.....the fork isn't bad, and some of the other parts are okay....it just doesn't seem logical to take an overbuild frame and spec it with relatively underbuilt parts when you can get a better end result other ways.....

i think the racelink is decent(certainly not my first choice) , i just always had a disdain for the old $12,000 big link bikes and the guys in new york riding down stairs on them with 14 pound $3,300 forks and talking about how their bikes are invincible and how everyone else's bikes were lame......so yeah, to answer your question, i'm a bit of a brooklyn hater.....sorry dude.....at least i admit it right?
 

Ian Collins

Turbo Monkey
Oct 4, 2001
1,428
0
Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA
Sure, your welded in taiwan sunday or mass-produced turner costs less, but these are boutique bikes.

i agree mostly with what you said, but i wouldn't call say turners are mass produced....couple hundred DHR's a year?

and as far as welding in taiwan?....the weld quality from taiwan is pretty spot on.....in many cases better than here in the states......look at the GT idrives that were "special edition" made in the USA!!!.....those ALL cracked.....the ones from taiwan had a much lower percentage of failure........

attention to detail is extremely important in Taiwanese culture, but not so much here.......being precise is a way of life over there
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,051
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01776
hater.....
fair enough...i agree that several years ago the brooklyn mafia was all about monster T's and 24" tires...

bikes have come a long way, i'd love to pick up a more modern interpretation of the downhill bike, but I just can't afford it.

Let's not bring GT into the equation...just...bad example :twitch: ...but when you have ~150 Racelinks made vs. a couple hundred DHRs a year, there's a big difference.