a Weekend Warrior
from Chandler, AZ, USA
Date Reviewed: January 6, 2009
Strengths: fun, comfortable frame, good geomtry for climbing/decending rough stuff as it should be on an all-mountain bike.
Weaknesses: parts: radium, bb-5's, radium, deore, radium...
a few major design flaws on the frame, weight.
I really do like this bike, but not because it's the greatest bike. More because I got it for $450 used on craigslist. And thank you to that guy for giving me that deal! He's already installed the pike on it, which is an awesome fork.
This frames rear sus travel causes the chain to hit the chain stays when in the big ring and the front derailur to hit the ball joint looking thing at the bottom of the bike when in the small ring. So either way, you're eating away at metal whenever your suspension is compressed. I wrapped my chainstay with an old tube and am just dealing with the ball joint thingy showing a major etch where the derailer's hitting. I haven't yet tried to see if I can adjust it, but the shifting is perfect, so in my opinion, when the shifting's perfect, the derailer shouldn't hit the frame... whatever.
At the end of the day, I really enjoy riding this bike. Being a light guy, I don't worry about the weight, and I can climb or decend with the best of 'em all day long. I have my worries about the radium, and there's some stiction once and a while, but so far, so good.
one other flaw is that I'm having to tighted all the bolts on the D-link stuff every few weeks at around 3-4 rides/week. Lame. But whatever, I'll ride it till it breaks, and then find another deal. 4 chilli's for value at my price, 2 for the actual quality of the bike.
Strengths: Good value for the money. Light for an AM bike of this price. Good components, except for the pedals [CB smarty]. I rode it very hard this summer and it is no worse for the wear. I like SRAM drive train better than my "old" Shimano on the GF. Extra DR hanger included.
Weaknesses: CB smarty pedals. They are fine when working, but broke after only 3 mo. use. RS and CB did honor the warranty and sent me a new pair, but it took ~ 8 weeks to get it and I had to pay to ship the broken ones back first.
Very good bike for the money. I spent a good deal of time reviewing bikes - this one rates well and you do get good components for this price range. I can't say that much about the DW Link suspension design since I do not have a lot of experience with other full suspension bikes. However, it seems efficient enough to me [no noticeable "bob" generally]. I did end up replacing my smartys with Time ATAC and I like them better. Easy to get in and out of & very sturdy. Very smooth bearings as well. I also paid for the pro build from RS. I was worth it for me. It only took 20 min for me to unpack and assemble the bike. It was delivered promptly from RS and in good condition. I also had to buy a bleed kit from AVID and bleed the breaks. They have worked great since then.
Similar Products Used: Upgrade from C'dale Superv1000
Bike Setup: SRAM x.7, x.9, TruVative Blaze, Reba, Ario, Hayes HFX-9, Maxxis Hansventure, WTB Saddle & Wheels, Easton: Bar/Stem/Seatpost
a Cross Country Rider
from Phoenix, AZ USA
Date Reviewed: May 8, 2008
Strengths: Great frame design. The DW Link really works to eliminate pedal bob. Climbs great. Lot's of suspension travel.
Weaknesses: Suspension linkage squeaks.
I bought this bike a rode it knowing that I was going to upgrade as componenets wore out. I switched to a Manitou Black Platinum Air shock, changed the whole drivetrain to XT, Hayes HFX 9 HD brakes with 8" rotors, Bontrager Race Disc UST rims. Great bike for the money. Very upgradeable. I ride 100 miles each week of road on Trail 100 in Phoenix. Very rocky and rough terrain. This is hard on a bike, but this one has held up very well. Definitely a great buy. Highly recommend this one.
a Weekend Warrior
from Sydney, NSW, Australia
Date Reviewed: January 7, 2008
Strengths: pretty much the whole bike.
Weaknesses: The stem and handle bars.
I would recommend this bike to people who are in to xc and freeride, it pretty strong but i am going to upgrade a few thing like chain guide, stem, handle bars, lock-on grips, and minion tyre for the front.
a Cross Country Rider
from Los Angeles, CA. USA
Date Reviewed: May 8, 2007
Strengths: design integrity, build quality, rider position, good balance throughout
Weaknesses: Wide and strange handlebars, chain, mystery hubs
I bought this bike after i decided to test out Ironhorse after ridding many Konas for years. I work as a bike mechanic in Soutern CA and Texas and had heard a few interesting reports about the frame geometry. The Sport has an OK component list, but i did not expect it to be anything special. I ride this bike once a week throughout the southwest(CA, AZ,NV) and in Texas and i have decided that is really is a landmark design. The Manitou Iridium and the Black fork work great for the money and i have had not a single problem with them. The Black fork works as well as my Fox fork on my kona and the Black is 1/4 the price. I ususally dislike Answer products, but these work well. The rest of the group is acceptable as long as you take care of it. Ditch the stock chain. I have a 17.5" and the frame just works well and handles everything with ease. Fire roads to rutted downhills are absorbed and the bike sticks. Uphill is above average becuase the postion the bike puts you in. I rebuild all tyoes of bikes everyday and i know that these dail in really well even after 5 years of use. I can tell becuase the hangers stay straight.I really like the bike and it is very well worth the money. Ironhorse has done a great job and delivered a bomb product.
Knowing that these bikes are very close it is a tough choice to make. I want to do aggressive trail and XC but I don`t want to be afraid to do any small drops. The main difference between these 2 are in the parts specs but I am wondering which frame would hold up better and need less maintainence. I ... Read More »