Strengths: good frame but needs modifying to make it as good as the designer intended
Weaknesses: badly machined parts.I am a cnc machinist and i know whats god and whats not after spending 20+ years making parts for anything from medical to nuclear
top bike now its sorted.evans was no use i took it to them 4 times showing them how the dw-link came loose at the swingarm(rear triangle)and they shortened the pin and locktighted the c/sunk screws in so i decided to machine another link but instead of having the collared bearings just butting up to the ally on the link i made some steel inserts sank them in and re-machined the faces then drilled and tapped through to clamp the small pin that goes through the link.I have no play at all and the flex in the rear wheel has almost gone too.
Bike Setup: stock apart from custom made seatpost,dw-link,re-machined bearing surfaces to make way for imperial bearings
a Weekend Warrior
from N. Edwards, CA
Date Reviewed: November 18, 2010
Strengths: Dual Link susp makes efficient use of power on every part of the trail. No wasted effort at all. Light Frame for 5-6" travel bike with great geometry to get over the rough stuff without banging the BB area or yourself. Susp is plush and Propedal isn't needed due to DW Link. Light enough to keep up with your XC friends with a triple up front.
Weaknesses: IronHorse going out of business. Future parts availability. Requires rear wheel with little flex to keep 2.2in and up tires from rubbing inside of rear triangle. Paint job is good, but is thin. Clear protectant tape is needed to keep cables from rubbing thru.
This is a great do-it-all frame that can be fast and light with the right components. Susp and Geometry allow it to clear 5-6ft drop offs without bottoming out or slowing down. Wish more bikes/frames were in this price range with the DW Link. Unless your looking to spend 4-6K on a 6" AM/Trail Bike, u cant go wrong with a used 07-09 MarkIII or 6 Point. Bearing kits are still availabe as well, but an allen wrench set, Q-Tips, and Park 1 grease once in a while will keep them lasting for many years to come.
Really hope whoever bought the company will bring IH back to life.
Bike Setup: Easton Stem/Bar/Post, 06 Marzoc AM3 Bomber 130-150 fork, Fox Float R, DTSwiss 340/4.1D wheelset on IRC Trl Bear 2.25's, Juicy3's, X9 Group w/Stylo, 980 cass and 990 hollowpin chain. (29lbs) (Medium Frame)
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 4, 2010
Strengths: Great design/geometry
Light when replaced with parts of preference
Climbs like a champ thanks to DW Link
Weaknesses: Poorly assembled by knuckheads at RS Cycle in Boulder.
Must replace alot of stock parts to make it rideable
Great design and well built frame with a some decent components. Upgrading parts is a must to make it handle nicely. DW Link is awesome.
However, do not purchase it from RS Cycle from Boulder. They are a junk show when it comes to everything about bikes. From assembly to a tune, they can screw up your bike in a heart beat. Forget about warranty parts, they will charge you whatever they can.
Strengths: amazingly versatile and fun to ride bike. sick tech for a great value. dw link. excellent climber; even better on descents
Weaknesses: frame not as stiff as super high end bikes. steep head tube angle makes it shy away but only on really tech terrain and big drops/jumps
bought this as first full suspension after doing a bunch of research, and super happy i got this one. its perfect for the riding i do: singletrack, some fairly technical stuff, small-med jumps/drops, long rides, steep hills. not super concerned with speed, just needed something that i can pedal up really steep hills around the bay area
fist off, getting 5 inches of dw link suspension for this price is awesome. since i bought this bike, I've had the chance to try other suspension designs. none of them have come close to impressing me like the dw link does. also, i recently tried a $5k bike with fairly similar geometry and the dw link suspension. the biggest differences were really the frame stiffness and a few performance improvements because of the high end components, but essentially the mkIII climbed just as good if not better and was really just about as fun to ride.
i will say that i would not feel comfortable on this bike on a lift-accessed bike park. the head tube angle and lack of stiffness make it shy away from the bigger jumps and drops and really steep, really technical terrain. but for everything except the super-gnar, this thing absolutely rips
ive ridden it a TON in the last year, and prety long, hard, rides and i have not had to replace any major parts yet. super durable, awesome, fun bike
a Weekend Warrior
from Yakima, Wa
Date Reviewed: October 2, 2009
Strengths: Great design. Plush feel. Automatically locks out when pedaling.Comforttable desighn, great downhiller.
Weaknesses: POORLY assembled. Missing internal lower bushings on both MK3 frames that I purchased.Rock shock rear is rubbish, stock parts especially BOTH DT Swiss wheeles lasted about 6 months w/horrible flexy Scram cassette..Lower swingarm on frame became loose and clunky ,ovalized where the pin goes through. RS denies the problem and says that the shock bushings are shot.RS had no replacement parts or hardware.
This design is meant to strictly run a shorter stroke shock like the Fox float, not the rock shock rear.Having the rear shock lock out automatically is great because you only have to pay attention to the rear shock from bottoming out and not sag settings. Once I put together my elite frame kit "for $450 including Rear shock", it was a completely different performing bike for the better.I learned to never buy a complete OEM bike ever again. I will propably keep my 2nd mk3 frame for spare hardware parts and try to get a hold of a new lower swingarm from Pacific Bike Supply who bought out Iron Horse.FYI Best bike I have ever ridden.
Similar Products Used: MK3 Elite 08 with fox rear.
Kona King Kikkapoo FS
Kona Muni Mula
Iron horese warrior FS
Bike Setup: Started out by purchasing MK3 comp through RS Cycles.Lower swingarm loosness when shock was retracted caused clunky feel when picked up vertically. Purchased new Elite frame kit through EBay and assembled properly from the lessins I learned from 1st frame.
Race Face NS Cranks and BB
Scram 9.0 grouppo with Twist
Rhino lite rims xt hubs 32X
Stock RS 321 shock anf Fox Float R Rear
Strengths: Lightweight (29.9lbs on my home scale), Nice mid level components from factory, handles like a dream, 130mm travel front / rear.
Weaknesses: Iron Horse may be going out of business and a lot of negative press. Not very popular or known in South Florida so hard to get fair opinions.
I was turned on to Iron Horse by a friend of mine who is heavy into stunts and free riding. I am more into aggressive cross country and trail riding, i like to beat the bike up while im out there and she has yet to fail me. What impressed me about this bike was that it weighed in at 30lbs with some pretty BA components for just 1400 to my door. Other bikes i considered were the Trek EX 5.5 and Specialized FSXR. I have read this in many places and its true, riding this bike is like being on rails, she responds to everything i throw at her just as i want it to. I would recommend this bike to anyone.
Similar Products Used: Kona Hardtail, Trek Hardtail (can't remember models)
Bike Setup: Stock (Rock Shox front, Rock Shox Rear, Disc Brakes, X9's and Avid Juicies.
a Cross Country Rider
from Newmarket NH
Date Reviewed: April 5, 2009
Strengths: Most nimble and effecient 5" travel bike I've ridden. The MK corners like it's on rails and climbs like it's powered with a combustion engine.
Weaknesses: Haven't found one
I'd recommend this bike to anyone under 175 lbs who wants a quick, relatively light 5" ride. MK is quick and efficient on the climbs, stable on the downs and excellent in transitions and technical terrain. You want a relatively inexpensive DW line machine, this is your XC ride!
Similar Products Used: Iron Horse Azure, Rocky Mountain ETSX, Blur LT, Titus Moto-lite
Bike Setup: Shram X0, Race Face cranks, Avid Juicy 7, FSA HS, Easton Carbon Monkey Lite Bars, Cross-max SL's APX 26 lbs.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 19, 2008
Strengths: plush ride for how efficient it climbs
Since these are still available figured I would post a follow up.
Been riding it for a year now, all over the west. Its the best all around mtb I have ridden in 20+ yrs of mtb'ing. Its an amazing suspension design (theres a really good reason why Turner switched to the DW). Climbs better than my 3.5" xc full suss even though its considerably heaver. Initially tried to run with a standard axle/QR skewer set up. Bad idea, the swingarm flexed so much even a 2.1 tire would rub the chainstay. Went to a 10mm thru axle (like it came with) and no more flex. Occasionally have to tighten the pivot bolts, which can be a pain since you have to remove the crank/chainrings to get to one of em. But I count that as regular maintenance, so no big deal.
Short of lift accessed runs and freeriding, this bike can handle it all. Buy one if you want an incredibly versatile mtb (and dont want/cant splash for a turner, pivot or ibis). At this point in time I will only ride/buy/recommend DW link bikes. Get one before they are gone (09 will be the last model year IH sells DW link bikes).
-Suspension does work really really well
Weaknesses: -I'm worried about it being not burly enough. No issue so far, but I do tend to ride my bikes rather hard
-Seat is really uncomfortable
This review is for the 2008 Iron Horse MKIII Comp:
The bike feels great. I got it about two weeks ago, and feel like I have gotten a bit of a feel for the bike.
First trip, I took the bike to the carriage roads in Acadia National Park. Basically dirt covered street riding. It was fine there though, just putting it through it's paces
Next, to Middlesex Fells, which is an hour long XC loop that has some decent ups and downs. The bike was a champ though. It cruised up hills, and the bike dominated the descents.
Then, I took the bike to Highland Mountain Bike Park in NH. Some sick downhilling, and definitely pushed the bike HARD. I didn't do any of the jumps as I didn't bring any armor or full face, so I don't know how well it flies yet. Anyways, the bike did fine, but definitely got thrown around a bit under me on these trails. That said, it handled these the trails quite well.
So, after 3 different sets of riding places, I can say that this bike is a solid solid ride. I probably won't take it back to Highland, as it just get's thrown around there, but if I was on a trail that involved that level of technical terrain, I am confident the bike will handle it.
The bike outclasses my I-Drive like whoa. The idrive was a great bike, no mistake, definitely my favorite bike before this one. But the travel feels much more effective, it seems like it will not creak as much (farkin eccentric drive has not been happy since I took it to Whistler). The bike will stay in my selection for years as my new favorite trail bike. I won't be buying any bike with less travel, but I might be getting a stronger DH/FR bike for lift mountain.
Quick review of RScycle: Very solid. My bike arrived in 8 days from when I ordered. Including building. That's fast.
People were nice, and I called a few times. Also picked up quickly, and were able to help everytime. One issue I had, was that I ordered a set of flat pedals along with the bike, and they ended up not getting shipped with the bike. No big deal, as I called, and they refunded me immediately. That call was about 3 minutes total, which is fantastic. Very apologetic as well. Also offered to ship them to me, but I needed them when I got the bike, so I picked them up at LBS.
of note, the price has gone up 100$ since I bought it.
Bottom line: If I only had space for one bike, only had money for one bike, had to choose one bike to ride, this would be it. A fantastic well-rounded product, that I am ultimately really really happy about purchasing.
Similar Products Used: 2001 GT i-Drive 3.0 with 5" Psylo Race
Various 4-bar linkage designs
Bike Setup: Stock except for some flat pedals
a Cross Country Rider
from Austin TX
Date Reviewed: August 3, 2008
Strengths: Amazing balance, smart blend of geometry, great spec (love the Revolution), DW Link.
Weaknesses: Ridiculous tire spec, brakes are impossible to set up for more than 1/2 ride at a time, weight will bother you if coming from a light bike. Slow transitions to climbing can take a while (ie coming out of slow, technical corner into steep section).
Really pleased with this ride. Bought it to try after great experiences with a 3" BMC DW link bike. I got a deal but would easily pay going prices after riding it for a while. I find this bike responds extremely well to moving my weight around on it... getting towards the rear on descents really slacks out the geometry, staying centered on the trail and sweepers is unbelievably neutral, and getting up on the front in tricky corners tucks in like an east coast bike. Possibly the most versatile FS I've had, and that's what I'm looking for these days (ie don't want a garage full of bikes).
It's a shame more riders don't get to try the MkIII out, seems like they get a bum rap for offering such great value!
Similar Products Used: Lots and lots of 3" bikes, in this travel range VPP and 4 link.
Bike Setup: 30% sag, 2 clicks off fastest rebound in back, 4 clicks off fastest rebound up front. Ditched Hayes nines for BB7s, my fav 2.1s on both ends, swapped to GripShift and XO drivetrain w/lighter cassette and more durable middle and smaller chainrings.
a Cross Country Rider
from Ogden, Utah
Date Reviewed: July 26, 2008
Strengths: DW-link is incredible.. basically a refined VPP design that functions differently in various conditions and speeds.. Climbs like a goat, great on tight single track and in technical, traction control during braking excellent. Very quick handling.. solid, tight design
Weaknesses: very hard to find a weakness with this bike. it is a little bit unstable (sketchy) at really high speeds like two-track fire road down hills. but that's mostly because of it's quick handling design.. so that could be more me than the bike
One incredible all mountain machine.. shines in all areas.. climb, descent, technical, braking. Ultimate traction control in all conditions.
buy this for aggressive xc / all mountain ride
I give the lower value rating only because I feel Iron Horse could do a little better with their components / thus I built my own.. Overall rating is for frame quality, geometry and rear suspension design.. and how all that works on the trail!
Similar Products Used: haven't used anything like this..
Bike Setup: 2007 MKII Hollowpoint Comp frame / fox float R
Nuke Proof stem
Cane Creek ZeroStack2 head set
Ti Tech bar / Ergon gc2 grips
Easton EA30 post w/ Intense Spyder Ti rail seat
Suntour XC Pro shifter
xt deraileurs (mid-cage rear)
Juicy 7 brakes (203mm f / 185mm r)
Marzocchi Bomber 55 TSTmicro ATA 140mm - 165mm 20mm QR
SunRingle Charger 20mm front wheel
Rear Wheel build: Hadley Ti SDH 1.4 108pt engagement w/ Ti 10mm thru-axle 14g spokes laced to Mavic XC717 disc rim.
WTB ExiWolf race 2.1 tires
Drive train: FSA Team carbon crank Mega-exo BB. 22-32-44 chain ring. rear cassette Action Tec heat treated Titanium cogs; 32-30-28-24-21-17-14-12
from Hatfield, MA, US
Date Reviewed: December 8, 2007
Strengths: The Rock Shox revolution 409, Hayes nines hydro brakes, sram x-7 componites
Weaknesses: the 2006 rear triangle, the chain will sooner or later just wear right through the metal. Also the manitou radium rear shock, the best upgrade for that is the marzochi roco air.
this bike is a tank!! nothing could stop it, climbs like a 20 pound hard tail and descends like the sunday cup. it mows down rock sections like crazy. you could hit medium sized drops. the only problem is the rear triangle, but you could change that out for $350. also the DW-LINK is AWESOME!!
Similar Products Used: the giant trance 2, i almost bought this bike, the thing that lead me away from it was that it had only 4.2 inches of travel, and i didn't like the fork on it.
Bike Setup: i've got a rock shox revolution 409 in the front, hayes nine hydro's, sram x-7 triggers and derialler, and x-gen in the front. manitou radium rear shock, ea30 bar stem, bars, and seat post. and i got kenda nevegal 1.95 in the front and maxxis hansventer 2.35 in the rear.
from Covington, Ga
Date Reviewed: March 22, 2007
Strengths: Balance of the bike is surprising for a 5" travel bike. I compete in Observed Trials and am able to do most of the same stuff on this bike to include the big drops. The bike breaks in quickly and all adjustments are fairly simple. 9speed is the answer but it takes a mechanical mind to watch the chain line so as not to rub the frame or the lateral knbs on whatever tire you have that are 2.3 or better. Great brakes that are similar to Magura's for bleeding and simple maintenance. Bike is also balanced front to rear allowing the front wheel to come up without any trouble. With some practice you can float the rear wheel around a corner riding a nose wheelie. It is that balanced. Width of the 06 bars is perfect for anyone who like to really move a bike around in the air.
Weaknesses: No weakness but if you can not read a manual on how to set up the air on both shocks you may want to go and sit back on the porch. For those of you that gripe about the weight then I suggest you get stronger. For this type of bike and what it was designed for, the weight is where it needs to be.
Buy this Bike if: You have terrain that is rooty and rocky Tired of Hard Tails Lower Back issues Want to go fast Want to stop on a dime Have good balance Prefer to have air in and under your wheels
Similar Products Used: Cannondale SV series, Kona Hard tails, Schwinn f/s, Stumpjumper, hard rock, FSR's, Turners, Gary Fisher
Bike Setup: Hayes Brakes, SRAM drive train, Manitou Rear shock with preload and dampener, Rock Shox 409 front with preload, dual air and dampener, WTB saddle and Tires (no issue here)
Read the specs on the websites I am not doing it justice.
a Weekend Warrior
from Havelock North, HB, NZ
Date Reviewed: February 6, 2007
Strengths: dw link suspension really is vrey good. I like the balance of the bike and the way it strikes a useful balance between cross country and trail.
Weaknesses: In top chain ring and two lower gears on cassette the chain rubs on the chain stay. i note that the top range Mk III has a slightly different geometry to cope with this. mind you it's not a big drama, as how often do you ride in this gear ratio anyways. Maybe a tad heavy compared to former bike, but it'd only be the difference between a half full and full camelback!
If it's any gauge, i'd look to purchase the 2007 iron horse Mk III first.
Looking to buy a 2008 Iron Horse MK III Comp. The company is out of business. The bike is in great shape. In the event that something breaks, is there anything on the bike that can not be fixed? (other than cracking the frame) Do I have to use Iron Horse parts or can I interchange them with other mo ... Read More »
I gotta share this with everyone. I normally ride a fully decked out Ibis Mojo SL with the best of everything in components. Well, I desided to use my wife's MK -III yesterday because my Mojo wasn't together after it's winter maintanance.
That bike is totally DOPE man. I rides over narrly root ... Read More »
Recently shopping for my 5th mountain bike, haven't purchased one since '02. Was originally focusing on a santa cruz superlight or jamis dakar 2.0, checked out the rs site and am leaning toward an iron horse azure or mk III. Great pricing that def. allows for upgrades, checked both of them a ... Read More »
Can someone give me some info on the HOLLOWPOINT MK III COMP? I have been looking for reviews but have not found them. I am not famaliar with IronHorse bikes. Is this a good company? Any information on this bike or the other hollowpoints would be great.
MonteRead More »