Iron Horse MK III Expert Freeride Full Suspension

4.2/5 (15 Reviews)


Product Description

-Rock Shox Pike Race fork
-Progressive 5th Element Air shock
-Sram X.9 derailleur & triggers
-FSA V-drive MegaExo cranks
-Crank Bros Candy clipless
-Hayes Hydraulic HFX-9 carbon brakes w/6" mudcutter rotors
-WTB Laserdisc Lite hubs w/DT Competition spokes & Mavic XM317 Disc rims


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Reviews 1 - 15 (15 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by burnsaster a Weekend Warrior from Boulder, CO

Date Reviewed: May 5, 2009

Strengths:    Very light out of the box, the suspension works great and it's stable on rough terrain. X9 shifters are snappy, wheels have held up well.

Weaknesses:    Saddle is uncomfortable/narrow. Broke a pedal rail first ride. Some sram front derailleur tuning issues.

Bottom Line:   
This is an extremely fun bike, fast on the climbs and more fun on the way down. The balance of weight and travel is perfect for killing singletrack and even moderate DH. It moves smoothly over technical sections and corners great. No bob when climbing. Moves a bit when sprinting but is still fast.

Rear brake needed a small flat washer for spacing. RSCycle is local and they are great.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   apex

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1950.00

Purchased At:   rscycle.com

Similar Products Used:   '99 FSR w/4" fork, disc. Not even close

Bike Setup:   Revelation fork w/remote lockout, ea50, Float R, Juicy7, WTB pure.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by aph72 a Cross Country Rider from Duluth

Date Reviewed: August 18, 2008

Strengths:    No brake jack, no chain growth, smooth pivots, stiff frame, smooth suspension.

Weaknesses:    At 30.85 lbs, it is heavier than I care for. Riding on pavement to link up trails is a chore. Wish it had a lock-out for riding on pavement.

Bottom Line:   
I may have been a bit harsh in my previous review. I've since re-tuned the suspension and have it really dialed in. I am now using almost all 140mm on my local loop. I still can't hammer this beast out of the saddle, but I have to snicker at the dainty way guys on hardtails or short travel xc bikes go over obstacles that I don't hardly feel. My Epic is supposed to have 100mm of travel front and rear, but compared to the MKIII, it feels like it has about 50mm of travel. I have had a few problems with stuff falling off this bike however. The left crank arm almost came off, and the rear brake caliper fell off too. I went through the bike and made sure everything was tight, it's been ok since. Guys on lighter bikes drop me pretty easily on climbs, but since we're not racing, I don't feel to bad about it. If I had to describe this bike in one word, it would be "smooth". It makes most trail obstacles disappear.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Hartley

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Epic, Gary Fisher Sugar.

Bike Setup:   Pike 454, 5th Element shock, Crossmax XL's, Panaracer Cinders converted to tubeless, X-9 drivetrain, Hayes 9 carbon brakes.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Baron Von Zipper a Downhiller from Santa Cruz

Date Reviewed: February 17, 2008

Strengths:    great linkage design

Weaknesses:    The HT angle was a little steep. But this bike is designed for aggro All mountain/ slalom, and the HT angle depends on the fork you are running. I have a X-Fusion Velvet 130mm, a little short, but the best little fork ivve ever ridden.period.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is great for what it is built for. It handles great in the tight technical sections, with great pedaling feedback. Some people think the linkage is junk, but they don't have the shock set up right. The 5th sucks, you should try a more progressive shock whith more sag. I'm running about 40% on th e H3 and it is epic. great pedaling platform and excellent bump absorbtion. Couldn't ask for a better trail bike. but it's not a DH bike

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   peeBloody

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   friend of the shop

Similar Products Used:   SC heckler, SC Vp-Free

Bike Setup:   X-fusion fork and H3 shock, xt built with an E-13 DRS. DT swiss wheels on mavic(F) and bontrager(R) hubs.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Andrew a Cross Country Rider from Duluth, MN

Date Reviewed: February 13, 2008

Strengths:    Affordable for a patented suspension design (vs VPP, Horst, etc). Rigid frame. Pedals well when in the saddle. Very plush, soaks up every root, rock, stick, bump, etc (too plush for my tastes though). I couldn't feel any pedal kick-back or brake-jack. Makes manualing pretty easy. Affordable when purchased via mail order.

Weaknesses:    Can't sprint out of the saddle with this design. Alot of suspension 'squish', 'bob', (whatever) when pedalled out of the saddle in a gear where you might want to accelerate quickly. The forums say this doesn't require much compression dampening, but I disagree. I have the platform maxed out on my 5th Element shock. My experience says the anti-squat design of this frame only works when seated, spinning a quick cadence in a low gear. Try sprinting on pavement, you'll find out what I mean very quickly. You'll never outsprint the Cloverfield monster. Pretty darn heavy, but this is an 'all mountain' design. I'm not calling Dave Weagle a liar, but is this a real DW-Link, or a more cost effective version of an Ibis or Pivot? DW-Link lite? Did Iron Horse engineers edit his design? Why so much bob? Am I ruining the resale value of my bike with this review?

Bottom Line:   
Ok, I had a 2000 Gary Fisher Sugar 1 which had a very flexible frame, a too-steep head angle, a too low bottom bracket, no disc-brake mount, and not even enough rear tire clearance for a 2.0 tire. I went 180 degrees in the opposite direction to get a very stiff, plush bike. This bike, with the thru-axle Pike fork, and reinforced chassis fit that description with a really nice price at Performancebike.com with their 20% off coupon and 10% back when you join their 'Team Performance' Club. Ok, enough about the positives. Why do I HATE this bike? Everybody gushes over the DW-Link. I think it is only optimized for in the saddle pedalling. If you look at the graphic on dw-link.com, the 'mountain biker' is seated. Out of the saddle, it squishes like mad. A lot of your effort goes into activating the suspension. At first, I followed the suggestions in the Iron Horse forum and set it up with 30% sag and no compression dampening. This was a super cool setup as long as you pedal in the saddle 100% of the time and spin like mad with low gears using a high cadence. However, if you want to jump out of the saddle and sprint, say good-bye to a bunch of your leg power. Eventually, I changed to 20% sag with the platform maxed out to get better pedalling performance. Did this change make me fall in love with this bike? No, it still doesn't climb out of the saddle like I wish it would, and it still weighs a ton. Maybe all 5.5" bikes pedal like this, I can't really say. Would a $4K 5.5 inch travel Ellsworth or Intense frame squish like this too? It might, I've never ridden one. I'm going to sell this squish monster and get a Specialized Epic or another similar cross-country bike. I live in the mid-west and hammering on the flats and climbs is more important than plush descending. I really don't understand why the DW-Link gets such good press. I don't like it, at least not as 5.5" bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Hartley

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   Performancebike.com

Similar Products Used:   Gary Fisher Sugar 1 (flexible, but pedalled well), Trek Y33 (did nothing well, very flexible, pedalled poorly), Specialized S-Works hardtail (stiff, pedals awesome).

Bike Setup:   Stock 2006 Expert model, with Rock Shox Pike 454 and 5th Element air shock.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Matt a Weekend Warrior from Hobart, TAS, Australia

Date Reviewed: September 23, 2007

Strengths:    Pretty solid, good suspension action, no bob in second chain ring. Quick steering, but still solid on the downhills. Low bottom bracket helps the bike's handling too.

Weaknesses:    Maybe a little heavy, stock bars don't have enough rise for my liking, stock saddle is uncomfortable. Head angle is a bit steep, but putting on higher riser bars help here a bit. High Roller on the rear is anything but.

Bottom Line:   
Solid design, but nothing spectacular IMO. Handles well, and reasonably predictably, but I think it needs a bit of a slacker head angle. Probably at its best on not-so-steep technical trails, but doesn't love those steep fast downhills.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Stumpjumper

Bike Setup:   Stock, but with SDG Bel Air saddle, Syncros Gain riser bars, Crank Bros Mallet pedals. I am thinking of putting on a normal headset (i.e. not internal) to slacken the head angle a bit.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Russell a Weekend Warrior from Orange, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: April 9, 2007

Strengths:    Excellent rear suspension design, strong clean build, great brakes.

Weaknesses:    Seat is a little too narrow for me, too many reflectors!

Bottom Line:   
Excellent bike for all round use. No bobbing when climbing while sitting, very little and controlled when standing. Very strong, excellent SRAM 9 shifting. I absolutely LOVE this bike. This bike gets air very easily and allows me to confidently ride what scared me while on the Super V. Smooth!!!

After riding I have a smile on my face!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale Super V, Cannondale DeltaV 900,

Bike Setup:   Changes pedals to SPD's, changed seat, cut the bar width and added bar ends.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jon a Weekend Warrior from CA

Date Reviewed: December 19, 2006

Strengths:    great rear linkage, pretty light, sturdy

Weaknesses:    the only thing so far is that the crank has come loose once

Bottom Line:   
overall its a great bike. hardly any suspension bob when climbing and extremely active suspension when going back down. if you love a bike that can climb up one side of a mountain and go down the other with ease then this a bike that you'll love

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   santa monica mountains

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   performance bikes

Bike Setup:   stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by lars a Weekend Warrior from Phoenix

Date Reviewed: August 7, 2006

Strengths:    Ease of uphill peddling / downhill (mountain trail) performance is excellent / components / clearance & appearance.

Weaknesses:    Progressive fifth element shock heim joints had some play, replacing the joints free from Progressive solved the problem, the fifth element is a very good shock IMO / ‘07 model slated to have a different rear shock so that shouldn’t be an issue anyway / not as fast as other bikes I have had in the XC but none of them could do what this bike does on the mountain trail.

Bottom Line:   
In my opinion this is not a Free Ride Full Suspension bike and should be listed in the All Mountain Full Suspension category.

Ironhorse’s description is: DW-link Trail bike built for a variety of terrain. Designed for long technical climbs, technical descents, trail rides covering a wide variety of terrain.

Bottom line: Very pleased with the performance and my decision to buy this bike. The DW-link is awesome / perfect all mountain bike / comparatively inexpensive / buy this bike for what it is intended.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2400.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bikes

Similar Products Used:   A lot of different FS MB

Bike Setup:   Stock except for personal preference on seat, tires & grips.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Howard Kaiser a Cross Country Rider from Chandler

Date Reviewed: June 26, 2006

Strengths:    Components! RS 454 U-Turn Fork w/ 20mm thru-axle, 5th Element Shock, Hayes Hydraulics, SRAM d/r's, DT Swiss Wheels.
Design! dw link, low top tube height, perfect (for me) geometry...


Weaknesses:    A little play in the rear linkage. Doesn't affect the ride, but I'm watching it. Linkage can loosen up after hard use. This requires close inspection after every ride and liberal use of Loctite. When you hear squeaks and groans during hard pedalling, its time to check those bolts!

Bottom Line:   
Another great bike for IH! I love my 04 Hollowpoint, but I beat it bad enough to break 2 frames in 2 years! (I also broke 2 frames on my Razorback.) So I knew I needed a beefier bike for my Cross-mountain work. I think I'm gonna love this one, too. I love the way it rides!
Great fork - lots of adjustments, a nice pedal platform, and so smooooooth.
Good rear shock set-up...also smooth and pedalling is easy in spite of the increased weight.
Good running gear - Sram shifting and Hayes stoppers connected thru WTB hubs and DT Swiss wheels.
Good WTB V Speed seat and Thompson seat tube. Nice Easton bars and stem.
This bike is like any fine thoroughbread. If you take good care of it, you can win on it. The bike has a few niggling little problems, but it's a complex rig that sees a lot of abuse, so this is a small price to pay for the outstanding performance. I can't speak to it's jumping ability cause I'm not a huge jumper, butI can really push this bike and still feel in total control. This bike is the perfect machine for the go anywhere rider.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   South Mountain

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Similar Products Used:   Iron Horse Hollowpoint, K2 Razorback

Bike Setup:   Stock except for tire swap. The 2.25 Panaracer Cinders were a little much for our Arizona hardpan. I like the 2.1 Fire XC Pros much better. (Personal choice...not a dig on the bike)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jim a Weekend Warrior from Gorham, Maine USA

Date Reviewed: January 26, 2006

Strengths:    Excellent trail bike. Great suspension. Decent spec's. Climbs, decends & rolls very well. I feel it's easily one of the best trailbikes you can buy.

Weaknesses:    There was some loose linkage initially, but Iron Horse sent the parts to remedy that & it's much better now, although it's slightly noticeable when picking the bike up, but not while riding it. I can certainly live w/ that.

Bottom Line:   
This is easily the best bike I've ever owned or riden for that matter. It is not a Freeride bike, it's a trailbike. It pedals very well in all situations. It cruises over rough stuff smoothly & under braking as well. The rear triangle is very stiff, there is no flex that I can feel & belive me, after riding an 05 Superlight, there is a HUGE difference. I'm not a big guy at 180lbs. Perhaps the reviewer that had trouble w/ his got a lemon. I know of 2 others who ride the same bike (05 MK111)& they too feel it's the best trailbike they've ever owned. In fact, they've been riding high-end bikes for years. The DW link works, period. I would buy one again. If you want a good trailbike take the MK111's seriously. Also, don't be afraid of the Rock Shox fork. The Pike Race is an excellent fork!
I've had 2 Foxes (Talas RLC, F100X), 2 Manitou's (Sherman Firefly, Black Super w/ SPV), & I'd take the Pike over all of them any day of the week, it's that good. It's very adjustable, plush & firm when you want it to be. It's also simple, it takes no time to dial in as long as you have the right spring in it, (I had to move up to the firm ride kit), & the Maxle is an excellent idea. If you want a really cool trailbike check these out.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bradbury State Park

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1750.00

Purchased At:   Supergo

Similar Products Used:   I've owned a number of bikes, such as an 03 Jamis Dakar XLT 2; Giant AC1; Haro Werx XLS & Santa Cruz Superlight

Bike Setup:   Race Face Deus Stem & post, FSA 270 bars, WTB Pure V saddle, Sram X.O grip shift w/ X.O rear der. ,Shimano DX30 platform pedals, 2.1 Kenda Nevegals Stick-E w/ Stan's kit, & Odi lock-on grips. The rest is stock.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John Vales a Weekend Warrior from Paxton, MA USA

Date Reviewed: December 31, 2005

Strengths:    This bike constanly amazes me. I previously purchased a Santa Cruz Blur LT. I thought that it was as good as it could get. I took a ride on a MKIII at a shop demo day when I was on vacation. I was completely blown away by the difference in performance between the MKIII and the Blur. I sold my Blur and bought the MK the next week. I went for the Expert for its solid parts spec and switched out the fork from my Blur (a fox). I was convinced from my test ride that the dw-link was pretty amazing, but I really did not understand until I got to my local trails. The MK and dw-link pedals SOOOO much better than my Blur did. It is really the most noticable on the climbs, where it seems alomost impossible to lose traction. I weigh in at 255 lbs, so I am no lightweight. I read a review below where a rider said he had some rear end flex issue? The MK's are known around riding circles as being very stiff structurally for a suspension bike. From my experience owning the Blur and an FSR previously, I will say that the MK is heaps stiffer than both of my older bikes. My MK is seriously as stiff as they come. Much stiffer in the back than my Blur LT was. Its my guess that the guy below either weighs 500 lbs, or has a loosely tensioned wheel.

Weaknesses:    Honestly nothing I can find. I have ridden the bike hard and it has rewarded me every time.

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike. The dw-link is just plain amazing, the design and construction are among the best that I have ever seen, the parts spec is solid, and the bike looks great. What else is there!? I'd give it more chilis if I could.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   all singletrack

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Blur LT, Specialized FSR

Bike Setup:   Stock Expert with FOX fork

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Jeff Elmore a Cross Country Rider from Macomb, IL 6145

Date Reviewed: December 14, 2005

Strengths:    Relativly light weight for a 5" travel bike. Good parts mix. Short top tube fits me well. Nice steep headtube angle.

Weaknesses:    The first problem I had is that all the bolts in the pivots come lose after every ride. I finally got that worked out after a couple jars of locktite. Then one of the pivots started making a god awful creaking/ groaning noise. After Iron Horse was no help in determining the problem I discovered that they had installed spacers behind the bearings that were about half a millimeter too wide so the bearings did not seat all the way in. I shaved down the spacers and solved that problem. Next, the darn bike flexes like a wiggling fish whenever I put any presure on the pedals going up hill. At first I thought that the flex was all in the DW links. I have figured out that most of it is actually the rear triangle flexing extremly badly towards the drive side. The rear triangle was not built strong enough to take the torsional forces applied to it in padalling. The result is that with every pedal stroke up a hill the front of the rear wheel moves all the way over to the left and rubs the frame. A quarter inch grove has been rubbed in the left chain stay and will soon wear all the way through my frame. I have even tried putting on smaller tires but it just allows the wheel to move further. I contacted Iron Horse several times about the problem. They first blew me off. Next they denied there was a problem. Finally they admitted that there have been some complaints of this but I shouldn't concern myself with it. They said the triangle is strong enough it wont break. Thats a load of crap. I was very courteous everytime I spoke to them but now I have had it with them. Everyone needs to know there is a serious problem with this bike. The rear triangle just was not designed well and they need to admit it and build new ones to replace them. If you have one, get on it and grab the brakes. While looking at the rear triangle apply pedal force to either pedal and watch the flexing. Its enough to make you sick. You may also want to take off the rear wheel and look at the inside of the chain stays to check for wear. Another problem thats not Iron horses fault is the rear cassette has rotated forward under pedal forces and gauged its way into the freehub body. It cant remove it without prying on it very hard with a screw dirver. The problem is that they used a cheap cassette that has all individual gears instead of one that has the first six or seven gears on attached to one body (ie. using a shimano xt instead of the sachs).

Bottom Line:   
A very good linkage design as I thought it would be but ruined by the bad rear triangle flex problem. I would not recomend this bike to anyone.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   porqupine rim Moab

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz (all of them)

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Matthew Muldoon a Cross Country Rider from Petaluma

Date Reviewed: November 28, 2005

Strengths:    Ride and handling. The DW Link, the rigid Pike and geometry all work together to provide a remarkably plush, efficient, predictable ride. The rear suspension feels bottomless, it manages to feel like it's digging in on the climbs while remaining compliant to ground input. Seated bob? Naw. Brake jack, stinkbugging? None here. Pedal feedback? Nope. It will bob during standing pedaling, but it's managable and you don't buy a bike like this for standing sprints. If I'd known a FS bike could ride so sweet I'd have bought one sooner. It climbs great up nasty stuff, it descends great down nasty stuff.

In the pictures you often see of the bike, the frame looks kinda cobby and the rear triangle looks bulky. It's not really like that, though. The downtube has a subtle and artfully executed S bend to it to accomodate the Pike's crown. The DT/ST/pivot/BB/lower shock mount junction is a one-piece gizmo that connects it all with a minimum of welds. Very nice.


Weaknesses:    The bike seems like a poorly thought-out slap-dash assembly of parts. The cassette is gouging into the splines on the freehub. The stock seat post is useless. The front derailleur hits the swingarm pivot. It drops the chain when I hit big bumps. The Progressive 5th Element shock has an IFP chamber that IH and DW tell you, in effect, not to use. So why equip the bike with that shock? And, of course, there's the much discussed play issues in the linkage, for which IH sent me a tight tolerance kit that got rid of most of it. I can live with that. But I can see where the remaining slop is- it's in the lower shock mount. It's frustrating to be able to see exactly where the problem is and be unable to do anything about it.

Bottom Line:   
Outstanding performance, poorly executed. I am confident that I can solve all the problems with some tweaking. Every time I ride the bike, I'm more impressed with it. Coming off an HT, I think I'm learn how to ride this bike and to appreciate and exploit it's strengths.

I bought this bike slightly used from a guy who needed a race bike and couldn't afford to keep the MkIII. The problems are upsetting but even if I'd bought the bike new, I don't think I'd regret the choice. On a bang-for-the-buck basis, IH is hard to beat. You can find good deals on new ones at RScycle.com, Performance and Supergo.

Yeah, it's not perfect. My rating might seem too high when you read the "weaknesses" part of my review. But almost everyone I know who's bought a new bike has had issues to deal with, and that includes the high end bling bikes. Industry standard appears to be to slap something together and rush it to market. When I ride the MkIII on a nasty, rocky, rough trail, I forget all that, and instead think to myself, "..this thing is sweet...". Worth considering if you're in the market for a trail bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Annadel St. Park

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Used

Similar Products Used:   GT IDXC, Specialized Enduro, Marin Single Pivot thing I forget the name

Bike Setup:   Still trying

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Douglas Cook a Downhiller from Edinburgh

Date Reviewed: October 30, 2005

Strengths:    The ride is great, the DW Link suspension does exactly what it says on the tin, it climbs efficiently and descends very well.
Over the last few months I have used it for everything and it has proved very versatile, it has been XC'd, slicks have been thrown on for road riding and I have dropped the saddle and wound up the forks to take it DHing with mates. Despite the fact that I own a road bike and downhill bike I have not been dissapointed with the way the MKIII has performed when being asked to do something that isnt what it was designed for.
The handling of the bike is near spot on (see weaknesses for my only gripe), it feels very well balanced on almost all terrain and inspired confidence right from the off, encouraging it to be thrown around more than any other bike I have owned.
The dropped top tube offers masses of standover clearance, for someone with short legs that is important!


Weaknesses:    Head angle could do with being slackened off a touch, on faster trails this was not quite so much of a problem as the bike loves to have the front end lofted up and launched over drops and steeps. On slower tech sections where you are forced to ride roll ins etc I find that I have to fight harder to stop being kicked over the front end than on my old bike (Santa Cruz Chameleon with the same forks as on the MKIII), the head angle on the 06 model has been slackened out slightly. Paintjob is not the toughest though I don't particularly like the green colour anyway so a respray would be fine!
Mine was one of a small number of frames to suffer from a very small amount of play in the upper shock mount. Even after new shock hardware I am still suffering slightly, it's not a huge issue however, does not affect the ride and has got no worse as the bike is being ridden, it should be sorted soon anyway.


Bottom Line:   
This bike rocks! I felt instantly at home onboard and enjoy it more every time I get on board. The suspension design is very confidence inspiring, I have found myself wanting to throw the bike around and pop off every rock and root I can find, knowing the bike will keep begging for more. I have had myself in situations where I know my old DH bike (8" travel Norco A-Line) would have started to have got a little bit out of shape but the MKIII just gets you out of trouble before it starts. The versatility of the bike just continues to blow me away.
It's not just the descending of the bike that is great, climbing is excellent, it is very composed on Singletrack, fire road and tarmac climbs. I had ridden the MK III Comp demo bike and was impressed at the performance with a non-platform shock and was slightly apprehensive at going with the 5th Air, especially based on the less than positive feedback I had from those using it on other bikes. After considering swapping the shock out from new I am happy I stuck with it, against what I was led to believe it has been plush and lively on all terrain. I have run with the minimum pressure of 50psi in the CVT chamber and allowed the DW Link to perform the job of providing maximum pedalling efficiency, which it does.

If I could give out 4.5 chill's I would because it is exactly what this bike is, 5 would be perfect and despite coming close the MK III is not quite perfect, I don't think I have ever ridden a perfect bike, as it stands the Iron Horse is the best I have experienced. For 2006 the head angle will have been slackened out and my main issue with the bike will have dissapeared, I look forward to hopefully getting my hands on a 2006 frame and having the pleasure of finally riding the perfect bike!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The ones nobody else knows about!

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $3500.00

Purchased At:   Alpine Bikes Edinburgh

Similar Products Used:   This is the first XC full suspension I have owned, my previous XC rig was a Santa Cruz Chameleon. I have owned full sus downhill bikes in the past. Working in a bike store does allow me to have extensive tests on a variety of similar bikes and I have had demo rides on similar bikes from Santa Cruz, Trek and Gary Fisher amongst others.

Bike Setup:   Stock setup with upgraded:
-Forks to Pike Teams.
- Wheels to Shimano XT/Aireal Industries hubs on Mavic XM719 rims.
- Brakes to Shimano Saint 180mm rotors.
- Easton EA70 bar and stem.
- Michelin Hot S tyres.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Greg C a Cross Country Rider from MA

Date Reviewed: October 21, 2005

Strengths:    DW-Link Suspension, balance, and confidence.

Weaknesses:    Limited rear tire clearence for big tires.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is amazing. The Dw-link suspension just works well in all trail situations. Traction on slow speed technical climbs is second to none. The suspension takes high speed big hits just as well. Balance is the key to this bike. You feel very centered and neautral on the bike. The front and rear do there thing and the rider can just pick lines. Climbing or descending you feel in command on the MKIII. The Mk gives you a ton of confidence on big step ups and log moves.
The spec is great on the bike. The only items I changed were personal preference items. Like saddle, grips, stem , and bar.
It is very important to take the time and set this suspension up correctly. Follow DW's set-up guide on the Iron Horse site.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   chicken soup@Lynn Woods

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   JRA Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Many 4-5 inch travel rigs

Bike Setup:   mainly stock.

Reviews 1 - 15 (15 Reviews Total)

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Using an 05 MK III Expert on Mojo

Hi all, I'm thinking about getting an Ibis Mojo frame and put all parts from my 05 MK III expert into the Mojo. my MK III is stock so is there anything that won't work on the Mojo? I've never built a bike before so I'm not sure which parts will or will not work. I probably will have an LBS do ... Read More »

My price on new 2006 MK III Expert

Shop is asking $1800 for brand new stock bike. They are willing to swap saddles for one I prefer for free. They will swap the rear shock to a cloud 9 for 240(they keep original) and they will swap pedals to ATAC XS for 100 (they keep originals). I'm new to all of this but wanted to see if these n ... Read More »

'05 Mk III Expert, Parts Question - Triggers

Just picked up a '05 Mk III Expert on clearance at a LBS. From the few component specs I was able to find online about the 2005 models, they say the Expert should come with X-9 triggers. Mine came with X-7s. Can other '05 Expert owners confirm what theirs came with. If the LBS did swap th ... Read More »

MK III Expert vs Reign 2

These are the final two bikes I'm looking at from my LBS's. I'm just under 200, ride aggressive XC in SoCal (so the bike has to climb well) and I'd like to spend not much more tha 2K. I'm leaning strongly toward the MK III Expert, I can get a great deal on it where it's actually less than the Reign ... Read More »

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