Bike Setup: fork:44RC3
a Cross Country Rider
from North Shore, Canada
Date Reviewed: May 12, 2008
Strengths: Great overall components, geometry - a one stop go.
Weaknesses: Need a bigger disk up front. Chain slap in descents.
I bash this bike in the mud, snow, rain of the north shore. never any problems. it climbs great and has a great geo to rip the turns you earned. Rode it with no problem in MOMAR adventure race (7 hours) and had a great time with no mechanicals or issues.
Similar Products Used: Iron Horse Azure, Brodie, Specialized Stumjumper
Bike Setup: Stock
a Weekend Warrior
from Suffolk, UK
Date Reviewed: March 18, 2008
Strengths: DW link removes peddle induced bob Well built frame painted a great colour (egg shell blue...nice!) Some of the kit is excellent (XO, Hayes Caminos, Thomson seat post, E70 stem and bar, 5th Element shock, Fizi:k saddle, Mavic XL wheels and hubs)
Weaknesses: Some of the stock kit was poor, now all replaced. - Manitou Nixon Platinum with variable travel (made up its own mind when to change travel – scary) - Truvative Stylo crank sucks (...chain that is). The slightest bit of British mud and it became almost unridable. - Tire clearance of rear triangle is not great for UK winters. - Frame geometry sometimes feels a little cramped. I’m 6,2 and wonder if 19inch frame is a little small.
If I didn't own the Sugar I would have got fustrated with the Iron Horse long ago. Despite what the ads say, this is not an all round trail bike:- its too heavy, the cockpit is too cramped and its not sufficiently zippy for smooth single track. I am therefore treating it as an 'all mountain' project, hence the 160mm folk and plans for a bash guard as well as bigger front rotor. The Fox Van R makes a massive difference when the going gets rough and gravity kicks in. The bike then seems to make a lot more sense. It can be launched off bumps, roots and rocks without me having to shut my eyes and remember my blood group. The longer travel folk also gives greatly improved overall stability and ride comfort, although it still requires a fair bit of effort to haul it up steep hills. For those tempted to give it a go I think its also worth saying it prefers dust to mud, but then again don't we all.
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Sugar 3+ (still used) Klien Attitude V (fast wow!) Cannondale Profit (crude but fun) Specialised Enduro (Solid, classy) Trek Fuel (Fast but fragile) Commencal 5.5 (Excellent but a little heavy) ....plus other stuff
Bike Setup: I've dumped the weak stock parts for an XT chain set (soon to loose outer ring for bash guard) and Fox Van R fork with a view to going a bit more 'all mountain'.
a Weekend Warrior
from north GA
Date Reviewed: April 16, 2006
Strengths: Climbs well, descends well
Weaknesses: Not the absolute lightest component set
How good is the DW link? If you spend any time on the suspension forums, you'll learn that there really is nothing that compares to it in terms of pedalling efficiency and seated traction. No more relying on a platform shock to get up a hill. This bike (and frankly any DW link bike, the 04 Hollowpoint was great too) is simply THE best overall trail bike I've ever ridden.
Bike Setup: Stock except for Nokian NBX, Monkeylites
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: March 27, 2006
Strengths: Great do it all bike, suspension design is better than anything I have ridden. Pike is great.
You cannot go wrong with this bike. I have ridden so many different trail bikes, and the MKIII outdoes them all in suspension design. No more trying to dial in the right amount of platform...the rear just pushes you right up the climbs without the need for SPV. Brake jack is not an issue. I could talk all day about how smooth it feels, but really it is hard to explain how well executed this bike truly is without a ride. Do yourself a favor and demo this back to back with any other trail bike of relatively similar price/weight...climb, descend, singletrack, etc...overall you will be hard pressed to find a better package.
Similar Products Used: Turner 5 spot, Heckler, ASR...etc
from Shibuya, Tokyo Japan
Date Reviewed: September 12, 2005
Strengths: Sturdiness, no bob but very resonsive rear suspension, zero stack height headtube, short rear to center, looks great with any seat position (either low for jumping and high for cruising), subtle graphics and logos.
Weaknesses: bit on the heavy side comparing to my last bike, Kona Dawg.
Now my wheelie is better than doing it on DAWG since its rear to center is shorter, more rigid overall, so I'm more comfortable jumping off. Z150FR SL was little too long but it is a nice combination with MKIII frame if you are doing more descending (it would work well with going uphill with ECC5). It is little long with the fork in the extended position, so I'm chaning it to 2006 Manitou Nixon Platinum Intrinsic. I hope Nixon Platinum is okay this year, not like 2005 model that people had problems with.
I have to say this is a highly valuable frame for the price. Sure I can consider to buy Intense 5.5 or Santacruz Blur 4X and others, but they don't quite match my personal purpose for this kind of bike which is mainly urban and jumping and mountain trails next. For the same reason, Giant Reign is very similar to MKIII and if you wanna go lighter, you can go with Trance.
You can see my bike photos at the following link; http://homepage.mac.com/kakuito/Menu221.html
Bike Setup: bought this bike as a frame alone and built it from scratch. Z150FR SL fork, Shimano XT crank set, Saint hubs and brake set, Mavic EX823 UST rims and DT Swiss Alpine III spokes, Dangerboy SR71 stem (great for compensating the handlebar height with long forks like Z150FR SL), ProTaper 1" rise bar, SRAM X.0 rear, X-generation front derailleurs band 9.0 triggers, Nokian XXX street tires for urban and Michelin allmountain tires for trails, raceface X.Y seatpost (this is the only nice 30.2 seatpost I found) and SDG BelAir saddle.