a Cross Country Rider
from Austin Tx USA
Date Reviewed: November 9, 2006
Strengths: Rugged, low price, good brakes.
Weaknesses: Heavy. Does not climb well
This bike is a reasonable deal for the money (around $750), but at this price range you give up allot of things. For example the Manitou fork. It is a Manitou 6 and has only an adjustment for loading. (Also check out the reviews on this fork). The rear shock is a coil shock and only has the ability to control rebound and spring tension. I would describe the rest of the bike as a quality bike but heavy.
As for the ride, it is reasonable. It is far better then my friends low end Iron Horse Warrior, but it doesn't even compare to a BMC fourstroke that I ridden. It seems to handle bumps and drops of about a foot with no problem. Bigger drops have not been a problem either, but I don't do to many of those. The bikes handling is a bit slow in the cornering and it tends to loose traction (rear wheel spins) going up steep hills.
Some of the strong points are the brakes and wheels. The bike has V-brakes and they work very well, better then some disk brakes. The wheels have also taken a beating and are basically still true. (I did have to do a bit of minor trueing my self). --When you have V-brakes, you definitely know when your wheels are not true!
The weakest parts of the bike are the combined brake and shift levers. They have this goofy piece of plastic on them that is a great leverage point to break and pop the top cover off. This has happened in a few of my crashes. The covers over the shifting mechanism barely stay on now. --So, now that the shifter and brake lever are combined, it can get expensive to replace these components. The other problem area is the front fork. It is very low end and is probably the source of my cornering issues.
All in all, it is a good bike at $750, but you might step up to a bike with a better front shock.
Similar Products Used: none. before this bike a had a diamond back coil that bike weighed a freakin tone.
Bike Setup: stock
from san mateo ca usa
Date Reviewed: April 25, 2006
Strengths: its a good bike if ur gonna ride xc
Weaknesses: my downtube cracked in half about 6 inches from the headset
yea, im cory r from san mateo ca. i submitted a review on this bike a while ago and since then my frame cracked. The r3 is a great bike for cross country. I did alot of downhill freeriding(mainly dirt jumps and drops) and thats what i get, a cracked frame, whatever though i'll just get a bike that better fits my riding style. The xls r3 was a f***in great bike though(for cross country and cross country only)
Bike Setup: i added disc brakes/bash guard/handle bars/stem/head set..also time z pedals..bomb proof...lol
from San Mateo CA
Date Reviewed: December 7, 2005
Strengths: Strong frame, bike handles great
Weaknesses: Stock components, not enough travel in the rear
This bike is now worth 2300 hundred dollars...and it is f***ing AWESOME it handles superbly and is pretty light, i can ride xc, fr, dh with ease. I can take it out on the big doubles, the 5 and 6 foot drops ,tight technical single track and it rules, although, i dont think this bike has enough travel in the rear. But anyway i give this bike 4.5 flaming dog turds.
Bike Setup: Fox forx vanilla 130 R, Fox float, azonic agro stem, azonic dw bars, azonic a frame pedals, avid mechanicals, sun single track rims, thompson seat post, shimano hone crank set, gamut chain guide, maxxis minion 2.35 front larsen tt 2.35 rear, sdg bel air rl saddle, xt cassete, xt hubs,odi ruffian grips
a Weekend Warrior
from Fort Collins, CO
Date Reviewed: October 27, 2005
Strengths: Very strong frame. Solid handling. Great value. Cool color (yellow/ grey/ black).
Weaknesses: Front fork is too cheap (Manitou Six). I already bent it somehow, and now it balances funny so my front tire doesn't face dead center ahead of me. I have to compensate for the difference in balance by shifing the wheel slightly to one side, but now I seem to have it balanced pretty well. Needless to say, I'll be upgrading this in the next few months. Crank arms are kinda cheap. Bike feels pretty heavy on ascents sometimes. Rear shock works really well, but is somewhat heavy. I may just be used to my lighter old Schwinn hard tail High Sierra (about ten years old now).
This bike is a little heavy on the climbs, which does slow me down a bit, but I do weigh 210 lbs. I do feel very balanced and controlled when in the lower gears, and I'm able to power up most ascents fairly well now (thanks in part to the wider tires, which add a little more weight). This bike feels great on both fast and smooth and slower technical descents.
I ride the medium size frame (I think its a 17), and its just about perfect for me (I'm 5'10"). The bike clearance is just a little high, and I've had a couple of bail-offs that may be made easier by a lower top bar.
I like the simple geometry of it. It seems really tough. I beat the crap out of it and it doesn't complain one bit (besides the bent fork, which is still rideable for now). I abuse it on the trail, but I keep it cleaned and oiled at home.
The bike seems to really tear up a lot of the terrain in the Colorado front range where I ride the most (think mostly dry and dusty, rocky hardpack with some sand).
I plan on slowly upgrading most of the components. First on the list is disc brakes. Then front fork. Then rear shock.
Bottom line, this bike has greatly improved my techinique, confidence, and overall enjoyment of biking in general. I'm very happy with this bike, especially at $450 brand new! I now bike almost every weekend for an average of 3 hours at a time, and this thing powers through everything I put it through.
Similar Products Used: This is my first full-suspension bike. I've ridden my friend's Jamis Dakar Sport.
Bike Setup: Stock with Shimano clipless pedals (a must) and a more comfortable cutaway seat. 2.4 tire in front and 2.1 in back.
a Cross Country Rider
from Fruita, CO
Date Reviewed: August 12, 2005
Strengths: Frame Geometry, Lightweight, Uphill prowess, Fast Descents, Haro engineering, Mono-pivot design works flawlessly, Low Maintenance, stiff accurate frame responds well on tight singletrack.
Weaknesses: Rear Shock weight, Front fork, tire rims, High standover height
Due to the number of friends I have with really expensive mountain bikes, I've had the opportunity to ride some really high dollar multi-pivot and single pivot bikes. I had the cash to buy something more expensive, but settled on the Haro XLS R3 for several reasons. Haro has been around forever and has a great reputation in the XC racing circuit and freeride/downhill budget crowd. This bike climbs extremely well on rocky narrow singletrack and flies on downhil descents. The frame is very sturdy for an XC bike yet the overall weight with tubeless tires and a lighter rear air shock can come in at around 26 pounds. The stock components are pretty good but I would definitely suggest changing out the rear shock. The X-fusion functions well, but there are a lot of lighter air shocks out there which provide a little more dampening effect on climbs. (Cane Creek Cloud 9)
All in all, this is a great bike for the money. Stock, this bike functions as advertised and will do anything from singletrack XC on up to 4' drops. The bike is a little too light for aggresive downhill (that's why it's an XC bike) and the 4" of travel probably won't accomodate anything larger than 4' drops. With a little upgrading to disk brakes and perhaps a better/lighter fork and rear shock, this bike is right on par with some of the best single pivot XC bikes out there. This bike has handled everything I've thrown at it from the front range singletrack trails of the Rockies to the slickrock trails of Fruita, CO and Moab, Utah.
This is a great bike for anyone wanting a quality XC bike with the durability to handle the rocky single track of Colorado and Utah. It gobbles up hills and descends very well for an XC bike. The frame is the same as the R5 and the R7 so with a few component upgrades, you can really turn this bike into something special (just look at the R7 reviews).
One side note, this is not a frame setup for short-legged people. The Haro XLS and Werks series have very high standover height geometry with the medium coming in at around 30" and the Large around 31". Thus, if you've got less than 34 inches of inseam, you might find the standover height a little too tall for those moments when you need to bail in technical sections.
Similar Products Used: Norco Fluid 3.0, Santa Cruz Bullit, Kona Coiler, Marin Mount Vision Pro.
Bike Setup: Stock + Time ATAC Z pedals and tubeless tires & rims, Avid mechanical disk brakes.
a Cross Country Rider
from Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Date Reviewed: July 30, 2005
Strengths: man this thing is a beast, just swallows up the terrain, very accurate handling, smooth ride, comfy seat, good pivot point for the suspension
Weaknesses: a tad on the heavy side, and the fork lacks adjustment, causing a slight bit of bob in your ride uphill, the brakes took a few rides to break in, and it is not really a very communter-friendly bike because of how many small beads there are on the tread (but you shouldnt care anyway)
first off, i want to note: this is for the haro shift r3 (i think it replaced the xls)
at first, i was a bit skeptical about this bike. we were looking for a bike for my brother in a budget of about 500 bucks which is reasonable for a worthy trail machine, so we saw some north face bikes, a rockhopper, and just about every other major brand. i was actually looking for a fuji mountain bike so i called pedersen's and they told me about this haro, and i was really not too excited about it, but it was priced really well (they actually said 699 on the phone) haro, as a comany, isnt one of the biggest brand names out there so i didnt really encourage the buying of this bike, but we went in and my brother tried it and said it felt pretty good. so i checked out the components and they're pretty nice...hayes disc, sram x-7 (deore equivalent)...i've never heard of pivit, but its pretty nice looking stuff and the tires are WTB (havent gotten any flats so far) so we bought it.
on the first ride i just kept thinking "his drivetrain is going to mess up, i know it, haro doesnt seem like a very good company" but in an ironic series of events, my bike's derailleur hanger broke (hardrock from specialized) so a few day later i rode his bike to work (the route i take to work runs right by the foot of this pretty fun bike trail) and on the way, did an hour and a half of mountain biking...
this bike is just amazing....i had no problem on the uphills and coming down, the brakes felt firm and didn't have any overheating problems (this is seriously like a mile and a half of me just riding the disc brakes)...i broke the fork in for him, and it just floats...i mean...this is one smooth feeling bike, it gives you this feeling of confidence and just takes the bumps like they're nothing. i even mistreated it a little and went off the trail, to which it responded by just eating up the terrain...and at the end, i took this small jump at high speed and the suspension just took in the landing
if you're not too concerned with the weight of your xc bike and dont have a very fat wallet, i totally recommend this bike, it is reliable, fun, and smooth...it even proved to be a capable downhill bike...this is a true all-mountain bike...
if you can find one, buy it...you will not regret your purchase
Bike Setup: Blue color,Fox Forx 125RLC,Swinger 4-way,Hayes 6"HFX 9,31.8 Hussefelt Bar, XR stem,FSA Carbon Headset,LX shifter,Fr derailer,crankset;XT bottom bracket,rear derailer.Time Z pedals,Xero Element wheels.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 6, 2005
Strengths: Frame is light and sturdy i like it
Weaknesses: Front forks dont tighten enough so they get loose fast and rims are kinda weak upgrade rims if possible
good bike for price if ur into dirt jumping this isnt a bike for u if u like down hill and cross country its a comfortable ride.
Bike Setup: Stock just some upgrades disc brakes and new pr1mo pedals almost as good as a r5 but cheaper
Date Reviewed: November 6, 2004
Strengths: Handling, Strong Stiff Frame
Great Bike, Same frame as all the xls series so why pay more for components?!? I have no respect for this bikes feelings, I ride it on singletrack, through rock gardens, small jumps and drops (1-2 footers), commute to work with it (street). I cant notice any Bob in the suspension, and if you dont like the front fork get the upgraded springs for it. Im 225 and have beat this bike considerably. My only gripe is the tires....they suck...I get flats EVERY time I ride, and yes I use the thick tubes with the slime! So get the rear tire changed out ASAP If you buy this bike...other than that its a steal.....even great for us big boys.
a Weekend Warrior
from Ringwood, nj
Date Reviewed: July 16, 2004
Strengths: Sum what a light bike. Shifts good. Great shocks and gears. I love it and so does my brother. Nice color!!!!!!!!!!
It's a great bike, it rides smooth, and has a sexy color to it. I love it. So go to towncycle and buy it! Also my brother just got a Daimond back bike there for $300.00 with disc brakes!!!!!! Can you believe it because Pedal sports gives out deals like this every day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm pretty new to trail riding and am looking for an entry level bike with quality components to get me started. I've come across two bikes that seem to get rave reviews for the money, but need some advice on what to purchase. I'm trying to stay at a budget of around $500. Please provide some feed ... Read More »
Help with the choice,
Looking for xc bike between $500-600 range and found that I can buy these in that range: Haro xls r3, Ibex ignition 2, and Jamis Dakar. I prefer to buy from local bike store (Haro & Jamis) to do tuneups and stuff but by reading Ibex reviews I wouldn't hesitate to buy from ... Read More »
I've been looking for a haro xls frame for a while now, I know mtba went nuts for it in one of their recent reviews. I found a brand new complete 2004 XLS R3, which is the lowest end model, for $500 cdn, ($350 US). Not too worried about the parts as I already have an XT/LX/avid/fox part mix to go on ... Read More »