Strengths: Fantastic in climds and desendig, no bob at all if corectly setup.
This bike kicks ass! It is a excellet climber and a very good descender. I love it's solid feel during climbing and predictable handling in the rough descents. After the upgraded componenets in the last 2,5 years the bike is better. I have other bikes, but i prefer the hollowpoint in every situation for its excellent compromise in every situation. I live in italian alps and the trails are very steeps and fulls of rocks!
Similar Products Used: kona dawg, specialized stump fs, cannondale jeckyll, giant VT
Bike Setup: dtswiss 240shubs 4.1rims, maxxis larsen lust,race face next bar &seatpost, RF deus stem, sram X0 shifters & rear der, xtr front der, pace rc40 (100-130 mm)XCAM fork, XT brakes
a Cross Country Rider
from Brandon, Fla
Date Reviewed: April 24, 2004
Strengths: excellent suspension design, works well in most all situations, and is an excellent climber with the right tire setup, and suspension set properly, and an excellent choice of componants also no pedal induced bobing like many others the bike just does everything well and you dont have to change anything once you get it dialed in which is very easy to do and the bike rides and handels like a 24 lb bike even though it comes in at a tad over 28 lbs
Weaknesses: none to date other than cracking the expert frame seat tube to witch ironhorse warrantied with a team frame without any problems
the bike is great it does it all well and with a few miner modes it was very easy to dial in. recomend it to anyone who wants a great cross country fun or race bike and can still enjoy some of the bigger hits and drops with out sacrificing anything that goes with many other full suspension rigs
Similar Products Used: first full suspension but tested giant nrs, fisher sugar, schwin sweetspot, epx terrashark and quit a few others
Bike Setup: ironhorse team frame size small xt fr and rr derailers, shifters, and 175 mm hollowtech cranks running 22 32 and alu 44 chainrings, sram 9speed cassett and sram pc69 chain, easton ea50 3qtr riserbar cut down to 24 inchs an ea50 seatpost and a ea 70 stem at 90 mm and Haro tread grips selle italia composite sadle. hayes hfx 9 hydrolics with 6 inch rotors fr and rr mavic 3.1 tubless rims 32spoke laced to formula disk hubs and a maxxis larson tt tubless 2.0 up front with a hutchinson python 2.0 tubless air light on the rear and last the fox float rl 100 up front rocks right along with the float r with ava 6.5 inch lenth and 1.5 travel rear shock
Date Reviewed: March 7, 2004
Strengths: The Fox Float RL is sweet. It rides smooth and is very ajustable. Also the hayes and XT components are awesome.
Weaknesses: The bike needs a little bit more travel in the front but I can live with it. The AVA is nice but confusing and hard to adjust just right.
This bike is unmatchable for the price. It also can take quite a large beating considering the amout of travel. Recomended to people who rides soft and hardcore trails.
a Weekend Warrior
from Raleigh, NC
Date Reviewed: February 2, 2004
Strengths: Great price for the component mix (i.e. Fox Floats up front and in the rear, Hayes hydros). Bearings in all pivot points and they are all replaceable with cheap rollerblade bearings.
Weaknesses: Cheap cabling (Jag wire). I hate to say it but not as good a ride as Trek liquid 30 which I was comparing against. 100mm fork vs. the 125mm advertised on Supergo website.
I let the tech guy at Supergo talk me into getting a medium frame. The idea was that the bikes ran a little big. A medium was a 19" frame. Anyway, it seemed a little small the whole time I was riding it. I did some rough geometry measurements against my current 18" Jamis and it came up a little short in the effective top tube length. I believe this was the reason that I ultimately did not like the bike. Setting up the rear shock according to the Fox manual left me with a really soft ride and used all of the travel of the shock with no jumps just standard trail riding. I could never get the AVA adjustment to work but that may have been pilot error. Hayes hydraulic brakes are the best. I moved up from a set of Shimano mechanicals (front only) and it is a big difference. Adjustment of the Hayes are just the simplest I have ever seen. Beautifully done! Supergo tool the bike back under their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and just wanted to know why I was returning it. No hassles. I would buy from these guys in a heartbeat!
Bike Setup: Jamis Dakar Pro w/ Cane Creek AD10 shock, Rock Shock SID air fork, 205lb. rider w/o gear.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 4, 2004
Strengths: Componet group is solid - Fox Forx, xt, Hayes, and Mavic 3.1 tubeless are worth the price of the bike. Very plush suspension that remains active over bumps while not robbing the rider of power.
Weaknesses: A bit heavy and the DW-Link is too close to the shock air nozzle.
This was my first ride on the 2003 IR Hollowpoint Expert and I was impressed. My HT buddies were determined to crush me on the hills, which they did, but I didn't have the rear shock set up correctly. Needless to say, after the DH, I waited for quite a while at the bottom!
The bike really carves ST nicely and pedals uphill very well. The suspension was active on the climb, but I really didn't notice a loss of pedal power. I tend to stand and climb often and the sag was not too noticable. I am 6', 200 pnds and opted for the medium because it felt very similar to my HT. I tried a LG and wasn't as comfortable, but the MD makes the front light on technical climbs. If you like the front light as I do, go w/ the MD.
Buy it if you like to jump, take moderate drops, and really ride the whole Mt.
Don't buy if you want an XC racer. This is truly an all Mt. bike.
Overall, this bike handles very nicely. I'll update this review once I have put the Hollowpoint through it's paces. Bottom line - buy this bike for the componets, if nothing else. So far, I'm all grins.
One thing to mention: I cannot get the nozzle of my shock pump on the FOX AVA due to the air chamber nozzle being too close to the bike linkage. I'd be curious to know of others are having this trouble. I'll be contacting Iron Horse for support.
Favorite Trail: Ahmanson/Sycamore/Las Robles & Conejo Valley ST
Duration Product Used: Tested or demo'ed only
Purchased At: Supergo
Similar Products Used: None - this is my first FS. Previously owned a Schwinn Moab 1 w/ a mix of xt/xtr and various HT bikes from *gulp* the 90s.
Bike Setup: Stock - XT, Fox Forx (front and rear), Mavic 3.1 tubeless rims, and Hayes hydro brakes.
a Cross Country Rider
from SF Bay Area, California
Date Reviewed: November 30, 2003
This bike came to me as a boxed Hollowpoint Expert, but as the Iron Horse product manager immediately noted when he saw my completed build-up at Sea Otter, “the only stock part left is the seat post binder!” So I guess this is more a review of the Hollowpoint frame and dw-link suspension in general (and seat post binder, which I give 5 flaming chilis since my post hasn’t experienced any slippage).
Achieving proper sag is priority one to getting the suspension to work correctly. Coming off of a zero-sag NRS, if felt pretty weird sitting on the properly set up Hollowpoint and feeling it sink underneath me. Somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 travel is the proper sag point: Too little sag and the suspension tries to compress under pedaling forces; too much and it tries to extend. Either way the result would be excessive bob. Take the time to set it correctly, and make a note of it.
Once the sag is dialed in, compression, rebound and volume tuning can commence as normal. This bike likes a rising spring rate (air shock). The stock Fox AVA in the largest volume setting was a recipe for constant bottoming, and I was never happy with the AVA, even in the smallest chamber setting (I spent about a month on the Fox Float AVA with ProPedal, not the stock shock for the bike).
I have been much happier with the lower-tech but service-friendly Cane Creek AD-12. The AD-12 takes a healthy amount of compression damping (an adjustment that the Fox shocks don’t even offer), but in the largest of three volume adjustment settings, I get nearly full travel with only infrequent bottoming and a minimum amount of bob, especially compared to the Fox.
The suspension is incredible. I’ve spent equal time on the 4.5” and 4.9” settings (the bike shipped with 4.9” links, but Iron Horse produced some “’03.5” links with dual 4.5” / 3.75” settings) and my observations apply to both:
Climbing, the bike pedals beautifully. I was very concerned about this coming off my no-bob NRS, and I am not disappointed. This is not to say the bike does not bob, as there is still a very minor but nonetheless visible amount of movement in the AD-12. But the pedal feedback is zilch, and the dw-link suspension maintains the * feeling * of uninterrupted efficiency (which a regular 1.5 mile / 600’ timed fire road climb regularly confirms when compared to my hardtail climb times). On the NRS, I could feel even minor suspension movement transmitted through the chain into my pedal stroke, fighting to “square off” my cadence. On the Hollowpoint, it takes an awfully large drainage rut to get the attention of my legs and ruin my rythym.
In any case, the 4.5” to 5” of travel is not a liability, yet even under climbing power the bike remains compliant to the smallest of hits while maintaining a platform of stability that does not waiver, even under out-of-the saddle efforts that cause the fork to compress to full travel. Very impressive.
The ride everywhere else is plush like a 5” travel bike should be. Little hits. Big hits. Suck ‘em up, spit ‘em out and drive on. I get bounced around a little more than on my super plush Fisher Joshua, but this is the area where my NRS just couldn’t measure up. The Hollowpoint pivots aren’t too much of a liability in terms of lateral frame stiffness, and I can track right up and out of trenches and ruts without the bike getting too squirrelly or trying to redirect me to somewhere I don’t want to go.
Dialing the fork in on the Hollowpoint was a little bit of a challenge. I don’t want to turn this into a fork review since I traded out the stock Fox Float 100RL for a Manitou X-Vert Air 105mm. But the fact of it is that my weight on this bike must have shifted rearward enough that my fork settings needed to be changed dramatically from how I rode it previously and from what the Manitou manual recommended. It was important that I got at minimum one inch of static sag; above this and the bike felt “choppered out” and was not conducive to climbing (hmmm… time to explore some adjustable travel options? An adjustable travel 90mm-120mm fork would be ideal).
Even with the fork as close to “dialed in” as I though I could get it (rebound, TPC+ compression and spring rate adjustments), I still had some trouble with the front end hopping around and for the longest time it felt “mismatched” to the plush rear end. Answer number two was to walk away from the Panaracer FireXC Pro 2.1” tires which had worked so well for me in the past, and step up to the fatter and rounder 2.4” WTB Mutanoraptors. Even then, I didn’t get the tracking and front end compliance I wanted until I lowered the air pressure to 28psi — surprisingly low for my 200 pounds.
All totaled up, the Hollowpoint makes a very ideal all-around frame. The dw-link suspension has all the benefits of an SPV shock without the hocus-pocus or added complication of one. And I’ve said it before: I felt completely at home climbing on this bike from the very first day, which was completely unexpected after coming of a season on an ultra-efficient NRS. Oh, and the communication and customer support from Iron Horse has been nothing but top-notch.
A couple of notes: Iron Horse has to step up to the plate and offer a printed set-up guide with this bike, including how (or where) to set sag * precisely *, and include torque values for the various pivot points. They’ve also got to get their geometry data in order; “actual TT” doesn’t mean squat for one as steeply sloping as this (Supergo provided better geometry data than the IH website). Also, tire clearance is fairly restrictive on the ’03, so use caution if you plan to go bigger than 2.1” (should be much improved for ’04). Unlike the other reviews, I’ve had no unusual or remarkable problems with the painted finish, and my cable routing was fine (although I did that myself).
A couple of more positive notes: Absolutely no problems with the Internal (Zero Stack) headset — my NRS had one with zero issues, and I had no qualms about buying another when I got the Hollowpoint. The weld quality, while not on par with some of the boutique frames, is very good.
(Or click on "My Profile" icon on any of my discussion board posts for links to those threads).
a Weekend Warrior
from Fairfax Station, VA USA
Date Reviewed: November 11, 2003
Strengths: Unique rear shock design, Hayes Brakes, each and every component!
Weaknesses: Availability, Long Handlebars
This bike rides smooth! If you are looking for a best-in-class Cross Country bike, check this one out. You need to tweak it a little to get adjusted to your weight and riding style however, that is the case with any FS bike. Two cables were routed outside of the gussett (the brace between the top tube and seat tube), they should be routed inside the gussett says Ironhorse. Performance gave me some lame excuse why they did it this way. Ironhorse says the Hayes brackes come pre-bled so, it's just being lazy.
Still don't know why there even is a gussett, looks like an afterthought. The long handlebars are a bit of a pain, already caught them on a few trees. Planning to cut them down, problem solved.
Bought this bike for the components, however I am very happy with the stable ride, no detectable bob, amazing.
I heard one guy call this bike a poor man's Blur.
Highly recommend this bike, have been very happy with it so far.
a Weekend Warrior
from new zealand
Date Reviewed: October 7, 2003
Strengths: Customer service. DW-link design. Fox FloatRL fork and Float AVA rear shock. XT group (bar the SRAM 7.0 cassette and PC69 chain). Hayes HFX-9 brakes. Mavic 3.1 UST wheelset. Easton EA72 stem and bars. Sella Italia saddle.
Weaknesses: Rear tyre clearance is marginal, esp with stock Larsen TT rubber (very high profile tyres). High leverage ratio on rear shock. Paint takes a lot of care (used to burnished frames-much easier to keep tidy). Sold the stock Shimano 515 pedals immediately. Nothing else.
Value for money - the bike does everything well; climbs efficiently, bombs rough downhill trails, craves singletrack and has a great component specification.
My bike was one of a small number in a production run with a factory build flaw. Ironhorse supplied me with a Team frame up front, which let me keep riding through winter, while waiting for it. Todd and Bruce were up-front and easy to communicate with. Great bike company, happily recommended.
I've worn out the stock rubber and half a new set of Michelins, both sets of brake pads, cassette, chain and chainrings in one season of riding. In that time the bike has been ridden on every type of terrain, got a share of 3rd place in a 6-hr XC race, crashed, jumped and generally well thrashed. I will be using the bike in all our upcoming local XC races. The DW-link design is a good one. As others have reported, it doesn't squat under pedal input and displays only a little "bob". Standing and pedalling isn't my style, but with the fork locked out, seems fine. (My centre of gravity when standing is over the bars so the rear suspension doesn't really move much anyway). The high leverage ratio on the rear shock means the suspension is very smooth and responds well to small bumps, even when climbing. The shock may (or may not) have a shorter service life due to the high leverage. I run it at 240-245psi. I have no problem keeping up with my Scapel/Epic/NRS riding buddies, which is a testament to the good design, and when it comes to the fun side of the hill, it really shines.
The rear tyre clearance problem is less of an issue with the Michelin 2.1 UST tyres I've run all through winter. Only in the stickiest clay is it a pain, causing a build-up which spills sideways all over the chain/front derailleur. The original Maxxis rubber is completely unsuitable for mud and the high profile makes it rub on the centre brace with any crap on the tyre, but they are fine on loose over hardpack, rocks etc. Very light for UST too.
Bike Setup: Time Carbons, Michelin Wildgripper XLS UST 2.1 rubber
a Cross Country Rider
from OR, USA
Date Reviewed: August 7, 2003
Strengths: Durability, reliability, versatility, performance, and over all functioning in all kinds of terrain. Easy to adjust and maintain. Great value for the price
Weaknesses: A little sqeeky and noisy when riding with torque. Mavic 3.1 UST wheels bent pretty easily in rocky terrain. Lockout option on AVA shock would have been nice for more diversity and to match the fork. Maxxis Larsen TT UST tires are no good for climbing and summer/loose terrain, switched to Panaracer fire UST and much happier.
Great bike!!! You can hammer this thing through anything. Can go up anything I throw at it and the downhill kicks, big time. A great all around performer for just about anykind of terrain. I am very happy with this bike. The only flaws I have encountered with this bike is some component issues (subtract one chili). I Don't plan on getting another bike for quite a while, plan on keeping this bike forever with some minor upgrades after it they are worn out.
Favorite Trail: they're all good, primarily ride in the NW cascades
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Sugar 2+, Specialized Stumpjumper, Epic, and Marathon
Bike Setup: Stock with shimano 858 pedals, panaracer fire UST tires. Would like to upgrade to monkeylite bar with higher rise to fit me a little better, and gel saddle would be nice
a Cross Country Rider
from Binghamton, NY
Date Reviewed: July 21, 2003
Strengths: Agree with all that has been said. Killer customer response with linkage.
Weaknesses: PAINT has faded, scratches very easily, and rubs off just by looking at it. Some of this is due to SuperGo's inability to properly route the rear brake cable (they routed it outside of the framing at the seattube and toptube intersection). Nonetheless, I am very disappointed with the quality of paint. I have had less expensive bikes in the past with tougher paint than this.
This bike is fantastic. It acts exactly the way I expected it would...perfectly in all situations. I ride faster, more technically clean, and with more power because of this bike. I just cant deal with the crappy paint. I now have a dull grey bike with decals that peel off easily.
I would give this bike 5 chilis if it weren't for the paint. Can anyone out there hook me up with a good base, paint and sealant for my bike. I think I'll repaint it this winter.
Bike Setup: Upgraded to XTR rear derailleur, XTR shifters, carbon monkey bars, King/Bontrager wheelset to reduce true weight to 27.0lbs
a Weekend Warrior
from Jersey City, NJ, USA
Date Reviewed: July 8, 2003
Strengths: It has good componets for its price. Climbs like a goat and likewise impressive when going down. A bit heavy for XC but the weight is not noticeable when climbing, (Well only if you carry your bike going uphill).
Weaknesses: Chain grinding against the front derailleur is kinda annoying but the mechanic said it's normal in cross-over situations and isn't a major concern.
If your in the market for a FS I'd recommend this bike not because I own one but because its simply is an amazing bike. You can not find a better bargin then this, good specs for a cheaper price. At first I thought that I made the wrong choice purchasing this bike particularly the brand I guess I was kinda skeptical upon reading the previous reviews,(especially the one that broke a frame). I don't think I will be able to breaking anything from this bike or any other bikes, (I weigh 120 Ibs). Bottom line this bike keeps me amazed, it wasn't let me down yet.
Strengths: update to my earlier reviews- Hollowpoint Expert.
Hey All: Just received in the mail today from Iron Horse new linkages and a free T-shirt. A letter said they redesigned the linkages for 2003-1/2 models and they were upgrading the linkages at no charge to all 2003 model owners. Guess that MTB Action article did some good. Letter says the new linkages fix the rear shock leverage problem (you know- a 160 lb rider had to put in 300 psi) and also allow the bike to handle better. The linkages also have 2 settings- 3.75 inch and 4.5 inch of travel. Looking forward to putting them on to see if they work, but Iron Horse deserves high marks for customer service for doing this. Sure hope it works.
Strengths: PRICE PRICE PRICE. Buy it, and if you don't like it, sell the frame and keep the parts.
Weaknesses: Some suspension bob, but can be tuned out.
You can't spend $1600 on a bike with this component spec and be dissappointed..period. So, the way the frame rides is just a plus.
Not surprisingly this bike has minimal amounts of bob, particularly in the harder gears. This bike has 5 inches of rear travel though, so some bob is not really that big an issue. Besides, proper suspension tuning and a nice round pedal stroke cures the majority of it. It is a bit heavy as noted before, but isn't noticeable on the climbs. Most importantly, this thing is plush. Extremely comfortable going up and climbs like a tank. For epic rides, you couldn't ask for a better platform.
The frame is solid as a rock. There is very little rearend flex and the front triangle is beafy, which brings me to the real strength of the Hollowpoint; the downhills. This thing rips on descents. The geometry puts you slightly behind the axle, allowing you to get your weight nice and far back for steeps and small drops. I had more confidence on this bike than any other XC oriented bike I've ridden to date.
As for the MB Action review, I take what those guys say with a grain of salt. Iron Horse denies that the DW link was incomplete for this year, as does Dave Weagle. Go by your own experiences and reviews like this, I find it's a much better way to judge the quality of any product.
Bike Setup: stock except for Thomson seat post and shorter stem.
from Agawam, MA
Date Reviewed: May 29, 2003
Strengths: The price. The package. Try and find these components on ANY frame, never mind how this thing handles.
Weaknesses: I was loosing tire pressure untill I deflated them and then poured and rubbed a mixture of dishsoap and water into the bead and seat. This fix works 100%. I'm diggin the UST now... but I'd prefer bigger knobs for my type of riding. Had to add an extra spacer to the headset. If frame starts to creek when riding, the fix is to tighten up all the suspension bolts. For any true rider I wouldn't consider these weaknesses though.
If you want to punish a mule day in and out and not have to worry about reliability, this is your MULE! I'm glad I chose this bike.
Bike Setup: Cut bars down about 2" and slapped on locking ODI's. Installed weyless mag. platforms.
a Cross Country Rider
from San Diego
Date Reviewed: May 29, 2003
Strengths: Good specs, suspension design is "plush" and very little bobing when pedaling seated.
Weaknesses: Weighs 30lbs new, with upgrades and a heavier fork it's now 28.
The trend in MTB is no bob designs. With this bike you'll get some bob but not a lot. I've read the Mountain bike action review. They make this bike sound worse than it really is. The suspension is very plush and won't lockup under braking. I like this bike a lot!!
I have a hollowpoint expert bought in sept 04 i a, looking to sell and want an asking price. Ebay is no help. Or i might part the bike out because i have a one year old drivetrain and a rock shox revelation uturn team fork. The fork is from suspension experts and it is 2010.
The drivetrain is x ... Read More »
Does anyone know the Standover heigth (in inches) of the 2004 IH Hollowpoint Expert, size 17"?
At which point of the top tube is this measure taken? At the highest just behing the head tube? Or, at the lowest point just at front of the big chainring?
ErwinRead More »
Hello all, I have a 04 Hollowpoint expert with stock manitou swinger 3 way and can not find the eye to eye and stroke size for this shock. I wanted to replace it with a rp3 or cane creek. thanksRead More »
A buddy of mine is selling his Iron Horse Hollowpoint Expert and I have been looking at a Jamis Dakar XAM-1. I'm an old school BMX racer and I want to replace my old school GT Zaskar with a FS bike. I've been doing mainly All-Mountain and XC riding.
The IH Hollowpoint is a 2004 and is pretty much ... Read More »
My story starts with a crack at the top of my rear traingle (see attached picture). I e-mailed Ironhorse but it's always better to call over the phone. They gave the phone to the local representative that will help me with my warranty issued.
My bike has 4 years of use but this wasn't ... Read More »