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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just finished building up another MK III as my XC/AM bike and am liking how it feels. I owned a 2005 model then rode a Giant Trance for a while, and now have come full circle back to the MKIII.

I picked up a new 2007 MKIII Sport frame, that had a Float R on it for a pretty decent deal. Here is how the build sits now.

2007 MKIII Sport (large frame)
Real World Cycle headset externalizer
2008 Fox RP23
2007 Manitou Nixon Platinum IT - 160mm travel
Easton Havoc wheels, with Conti Mountain King 2.2s
Shimano XT Hydros - 6 inch rotors
Shimano XT derailleurs
Shimano LX shifters
RaceFace Evolve XC X-Type with Shimano BB
RaceFace Evolve XC lowrisehandlebar
Easton Vice Stem (65mm)
Truvative XR seatpost (350mm)
Axiom Saddle

I have a second set of wheels, Hope Pro II on Syncro DS25 (20mm front and 10x135 rear), setup with 2.4 front and 2.35 tires. I will likely gain about 1lb but it well worth it for the extra grip.

Most parts were transferred off the Trance, with the exception of the, seatpost, RP23 (new) and Nixon fork, also new.

I started out with the bare frame. I was going to use my Manitou Minute 140mm IT fork from my Trance but wanted a little slacker HA so I picked up the headset externalizer. I then found a new 2007 Manitou 160mm fork, so that became part of the built as well. The fork is only 4.5lbs 160mm travel adjustable to almost 0mm, with the Intrinsic Cartridge, which more plush than the Absolute dampening on the Minute, has the extra 20mm travel and only 1/2 pound more. Not certain if my angle gauge is correct but I am seeing about 67.5 degrees with the fork fully extended, do this seem right.

I wasn't certain about the Float R as I currently run a RP3 on the Trance, so I looked around for RP3 or RP23 and found a new RP23. My only concern is the factory pro-pedal setting is medium. Given how the DW-Link bikes work, would it be helpful to have the shock turned to the lowest pro-pedal setting? How much difference would it make.

My goal is to use the bike for XC and AM. My other ride is a 6 Point that is built up on the burly side to handle FR, but weighs in at a hefty 39lbs. The MKIII as described above comes in a 30lbs and likely about 31 with the bigger tires. I want to be able to climb this bike, then extend to fork and rip down the trails on the shore. My riding skill will keep me off the black diamond shore trails with this bike, but should allow me to ride most of the blue trails, although I might want some armour for that, not to mention I will ride this bike with clipless pedals.

Some feedback from other MKIII riders with more AM type builds on what type of trail they ride and how this bike fares on the aggressive AM terrain.

Pictures and a ride report to follow.

NOTE: As to the frame size I am just shy of 5' 10" and would normally ride a medium. My 2005 MKIII was a medium and I remember having to have the seatpost way, way up to get full leg extension. On the large frame I have about 6" of seatpost showing. I also went from using a 100-110mm stem down to a 65mm, so all in all it does not feel too long. I haven't got the bike into the trails yet, so the real test is still to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pictures of the build

Pictures of the frame. Again, started with bare frame, purchased from shop that stripped the parts and sold the frame. Added headset externalizer, Nixon 160 IT, and RP23, then transferred parts across from previous bike.
 

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Build looks great. Should be a fun bike. I can't really make many different suggestions other than a light bash guard and a blackspire stinger. Put one on my wife's MK3 and she loves it. But that is just preference.
As for the shock. Obviously you know that there will be some loss of small bumb sensitivity with the med propedal shock. But I haven't compared the stock MK3 FloatR to the PR23 medium.
If you kept the Float R, swap them from time to time and lets us know how they differ.
Sending the RP23 to PUSH would be good for anybody as a custom tune is really important to get the most out of an air shock. IMO.
 

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That's NUTS.....160mm fork AND the externalizer?????????????
I hope you don't ride with the full length. That to most of us is a no no.
Bad for the frame.
 

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Capricious youth...
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The MkIII can certainly handle a 160mm fork, but anything longer is dangerous!

But once you sit on the bike, it's going to be in the sag range anyway, so it'll be down in the 130-140mm range. No problemo.

P.S. After this weekend, I'll have some pictures to show you guys of what the MkIII can truly do... and then you won't question it's capability anymore.

On a side note, I plan on, eventually, running a Lyric on my MkIII. Just for jumping/speed purposes. But for now, the Pike 454 Air U-turn I have on there is money. I love that fork, and handles everything I can throw at it.

Two weekends ago = 15 foot step up (overshot the landing by 5 feet), along with a double with a 12 foot gap, and other misc. doubles, drops, table tops. All on my MkIII.

People worry too much about the MkIII, I think. It's a very, VERY capable bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Found out a couple of points about the RP23 the make me hopeful about the use. Although it has the medium propedal firmness it only applies when the propedal is on. When the propedal is off it will feel the RP23 will feel the same regardless of the low/med/high propedal build or whether set to 1, 2, or 3. When the propedel lever is on is when the propedal firmness will be felt. Hopefully I should be able to still use setting 1 or 2 for climbs. If not I will leave the propedal open for both decending and technical climbs.

As far as the fork goes, I am surprised that I am still sitting around 68 degrees. Maybe a touch less but not much, that is unless my $10 angle finder from Home Depot is not accurate. The Intrisic dampening is quite push and does allow the fork to sit well into the travel, so as mentioned below, the travel while on the bike and riding is substantially less than 160mm.

One last point, although the MKIII might be quite capable in terms of strength as noted below, I won't be using this bike to hit up the bigger stuff anyway. I don't even hit that up on my big bike. I tend to stay in about the 5' - 6' range, but have hit a couple of drops close to 8' nice steep and long landings.

I just wanted a little more travel and plushness from my 4" Trance and it appears I have got that now.

Now I just need some riding time to see how it feels on a few different type of trails, and will post up some feedback as well

Cheers and happy riding.
 

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well, at first you wont see the difference. and it probably feels really good on the dh. but overtime it'll have frame issues specially on the welds. i think dw or one of the reps address this issue before and it wasn't recommended.
i'd love to put an 160mm myself don't get me wrong.

-P
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
While I don't have any plans to test the strength of the MKIII like Prettym1k3, I do think it is pretty strong.

I noted that I have a 6 Point that I use as my FR bike. From what I was told the back end of the 6 Point is the same as used on the 7 Point. The front end of the 6Point is a little less bomb proof though. The 7 Point is one well built frame.

So now we have the 6 Point which is a little less overbuilt in the front as compared to the 7 Point. Is it me or does the MK III front end look pretty close to the 6 Point. Yes a different e2e on the shock but on the 07 frames look at the tubing coming into the headtube area. Looks pretty much the same.

Carrying that forward the MKIII is really just the 6 Point front end, using a short shock, but has a lighter back end.

That said, I will still use my MKIII for XC and AM, it is just that I happen to live in Vancouver,BC and the XC and AM tends to be quite technical, and sometimes very steep. Having the ability to slacken out the headangle is a big plus.

Just my 2 cents, nothing more.
 

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I believe that, generally, Manitou A-C lengths are pretty short relative to other brands of forks, so 160mm in a Nixon might not be an issue for the frame.

Nice build. Have fun.
 

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AKA; Jimmy Tango
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This is my MKIII. THe fork is a Marzocchi AM1SL. 120-160mm. I usually keep it set to around 145-150mm. I hate slack, and tall bikes. This bike rips:thumbsup: I am usually the taking pics so there aren't many of me on this bike, but it will ride like PrettyMKIII says. By the way, I think your NUTS to use and externalizer for a 160mil fork. Hope you have good dental ins.
 

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AKA; Jimmy Tango
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THese are all I have, but there are many more interesting things I have done on it. By the way the drop to flat was to prove a point. I think FS bikes in the urban enviroment is moronic. Get a HT.
 

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Capricious youth...
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gop427,

I'll have some pics on Sunday. At least, that's what I'm planning on. There's a gap and a step up I'll try to get some video of. Should be awesome. Right now, I don't have pics. of me on any bike but my 7point.

On a side note, I frickin' love my MkIII. I love my 7point, especially with the build I have on it. But the MkIII is just too capable of a bike for me not to love the piss out of it.
 

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Capricious youth...
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Sorry... no still shots. As it turns out, we were just out there too early and the mist in the air kept making "ghosts" in all of our pictures. But the video seems to have worked out all right.

"I DECLARE gop427 and myself the 'manly' MkIII riders!"

:cornut:
 
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