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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While riding yesterday afternoon, I was climbing a small hill when I heard a noise that sounded like a rock hitting the bottom bracket. I didn't think that I had hit a rock though and the bike immediately felt different. I got off and found that the bottom of the seat tube had become completely detached from the portion of the frame just above the bottom bracket. The bike is a 19" MkIII. It was one of those Performance Bike specials sold in 2007. Although billed as a 2007, it's actually a 2006-style frame.

As I was pushing the bike back, I noticed that the gap widened to half an inch or more when hitting small bumps. That was just with me pushing the bike; I wasn't on it. I feel fortunate that the break occurred when I was climbing a hill at a relatively low speed. I shudder to think of what might have happened if I'd been going downhill at high speed.

I do happen to have a spare frame, a new 2008 MkIII frame that I purchased off eBay at the beginning of the summer. I started prepping that frame for transfer of components last night.

Photos:



 

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were those the $500-650 new frames I had seen off ebay (thought they were 07) ?

funny I was thinking of buying a spare rear triangle ($150-200) but never thought of getting a second complete set (bought mine off ebay used for $275 if I recall). Guess anything can break, thought that wasn't the expected area :)

Carbon frames like the SC blur LTc I demoed the other day sound more and more appealing... having used carbon everything for windsurfing for the last 12+ years after breaking aluminium stuff yearly or every other year, makes me a big beleiver in carbon - that stuff has been holding on at least 5x longer for me in heavy surf conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
adumesny said:
were those the $500-650 new frames I had seen off ebay (thought they were 07) ?
Yeah, that was the price range. I got mine for around $605 w/ shipping. The swingarms that I bought on eBay were 07's. I'm not sure now about the frame itself. I've checked my correspondence with the seller, but the year is not listed. It has the 10mm hardware though so it has to be either '07 or '08.

I just checked the box. It says "Replacement Frame Kit" on it. No model year is listed.

funny I was thinking of buying a spare rear triangle ($150-200) but never thought of getting a second complete set (bought mine off ebay used for $275 if I recall). Guess anything can break, thought that wasn't the expected area :)
After learning of IH going bankrupt and then reading about all of the problems with cracked swingarms, I bought a replacement swingarm on ebay for $200. Then, after reading that some folks had cracked more than one swingarm, I decided to purchase a second, again for the same price. But then I became nervous about the front, not from anything I'd read here, but just because I now owned two spare swingarms. Murphy's law would suggest that I'd break the front triangle...
Carbon frames like the SC blur LTc I demoed the other day sound more and more appealing... having used carbon everything for windsurfing for the last 12+ years after breaking aluminium stuff yearly or every other year, makes me a big beleiver in carbon - that stuff has been holding on at least 5x longer for me in heavy surf conditions.
I've now broken 6 frames in 7 years, all aluminum. (Three 2002-2004 Specialized Enduro frames, two 2004 Iron Horse Hollowpoint frames, and now one 2006 Iron Horse MkIII.) I've done a little bit of reading about aluminum. Apparently aluminum has no fatigue limit. That sort of sounds like a good thing, but it's not. Materials which have a fatigue limit can fail when the limit is exceeded, but they will not fail otherwise, no matter how many stress cycles the material is subjected to. I read in wikipedia that "structural metals such as aluminium and copper, do not have a distinct limit and will eventually fail even from small stress amplitudes."

I think my next frame will be a Mojo... once I use up my spare MkIII parts, that is. The one thing that concerns me about the Mojo is that term of the warranty is only three years. That's better than the Turner 5 Spot though which has a two year warranty.
 

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KevinB said:
I've now broken 6 frames in 7 years, all aluminum. (Three 2002-2004 Specialized Enduro frames, two 2004 Iron Horse Hollowpoint frames, and now one 2006 Iron Horse MkIII.)
with that kind of track record I would seriously consider a carbon frame - will save you a lot of money in the long run, and know that you are safe. I learned that during my windsurfing buy and trash gear days (1 year I broke 3 carbon mast, but those were the wide diameter and thin walls kind. I then swicthed to small diameter tubes but very thick walls and that made all the difference in the world (also knows as 'skinny mast') including one I used for 10 years and now use as my backup). Pre preg carbon made in the US was the best kind, who knows how they are made now since everything is made in china....

the MKIII is my first full suspension bike, so we'll see how long it will last... but I will most certainly go carbon after that.

Aluminium will fatigue over time and give you airline cracks. Carbon will only break under catastrophic failure (major impact or bend). The only thing to watch out are connection with other materials - hard plastic front ends for carbon booms for example are where the break usually occurs. So going after 1 piece construction carbon is well adviced.

...waiting for that 6-8" of rain in the Santa Cruz mountain to stop pouring and dry so I can ride....
 

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I've seen Turner's break there and they were repaired by Turner. I have seen before and after shots after new powder coat.

I'd say that you should get a beefier bike if you have broken that many bikes. Not necessarily aluminums fault. Now if it has to be super light as well... But my guess is you'll have issues with carbon as well.
 

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you got it at performance bike? no problem, take it back. they have a 100% guarentee and will back up that bike, even if IronHorse is defunk. If they say no, call their coorporate office.... I would be shocked if they didnt do you something right....
 

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lol perf bike DOES take everything back too. That would be epic. Report back!

And are you a really heavy guy? That's alot of frames to break man..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
redmr2_man said:
And are you a really heavy guy? That's alot of frames to break man..
My weight fluctuates between 200-210 lbs. Not light, but not super heavy either.

I probably ride between 3000 to 4000 miles per year. No hucking, no big drops - actually, very few drops at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
milnerpt said:
you got it at performance bike? no problem, take it back. they have a 100% guarentee and will back up that bike, even if IronHorse is defunk..
It's been nearly two years since I purchased the bike! Don't they have some sort of time limit on their 100% satisfaction guarantee?
 

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KevinB said:
It's been nearly two years since I purchased the bike! Don't they have some sort of time limit on their 100% satisfaction guarantee?
A while back I emailed them about a relatively minor brake problem on my then 3-year, ridden to death IH 7Point. Their reply was I could send the whole bike back for replacement or refund. So, no limit I guess :)
 

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KevinB said:
My weight fluctuates between 200-210 lbs. Not light, but not super heavy either.

I probably ride between 3000 to 4000 miles per year. No hucking, no big drops - actually, very few drops at all.
At first your post convinced me not to put any more time or money into my frame, but 2 years @ 3-4K a year is 6-8K miles, which is a lot of mountain biking. When I consider that I average about 25 miles a week in the winter and maybe 50 in the summer (mountain biking), and some of that is on my ss bike, it would take me about 5 years to to rack up 6K on my FS frame.

Still not sure what to do with mine. the crack has not gotten visible bigger after 4 rides with some serious climbing and rough descents.

I've got a 10mm through axle conversion on the way for my Hope Pro2, and a Hadley through-axle.
 

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Man! that is a hell of a lot of broken frames dude. I think you should buy a better frame from a "better" company. Even with that many miles, I think you should invest in something else. that is just crazy, 6 frames in 7 years! I have ridden one of my fs bikes for over 5yrs with now problems and put easily over 10k on the frame. (98 Schwinn 4banger). A Mojo or maybe a Turner would be a good idea. Lots of choices to pick from. Get the best frame you like with the best warranty, IMO

I would seriously go to Performance and get them to warranty it, worth a shot! Good luck dude
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Rebuilt...

Below are a couple of photos of my newly rebuilt MkIII.

I ended up redoing all of the cables. The brake cables and housing were close to two years old. The inner cables looked okay, but the housing was definitely showing some wear.

The derailleur cables were perhaps four or five months old, but shifting the rear derailleur was getting finicky. (I was sometimes having to shift twice to get one shift.) We got almost no rain this summer leading to very dry and dusty trails. The dust works its way into the housing leading to problems with shifting. Swapping in new housing always fixes the problem for me. It's a shame I didn't have any dark colored housing for that last bit of cable run to the rear derailleur. The rest of the housing is 5mm housing. I like to use 4mm housing for that last bit of the run because I can use an end cap (ferrule) with a shield at the derailleur end of the housing. This helps to keep dust out of that end of the housing. If I don't take this precaution, dust will gum up that end of the housing within a mere few weeks of dusty riding. (I had fewer problems with older Shimano derailleurs which had a boot/seal which helped to keep the dust out.)

One thing that I noticed when adjusting the front derailleur is that the chain no longer rubs on the chainstay! On my old (2006-style) frame, there was significant rub when using the big ring with the three or four biggest cogs in the rear. In theory, some of that rub went away when actually riding due to sag, but, on the old frame, I still noticed some grinding when shifting to the big ring when also using some of the larger cogs on the cassette.

I noticed too that the head tube on the 2008 frame is perhaps 20mm longer than the head tube on my 2006 frame. Luckily, I had cut the Pike's steerer tube plenty long when I built up the 2006 frame. I did have to fiddle around with spacers in order to make the Hopey Steering damper fit properly. The spacer above the stem is quite a lot taller than it needs to be; that's to accommodate the post sticking up from the headset cup bracket. I'll eventually cut the post down to the right size, but it'll do for now.

I've decided to try the Fox shock that came with the frame for a few rides. As I've said in the past, my favorite shock for this frame is the Cane Creek Cloud Nine, but I want to give the Fox Float a try. I noticed that this shock has a sticker which indicates a tune with the least amount of compression damping. Whether that will be low enough for my tastes remains to be seen.



 

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i've heard good things about cloud nines on this bike but they are impossible to find. i've had 4 different floats on mine. current one is an rp2 with lowest compression tune
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
saturnine said:
i've heard good things about cloud nines on this bike but they are impossible to find.
I ordered mine direct from Cane Creek.
i've had 4 different floats on mine. current one is an rp2 with lowest compression tune
I took my newly rebuilt MkIII out today for its maiden voyage. I like the Fox Float that came with the frame. It feels different than the Cloud Nine, better in some situations, and not quite as good in others. I'll need more riding time on it in order to articulate the differences.
 

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That frame is a 08, 07 have the top ad down tube welded at the headtube junction.

Nice bike, hope you enjoy it for a long time. I'll be selling my 07 comp frame along with a few parts in order to get a Mojo SL... :thumbsup:

Man I just wish the new IH owners bring back the DW-Link and start doing things right, in my opinion this bikes were one of the best looking aluminum frames around.
 

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I cracked mine in exactly the same spot, upon inspection the rear triangle was cracked also.
IH sent me a new frame 1 week before it went bankrupt.
Pity the new frame(interestingly an '05 team) that was sent has a misaligned rear triangle which is 5mm short on one side and the dropout is 5mm lower than the other, so the bike "crabs" along, corner well to the left, not so well to the right.
It all trigged when i had to re dish the wheel drastically just to get it to not hit anything.

So I bought a 2nd hand 09 marin MT vision frame for the same price the local distributor wanted to sell me an '08 rear triangle and lower link for.!, Which asks a question, does anyone know if you have to use a '08 lower link to mount a '08 rear on a '05 frame?, sounded a bit odd to me but i don't have a '08 link floating about to measure it against a '05 lower link. thats the story(and why the price is so high) that i've been given.
 

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the links are the same regardless of the year
 

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Relayden said:
That frame is a 08, 07 have the top ad down tube welded at the headtube junction.
looks exactly like my 07... but the year is printed on the frame anyway so it's easy to check.

Relayden said:
Man I just wish the new IH owners bring back the DW-Link and start doing things right, in my opinion this bikes were one of the best looking aluminum frames around.
problem is DW dropped his license over a year before they went bankrup, according to his posting here and didn't get paid for $1 million or so of licenses while IH sold those bikes, and is now working for 3 other companies - so unlikely....
 
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