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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I was wondering if there are any differences between the 05 and 06 hollowpoint experts. There is an 05 sitting in my LBS that I may be able to get for $1700.

After reading all the reviews about cracking frames, creaking bushings, and subsequent updates from Iron Horse, I'm thinking that it may be a good idea to get the latest model possible. Have there been any meaningful changes to address things like small tire clearance?

Also, my current bike is a hardtail 1997 Trek 7000, and I ride in NY and NJ. I've determined that given my mostly X-C riding style, the Azure may be a more appropriate bike for my riding style.

I'm still interested in the Hollowpoint because it's not so different from the Azure. The only differences I've found in a few hours' research is that the Azure is a bit lighter and had a bit less travel.

Any advice you may have would be much appreciated. As you can see, I don't replace bikes very often, so research is pretty critical.
 

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Harky
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billiebob said:
Hi everyone. I was wondering if there are any differences between the 05 and 06 hollowpoint experts. There is an 05 sitting in my LBS that I may be able to get for $1700.

After reading all the reviews about cracking frames, creaking bushings, and subsequent updates from Iron Horse, I'm thinking that it may be a good idea to get the latest model possible. Have there been any meaningful changes to address things like small tire clearance?

Also, my current bike is a hardtail 1997 Trek 7000, and I ride in NY and NJ. I've determined that given my mostly X-C riding style, the Azure may be a more appropriate bike for my riding style.

I'm still interested in the Hollowpoint because it's not so different from the Azure. The only differences I've found in a few hours' research is that the Azure is a bit lighter and had a bit less travel.

Any advice you may have would be much appreciated. As you can see, I don't replace bikes very often, so research is pretty critical.
I don't think the MKIII 05/06 differences are all that great...minor frame geometry and component changes...
However, the differences between the MKIII and the Azure are more marked...
The Azure is designed to be a fast, light XC bike...stable at speed...~ 3" travel front and rear...a racer's bike.
The MKIII is more of an All Mountain bike...stronger, ~5" travel, designed for quick manouvers, good at taking some hits...a do everything bike.
You need to ask yourself which bike suits the riding that you do or plan to do...
 

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baggin ho's
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The 06 has real water bottle mounts. the 05 was meant for people that don't drink water. I have an 05 and have had minimal problems and ride mostly xc, like a rabid chipmunk
 

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Derailleurless
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billiebob said:
Also, my current bike is a hardtail 1997 Trek 7000, and I ride in NY and NJ. I've determined that given my mostly X-C riding style, the Azure may be a more appropriate bike for my riding style.
The funny thing is the Azure is sometimes criticized for being a half-degree too slack for true XC geometry, and the MkIII is similarly called a half-degree too steep!

So besides the obvious weight and travel differences, and while the geometry is different enough to distinguish the two bikes, both remain suitable in this fuzzily defined "all mountain" catagory -- just with different strengths.& biases.

I personally love the extra beefieness of the MkIII under me, but I don't ride the bike to its limits. At the same time, with the well-behaved dw-link suspension, I don't find the 5" of travel or extra weight a hinderance to my riding enjoyment!
 

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Black Lion
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billiebob said:
Hi everyone. I was wondering if there are any differences between the 05 and 06 hollowpoint experts. There is an 05 sitting in my LBS that I may be able to get for $1700.

After reading all the reviews about cracking frames, creaking bushings, and subsequent updates from Iron Horse, I'm thinking that it may be a good idea to get the latest model possible. Have there been any meaningful changes to address things like small tire clearance?

Also, my current bike is a hardtail 1997 Trek 7000, and I ride in NY and NJ. I've determined that given my mostly X-C riding style, the Azure may be a more appropriate bike for my riding style.

I'm still interested in the Hollowpoint because it's not so different from the Azure. The only differences I've found in a few hours' research is that the Azure is a bit lighter and had a bit less travel.

Any advice you may have would be much appreciated. As you can see, I don't replace bikes very often, so research is pretty critical.
The two bikes are identical in geometry in every way.
I believe the spec on the 06 is better than the 05.

The only problems with these bikes are first and foremost a fit problem with the Progressive shock. This causes slight play in the upper and lower shock eyelet of the shock. Second is a tendency for the lower chainstay pivot to get loose. Problem is solved by properly loc-tighting and torquing the bolts. This loose pivot could cause a knocking noise. These are the only problems with an otherwise incredible bike.
The perfect suspension in all situations. Coupled with an incredibly balanced position, makes for a killer package.
 

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My gloves stink
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I would add to those "only" problems...

yogreg said:
The two bikes are identical in geometry in every way.
I believe the spec on the 06 is better than the 05.

The only problems with these bikes are first and foremost a fit problem with the Progressive shock. This causes slight play in the upper and lower shock eyelet of the shock. Second is a tendency for the lower chainstay pivot to get loose. Problem is solved by properly loc-tighting and torquing the bolts. This loose pivot could cause a knocking noise. These are the only problems with an otherwise incredible bike.
The perfect suspension in all situations. Coupled with an incredibly balanced position, makes for a killer package.
If you get the 05, and if it comes with a Shimano front derailleur, you'll probably end up replacing it with a Sram X-gen FD. The Shimano FD hits the suspension pivot. No biggie, it's a great bike. So you gotta tweak some stuff. Show me an FS bike where you don't.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks a lot for the replies and info folks. Would you consider 1700 a decent price for the Hollowpoint Expert, or were they blowing out the door at closeout for less a few months ago?
 

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billiebob said:
Hi everyone. I was wondering if there are any differences between the 05 and 06 hollowpoint experts. There is an 05 sitting in my LBS that I may be able to get for $1700.

After reading all the reviews about cracking frames, creaking bushings, and subsequent updates from Iron Horse, I'm thinking that it may be a good idea to get the latest model possible. Have there been any meaningful changes to address things like small tire clearance?

Also, my current bike is a hardtail 1997 Trek 7000, and I ride in NY and NJ. I've determined that given my mostly X-C riding style, the Azure may be a more appropriate bike for my riding style.

I'm still interested in the Hollowpoint because it's not so different from the Azure. The only differences I've found in a few hours' research is that the Azure is a bit lighter and had a bit less travel.

Any advice you may have would be much appreciated. As you can see, I don't replace bikes very often, so research is pretty critical.
One difference is I think the '05 required what IH terms a tight tolerance kit for some play issues in the rear suspension / the '06 doesn't but there is the rear shock play mentioned. I bought my MKIII expert for all mountain type riding and it is awesome for that. It is built for a wide variety of terrains including XC. You ride mostly XC though so I would think you would want a bike built specifically for that but it also depends on what your definition of XC is.
 

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My gloves stink
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I shopped around about 6 months ago, and the 05 MkIII Experts were being "blown out" for about $1800. If a MkIII is what you want, and they've got your size, I'd buy it.
 

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Harky
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FWIW...
I've transitioned, over the last 4 years, from a light weight (25#) med suspension (~3") XC racer that I broke 3 times, to a little heavier (29#) 4" travel XC/XM ride that I loved but finally broke after 3 yrs, to an honest 5" XM (33#) bike that I hope will outlast me. I'm not a clyde @180 but I do like my decents. The increased travel has been a blessing for me. Yeah, I give up some climbing ability because of the extra pounds but I'm not sorry...that extra weight and travel has saved my butt more than once.
I guess what I'm saying is that you would probably be very happy with the MKIII and it's a bike that you would never outgrow.
 

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harky said:
FWIW...
I've transitioned, over the last 4 years, from a light weight (25#) med suspension (~3") XC racer that I broke 3 times, to a little heavier (29#) 4" travel XC/XM ride that I loved but finally broke after 3 yrs, to an honest 5" XM (33#) bike that I hope will outlast me. I'm not a clyde @180 but I do like my decents. The increased travel has been a blessing for me. Yeah, I give up some climbing ability because of the extra pounds but I'm not sorry...that extra weight and travel has saved my butt more than once.
I guess what I'm saying is that you would probably be very happy with the MKIII and it's a bike that you would never outgrow.
Do you think going from a hardtail to the MKIII is a transition? Seems a little too radical to me! Also you probably enjoyed each one of the transitions equally. Every bike I have ever bought I told myself I am never going to have buy another bike again. Sound familiar? I know that's a pipedream now. You'll find some reason or most likely the bike manufacturers will give you one. Think of it more like an addiction with denial being one sign of it!
 

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broncbuster said:
Every bike I have ever bought I told myself I am never going to have buy another bike again. Sound familiar?
I gave up on that notion awhile ago. Though I did just get a custom road bike that I'm thinking will stay with me at least another decade. The good thing is there are always components, wheels, and custom painters to satisfy upgraditis.

The problem with full suspension bikes is that they are always getting better and better. More travel, better travel, better frame weight. But if yo usit on the fence waiting for the next one to come out than you'll never get one.
 

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Clarification

yogreg said:
The two bikes are identical in geometry in every way.
I believe the spec on the 06 is better than the 05.

The only problems with these bikes are first and foremost a fit problem with the Progressive shock. This causes slight play in the upper and lower shock eyelet of the shock. Second is a tendency for the lower chainstay pivot to get loose. Problem is solved by properly loc-tighting and torquing the bolts. This loose pivot could cause a knocking noise. These are the only problems with an otherwise incredible bike.
The perfect suspension in all situations. Coupled with an incredibly balanced position, makes for a killer package.
There is one small difference between the 2005 and 2006 Iron Horse Hollowpoint MKIII frames. The 2006 model has a 1/2 degree slacker head tube angle than the 2005 model (69.5 degrees vs. 70 degrees).
 

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M070R-M0U7H FR3NCHI3
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RandallScottCo3 said:
The 2006 model has a 1/2 degree slacker head tube angle than the 2005 model (69.5 degrees vs. 70 degrees).
Unfortunately it isn't.

This has been discussed in another thread. IH was planning on making the head angle .5 degrees slacker, but the change didn't make in. Why do I know? Because I have a 06 MK and it has a 70 degree head angle. That was the only reason I held off last year and waited for a 2006.
 

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Black Lion
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Acadian said:
Unfortunately it isn't.

This has been discussed in another thread. IH was planning on making the head angle .5 degrees slacker, but the change didn't make in. Why do I know? Because I have a 06 MK and it has a 70 degree head angle. That was the only reason I held off last year and waited for a 2006.
I seconnd Acadian's statement.
I too had an 05 and an 06. Same head angle.
 

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RandallScottCo3 said:
There is one small difference between the 2005 and 2006 Iron Horse Hollowpoint MKIII frames. The 2006 model has a 1/2 degree slacker head tube angle than the 2005 model (69.5 degrees vs. 70 degrees).
How many MKIII's has Randall Scott sold under the misconception that there was a head angle change between 05 and 06?
 

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Harky
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broncbuster said:
Do you think going from a hardtail to the MKIII is a transition? Seems a little too radical to me! Also you probably enjoyed each one of the transitions equally. Every bike I have ever bought I told myself I am never going to have buy another bike again. Sound familiar? I know that's a pipedream now. You'll find some reason or most likely the bike manufacturers will give you one. Think of it more like an addiction with denial being one sign of it!
Bronc...
They have all been FS bikes. But as my skills increased...I found the earlier bikes lacking. I still have my hardtail but I only fride it to the mailbox! I still have my 3" racer. I love the way it climbs, but I don't ride it much anymore because I crash on it. I still have my 04 HP, a great ride...but I have to take it easy cause i don't want to break it again. When I am riding unfamiliar XC or rigged XM, I take the MKIII. It is the most forgiving ride of them all. It protects me from myself. At 57, I can still hang with the kids, but I don't bounce like I used to...(I'd rather not bounce at all!)
I love my MKIII !
 

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harky said:
Bronc...
They have all been FS bikes. But as my skills increased...I found the earlier bikes lacking. I still have my hardtail but I only fride it to the mailbox! I still have my 3" racer. I love the way it climbs, but I don't ride it much anymore because I crash on it. I still have my 04 HP, a great ride...but I have to take it easy cause i don't want to break it again. When I am riding unfamiliar XC or rigged XM, I take the MKIII. It is the most forgiving ride of them all. It protects me from myself. At 57, I can still hang with the kids, but I don't bounce like I used to...(I'd rather not bounce at all!)
I love my MKIII !
harky
billiebob PM: purchased an Azure. Said he would post.

I wasn't saying anything bad about the MKIII it's my ride of choice also just IMO not suitable for billiebob's use. You must be doing something right to hang with the young guns so keep it up.

Some days I feel like only hammering the XC trails! Hmmm…. maybe I need an Azure too...........
Happy trails!
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I did buy an '05 Azure Expert. It should arrive on Thursday. The consensus I've derived from the boards is that transitioning from a hardtail with 2.5" travel front fork to an Azure would be dramatic enough for the terrain I'm riding. FWIW, I'm 5.10 and 190 lbs.

I'll post some photos and impressions once I get it set up and take it out on my favorite trails. I know precisely how my hardtail behaved on these trails, so I'll be sensitive to advantages and difficulties.

Can anyone point me in the direction of torque specs for some of the major (and minor) components? I am an experienced auto mechanic with a precise torque wrench, but I seem to have a lousy feel for aluminum hardware.

thanks.
 
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