Iron Horse is changing their entire DH design to incorporate DW linkage in 2005. You see, the problem with Iron Horse is they can't seem to stick to a design for more than three years. Just when they've worked out all the bugs on SGS, they are moving on to a different design and come with it new bugs to be worked out. That's fine with me because it allows me to get a 2004 SGS with Specilaized patented horst link for a killer price.
Iron Horse actually started using FSR designs in 1999 w/ the G-Spot & SGS-DH models. We started using dw-link in 2002 w/ the Mk II.5 Hollowpoint design. We have max'ed out the potential for FSR for our needs on the race course. The performance of dw-link exceeds FSR in all aspects.
I don't think DW link is not that reliable of a design anyway. It costs a lot in terms of manufecturing process to get all those linkages and pivots right. You can't cut corners and try to use lesser materials because your quality is gonna suffer. I had a 2001 Iron Horse Hollowpoint with DW design. The rear end grew flexy after 6 months because the bearings link all those linkages develope play in them. More linkages you have the more bearing play effects get magnified. It also developed a crack on the y-shaped weld in the rear triangle. Keep in mind, I am speaking from my experience with the 2001 Hollowpoint. Since then, Iron Horse had three years to refine it. Neverthless, 2005 is the first year they are applying the DW linkage to their DH bikes. Who know what kinda of problem they are going to have on the first year production bike?
First, dw-link bikes have the same number of pivots as an FSR bike! A well engineered bike in addition to proper maintence by the rider is always an important to overall longevity of pivots and parts.
Iron Horse has made a substantial investment in manufacturing for the new dw-link frames. While using dw-link suspension, like 02-04 Hollowpoints, the design & engineering process is 100% dw & Iron Horse. Mk II Hollowpoints used dw-link suspension but not dw's frame engineering. Comparing a Mk II Hollowpoint to a Mk III Hollowpoint other 05 dw-link platform is truly apples to oranges.
DW and VPP linkage on Santa Cruz bikes are very similar in linkage arrangements and number of linkages. A lot of people are complaining about the linkage creaks on the Blurs after 3 years. Do you expect Iron Horse to get it right the first year?
dw-link and VPP are extremely different in function. While both are multi-link bikes, they are about as different from each other in function as possible. Check out www.dw-link.com
for more info on the function of the dw-link design. dw's expertise in engineering has been proven by his involvement in e.thirteen & Evil, this just adds to his pedigree.