it is scan from one of the bike magazins (2001). You can read there that (under the pic of A-Pro frame): "That Manufactory from Taiwan only waiting for a call from a company that would like to make a own sticker with 'VPP'."
So that model (and also a Hollowpoint 01 and 02) was designed by A-Pro.
Yes, that model was designed/built in cooperation w/ A-Pro. The tube spec, geometry, and some details were specified by Iron Horse. At that time Iron Horse purchased many frames "off the shelf" or designed in connection with a frame factory as we were a much smaller brand. Iron Horse has since grown in size and is now producing several proprietary designs.
They used VPP technology (yet not patented by Santa Cruz), and then IH used it... Next VPP mark become reserved by SC.
Iron Horse worked with A-Pro on the original Hollowpoint totally seperate from Santa Cruz and with no knowledge of Santa Cruz aquiring the Outland VPP patent design.
Then IH switched to DW-link with 2002.5 Hollowpoint, but only difference were position of linkarm holding damper (from up to down) and some frame geometry. It's still based on old VPP (kinematic suspension)- same linkarms, same "virtual" pivot point with double pivots holding same rear triangle. Isn't DW-Link come straight from A-Pro? Or i'm wrong?
dw-link has NO connection to A-Pro other than that they manufactured frames for us using the dw-link suspension system. dw-link was developed by Dave Weagle. When we contacted Dave in late 01 about working with us, he had already been working on the principles of the dw-link system. We were able to apply the system to the Mk II Hollowpoint frame and created the Hollowpoint Mk II.5 frame. This frame was used for model year 02.5, 03, and 04 Hollowpoint bikes. The Mk III frame will be introduced this fall and also incorporates the dw-link system.
ps. 01/02 model was with 4" travel (or 4,5")?
The history of the Hollowpoint frame is as follows:
Mk I - 00/01 - FSR style design, 4" travel
Mk II - 02 - VPP style design, 5" travel
Mk II.5 - 02.5, 03 - dw-link design, 5" travel
Mk II.75 - 04 - dw-link design w/ adjustable travel (3.75"/4.5") & revised rear triangle
Mk III - 05 - dw-link, 5" travel