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i am torn between the two and cant decide. I am 6 foot 4 , 160ish and will mostly be riding agressive xc to light free ride. any information you can give me on the bikes or a good place to get a dealon one would be great
 

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hac0555 said:
i am torn between the two and cant decide. I am 6 foot 4 , 160ish and will mostly be riding agressive xc to light free ride. any information you can give me on the bikes or a good place to get a dealon one would be great
Both are great bikes for your intended uses.

The cutting edge advanced suspension design of the MKiii is noticably smoother pedaling with less bob than the very effective classic high monopivot Heckler.

Both are about the same weight and should be equally durable.

Performance Bikes normally has lower prices and has Iron Horse bikes.

- ray
 

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A couple of things to consider.

hac0555 said:
i am torn between the two and cant decide. I am 6 foot 4 , 160ish and will mostly be riding agressive xc to light free ride. any information you can give me on the bikes or a good place to get a dealon one would be great
I just checked out the three models of the IH Mark III and noticed that the bike is only spec'd with a air shock on the rear. I dont know if IH only gives you the option of air but I prefer coil over air, or at least having the option. When you are riding aggressively, coil out performs air everytime imo. Coil shocks are more dependable and have a better feel on the trail, especially for light freeriding.

I also noticed the IH has 5" of travel and the Heckler has 5.7" of travel with the new models of 5th element and other coil shocks. It sounds nit picky but I am just pointing out some differences between the two bikes right now.

With that said, the Heckler has many different options of coil and air shocks to decide from for the rear suspension. I am not sure if you can bolt on a coil shock on the IH or not.

One problem you might find with the Heckler is the size of the bike. At your height, you would need the XL for sure and they can be hard to get. SC sizes the Heckler small. I rode a large at 5'10.5" tall.

The IH gets the nod for suspension design over the sp of the Heckler. That is if you prefer linkage over Sp, which many riders dont. The IH will exhibit less brake jack ie: suspension will perform better than the Heckler when braking hard and will have more active suspension overall.

The sp design of the Heckler will be less maintenance, which equals less money spent on repairs down the road. I have owned a Heckler and personally did not find the brake jack to be a huge deal as it was minor. The Heckler pedals very well with very little bob and I had no maintenance issues.

Now for toughness, the Heckler is legendary when it comes to being durable. Check out some of the pics of riders airing out the Heckler on the SC forum and you will understand. The Heckler is a great do everything bike. Trailriding, XC, and freeriding are no problem for the Heckler. I have seen Heckler builds ranging from 27lbs right to 38lbs. My Heckler weighed at least 36lbs and I still took it on epics. The geometry for the Heckler is spot on for an aggressive trailbike and it climbs well and destroys on the dh.

In all fairness to the HP, I have heard many good reviews and owners are beaming about the Hollow point. It seems that IH puts out a quality product for a good price. I have limited experience with the HP and cannot fairly judge the bike without any real ride time. The only time I see one in Canada is at a sporting goods store at the mall. I am not being sarcastic either, as I have yet to see a Hollow point in my neck of the woods, which is Calgary, AB. I have not seen the HP in B.C. either. I do see the IH freeride bikes around though.

Good luck.
 

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I'll concur that the single pivot of the Heckler will demonstrate higher reliability in the long run and be laterally stiffer than most linkage bikes. I'm on an '03 Hollowpoint (also a dw-link design) and under my 200 pounds, there is a slight but noticable lateral flex under my 200 pounds that I feel when scratching up the side of a rut. '04's were beefed up and the '05 MkIII should prove stiffer yet. (For the record, my pivots have been trouble free).

As for air vs. coil, the dw-link likes a rising rate for bottom out protection. Air shocks can't be stereotyped as sticky or unreliable or problematic like they could 5+ years ago. The MkIII is using a 2" shock stroke to allow for very low chamber pressures. Seal design has greatly improved to practically eliminate friction. A wide range of chamber volumes are available to make some air shocks nearly as linear as a coil. As a result, later this year and into '06, you'll be seeing air making appearances on various brands of freeride and DH bikes to shave pounds off of bike weight.

The compromise I think you're looking at with the Heckler is that your small bump sensitivity will suffer if you choose to use a SPV shock on that bike, or your climbing will be hindered without. The dw-link lets you have your cake and eat it to, maintaining small bump compliance and smooth, bob-free climbing without reliance on platform valving.
 

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Good post, but you dont have to go back 5yrs to find lots of problems with air shocks. You can go back to 04 and find tons of problems with air shocks. I talked with a couple of honest SC dealers and was told the 5th element air was trouble and many riders were having trouble with the shock holding air over the course of a ride. With that said, the 5th air has been improved for this year.

The 5th element air was not the only air shock to be having problems either. I realize air shocks are improving but for dependability, I still trust coil much more. If an air shock fails you are walking, If a coil fails, you can still ride. I also believe that you can be much harder on a coil shock compared to an air shock with less chance of a failure. I also find that air shocks ramp up more on hits than coil shocks, which is not very comfortable when you get thrown off your line.

The Swinger and 5th element coil have proven to be very reliable. I prefer bikes that have the option of going coil or spring. The 5-spot and Heckler are examples.
 

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All good points. I was picturing the progression of Fox, Cane Creek and even Rock Shox over the past few years. I haven't made myself too familiar with the reliability of the Progressive and Manitou shocks.

The Fox AVA that I ran on my Hollowpoint for about 6 weeks was linear to a fault. I found it to be a poor match to the Hollowpoint suspension. But what you say is 100% true: even the most linear air shock will have some ramp up as it compresses -- but I suspect the newer dampers we'll be seeing shortly will sport large enough air chambers to be able to make this spike a meer blip at the end of the stroke. It'll be interesting to watch.

On reason I'm such a fan of the Cane Creek is that I can literally (and I mean that literally) rebuild it on the trail. Not that I carry the seal kit with me (nor have I needed to), but I could -- everything fits in a 2"x3" zip-lock bag, no specialized tools necessary. It wouldn't be ideal, but short of blowing a hole in the aluminum chamber wall, I could pick a cozy trailside boulder to sit on and have my AD-12 repaired in about 30 minutes.

I suspect with FR and DH bikes, coil will remain an option, but I will bet money that with the potential for weight savings, over the next two seasons we'll see a good percentage of riders make the switch to air as the shocks' reliability is proven.
 

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Yep,

Speaking of air shocks on freeride/aggressive bikes, the 05 Enduro models will show how far the air shock has come. So far I have read good reviews for the new 5th air on the Enduro and like you said, air shocks will be on more of the aggressive type bikes as time goes on.

I am partial to coil mainly because my last three bikes have come with one and I weigh 215lbs. I have been on the new Enduros with the 5th air and have to admit, it had that coil feel. Now it is a wait and see thing with durability.

Now that we have completely hi-jacked this thread, I will be on my way.
 
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