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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am about to purchase either a Motobecane 2009 Fantom PRO DS or 2008 Iron Horse Azure Expert. Both bikes appear to have the kind of geometry I am looking for (cross country riding- lots of single track technical stuff). I really like the component list on the Fantom Pro but I kind of like the DWlink design on the Iron Horse.

Both are close to same price and similar weight (iron horse at 27.6 and Moto at 28/29).

Anyone have experience with either bike? Any info would be appreciated.

2008 Iron Horse Azure Expert
Frame: 3.5" TRAVEL dw-link XC RACE FRAME W/ EASTON TUBING, 1-1/8" ZEROSTACK HEADTUBE, REPLACEABLE DERAILLEUR HANGER
Fork: ROCK SHOX REBA SL, 100MM TRAVEL
Rear Shock: FOX FLOAT R, 6.5"X1.5"
Front Derailleur: SRAM X.7, 34.9MM CLAMP
Rear Derailleur: SRAM X.9
Shifters: SRAM X.7 TRIGGER
Brakes Levers: AVID JUICY 7
Brakes: AVID JUICY 7 W/ 160MM ROTORS
Chain: SRAM PC-951 W/ POWERLINK
Crankset: FSA MOTO, 15-17"=170MM, 19-21"=175MM
Cassette: SRAM PG-970, 11/34T, 9 SPEED
Pedals: CRANK BROS SMARTY CLIPLESS
Bottom Bracket: FSA MEGAEXO, 73MM
Headset: ORBIT Z, ZEROSTACK
Saddle: WTB SILVERADO RACE W/ CROMOLY RAILS
Seat Post: EASTON EA70, 31.6MM
Handlebar: EASTON EA70, LOW RISE, 685MM, 31.8MM CLAMP
Grips: N/A
Stem: EASTON EA70, 31.8MM CLAMP
Tires: WTB RAIJIN, DNA COMPOUND, FOLDING BEAD, 2.1" FRONT & REAR
Wheelset: DT/SWISS X1800 WHEELSET/
Weight: 27.6 lbs
Color: RED GLOSS

Motobecane 2009 Fantom PRO DS
Frame: TripleActive 4B, 3"/4"/5" Travel - Four Bar Rocker Arm. Gussetted SL 7005 Aluminum (Disc Brake Equipped) SuperSmooth Sealed Cartridge Bearings at critical pivots, replaceable rear derailleur hanger
Fork/Rear Shock: RockShox Reba Race 120mm (80/100mm capable) REMOTE LOCKOUT + Motion Control Damping
Rockshox Monarch 3.3 with 3 position FloodGate Platform Damping (up to 5" of travel)
Crankset: FSA MOTO MegaEXO 22/32/44T Integrated with BB spindle
Bottom Bracket: FSA MegaEXO Sealed External Bearing BB-7000
Pedals: FREE Gravity DualStage Clipless/Platform
Front Derailleur: Shimano XTR
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XTR Shadow long Carbon Fiber cage
Shifters: Shimano XTR Rapid Fire 27 speed trigger shift dual-pull (double action)
Cassette/Freewheel Shimano HG cassette 9 speed 11-34T
Chain: Z9000 super narrow 9 speed
Hubs: Vuelta XRP PRO Disc Sealed Bearing with Quick Release front and rear
Spokes: Bladed Stainless steel black finish
Rims: Vuelta XRP PRO SL doublewall aluminum with Rim Eyelets
Tires/Tubes: Kenda SmallBlock8 Kevlar bead / Presta Valve
Brakes: Avid Juicy 7 Hydraulic Disc front and rear, 160mm rotor
Brake Levers: Avid Juicy 7 Hydraulic
Headset: Ritchey Sealed Bearing threadless 1 1/8 inch
Handlebar: Ritchey Rizer SC Butted Aluminum 6061 T6
Stem: Ritchey Comp Aluminum threadless
Tape/Grip: WTB DualCompound
Saddle: WTB SpeedV
Seat Post: Ritchey Comp Mountain 31.6mm aluminum
Seat Post Clamp: Super Light Aluminum
 

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Singletrack Slayer
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Go with the motobecane for 2 reasons, better parts and IronHorse is no longer in business. No brainer IMO
 

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Former Bike Wrench
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I would agree with above except for one reason...The Azure is a far superior suspension design (DW-Link)

Tough choice...no warranty on one (Iron Horse) vs limited warranty service on the other (Motobecane)

I think in the end...despite the drawbacks...and having owned a DW-Link bike and a Faux Bar Link bike...the DW-Link is far superior so I'd take my chances on the Iron Horse
 

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mtnbiker72 said:
I would agree with above except for one reason...The Azure is a far superior suspension design (DW-Link)

Tough choice...no warranty on one (Iron Horse) vs limited warranty service on the other (Motobecane)

I think in the end...despite the drawbacks...and having owned a DW-Link bike and a Faux Bar Link bike...the DW-Link is far superior so I'd take my chances on the Iron Horse
Yeah, between those two I'd go with the Azure. Yes, an IH warranty is dubious at this point, but it is a hassle with BD as well. The Azures seem to be holding up OK.
 

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I will weigh in also with the IH. You will probably be covered for awhile under a warranty but figure its like buying a used bike-there is no warranty and the event the frame brakes you are going to be going to Ebay to find a similar type xc frame like Epic, Stumpjumper or Anthem used.

The Bikes Direct ad states the suspension is based on the "2003 XC Bike of the Year". As things improve I am not sure how much of an endorsement that is.
 

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borregokid said:
The Bikes Direct ad states the suspension is based on the "2003 XC Bike of the Year"
Like a crappy movie based on a great book?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
wow- I had no clue that IH was out of biz. That kind of sucks. I really dig the dw-link although I have never ridden one. Randall Scott says they will warranty the frame for 5 years. I still don't have a very good feeling about buying a product that will no longer exist. Of course, it sounds like DB is probably not alot better.

It would seem that either one of these will have some drawbacks. The one good thing is that if you get the Motobecane, the parts list alone is worth buying. Even if I snapped the frame, buy a new frame, do parts swap and I have still spent less than many super-brand names with this kind of componentry. Now I am rationalizing. Anyone think that makes any sense. :confused:
 

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The IH is not a bad buy, If RS will back it up for 5 yrs, sounds good to me. It is a great design, dw link and all. That motobecane is not bad fs design either. IMO If it was my money I would go for the Moto, Main reason, better parts and for 1500 bucks if I wanted to later I might sell the frame and upgrade to something like a Titus or Yeti. Still are getting killer value on parts, etc. just my thoughts...:rant:
 

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nparrous said:
Randall Scott says they will warranty the frame for 5 years.
Well, as far as the frame goes, it all depends on how many replacements parts they have on hand. Seeing as they are just a distributor, I don't see how many spares they would be stocking. I could go into a bunch of detail as to the current situation with IH and RSC, but this thread

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=5579847#post5579847

Covers it pretty well. There is a LOT of off topic nonsense to wade through in the middle, but the long of the short is that at this point I would not count on any IH warrenty through RSC to be worth much as time goes on, especially in light of the latest BRAIN articles link to there. Heck, I would not even count on RSC being an IH distributor much longer if someone else buys IH (the owner of RSC, who is the son of the owner of IH, made a bid for IH, but is currently being outbid by someone else)
 

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With the whole warrantee issue it got me to thinking. What else at the $1600 pricepoint. Immediately thought of Ibex as another high value low cost independent. The Asta Expert X9, a DW-Link design, would appear to fit, but the frame warranty is only 5 years anyway. That takes me to the majors - and Trek is running a sale on their Fuels. Brought up the local Trek (full MSRP rip-off) dealer to see what was posted as "sale" prices were and my jaw dropped. Trek Fuel EX7 marked down from $2099 to $1646, with suspension design similar to the Moto. But it gets better. Next to them were the DW-link designed Gary Fisher HiF's with the HiFi marked down from 1699 to 1384, and the HiFi Deluxe from 2419 to 1787.

Lets see...Lifetime frame warranty from an esablished dealer for similary equipted bikes at the same pricepoint. You may want to see what your local dealer has...and if they don't, expand the dealer search to a 50 or 75 mile radius and check their web sites and/or call for those that do not list inventory. I only checked Trek, and I know there is a Cdale dealer 75 miles away that typically prices at the low end of the MSRP range manufacturers allow and they have 10% off all Cdales (but not Specialized) bikes through the end of June.
 

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ibhim said:
With the whole warrantee issue it got me to thinking. What else at the $1600 pricepoint. Immediately thought of Ibex as another high value low cost independent. The Asta Expert X9, a DW-Link design, would appear to fit, but the frame warranty is only 5 years anyway. That takes me to the majors - and Trek is running a sale on their Fuels. Brought up the local Trek (full MSRP rip-off) dealer to see what was posted as "sale" prices were and my jaw dropped. Trek Fuel EX7 marked down from $2099 to $1646, with suspension design similar to the Moto. But it gets better. Next to them were the DW-link designed Gary Fisher HiF's with the HiFi marked down from 1699 to 1384, and the HiFi Deluxe from 2419 to 1787.

Lets see...Lifetime frame warranty from an esablished dealer for similary equipted bikes at the same pricepoint. You may want to see what your local dealer has...and if they don't, expand the dealer search to a 50 or 75 mile radius and check their web sites and/or call for those that do not list inventory. I only checked Trek, and I know there is a Cdale dealer 75 miles away that typically prices at the low end of the MSRP range manufacturers allow and they have 10% off all Cdales (but not Specialized) bikes through the end of June.
5 years is a good warrenty.

The Asta and the HiFi are not DW-Link Bikes.

The fuel EX 7 has more going on in the design than the moto. It has a rear pivot at the axle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I want to thank all you guys/gals for posting. Truth is, I really liked the Moto parts package and thought that was the deal to get, however, I still liked the suspension on the IH. There is nothing in the marketplace that can get you the components on the Moto for less than 2500, period. But Randall Scott Cycles is warrantying the Iron Horse frame for 5 years (so they say) and the bike was available so I bought it. The Moto is sold out until August.

I also did not particularly want a white bike, which the moto pro only came in (my last MB was white frame and I could not keep it from looking like crap all the time).

In any case, I hope it was a good decision and will post with thoughts after receiving bike.

Thanks for all the input
 

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I think you did good. Components don't make a great riding bike, superior frame/suspension does. That's the heart and soul of the bike, and corporate issues aside, I've never seen anyone here say those DW equipped Iron Horse bikes aren't great bikes to ride.

David B.
 

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nparrous, please let us know about your experience with RScycle. I too was considering an Iron Horse until I heard about the possible warranty concerns. I decided to wait a bit and suffer on fully rigid for a awhile until I get more input. :p
 

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cowpaste said:
nparrous, please let us know about your experience with RScycle. I too was considering an Iron Horse until I heard about the possible warranty concerns. I decided to wait a bit and suffer on fully rigid for a awhile until I get more input. :p
I would go ahead and make your decision on that soon. Depending on what happens in court, I think there is a possibility that RSC could end up not being able to sell them anymore. Plus,I am noticing that the selection is beginning to dwindle.

Do a search on the IH board, there are loads of customer feedback. Sounds like they are fine to work with from a customer's point of view. Just keep in mind that it may simply be beyond their ability to help you out in the future.
 

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With the whole warrantee issue it got me to thinking. What else at the $1600 pricepoint. Immediately thought of Ibex as another high value low cost independent.
I would not recommend ibex. I demo one before buying a IH . The DW ride was a lot better than the Ibex.
 
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