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  1. #1
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    '08 Iron Horse Azure Expert

    I'm just about to purchase a new '08 Iron Horse Azure Expert from a local Big Box sporting goods store for what I consider to be a screaming deal. I've read some glowing reviews of the bike, and am really attracted to the DW link and many of the high end components.

    But, while doing my research, I also found out that Iron Horse is no more. Other than warranty issues, what are some things I might want to consider. Oh, FWIW, the bike fits me great, suits the type of riding I generally do, etc.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    '50 Schwinn Panther
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by retro roller
    But, while doing my research, I also found out that Iron Horse is no more. Other than warranty issues, what are some things I might want to consider. Oh, FWIW, the bike fits me great, suits the type of riding I generally do, etc.
    Given that you're aware of the fact that there is no warranty and that it will be difficult to get parts, I think you're pretty much set on the drawbacks to buying the bike. If it's a really great deal, it could be that the components alone are worth what you're paying. (If the frame goes kaput, you could transfer the components over to a different frame...)

    One of the really great things about the Azure is the fact that it use the DW-Link suspension. I don't have an Azure, but I do have an '04 Hollowpoint and an '08 MkIII. I've been very, very impressed with the way that these bikes handle. One thing I'll say about them is that the rear shock that you use makes a huge difference. I've played around with a number of shocks on my bikes and switching from one shock to another sometimes makes it feel like a completely different bike. Just something to keep in mind if you get the bike, but it doesn't feel like it's gobbling up the bumps the way you think it should...

    Here are some links to a review of the Azure that you may want to look at:

    http://ashwinearl.blogspot.com/2006/...eview-pt1.html
    http://ashwinearl.blogspot.com/2006/...pt-2-some.html

  3. #3
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    That's a great review, Kevin. Thanks for the links - loads of info that will come in handy. And, yeah, the bikes worth what I'm paying in parts, so I'm pretty sure it will be in my garage tonight.
    '50 Schwinn Panther
    '70 Schwinn Stingray Fastback
    '89 Specialized Rockhopper
    '08 Specialized FSR XC Comp

  4. #4
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    I had an 06 Azure that I rode a lot - 5-6 times per week - I really didn't have any issues with the bike. It had a few drawbacks, but overall was a great XC bike. After 2 seasons I sold it to a friend of mine. He's still riding it and it's still problem free.

    The only thing I would be concerned about is getting parts like derrailuer hangers, pivot hardware,etc. But that's the compromise with buying a closeout frame.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession
    The only thing I would be concerned about is getting parts like derrailuer hangers, pivot hardware,etc. But that's the compromise with buying a closeout frame.
    Derailleur hangers for Iron Horse bikes can be found at derailleurhanger.com. I've purchased replacement hangers from this site.

    Pivot hardware is a bit more interesting. According a post in the Iron Horse forum, some Iron Horse hardware is available from http://eccyclesupply.com/. I've seen that site referenced in more than one post and some folks have obtained IH parts from them. (I don't have any direct experience with them though.)

    Pivot bearings can be obtained from Real World Cycling (aka Enduro Fork Seals). I've been very happy with the stuff that I've bought from them.

    The real worry is frame parts. I know that IH MkIII owners have had problems with broken swingarms. I heard of very few problems with the Azure, though I think there have been some reports on the IH forum. EBay is probably the best source for replacement frame parts.

  6. #6
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    I've got an '06 Azure Sport. Bought new at Performancebike, end of year managers sale. Got a smoking deal. It's an awesome bike for my purposes - riding in NM, CO, and UT mostly. I'll second that suggestion about d-hangers, and pivot hardware. I haven't needed them yet, but figure with the company going bankrupt and being bought up it's likely that parts will be hard to find come the time they are needed. I ordered a hanger from bikepartsexpress.com, should get here shortly. Now to order pivot hardware...

  7. #7
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    I have an Iron Horse HT and haven't had any issues finding the hanger, but some Rocky Mountains also uses the same hanger (#67).

  8. #8
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    Ya, I'm the sort of guy that will probably be riding this IH Azure till the bitter dysfunctional end of it's life. So I figured to get the replacement parts, so that 10 years down the rocky mountain trail, when they break I can just put them on. I learned my lesson with my commuter bike - a '91 Cannondale SM100 - when I needed a new d-hanger it cost $50, and took my LBS nearly 2 months to track down. Now that may say more about my LBS, than it does about Cannondale. And FWIW, apparently, now Dorel owns both Cannondale and IH. Though they don't list IH on their website.

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