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  1. #1
    sixsixtysix
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    Bionicon Ironwood

    Hey all, I have seen some questions about the Bionicon Ironwood here in the past as well as the Special Agent fork thats mounted to the front of it. Mic from Bionicon was nice enough to let me go out and get some ride time on the bike this past weekend and I figured I would do a little write up on it.

    You can check it out here:
    http://www.azfreeride.com/?q=node/308

    If theres anything I missed or you have questions about feel free to fire away. Overall the bike is great and the fork is a BEAST!


  2. #2
    ride hard take risks
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  3. #3
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    Very nice review! I was on SoMo and rode most of those sections during the Az Spring Fling, so it was easy to visualize exactly where you were talking about those different sections.

    One thing you didn't specifically mention (though you alluded to it several times) was the overall stiffness of Bionicon's upside down fork design with the 35mm axle, as well as the swingarm. I remember you thought the swingarm of the Edison was better suited to lighter riders than yourself (I'm half your weight at 125 and don't have any issues with stiffness on the Edison), but you didn't mention anything on the Ironwood. Just curious.... how did you find it?

    For my size and weight the Ironwood is overkill, but I'm stepping up to a Supershuttle soon from the Edison, and the supershuttle's swingarm is essentially the same design as the ironwood, but a tad shorter. I'm sure it will have way more stiffness than my featherweight will ever need.
    http://www.bioniconusa.com - Bionicon USA
    http://otbmbc.com - Over the Bars MTB Club
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  4. #4
    sixsixtysix
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    The stiffness of both the fork and rear end were great for me. there was none of the flex I was expieriencing with the Edison. The fork felt as stiff as any I have ridden and didn't show any signs of flex like the Dorado I have had ride time on in the past. Overall it felt like it was just really well put together.

    I really liked the suspension on the bike, and especially think the fork is absolutely killer. Having been on a 888 for the last 2 seasons I didn't think that it would come close to matching the characteristics that I have come to love about my Marzocchi, but I have a whole new perspective as to what is capable in the terms of suspension because of this bike. Just the overall "matched" feeling that the fork and shock have together really suprised me. Like I said in the review, it felt like I was riding a mattress down the mountain. The thing that I still can't believe is that the fork is under 7 pounds. I kept looking down at it as I was riding and thinking what a beast it is, you expect it to weigh as much as an old Marzocchi Monster, but then you pull up on the bars and it feels like nothings there.

    The only other issue I had with the bike which i didn't mention in the review because its more of a fit and finish thing, is that the frame had a certain creak to it in the rear end. I told Mic about it and he said the rear end basically needed some adjusting and grease. Not a big deal considering what those demo bikes have seen as far as use I am sure.

    I am sure as more people get some ride time on this bike as well as the others that Bionicon will have great success, they are pushing into new ground technologically and its just a matter of getting the bikes into more people's hands before they start spreading the word. With the 2 bikes I have ridden they have made a believer out of me

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixsixtysix
    The only other issue I had with the bike which i didn't mention in the review because its more of a fit and finish thing, is that the frame had a certain creak to it in the rear end. I told Mic about it and he said the rear end basically needed some adjusting and grease. Not a big deal considering what those demo bikes have seen as far as use I am sure.

    I am sure as more people get some ride time on this bike as well as the others that Bionicon will have great success, they are pushing into new ground technologically and its just a matter of getting the bikes into more people's hands before they start spreading the word. With the 2 bikes I have ridden they have made a believer out of me
    Glad to hear it! Did Mic show you how the two sides of the swingarm can be disassembled, serviced, and reassembled? I haven't seen it done yet, but am looking forward to getting my hands dirty on the Supershuttle.

    Having now ridden and tested an Ironwood, you can probably appreciate how the Euro Bionicon team did so well in the Lago di Garda freeride contest in Italy last month (fastest time and overall win). There's some posts floating around the forums about the event.

    I hope you can get on a supershuttle next time as well!
    http://www.bioniconusa.com - Bionicon USA
    http://otbmbc.com - Over the Bars MTB Club
    http://corbamtb.com - CORBA

  6. #6
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    One more thing... .in your review you mentioned that the bike felt "heavier" and less stable when you went into the climbing position. I noticed the same thing when I first started riding the Edison.

    I'd automatically hit the button and move the bike to the other extreme of it's geometry adjustability, dropping the fork all the way down and changing the HT to it's steepest angle. More is better right?

    Not so! It took me a little while to figure out that I was just adjusting too far. With the system being so easy to change, most people's first inclination is to go all the way to the extreme end of the climbing position for *any* climb. I was no different. Since you can stop anywhere along the bike's range of adjustability, and many climbs don't need that much geometry change to feel right, you can dial it in for any grade.

    After a while I figured out that if the bike or the pedalling gets heavier on a climb, I've gone too far forward, too steep on the angles. I just keep pedaling, and give the button a micro-tap to drop it back a degree or so at a time, letting the pedal force and the uphill grade take the place of leaning back. When you hit the sweet spot, the pedalling suddenly gets easier, you feel like you're accelerating, and the bike just feels right again. It's second nature to me now and I rarely have to think about it. When it does, I can usually tell within half a pedal stroke that I need to slacken the angles ever so slightly.

    That's my experience after three years on an Edison, and I'd imagine it's similar on the Ironwood or Supershuttle. So even though the system is simple and intuitive overall, that little tidbit will help you get the most out of the system on any grade.

    Next time out, give it a try.
    http://www.bioniconusa.com - Bionicon USA
    http://otbmbc.com - Over the Bars MTB Club
    http://corbamtb.com - CORBA

  7. #7
    sixsixtysix
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    Yeah, Mic showed me how the swingarm came apart. Its a great idea just for the maintenance factor alone. As far as the climbing goes, on the 2nd climb I did on it I got the angles a little more nailed. It was just coming up and through the saddle on South Mountain that I had it dropped all the way down. You might remember how steep and rocky that gets real quickly. It was just getting up and over those first few rock ledges that the angles seemed a little steep. Once I was up on the smoother part of the uphill it was all good.

    I can totally see how the Euro team did so well on these bikes. Its would totally be an advantage to be able to tweak the bike in the middle of a race without losing any time.

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    I do remember the climb after the saddle. It's a tough one, but I was able to clean it. I don't remember how far forward I'd set the geometry... I don't usually pay attention to the "amount" of adjustment, just to how it feels. Also the waterfall on the 6" Edison was plenty smooth and clean (but remember my weight and size). I didn't take the most adventurous of lines, but last time I was there was on my 2" XC bike, and I walked it. This time I didn't even hesitate.
    http://www.bioniconusa.com - Bionicon USA
    http://otbmbc.com - Over the Bars MTB Club
    http://corbamtb.com - CORBA

  9. #9
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    single pivot hell
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    single pivot hell
    Hmmm.... Apparently not to some.
    http://www.bioniconusa.com - Bionicon USA
    http://otbmbc.com - Over the Bars MTB Club
    http://corbamtb.com - CORBA

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