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  1. #1
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    mk III - what can you tell me about it?

    OK - so I'm looking for a FS bike for my son. I came across what seems to be a screaming deal on an Iron Horse Hollowpoint MK III Team. It's about $1,400 (new). I say screaming deal because it seems like a good frame based on reviews I have seen; and the component spec is amazing. I know it's DWL and I know how good that should be as I ride a DW 5.Spot. But I just need some more info on the bike. What are strengths and weaknesses; what impact will IH going out of business have on warranty? Any input into purchase would be appreciated. Thanks. Also, where can I find the geometry details since the IH website is down?
    Last edited by expatrider; 08-10-2010 at 05:36 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by expatrider
    OK - so I'm looking for a FS bike for my son. I came across what seems to be a screaming deal on an Iron Horse Hollowpoint MK III Team. It's about $1,400 (new). I say screaming deal because it seems like a good frame based on reviews I have seen; and the component spec is amazing. I know it's DWL and I know how good that should be as I ride a DW 5.Spot. But I just need some more info on the bike. What are strengths and weaknesses; what impact will IH going out of business have on warranty? Any input into purchase would be appreciated. Thanks. Also, where can I find the geometry details since the IH website is down?
    Here are the geometry specs for a 2007 MkIII. I'm guessing that the bike that you're looking at is an '07 or earlier because there was no "Team" for the 2008 model year. I did a copy/paste out of the 2007 IH catalog. I have other catalogs available; please let me know if I got the model year wrong. (There were subtle changes to the geometry from year to year.)

    Code:
    GEOMETRY
    Size	  HA	 SA	 EffTT	 CS	WB	 BB
    15"	  69	 73.5	 21.5"	 16.9"	41.85"	 13.19"
    17"	  69	 73.5	 22.5"	 16.9"	42.85"	 13.19"
    19"	  69	 73.5	 23.25"	 16.9"	43.6"	 13.19"
    21"	  69	 73.5	 24"	 16.9"	44.35"	 13.19"
    As for the strengths and weaknesses... well, you know the strengths since you ride a DW Spot.

    The greatest weaknesses are that there is no warranty and that spare frame parts can be hard to find. If you search this forum, you'll find that a lot of folks have had issues with the rear triangle cracking at the lower front drive side weld - it's the weld nearest the bottom bracket on the drive side. I've seen pictures too of rear triangles where the corresponding weld on the other side has also cracked. I've been riding a MkIII for several years now, but have never cracked a rear triangle. I have, however, cracked the front triangle. That crack occurred at the weld at the bottom of the seat tube. (See the thread Broken MkIII Front Triangle.)

    Luckily, I had purchased a frame off of ebay prior to that break happening, and am now riding an '08 frame. I've been quite happy with it, but I expect it, too, to break eventually.

  3. #3
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    Thanks a lot for the info. Much appreciated. I am not sure what year the bike is, as there is no info on that, but would not surprise me if it is a 2007 - that could be reason for the discount. If it is a 2007, is $1,400 still a good deal? Also, with the frame cracks that have been reported, have they all been at welds/tube junctions? Just wondering since if that were to happen, at least it could make a fix a little easier. Also, my son is still quite light, so this is not a huge concern (and I have two other children so if something were to happen to him . . . )

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by expatrider
    I am not sure what year the bike is, as there is no info on that, but would not surprise me if it is a 2007 - that could be reason for the discount. If it is a 2007, is $1,400 still a good deal?
    If you have a component list, try to figure out what it'd cost to purchase all of the components combined. If that number is bigger than $1400, then it's still probably a good deal. The one fly in the ointment is that, if it's an '07, the parts are now three years old. They're new three year old parts though. Anyway, you'll have to decide whether you think it's a good deal or not.
    Also, with the frame cracks that have been reported, have they all been at welds/tube junctions?
    Yes, all the cracks (that I'm aware of) have been at or near welds/tube junctions. Some folks have had success with repair, others have not.

    Here are the 2007 MkIII Team specs (again, copied/pasted from the 2007 PDF). It may help you figure out if the bike you're looking at is an '07 or assist you in your research in some other way...

    MkIII TEAM
    SPECIFICATIONS
    FRAME 5" TRAVEL dw-link TRAIL FRAME, 1-1/8"
    ZEROSTACK HEADTUBE, REPLACEABLE DERAILLEUR
    HANGER
    REAR SHOCK FOX FLOAT R AIR, 7.5"X2"
    FORK ROCK SHOX PIKE 454 AIR U-TURN, MAXLE THRU
    AXLE, 95-140MM TRAVEL
    HANDLEBAR RACE FACE ATLAS LOW RISE,
    31.8MM CLAMP
    STEM RACE FACE DEUS XC, 31.8MM CLAMP
    HEADSET FSA ORBIT ZS CARBON, ZEROSTACK
    BB RACE FACE X-TYPE, 73MM
    CRANK RACE FACE ATLAS X-TYPE 15-17"=170MM,
    19-21"=175MM
    RINGS RACE FACE 44/32/22T ALLOY
    PEDALS CRANK BROS CANDY SL CLIPLESS
    CHAIN SRAM PC-971 W/ POWERLINK
    SADDLE SELLE ITALIA SLR XC, VANOX RAILS
    SEATPOST RACE FACE DEUS XC, 30.0MM
    F. HUB DT/SWISS 1750 THRU AXLE
    R. HUB DT/SWISS 1750 QR
    F. DER SRAM X.9, 34.9MM CLAMP
    R. DER SRAM X.0
    SHIFTER SRAM X.0 TRIGGER
    CASSETTE SRAM PG-990, 11/34T, 9 SPEED
    BRAKES AVID JUICY CARBON W/ 6" ROTOR
    BRAKE LEVER AVID JUICY CARBON
    RIM DT/SWISS EX1750
    SPOKE DT/SWISS COMPETITION 2.0/1.8/2.0 BLACK
    TIRES MAXXIS HIGHROLLER 60TPI FOLDING, 2.35"
    FRONT/2.1" REAR
    SIZE 15", 17", 19", 21"
    COLORS White
    WEIGHT (LB) 28.9 (K) 13.1

  5. #5
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    Using that component list that I posted, I did a few price searches. I came up with $630 for the fork, $360 for the wheelset, $200 for the crankset, and $220 per brake. So that alone, not even considering the other components, totals $1630.

    But, as I said earlier, even though the parts are new, they were new(er) three years ago. Not sure how or if that figures into the calculation...

  6. #6
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    yeah....like that fork is worth 300 tops..

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinB
    If you have a component list, try to figure out what it'd cost to purchase all of the components combined. If that number is bigger than $1400, then it's still probably a good deal. The one fly in the ointment is that, if it's an '07, the parts are now three years old. They're new three year old parts though. Anyway, you'll have to decide whether you think it's a good deal or not.

    Yes, all the cracks (that I'm aware of) have been at or near welds/tube junctions. Some folks have had success with repair, others have not.

    Here are the 2007 MkIII Team specs (again, copied/pasted from the 2007 PDF). It may help you figure out if the bike you're looking at is an '07 or assist you in your research in some other way...

    MkIII TEAM
    SPECIFICATIONS
    FRAME 5" TRAVEL dw-link TRAIL FRAME, 1-1/8"
    ZEROSTACK HEADTUBE, REPLACEABLE DERAILLEUR
    HANGER
    REAR SHOCK FOX FLOAT R AIR, 7.5"X2"
    FORK ROCK SHOX PIKE 454 AIR U-TURN, MAXLE THRU
    AXLE, 95-140MM TRAVEL
    HANDLEBAR RACE FACE ATLAS LOW RISE,
    31.8MM CLAMP
    STEM RACE FACE DEUS XC, 31.8MM CLAMP
    HEADSET FSA ORBIT ZS CARBON, ZEROSTACK
    BB RACE FACE X-TYPE, 73MM
    CRANK RACE FACE ATLAS X-TYPE 15-17"=170MM,
    19-21"=175MM
    RINGS RACE FACE 44/32/22T ALLOY
    PEDALS CRANK BROS CANDY SL CLIPLESS
    CHAIN SRAM PC-971 W/ POWERLINK
    SADDLE SELLE ITALIA SLR XC, VANOX RAILS
    SEATPOST RACE FACE DEUS XC, 30.0MM
    F. HUB DT/SWISS 1750 THRU AXLE
    R. HUB DT/SWISS 1750 QR
    F. DER SRAM X.9, 34.9MM CLAMP
    R. DER SRAM X.0
    SHIFTER SRAM X.0 TRIGGER
    CASSETTE SRAM PG-990, 11/34T, 9 SPEED
    BRAKES AVID JUICY CARBON W/ 6" ROTOR
    BRAKE LEVER AVID JUICY CARBON
    RIM DT/SWISS EX1750
    SPOKE DT/SWISS COMPETITION 2.0/1.8/2.0 BLACK
    TIRES MAXXIS HIGHROLLER 60TPI FOLDING, 2.35"
    FRONT/2.1" REAR
    SIZE 15", 17", 19", 21"
    COLORS White
    WEIGHT (LB) 28.9 (K) 13.1



    Here is the component spec - a little different:

    Frame: 5-inch travel dw-link trail frame with 1-1/8-inch Zero Stack headtube and replaceable derailleur hanger
    Rear shock: Progressive 5th Element Air, 7.5 x 2 inches
    Fork: Manitou Minute 3, no-tool hex axle, 130mm travel
    Handlebar: Easton EA70 monkey bar, low-rise 31.8mm clamp
    Stem: Thomson Elite X4, 31.8mm clamp
    Headset: FSA Orbit ZS Carbon, Zero Stack
    BB: Race Face X-Type
    Crank: Race Face Atlas X-Type
    Rings: 44/32/22T alloy
    Pedals: Crank Bros Candy SL clipless
    Chain: SRAM PC-971 with PowerLink
    Saddle: WTB Rocket V Stealth with TI rail
    Seat post: Thomson Elite
    Front hub: DT Swiss 340 disc thru axle, 32H
    Rear hub: DT Swiss 340 disc QR, 32H
    Front derailleur: SRAM X.Gen
    Rear derailleur: SRAM X.0
    Shifter: SRAM X.0 trigger
    Freewheel: SRAM PG-990, 11/34T, 9 speed
    Brakes: Avid Juicy Carbon with 6-inch rotor
    Brake lever: Avid Juicy Carbon
    Rim: DT Swiss XM4.1D
    Spokes: DT Swiss Competition 1.8/2.0
    Tires: PanaRacer Cinder 2.25, Aramid bead


    Despite the crap fork, it's definitely worth at least $1400. Is the year of the bike apparent from the spec?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by expatrider
    Here is the component spec - a little different:

    Frame: 5-inch travel dw-link trail frame with 1-1/8-inch Zero Stack headtube and replaceable derailleur hanger
    Rear shock: Progressive 5th Element Air, 7.5 x 2 inches
    Fork: Manitou Minute 3, no-tool hex axle, 130mm travel
    Handlebar: Easton EA70 monkey bar, low-rise 31.8mm clamp
    Stem: Thomson Elite X4, 31.8mm clamp
    Headset: FSA Orbit ZS Carbon, Zero Stack
    BB: Race Face X-Type
    Crank: Race Face Atlas X-Type
    Rings: 44/32/22T alloy
    Pedals: Crank Bros Candy SL clipless
    Chain: SRAM PC-971 with PowerLink
    Saddle: WTB Rocket V Stealth with TI rail
    Seat post: Thomson Elite
    Front hub: DT Swiss 340 disc thru axle, 32H
    Rear hub: DT Swiss 340 disc QR, 32H
    Front derailleur: SRAM X.Gen
    Rear derailleur: SRAM X.0
    Shifter: SRAM X.0 trigger
    Freewheel: SRAM PG-990, 11/34T, 9 speed
    Brakes: Avid Juicy Carbon with 6-inch rotor
    Brake lever: Avid Juicy Carbon
    Rim: DT Swiss XM4.1D
    Spokes: DT Swiss Competition 1.8/2.0
    Tires: PanaRacer Cinder 2.25, Aramid bead
    Looks like a 2006 MkIII Team.

    One of the drawbacks to the '05 and '06 frames is that the swingarm did not offer sufficient clearance when using the big ring and the large 3 or 4 cogs of the cassette. When in any of the lower gears whilst using the big ring, the chain would rub on the swingarm. The '07 and '08 frames sport a redesigned swingarm which does not have this problem.

    Another drawback with the older frame is that if you should break the swingarm, it will be even harder to find a replacement since the '07 and '08 swingarms are not compatible with the '05 and '06 front triangles. (Actually, this is not strictly true. You can make it work, if you get a different lower link. See MkIII Swingarm Incompatibility for additional details.)

  9. #9
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    I took a closer look at the MkIII Team specs in the 2006 catalog. They match exactly with what you posted. The one detail that you didn't post is that the frame color is "Satin Dark Blue".

    Here's the geometry for the 2006 MkIII frames:

    Code:
    Size	HA	SA	Eff TT	CS	WB	BB
    15"	69.5	73.5	21.5"	16.9"	41.85"	13.19"
    17"	69.5	73.5	22.5"	16.9"	42.85"	13.19"
    19"	69.5	73.5	23.25"	16.9"	43.6"	13.19"
    21"	69.5	73.5	24"	16.9"	44.35"	13.19"
    Note that the 2006 frame has a 1/2 degree steeper head tube angle than does the 2007. Other than that, I think everything else is the same.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinB
    Looks like a 2006 MkIII Team.

    One of the drawbacks to the '05 and '06 frames is that the swingarm did not offer sufficient clearance when using the big ring and the large 3 or 4 cogs of the cassette. When in any of the lower gears whilst using the big ring, the chain would rub on the swingarm. The '07 and '08 frames sport a redesigned swingarm which does not have this problem.

    Another drawback with the older frame is that if you should break the swingarm, it will be even harder to find a replacement since the '07 and '08 swingarms are not compatible with the '05 and '06 front triangles. (Actually, this is not strictly true. You can make it work, if you get a different lower link. See MkIII Swingarm Incompatibility for additional details.)


    Great info. Some food for thought there. Thanks a lot.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinB
    I took a closer look at the MkIII Team specs in the 2006 catalog. They match exactly with what you posted. The one detail that you didn't post is that the frame color is "Satin Dark Blue".

    Here's the geometry for the 2006 MkIII frames:

    Code:
    Size	HA	SA	Eff TT	CS	WB	BB
    15"	69.5	73.5	21.5"	16.9"	41.85"	13.19"
    17"	69.5	73.5	22.5"	16.9"	42.85"	13.19"
    19"	69.5	73.5	23.25"	16.9"	43.6"	13.19"
    21"	69.5	73.5	24"	16.9"	44.35"	13.19"
    Note that the 2006 frame has a 1/2 degree steeper head tube angle than does the 2007. Other than that, I think everything else is the same.

    That 0.5 degree may be due to the 130 fork on the 2006 as opposed to 140 on the 2007.

    Do you have any info on standover height of the small (15")?

    Thanks again kevin - great info.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by expatrider
    That 0.5 degree may be due to the 130 fork on the 2006 as opposed to 140 on the 2007.
    That could be, though I think there was some (slight) frame redesign because the BB height also stayed the same. (And they redesigned the rear triangle...)
    Do you have any info on standover height of the small (15")?
    Sorry, no.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinB
    I took a closer look at the MkIII Team specs in the 2006 catalog. They match exactly with what you posted. The one detail that you didn't post is that the frame color is "Satin Dark Blue".

    Here's the geometry for the 2006 MkIII frames:

    Code:
    Size	HA	SA	Eff TT	CS	WB	BB
    15"	69.5	73.5	21.5"	16.9"	41.85"	13.19"
    17"	69.5	73.5	22.5"	16.9"	42.85"	13.19"
    19"	69.5	73.5	23.25"	16.9"	43.6"	13.19"
    21"	69.5	73.5	24"	16.9"	44.35"	13.19"
    Note that the 2006 frame has a 1/2 degree steeper head tube angle than does the 2007. Other than that, I think everything else is the same.
    I have a SM '06 MKIII Expert and have had no problems with the bike at all. I'm 135lbs and its my only do it all bike. The frame has held up fine with no cracks or dents. Get this if you want to slacken your HA: http://www.enduroforkseals.com/id183.html.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkbiker
    I have a SM '06 MKIII Expert and have had no problems with the bike at all. I'm 135lbs and its my only do it all bike. The frame has held up fine with no cracks or dents. Get this if you want to slacken your HA: http://www.enduroforkseals.com/id183.html.

    tkbiker - thanks. Can you tell me the standover height on the small?? This is for my son and I don't want to endanger his crown jewels. Also, what height are you so I can be sure he is ready for a bike this size. Last question - what weight is the small bike? Thanks!!
    Last edited by expatrider; 08-11-2010 at 08:44 AM.

  15. #15
    U sayin' Bolt ?
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    I have been riding an 08 mkiii
    I wouldn't buy it again, if that helps =) not stiff at all in the rear linkage
    the spec on that 06 doesn't look that spectacular aside from nice wheels and SRAM's top tech from five years ago
    new 08 6point and azure frames are selling for $400 on rscycle.com if you want to go the cheap dwl route I'd go from there ..

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by expatrider
    tkbiker - thanks. Can you tell me the standover height on the small?? This is for my son and I don't want to endanger his crown jewels. Also, what height are you so I can be sure he is ready for a bike this size. Last question - what weight is the small bike? Thanks!!
    Sorry don't know the standover height or the weight. I'm 5'7 and standover height is all good, not even an issue with 3 inches of clearance. Hope this helps!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinB
    Using that component list that I posted, I did a few price searches. I came up with $630 for the fork, $360 for the wheelset, $200 for the crankset, and $220 per brake. So that alone, not even considering the other components, totals $1630.

    But, as I said earlier, even though the parts are new, they were new(er) three years ago. Not sure how or if that figures into the calculation...


    The parts are no where near as valuable per your estimate. The parts are 3 years old. Knock 50% off of your estimates and that'll be a good starting point.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by expatrider
    OK - so I'm looking for a FS bike for my son. I came across what seems to be a screaming deal on an Iron Horse Hollowpoint MK III Team. It's about $1,400 (new). I say screaming deal because it seems like a good frame based on reviews I have seen; and the component spec is amazing. I know it's DWL and I know how good that should be as I ride a DW 5.Spot. But I just need some more info on the bike. What are strengths and weaknesses; what impact will IH going out of business have on warranty? Any input into purchase would be appreciated. Thanks. Also, where can I find the geometry details since the IH website is down?
    FWIW, I have a 2007 MKIII. Love the way it rides, but it is really high maintenance.

    It is on its 2nd rear triangle (I assume you are aware of this all-too-common issue).

    I have needed to replace the suspension bearings every year (the lower rear is the real bad one). Keep in mind it is one of two MTBs I ride, and my other bike sees most of the winter riding. I have also needed to replace the shock mounting bolts. In the two years I have owned this frame it has needed FAR more maintenance than the three FS frames I owned from 2000 to 2008 combined (never replaced a bearing, and I had no second mountain bike during most of that time).

    The rear end is very flexy (this is coming from someone who owned a 2000 Superlight ), so I ended up getting a through-axle conversion for my rear hub.

    Long of the short is that while I this is the best frame I have owned in terms of geometry and suspension performance, I would not get another one. Too much hassle.

    While I do think that the DW-Link is the real deal, there are other bikes out there with good suspension designs that can be had at a good price from companies that are still in business and have warranties (there is none for the IH you are looking at). I'd look at a Giant. It's what I will likely do after I get through throwing time and money at this frame.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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