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  1. #1
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    What did you replace your MKIII with?

    After my MKIII front triangle cracked a few months ago, the daunting task of replacing it was upon me. At first the other DW-Link offerings looked good, but they were VERY expensive, and in many cases did not have the geometry I was looking for.

    I would have been interested to know what people moved onto after their MKIII, and how the new rides compare. So, for anyone else in this predicament I figured I would start this thread.

    I'll start:

    I wanted a bike with around 5" travel with a stable yet playful geometry that was built around a 5" fork. I did not want a high BB. And I wanted it tough. I test rode a SC Nickel, and really liked the feel, though it was expensive and I was not sure I wanted to go back to a high forward SP (I've owned a Superlight and Heckler in the past). However, I really liked the geometry, so I looked for similar numbers.

    I ended up with a 2010 Marin Mount Vision frame. I got it for $650 shipped from Adrenaline Bikes. Built it up with all the parts from the MKIII, except for the front derailleur, seatpost shim, and seat collar.

    It has 120mm rear travel, but in reality it is more like 110. It feels like it has a lot less travel than the MKIII, even though the MKIII is only 125mm (or is it 130?). It's ability to soak up rough trails is limited. It sags very far into it's travel, and the suspension ramps up severely in the second half of the travel, so there is just not left there to absorb the hits. So it is not as stable on high speed bombing, as the rear does not track as well.

    However, it is great on the smaller bumps, and actually handles drops and jumps a little better than the MKIII. It does seem better on twisty swoopy trails with dips and berms, the reduced travel seems to work in my favor there. I am able to pump through sections better. On drops, it works very well. With the MKIII, I could feel it soak up the drop, with the Mt Vision, it feels like the drop never even happened. Several times I have done a drop that I have done for years, then stopped and turned around looking for what had changed, thinking someone must have built a big transition, or made the drop a foot or so less. Nope, same drop.

    I should mention that the MKIII had a PUSHed AVA. Getting the Mt Vision's RP2 PUSHed (or getting a PUSHed Monarch) might close a bit of the performance gap on the rough stuff, and get me the rest of the travel.

    The frame with shock was within 0.1 lb of the MKIII, so the final build was identical in weight. However, the MT Vision feels heavier on climbs. It does have a tad more pedal feedback in the middle ring (not enough to really matter) but in the granny it is noticeable. Steep, rough, granny gear climbs are noticeably better on the MKIII.

    The frame is a LOT stiffer torsionally. Out of the saddle efforts are rewarded on this bike, I never felt like the MKIII did so well there, and I think all the flex in the rear was part of the reason. Despite it feeling a little heavier, this bike feels faster on the flats and rolling singletrack with sprints.

    I was tired of replacing the rear bearings every year on the MKIII, the Mt Vision comes with a lifetime warranty on all of them.

    On the MKIII I either ran the Pike at 140mm most of the time, or used a 15mm externalizer and ran the fork at 125mm most of the time. On the Mt Vision, I run the Pike at 125mm most of the time, and it feels well balanced. The frame was designed around a 120mm Fox Fork (68.5 degree HA), so I figure running the Pike @ 125 puts me somewhere between 67.5 and 68 degree HA (RS run a little longer A2C than Fox),.

    Anyway, here is a pic
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What did you replace your MKIII with?-marin.jpg  

    Last edited by kapusta; 07-06-2011 at 11:59 AM.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  2. #2
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    Sc

    Santa Cruz Superlight. It doesn't climb quite as well as a DW-Link bike, but does everything else far better than the MKIII did.

  3. #3
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    Trance X2 (although it felt sacreligious to get a Maestro equiped bike after loving DW so much)
    Like many others I found the size of the $$ bundle demanded for a Turner, Ibis or Pivot eyewatering (though they are damn nice bikes)
    The Trance was second hand, I transfered most of my running gear over from my MKIII build - coil Pike U-turn, wheels, X9, but kept the Shimano brakes on X2. Ended up with a bike about 3lbs lighter which was nice.
    What I miss about the MKIII is the rearend stiffening up / resisting squat when clmbing - it always remained active, and just felt like it was helping you up and over obstacles. The Maestro doesn't feel as deeply compliant as DW-Link did, especially when decending on rough terrain.
    I have hankered to get back on a DW-Link bike ever since, but am currently very close to going over to a RIP9. I'm not sure how the CVA will compare with DW-Link. I have been offered a loaner RIP9 later in the year, so will be lucky enough to get a few test rides in before committing.
    ps; nice looking quad link there Kapusta - I always liked them and looked at various discounted Marin frames before buying X2. Have always wondered though how much more metal they would require in that swingarm with it being anchored so far forward in the frame - a lot of distance from anchor/pivot points to axle?

  4. #4
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalingkiwi View Post
    ps; nice looking quad link there Kapusta - I always liked them and looked at various discounted Marin frames before buying X2. Have always wondered though how much more metal they would require in that swingarm with it being anchored so far forward in the frame - a lot of distance from anchor/pivot points to axle?
    I think that has a lot to do with why the frame are kind of heavy. My medium Mt Vision frame with the RP2 shock is 7.1 lbs. I little portly for a 120mm frame. It weighs almost the same as my large MKIII frame, but the AVA shock on the MKIII is about 1/3 lb heavier than the RP2 on the Mt Vision. The 2010 model actually lost 200 grams off the rear swingarm from the previous year.

    A tranceX is what I was looking at most seriously before the Marin came along. I did not want to buy used (too many bad experiences with used frames), and the Giants were just too much money for the frame and I could not afford the completes, despite how good of a deal they are.

    I did come close to getting a "discounted" Pivot Mach 5. They were (maybe still are) clearing out the Mach 5's for ~$1,500, but I was not sold on the geometry (69 degree HA with a 140mm fork?) and as I got past the original hyped-up reviews, and onto more comparison reviews, I was getting the feeling they sort of missed the mark on that one. Plus I would have needed a different crankset, and that was just getting into way too much $ for me for a bike that I was not 100% sure about. I did ride a Pivot 429 at a demo day, and it was pretty freaking amazing. I never realized how much every other bike I have ridden flexed until I rode that bike.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  5. #5
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    DW climbing

    Yep, this was the best quality of the IH DW bikes. I test rode a Mojo awhile back it it seemed to have a similar feel, but I didn't spent enough time on it. Has anyone here ridden a Pivot Mach 4 or 5? Does it work like the IH on climbs? Might be my next bike....



    Quote Originally Posted by pedalingkiwi View Post
    What I miss about the MKIII is the rearend stiffening up / resisting squat when clmbing - it always remained active, and just felt like it was helping you up and over obstacles.

  6. #6
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    i went with a Banshee Rune. Got it in white as a tribute to the mk3 that got me into biking. its obviously a bit of an upgrade in overall beef. I figured i broke my first bike and i was getting more and more into the style of riding that broke it, so I wanted something that I could trust

    been riding it for over a year and i love it. I really pimped this thing out with a 2011 fox float 180 (set to 170mm), nice wheels, and some other upgrades so its tough to do a fair comparison on the two bikes. its much much better in every aspect

    also, its prety close to the same weight of my mk3 now that im running single ring up front which also makes a comparison a little hard to do...10x the dh capabilities with same climbing abilities. it feels light...havnt weighed since some recent mods but i think its slightly over 32lbs.

    the rear travel comparison is like night and day; with only 1" more, the Rune feels bottomless while the mk3 felt like it soaked up only the smallest obstacles.

    it features a fairly similar dual linkage design, so it climbs very well. perhaps not quite as efficient as the DW but certainly well enough to not notice the difference

    a huge difference is that the Rune's swingarm is extremely stiff, something you notice the first time you lean the bike over through a fast turn. actually, the stiffness is noticed in all aspects of riding from hammering out of the saddle to plowing through rough terrain.

    the slight additional weight on my rune build is pretty much canceled out in terms of climbing feel because the stiffness transfers all the power to the wheel. it still has that same feeling of "squirting" up steep climbs

    also they are less expensive than some of the comparable dual link options out there, and i actually kindof like the simplicity of the bushing system. they are so easy to service and cost next to nothing

  7. #7
    GAME ON!
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    2009 specialized enduro. way more travel, way better angles. more tire clearance. clearly better built. not quite as smooth over rough stuff and definitely not close in climbing ability, but the slacker angles make it a hell of a lot more fun. weighs in at around 29lbs. i'm happy. i still compare every climb to how it felt on my mkiii, but i suppose it makes me better in the end,
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  8. #8
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    Addendum part 1
    Perhaps I still feel guilty but I ditched my MKIII because she was overweight (not very gentlemanly !!), and it wasn't until I had replaced her and she was on loan to my brother that she broke just above BB / bottom of seatpost (now repaired and running again) With a coil pike, and no lightweight bits, my MKIII weighed 33lbs. She didn't feel or even look heavy, but I just couldn't get it out of my mind there were other skinnier girls out there. I am a shallow man. The X2 sure looks svelte in all black, but in truth I've never loved her like I loved my plain jane grey MKIII

    Addendum part 2
    and I am all over the show trying to decide my next bike, though I know enough to know it will be a 29'r. Initially I focused on RIP9 (a do-it-all bike), lusted after a Sultan or 429, have flirted with Lynskey Ti Ridgeline, then erred back towards RIP9 (and recent furtive looks at Jet9 RDO !!) and today it is Air9 Carbon that has my attention - a 1x9, 100mm fork, 24lb weapon, that would compliment, not replace, the X2. The X2 I'm thinking deserves a lighter fork (dual air revelation?) and better (pushed) shock to realise her potential.

  9. #9
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalingkiwi View Post
    ..................she broke just above BB / bottom of seatpost (now repaired and running again)
    How did you fix that? Just re-weld it?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  10. #10
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    I got a replacement mk3 frame on warranty but it had a misaligned rear triangle,so I went to a 2nd hand 2009 mt vision for a short while, just found it too harsh and unable to use all the travel regardless of sag setting.
    I did like the geometry, especially the short rear end and slacker head angle.
    i wouldn't mind trying a wolf ridge,apparently alot plusher.

    I put the horse back together after i found an '08 rear triangle,but had to purchase a new lower link to get it to fit my '05 frame, that exercise cost more than i paid for the marin frame(2nd hand).
    I rode it for a while but i was missing the slacker geometry of the mt vision.
    I came across a cheap commencal meta 5.5 frame, angles looked good so hung up the mk3 again for a while.
    I'm still on the meta, love the geometry, low and slack,especially when i put in a 190x50 shock instead of the stock 200x50.Descending is awesome,climbing is not so great. It's also has more flex than the mk3,but i got used to it very quickly.
    The mk3 is still the best bike i've peddled on rough ground,something just makes it keep accelerating whilst still absorbing the bumps, thats the biggest difference i notice compared to other bikes i've ridden.
    I looked around for another DW bike but even 2nd hand here in oz they're still really expensive.
    Since the inception of anglesets i'm keen to get the mk3 out again,put in a -2 degree set with a 140 fork and see if it makes me smile again.

  11. #11
    26 for life.
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    Haven't.
    Can't.
    Won't.
    Yet...
    Sent from the future to destroy the past.

  12. #12
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiJohn View Post
    Haven't.
    Can't.
    Won't.
    Yet...
    I hope it stays that way for you
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  13. #13
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    ah, yeah, my brother was lucky enough to know the NZ importer of IH (in their heyday) and he knew an engineer / welder who was able to effect a good repair. Repair made easier by the fact those frames had (as I understand it) a sleeve in the join between BB casting & seatpost. I have ridden her since an she goes fine, plenty of life in her yet (touch wood)

  14. #14
    26 for life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    I hope it stays that way for you
    Yet...

    ...i

    S

    B

    6

    6
    Sent from the future to destroy the past.

  15. #15
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    I replaced my 06 MK3 with a 7-point after I moved out west (needed a slacker head angle anyways).

    My 06 never broke- it just got demoted to backup bike status. Still runnin' strong...
    -MitchB

  16. #16
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    i sold my MK3frame and got a GT distortion. will be putting the parts from my old MK3 on the GT as soon as the headset arrives

  17. #17
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    Sorry to derail, but... it makes me a little sad to even have to think of replacing the mkIII. I have only had it for a few years but I ride it several times a week. I know it's immanent but I am in denial.

  18. #18
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    I have to add that I know 3 years is a good lifespan for the MKIII. For anybody wondering I buy into KevinB's theory on the rear axle flex and have had a DTswiss ratchet skewer in since day one.

  19. #19
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    I stayed in the DW family and got an Ibis Mojo - best switch ever as I sold my MKIII while it was good money 2 years ago and got a sweet deal on a used Mojo - it does everything much better (feels similar, climbs great, decend even better as it is a lot stiffer and I have 150 revelation on it, and is much ligher overall).

  20. #20
    26 for life.
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    Still rocking my MkIII. No sign of the new bike yeti. Oops.
    Sent from the future to destroy the past.

  21. #21
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    What do you think of a Giant Reign as a replacement for the MKIII. A little bit burlier, but seems like a good possible replacement bike.

  22. #22
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    Just lost my MkIII and I am at loss to for a replacement. Any other similar linkages offered by other companies that do the same job?

  23. #23
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    Just got a virtually brand spanking new 08. Maiden voyage was today and damn. Damndamndamn. I can't believe I ran a faux bar for soooo long. Crossing fingers and buying a through axle for it!
    You are not what you own.

  24. #24
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    Rolling on a 7 point 7 after selling my MkIII. Plush Plush Plush, just have to deal with the 10 extra pounds.

  25. #25
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    trek remedy 2009 ... but still thinking that mkIII is a great frame

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