Iron Horse FS Works- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Iron Horse FS Works

    Does anybody remember the Iron Horse FS Works frames from about 1993? I was wondering if anyone still has one. If so I would love to see some pics.

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    Italian Stallion

    A test ride with Penny Davidson's '93 NORBA DH winning Iron Horse FS Works =>


    Page 2
    Page 3
    Page 4

    - Melvin

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    Front page from a 1993 Iron Horse catalogue/calendar:



    1993 Iron Horse FS Works specs

    In fact this was the first or one of the first frames disigned specifically for the Downhill. Designed by Marzocchi. Built by Verlicchi, an Italian company known for motorsport products. Verlicchi also built the S-Bike.

    Frame sold through various brands.

    Page from a Sintesi catalogue showing their ti/bronze Bromont:



    A derived frame for Haro with the Haro typical concave top tube:



    The S-Bike:

    [/quote]

    - Melvin

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    In progress:



    Still busy with. Hope to finish it soon To be continued.

    Dave Cullinan's '93 Worlds winning bike :



    Page 2
    Page 3

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kkst
    Does anybody remember the Iron Horse FS Works frames from about 1993? I was wondering if anyone still has one. If so I would love to see some pics.
    There was one for sale on Fleabay recently. Quite cheap too.
    Wanted:

    Marzocchi Star Fork
    Nishiki Aliens

  6. #6
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    Those Verlicchi bikes were such crap. FTW had to replace the main frames on those after a few weeks for Cully.

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    Isn't it the earlies were what you call "crap"? I do know some modifications were made at some point, like thicker wall tubing for the rear swing and a gusset for the downtube/head was added.

    BTW didn't Cullinan have a non-production front? He had a 1/4 head, the production bikes 1/8.
    Last edited by Elevation12,000; 06-26-2006 at 03:08 PM.

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    Right, like I said Frank The Welder had to build custom front triangles for the entire team as the verlicchi stuff had bad geometry and was poorley constructed. 90-94 were the years that Frank pretty much re-built all the bikes for every DH pro in Durango due to how poorly all non-yetis were designed and constructed....

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    Poorley constructed ....I am surprised as it looks actually pretty well made. You are saying he built probably all dh pro bikes in the Durango area. Guess not H-Balls as it is pretty difficult to weld up carbon

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elevation12,000
    Poorley constructed ....I am surprised as it looks actually pretty well made. You are saying he built probably all dh pro bikes in the Durango area. Guess not H-Balls as it is pretty difficult to weld up carbon

    Look at the difference between the production bikes posted, and the scan of Cullies worlds bike. The worlds bike IS wellmade. HB was always a really skilled hack-job kind of guy, and his early 90's bikes were actually stock Miyata's that he cut up and added suspension componets to. The carbon bike you are thinking off was a similar deal, except Miyata did have a production version. Everything from the shock mount back was made for HB by Arlo Englund.

  11. #11
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    No he's right, verlicchi frames weren't well made. Chris Lawrence who was a pro-elite DH racer back in the period (most well known today for freeride movies) and a local at the time, showed up to a half dozen sunday group rides over the course of a summer on his team bike, and every couple weeks, the frame had more and more gussets added to it as he kept breaking the swingarm around the pivot area. He kept having to dismantle his bike, send the frame back to verlicchi for repairs, and then reassembling it. As I recall, he broke the right side first, got a gusset welded to the swingarm on that side only, then broke the left side, and got a gusset welded into place on that side. Also I'm pretty sure marzocchi only designed the rear shock (and manufactured it), not the whole frame.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  12. #12
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    SuspectDevice, DeeEight,

    I didn't say someone is not right, I did say I am surprised. Finishing looks great. I have seen A LOT bikes as reference, the Verlicchi being superior to many. It seems the problem presented lays in the durabilty department. Haven't ridden a single meter with this one and I also haven't many stories heard on it, but I do know that the are many early full suspensions/aluminium bikes that have a durability issue.

    Anyway for '95 Verlicchi increased the wall thinckness of the swing from 2 to 2.5mm and took measures to reinforce the inside. Mine is a later one and though not being built by FTW I still would be surprised if it doesn't survive my friends ARC AS.

    What I got is that it is Marzocchi designed, Verlicchi built. Of course I weren't at the spot, so with you saying not-zocchi the level of Marzocchi involvement became a bit vague.

    Thanks for your comments anyway. Interesting to take notice of experiences from the testing ground. Also liked the writing on H-Ball's bikes, though I knew most. By seeing my signature you could easily conclude what is my favourite. A Verlicchi whether good or bad won't undo that.

    - Melvin

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    I have a FS works, I had it sence 95 and its still going. I found this site doing a search for them.

  14. #14
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    Pics?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elevation12,000
    A test ride with Penny Davidson's '93 NORBA DH winning Iron Horse FS Works =>




    - Melvin

    nice inverted double bird flip there

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    Work on your Dutch with those readings



    Page 2
    Page 3

    (Fiets 5, 1993)


    1994 Marzocchi catalogue


    Page 2
    Page 2.5
    Page 3



    Shock & fork

    - Melvin

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    lol, we need Julianna in here to translate... she still hang out in the passion forum ?
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

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    heres a couple of mine.




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    Hi lethal93a,

    By seeing the cranks I realize it has seen quite some miles. You're planning a resto for it? I would be willing to help you out on decal repros.

    It seems yours differs from mine in that; there is cablerouting for downpull, the cablestops are silver and there is no gusset for the downtube.

    - Melvin

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    this frame itself dont have many miles on it all the componets do, I bought the frame and fork seperate and took all the parts from my trek 9000 and put it on that frame, Im going to a local bike shop with it now to see what they think of it, I really dont think ill get rid of it, I like the bike, I would love to find a orignal front shock for it if I keep it instead of the mag 21 I have on there now. if you can set me up with some decals cheep id love to get a set, they were off the bike when I got it, I bought the bike from a guy that owned a bike shop, he took the stock ones off and put his shop name on there.
    Last edited by lethal93ta; 07-11-2006 at 06:31 PM.

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    Good job!

    Wow, I'm surprised to find people still interested in this bike!. . . But then again, it did win several world and top level championships plus a million races/series in the lower classes. That's quite an amazing feat considering some people believe these Verlicchi bikes were such crap

    I purchased one new in '93 - the "Active Shock" version seen in an above post. Loved every minute I spent riding it, and there were plenty of minutes, over 9,500 hardcore miles worth - inc. riding straight through two Canadian winters. My bike has a 1/4 head (never knew it came in 1/8) and the build quality/welds look damn good compared to just about any bike of it's vintage. It was able to put up with my 205-lbs through years of serious pounding and never once let me down.

    When I bought the bike, my plan was to build it up like the bike pictured in the '93 Iron Horse FS Works ad seen in MBA - basically the same setup DC was using at the time - but for much less $$$ (buying the frame/fork through Iron Horse would have cost almost double what I paid). So I bought all the parts the Iron Horse team were using; Vetta Ti saddle, Tioga Psycho tires, Control Tech stem & seatpost, etc... except my budget demanded a combo of LX/XT instead of XTR. Then I had Iron Horse send me the downtube decals and the headtube badge, however, unfortunately I didn't bother installing them due to a never ending backorder on the swingarm decals that I needed/wanted to complete the pkg.

    In addition to the stock shock, I also have a long travel version (of the same shock) which gives the rear another inch of travel and at the same time shortens the chainstay length and makes the head/seat tube angles steeper. I've put over 4,500 miles on each of the shocks and to this day, amazingly, they both still seem to work like new.

    I've managed to keep the bike in close to new condition and as soon as I get some free time I'll take/post some pics Until then, here's a crappy quality pic I scanned into my puter many years ago.

    Btw Melvin, if you could help me get repos of the FS Works swingarm decals I'm sure I could find a way to make it worth your while




  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTB_Lorne
    Wow, I'm surprised to find people still interested in this bike!. . . But then again, it did win several world and top level championships plus a million races/series in the lower classes. That's quite an amazing feat considering some people believe these Verlicchi bikes were such crap

    I purchased one new in '93 - the "Active Shock" version seen in an above post. Loved every minute I spent riding it, and there were plenty of minutes, over 9,500 hardcore miles worth - inc. riding straight through two Canadian winters. My bike has a 1/4 head (never knew it came in 1/8) and the build quality/welds look damn good compared to just about any bike of it's vintage. It was able to put up with my 205-lbs through years of serious pounding and never once let me down.

    When I bought the bike, my plan was to build it up like the bike pictured in the '93 Iron Horse FS Works ad seen in MBA - basically the same setup DC was using at the time - but for much less $$$ (buying the frame/fork through Iron Horse would have cost almost double what I paid). So I bought all the parts the Iron Horse team were using; Vetta Ti saddle, Tioga Psycho tires, Control Tech stem & seatpost, etc... except my budget demanded a combo of LX/XT instead of XTR. Then I had Iron Horse send me the downtube decals and the headtube badge, however, unfortunately I didn't bother installing them due to a never ending backorder on the swingarm decals that I needed/wanted to complete the pkg.

    In addition to the stock shock, I also have a long travel version (of the same shock) which gives the rear another inch of travel and at the same time shortens the chainstay length and makes the head/seat tube angles steeper. I've put over 4,500 miles on each of the shocks and to this day, amazingly, they both still seem to work like new.

    I've managed to keep the bike in close to new condition and as soon as I get some free time I'll take/post some pics Until then, here's a crappy quality pic I scanned into my puter many years ago.

    Btw Melvin, if you could help me get repos of the FS Works swingarm decals I'm sure I could find a way to make it worth your while



    Hi MTB Lorne,

    So far I didn't make an attempt on the rear swing decal. I will turn back to you on this through email asap.

    Looking forward to see pics

    Yes, the Verlicchi did came with 1-1/8 head. Below two pages from the 1995 Sintesi catalogue providing some specs on their DH frame. Their Verlicchi downhiller was called 'Bromont', after the place were Cullinan wun.





    Maybe it is some brands ordered the frame with 1-1/8 and others with 1-1/4 ....or maybe Verlicchi went from 1-1/4 to 1-1/8 over the years. I do not know to what degree the companies were able to differentiate their frames. I do know swings and cableguides came anodized in; blue, green, purple, red and bronze. Main triangles came finished in; silver, titanium and black (the Rudy Project from the above Dutch review was available in black). The Haro substantially differed in that the toptube was reversed slooping.

    Verlicchi also made the early full suspensions for Diamond Back and Carraro, but those suspension designs differed from the above Verlicchis.

    - Melvin

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    Hey Melvin,

    It's interesting to learn that many companies offered versions of the frame. Before reading this thread I was only aware of Iron Horse and Rudy Project (my bike) with silver frames and purple/blue/red swingarms/cableguides, and I'd seen pictures of the Haro in MBA.

    Don't you find it funny (or at least odd) that Sintesi and Rudy Project called the rear suspension design "Active Shock"? In reality it has to be one of the least active suspension designs ever created! lol. . .

    About the "FS Works" swingarm decals, I could probably do a good job designing them, but I have no idea how they could be printed onto sticker paper that's durable and doesn't easily fade in outdoor UV light? That's something I'd like to know because I've designed some decals for my Aerospoke rims on my Foes that I'd love to be able to use.

    You can email me here: LHG[at]rogers.com

    Oh btw, I think this bike is a Sintesi built by Verlicchi - know anything about it?


  24. #24
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    Yes, a lot had the Verlicchi in their line up. Here the Kona EFS:



    I think my bike was a Sintesi as it has the same 'Active Shock' decal on the swing as the green frame in the above Sintesi brochure.

    Here the January page of the 1993 Iron Horse calendar/catalogue, showing the FS Works with original equipment:


    Full m900. Didn't come cheap at $4150

    I do not know much about the 'new skool' Sintesi downhiller. I learnt it is Italian made and by seeing the very distinctive construction it would not surprise me if it's been made by a company also doing motorbikes. Hence Verlicchi sounds plausible. Anyhow the Japanese seem to approve it, so it must be good.

    - Melvin
    Last edited by Elevation12,000; 07-16-2006 at 08:41 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elevation12,000
    Hi lethal93a,

    By seeing the cranks I realize it has seen quite some miles. You're planning a resto for it? I would be willing to help you out on decal repros.

    It seems yours differs from mine in that; there is cablerouting for downpull, the cablestops are silver and there is no gusset for the downtube.

    - Melvin
    what would it run for a set of dacals, Id like to pick up a set.

  26. #26
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    The later kona version pictured has the swingarm gussets under the pivot like I described above.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  27. #27
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    Hi lethal93a, DeeEight,

    @lethal93a

    I will send you a PM

    @DeeEight

    Yes, I noticed the gusset. I am wondering why it is there. The catalogue is from 1994 and I think my Verlicchi is later. The Sachs Quarz, Marzocchi XC700, Azonic riser (I replaced that one for the flatbar) etc make that assumption pretty plausible. Maybe the gusset was Kona specific? Maybe the frame pictured was taillored to the/a pro? Maybe it was a pre-production frame?


    My Verlicchi is finished now. Do not have pics of the result yet. The pic in post #4 and this one has to do it for now:



    I have taken my Verlicchi out for a ride several times already. Before going out for the spin the crucial parts seatpost, seat and bottlecage (it was hot here too) had to be added. The post is a Kalloy, the seat a white Turbo and the cage is red anodized (a downhillbike with bottlecage ).

    I were positively surprised. I have had one before, but that one went to a friend on Curacau pretty quick. In my memory it was a bit an unefficient lorry compared to my HTs. With my new one I immediately had the right setup. Both shocks were also working more in harmony now. The 1st Verlicchi had a crap Judy in front.

    The suspension really smoothens out the terrain. No need to steer away from bumps. It is now more about pedalling as fast as you can. The handling is very good. It isn't the most agile, but point it and go!

    I discovered it is a great bike for training purposes. Because of the system and the weight (in particular the weight of the rotating parts) I have to do a bit more my best to keep up with my friends on their HTs.....unless the course is a downhill! It really makes me stronger.

    I think it is a great early full suspension to own. It is not the most efficient, but I think it is one of the tougher and if it fails it isn't a financial disaster. It is worthy representative of the FS breed in my stable ...and a nice companion for my recently acquired Elev12k!

    - Melvin

  28. #28
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    Project Verlicchi DH, the Italian Stallion - Finito !


    Finito!




    Swingarm & hydrolic Marzocchi damperunit providing 9 cms of travel





    Zooka & Quarz levers


    Turbo


    Quarz f-mech







    Ciao,

    Melvin

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    Hello all,

    I had one Sintesi (the hard tail model, with squares back stays) made by Verllicchi, from aproximatly 1992 or 1993.
    I would like to know if any of you had a foto, catalog or even the model name?

    Thank you

    Pedro Vicente

  30. #30
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    Hi,

    I think it was X-Wing. It is in my catalogue too. Will check.

  31. #31
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    No! It wasn't X-Wing. The X-Wing was a model made out Easton tubing weighing only 1300gr.

    The other hardtail model had the square stays. That was the Thruster.

  32. #32
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    Hello Elevation12,000 ,

    Thank you for the information....
    Risking being a pain in the ass, would it be possible to share that part of the catalog???
    Or there is any place where I can find it on the web!?!?

    Thank you

    Pedro Vicente

  33. #33
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    Pedro,

    The catalogue is only showing the frame with Marzocchi and Verlicchi stem. I currently do not have a scanner available.

    This is a lead to a built Thruster => here

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    Listen!

    check this out guys..
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    Very nice Atmaka

    Black/blue... you see those not often. Full XTR, looking in very decent shape. For the eye I would lower the stem a bit. Personally would also consider a flat bar or at least a more period correct riser if it were mine ...but it isn't. Overall I find it a very nice bike.

    I have now a pic from me riding my Italian Stalion =>


  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elevation12,000
    In progress:



    Still busy with. Hope to finish it soon To be continued.

    Dave Cullinan's '93 Worlds winning bike :



    Page 2
    Page 3
    Kovachi Built Wheels...wow that brings up some memories. John Kovachi lived about 10 minutes from my house and used to build us local BMX'ers wheels, and then mountain bikes when we got older. He even sponsors some of the guys up at the Power Springs GA BMX track. What a cool guy...I wonder what ever happened with his Wheel business. I knew he was big time around that era. Anyone know?
    2012 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO carbon 29 2010 felt solo nine SS, 1994 Zaskar ,1995 GT Pantera, 2001 Hive Ti SS....

  37. #37
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    i like the Koga myata jersey!
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

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    Very nice Atmaka

    Black/blue... you see those not often. Full XTR, looking in very decent shape. For the eye I would lower the stem a bit. Personally would also consider a flat bar or at least a more period correct riser if it were mine ...but it isn't. Overall I find it a very nice bike.
    Thanks.. actually, i agree with your opinion. I also want to restore the "Dave Cullinan" cutting stickers, but i don't know where to buy / order it.

  39. #39
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    Atmaka,

    It looks like an easy font to me. Maybe it can already be done in WordArt. That's how I did my Iron Horse decals. With the print to the copyshop and for 2 euro I had decals.

    Of course there are also people doing decals at a professional basis. 'gil m' from Retrobike is an example.

  40. #40
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    Now I take a 2nd look at your Iron Horse I notice it has the little reinforcement plate in the angle of the swing. We saw it earlier in the Kona EFS catalogue picture. Someone here already mentioned it had to do with making a reinforcement after faillures with older bikes.

    My bike hasn't it and actually I think my bike is the newer of the 2. My bike has a Sachs Quarz group and XC700 forks, deffo 1996+. Yours' a XTR m900 group and XC400 forks. Moreover in the 1995 catalogue scans I also don't see the reinforcement plate. 1995 is absolutely post Marzocchi xc400s ...and by 1995 the frame was already in the final stage of its lifecycle.



    It is sometimes a bit vague to me, the differences in detailling, construction through the yrs. From some I did't figure out how to put them so far.

    Other things that differ with my frame is that your bike has a 1-1/4 headtube (nice original Verlicchi stem btw!) and no down tube gusset. Like my bike it has bottle mounts. This suggests it isn't one of the 1st, as the 1st ones didn't have bottlemounts. I would say yours is late 93/early 94.

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    WOW.. you're so detail.. i'm amazed.. i won't notice the differences between mine and yours if you didn't explaine it (the reinforcement plate, the downtube gussets, the oversized headtube) I really don't have that much knowledge about this bike. Thanks for your great infos. Btw, mine has campagnolo rims..
    Last edited by atmaka; 08-07-2007 at 08:46 AM.

  42. #42
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    Hello;
    I'm new here. Just picked up an Iron Horse FS Works frame off ebay last night ($38).
    Going to restore it starting this next weekend.
    Any suggestions ?



  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathdave1
    Hello;
    I'm new here. Just picked up an Iron Horse FS Works frame off ebay last night ($38).
    Going to restore it starting this next weekend.
    Any suggestions ?


    Welcome to the forum. That was a decent score. I saw it when it was first listed, but am surprised it went for so little. The first priority I think should be finding a set of correct Marzocchi forks. These frames just look wrong with anything else. IMHO
    Last edited by muddybuddy; 10-11-2008 at 11:24 AM.
    Need: McMahon brake for roller cam mounts, Mountain Goat fork.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by muddybuddy
    Welcome to the forum. That was a decent score. I saw it when it was first listed, but am surprised it went for so little. The first priority I think should be finding a set of correct Marzocchi forks. Thise frames just look wrong with anything else. IMHO

    Cullinan replica.
    -eric-

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    Wanted: NDS Suntour XC Pro Microdrive 175mm Crank Arm.

  45. #45
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    2 things,
    1 - Would it be a sin to go carbon fiber on the handle bars and seat post ?
    2 - ID of the seat tube ?
    Seat is going to be carbon fiber shell with titanium frame.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathdave1
    2 things,
    1 - Would it be a sin to go carbon fiber on the handle bars and seat post ?
    2 - ID of the seat tube ?
    Hi Dave,

    Good score

    1 - I would say yes, but it is your bike.
    2 - 29.4 with mine, but I think it varied over the years

    Seat is going to be carbon fiber shell with titanium frame.
    That is why it is deathdave ?

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    Hope My Sintesi

    The fork was leaking and try to fix it.. still order the seal from http://www.enduroforkseals.com/
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    Hello everyone!
    I have a possibility to buy this frame brand new really cheap but w/o the shock. So what is length dimension of the shock and what max could fit?

  49. #49
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    Reputation: muddybuddy's Avatar
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    The Hub bike shop in Bellingham, Washington had a whole box full of those shocks (8 or 10 of them from what I remember) a couple months ago. I can't vouch for fittment or condition though. I am no longer living in the area, so beyond giving the location I can't help you.
    Need: McMahon brake for roller cam mounts, Mountain Goat fork.

  50. #50
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    So if I won't find these shocks, can I use a standard 165mm (which I doubt) or sth like Cane Creek AD-10 in 142mm?
    Could someone measure the length of the original marzocchi shock and how much space is there for a larger one?
    Cheers

  51. #51
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    You can find a lot of cool information in the archives.....
    Go Iron Horse,
    go Dave
    Go Eric.....................

  52. #52
    VRC Illuminati
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aemmer
    You can find a lot of cool information in the archives.....
    Go Iron Horse,
    go Dave
    Go Eric.....................
    I was gonna put it in this thread too.
    I will once I pull it out of the box and dummy it together when I get home tonight.
    -eric-

    http://www.rumpfy.com
    Wanted: NDS Suntour XC Pro Microdrive 175mm Crank Arm.

  53. #53
    shawnw
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy
    I was gonna put it in this thread too.
    I will once I pull it out of the box and dummy it together when I get home tonight.
    Today must be a loooong day for you.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawnw
    Today must be a loooong day for you.

    It is. And my 4G just came in today too. I'm busting a gut over here!
    -eric-

    http://www.rumpfy.com
    Wanted: NDS Suntour XC Pro Microdrive 175mm Crank Arm.

  55. #55
    shawnw
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    4g

    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy
    It is. And my 4G just came in today too. I'm busting a gut over here!
    Hmm, no idea what 4G is, but I bet it's bike related.
    Oh ya, no playing until you answer my email

  56. #56
    VRC Illuminati
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawnw
    Hmm, no idea what 4G is, but I bet it's bike related.
    Oh ya, no playing until you answer my email

    Which one, you sent 10 of them.

    iPhone 4G....actually not bike related!
    -eric-

    http://www.rumpfy.com
    Wanted: NDS Suntour XC Pro Microdrive 175mm Crank Arm.

  57. #57
    shawnw
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    last one

    I answered my own question, see last.

  58. #58
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    And for reference in this thread...Cully's 92 (93?) Iron Horse FS Works

    Its slated for a full break down, cleaning, and rebuild.

    -eric-

    http://www.rumpfy.com
    Wanted: NDS Suntour XC Pro Microdrive 175mm Crank Arm.

  59. #59
    shawnw
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy
    Which one, you sent 10 of them.

    iPhone 4G....actually not bike related!
    I'm so lame, my wife just got a 4G, I need to snap out of the bike "zone".

  60. #60
    slower than you
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    so, uh, what do we know about serial numbers for these frames? say, for instance provenance for a frameset marked "17-001" on the rear shock bracket... or other markings, like: "nv" in an inverted triangular crest. might mean, what? anyone?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Iron Horse FS Works-adsc_2566.jpg  

    Iron Horse FS Works-adsc_2565.jpg  

    Iron Horse FS Works-adsc_2567.jpg  

    "May your trails be winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." - Ed Abbey
    http://rockychrysler.com/

  61. #61
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    Mine says 19-002 ....not sure about the year....it has no decals but it has the blue ano swingarm and parts...
    Quote Originally Posted by rockychrysler View Post
    so, uh, what do we know about serial numbers for these frames? say, for instance provenance for a frameset marked "17-001" on the rear shock bracket... or other markings, like: "nv" in an inverted triangular crest. might mean, what? anyone?

  62. #62
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    Hi I have very old Iron horse fs works, and I want find one more for my son. Where I can find it, I think I already try everything

  63. #63
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    I have one all boxed and ready to go ...serial # 17-002...

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