SRAM kitted 2006 Iron Horse MkIII Team: Ultimate All-Mountain Bike

Mar 29, 2006
by Luc 'Acadian' Albert  
SRAM has been busy shoppers for the past couple of years! First they purchased Sachs, which added to their drivetrain ‘bag-o-tricks”. Then they jumped to RockShox’s rescue and purchased them. This purchase gave SRAM a complete suspension department with top notch engineers. Third purchase was Avid, which added a solid line of rim and disc brakes to their artillery. And then last but not least, in 2004 they teamed up with Truvativ, which added even more “bling” and variety to their already solid componentry lineup.
Not only does this mean that you can now completely outfit a bike with SRAM bits, except for the wheels, saddle, tires and grips but these purchases also made SRAM one of the biggest parts manufacturers. Along with those purchases came brilliant engineers who, with the support of SRAM, started innovating from day one – they brought us fantastic technology such as Motion Control, Impulse Technology, GXP/Howitzer and the Maxle to name a few.

Frame Maxle introduced last year

I’ve always been a big RockShox fan – even before SRAM took over ownership. After the RockShox acquisition I started experimenting with SRAM components. Seeing how you could pretty much build a complete bike using SRAM parts, I decided to team up with them to build a ‘SRAM kitted” bike as a feature item for Pinkbike. Big thanks to Eric Schutt for making it happen!!

It didn’t take too much effort to pick an All-Mountain frame for this feature. The new 06 Iron Horse MkIII Team was an easy choice for me. Perfect bike for those long epic rides where you’re sure to be faced with a wide variety of terrain. If you’ve read my recent reviews of the Iron Horse Sunday – you probably already know how much I love Dave Weagle’s dw*link suspension system for DH application. I’ve always been curious about how the dw*link performs for trail riding – this will be the perfect test. Also BIG thanks to the nice folks, specifically Todd, at Iron Horse Bikes for hooking me up with the bike for this feature.

2006 Iron Horse MkIII Team

• 19” Satin Dark Blue •
• 5” dw*link suspension system •
• 1-1/8" zerostack headtube •
• Replaceable derailleur hanger •
• 73mm BB shell •

This bike screams to be taken on long technical climbs, technical descents, or any trail rides covering a wide variety of terrain.

SRAM X0 Trigger Shifters

• 1:1® Actuation Ratio for precise indexing and control •
• 9 speed •
• Alloy body with Carbon Fiber upper cover, Stainless steel hardware •
• Alloy Pull lever •
• Teflon coated cables •
• Easy Cable Change •

Every shift is quick, precise and effortless. They also look good to boot!

SRAM X0 Rear Derailleur

• 1:1® actuation ratio & Direct Route Technology for lighter effort shifting •
• 9 Speed •
• Forged alloy links and B-knuckle •
• High Strength Grilon® P-knuckle •
• Machined and heat treated oversized pivot pins •
• Sealed cartridge bearing pulleys •
• Forged long-cage •
• Carbon Fiber Cage on med. and short •
• Pictured is a Medium cage •

The Bugatti of all derailleurs! Beautiful, light, strong, responsive and precise smooth shifting with every actuation.

SRAM X.9 Front Derailleur

• Chrome Plated Steel •
• Forged Alloy •
• 34.9, 31.8, and 28.6 (with included adaptor) •
• Top or Bottom Pull •
• Silver (or Black) •

Super stiff wide pivot design – again precise shifting with every actuation.

SRAM PG 990 rear cassette

• 11-32T •
• Anodized Alloy lock ring •
• Alloy spider, 11-32=5 11-34=6 Sprocket Type •
• Blast Chrome Plated finish •

Get the same reliable, lightweight performance BlackBox racers enjoy. Tested on the pro circuit. Proven on the podium. SRAM® PowerGlide II™ 9-speed cassettes meet the demands of mountain bikers everywhere – from elite racers to weekend trail riders.

SRAM PC-991 Hollow Pin Chain

• buldged outer plate design •
• chamfered inner link design •
• improved PowerRollers •
• HollowPin riveting process •
• 114 links •

Delivering light weight, strength and smoothness to your drivetrain. BlackBox™ racers know – SRAM® PowerChain™ is designed to stand up to the toughest courses and competitors. From the convenient PowerLink™ connectors that eliminate the need for tools to the GLEITMO™ lube that protects against dirt and friction, these chains set the standard for durability and reliability.

Truvativ Holzfeller riser

• Cold-drawn •
• butted AL-7050-TV •
• 710mm wide •
• 35mm rise •
• 31.8 clamp diameter •
• 8 degree backsweep and 5 degree upsweep •

Guaranteed to be light & plenty strong. Mainly built for gravity racing – but I choose this bar over the XC ones because of its width. I like to run bars that are at least 685mm.

Truvativ Team Seatpost

• 3D forged •
• AL-7050-TV •
• Double Clamp design •
• 30.0 •
• 350mm •
• Adjustable to 65 degrees seat tube angle •
• 10 mm saddle clamp offset •
• 1-piece 3d forged OVAL tube and head •
• Laser etched logo •

Affordable & strong, lightweight & stylish, high-tech & sexy.

Truvativ Team 3D Stem

• 3D Forged •
• AL-7050-TV masterpiece •
• 31.8 bar clamp •
• Heat treated hardware •
• 75mm •
• 5 degree rise •

Light, Stiff and plenty strong for All Mountain applications.

Truvativ Holzfeller Flat Pedals

• Alloy Body •
• Oversize H/T CrMo spindle •
• Replaceable spikes •
• Oversize cartridge bearings •

I choose to ride flat pedals, even on my trail bike.

Truvativ Stylo Carbon Team cranks

• Giga X Pipe interface •
• 175mm •
• Crank Arm: Spine AL-66, Outside Carbon •
• Crank Spider: AL-6061 •
• Rings: AL-7075-T6 •
• Chainring Bolts: Alloy/Stainless •
• Alloy M15 self Extracting bolt •

Start with a forged interior spine made of AL-66 for high interface strength, then wrap the arms in carbon fiber & pressure cure. Combine this with SRAM's Team Giga X Drive, Full 7075 alloy rings, alloy chainring bolts for a perfect blend of strength and style.

Avid Carbon Juicy

• Power Reserve Geometry - Less powerfall off; gives you more power later in the throw, when you need it most •
• Tri-Align caliper positioning system * - Aligns caliper perfectly to the rotor-no trial and error, no pesky shims •
• Indexed Reach Adjustment * - One cick of the reach screw moves the lever 1mm •
• Drip-free Bleeding •
• Ti CPS bolts •
• Ti Lever Mounting bolts •
• Machined aluminum Speed Dial knob •
• Carbon Lever / Carbon reservoir cover •
• Polygon Rotor Design – 160mm •
• Burnished Body / Carbon Lever / Burnished Caliper •

Easy to install, easy to bleed, tons of stopping power, great lever feel, light and matches real well with the rest of the top end SRAM line of components.

Avid Flack Jacket Cable Set

• Kevlar® Mesh which is lighter and more flexible•
• Compression Resistant housing that provides firmer feel at lever without sacrificing modulation or power •
• Shield Lock Liner that prevents mud, dirt and water from residing inside the cable housing •
• Translucent coating with Kevlar Mesh finish •
• Compression resistant Housing •
• Shield Lock liner system •

Bullet-proof Kevlar® mesh renders our compression resistant Flak Jacket cable housing lighter, more flexible and impervious to thrashing. Ultralow-friction stainless steel inner wires make for smooth, effortless control. And the Shield-Lock liner slip over the Shield-Lock ferrules to seal the entire system from mud, grit and grime.

RockShox Pike 454 Air U-Turn

• Tool Free 20mm Maxle •
• Spring: Air U-Turn •
• Travel: 110-140mm •
• Adjust: U-Turn •
• Adjust: Positive and negative Schrader valve •
• Damping: Motion Control •
• Adjust: External rebound, Floodgate, external compression and lock •
• Lowers: Magnesium, disc and 20mm only •
• Crown: Hollow, Forged 6061 T-6 aluminum •
• Steerer Tube: Butted Aluminium •
• Upper Tube: 32mm 7000 series aluminum, low friction anodized (with travel gradients on both U-Turn models) •
• Diffusion Black (Dead Moss Grey and Silver optional colors) •
• Options: Remote •

Stiff, light, plush, adjustable! No more hunting for the right spring – dial in the fork with the simple use of a hand pump – done at home or trailside.

RockShox Pearl 3.3

• Motion Control damping •
• 3 position switch, Floodgate •
• Spring: Air positive with IsoLite Cushion •
• Adjust: Schrader valve •
• Shaft Material: 7075 aluminum •
• Shaft Diameter: 12mm •
• Body Material: Forged 6061 aluminum
• Body Diameter: 29mm •
• Body Finish Clear hard anodized •

Pearl's oversized construction offers improved consistency for the durability and performance required in All Mountain application.

Bike Build
Ready to build

Building the bike was a breeze. The only unexpected hick up was that I ran out of beer mid-build ;o)

All the bits bolted right on – the only slight modifications I had to do is: 1 - trim the bars to 685mm (from 710mm) and 2 - I had to file a wee bit of material off the back of the Pearl so it would clear the cross brace on the upper links.

I completed the build with the following non-SRAM parts: DT Swiss Wheelset, ODI grips, Selle Italia Flite Saddle, FSA Orbit ZS Carbon Zero stack headset and Hope QR setpost clamp. For tires I simply slapped on some rubber I had lying on the garage floor. For the front I used 2.35 Single-Ply ST Maxxis High Roller, which is my favorite trail riding front tire! Works great in pretty much any NorCal conditions, especially in the summer. On the back I threw on a 2.35 Sticky-e Kenda Nevegal. I would have preferred a 2.1 DTC Nevegal, but that’s all I had, so it’s gonna have to do for now! Final weight is around 31 lbs.

Like I said, building the bike was child’s play. It also got me thinking: Maybe I should write a “Building a Bicycle for Dummies” book? It would only require one page that says “Buy SRAM” – haha! Seriously thought, if you have all the right tools, have some wrenching experience, and know how to read (so you can follow the detailed instructions included with every part) then you shouldn’t have ANY problems building a bike! The only other thing I like more than riding is spending some nice quiet time in the garage wrenching on my bikes!

Here she is in all her glory! I will follow up in a few weeks/month with a long term review.


Bikes are cool - get out and ride! Go FLAT out....

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1 Comment

  • 1 0
 Just about to buy one of these, having ridden them before theyre very impressive. you referred to the headset not being like a standard one, would that fit the frame

once again cheers for the informative article.

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