Iron Horse designed the ARS 7.0 to be an entry level sport racer. Their goal was to make a light, dependable bike that was affordable. Iron Horse’s approach was to fashion double butted 7005 series aluminum tubing…
By Karl Rosengarth
Iron Horse designed the ARS 7.0 to be an entry level sport racer. Their goal was to make a light, dependable bike that was affordable. Iron Horse’s approach was to fashion double butted 7005 series aluminum tubing into their staple A-frame. Then they added proven components such as a RockShox Judy XC, Shimano LX drivetrain and V-brakes, Mavic 221 rims, Wellgo clipless pedals and Titec bar/stem. When they were done, the price tag read $1150. The 19.5 inch model tipped the Dirt Rag scales at 26.5 pounds.
My take on the ARS 7.0? It’s a "Joe Six Pack" bike-functional and dependable without gratuitous flash. Everything worked. Shimano LX is a personal favorite of mine because it works hard for my money. And 26.5 pounds is plenty light, in my opinion. One minor complaint-a 22 inch handlebar is a bit narrow. I think a 23 incher would have been the cat’s meow. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing.
On the trail, my biggest ride impressions were-stiff and stable. The oversized tubed A-frame just doesn’t flex much at all. What’s an A-Frame? Well, the top tube extends beyond the seat tube where it joins up with a beefy monostay. The design forms a small triangle just below and behind the seat tube collar.
The bikes’s stiffness should be a plus for hammerheads, studly sprinters and downhill slalomers. Of course, the stiffness contributed to a bit of a rough ride in super rocky terrain. The ARS 7.0’s geometry (71° head angle, 73° seat tube angle, 23 inch top tube and 16.7 inch chainstays) made it a good all-around ride. The geometry really excelled on swoopy high speed trails. Downhill stability was superb. Conversely, the ARS 7.0 required a bit more muscling through tight, twisty singletrack compared to twitchier bikes. That’s the geometry tradeoff.
Iron Horse makes the ARS 7.0 in 16.5, 18, 19.5 and 21 inch frame sizes. Since the top tube slopes radically, I was able to ride a 19.5 inch frame instead of my normal 18 incher. Additional componentry notables include a replaceable derailleur hanger, SDG Kevlar® saddle and WTB tires. The ARS 7.0 is available in matte cream or polished (unpainted). From Iron Horse Bicycle Company: 100D Executive Drive, Edgewood, NY 11717, Phone 516.348.6805.