Gallery: Mike’s Iron Horse Warrior Expert

I bought the Iron Horse Warrior Expert in 2004, I think. I used to be pretty hardcore Mtn Biker in the nineties and after about 5 year layoff, I really wanted to get back into it but, work and family obligations derailed those plans. I think, this bike has seen actual mtn trails 4 times. It’s probably been ridden a total of 50 times in 4 years. This year as the cost of fuel increased I started taking the bus for my 70 mile round trip commute to DC from Loudoun County, VA. After a couple of weeks driving to the bus stop, I got the keys to the bus stop bike locker and I started riding my my Iron horse to the bus stop.

After the first couple of days riding this bike to the bus stop, I realized that the standard Mtn bike setup (Cross country riser bars) were hurting my wrists and I decided that I needed to make some changes. I know the natural “hand-parallel-to-body” position would be better for my wrists and after some research I decided on the Nitto North bars. The other bar I was considering was the Nitto Albatross bar. With the barcons, the Nitto North allows me three different hand positions to choose, and just switching from one postion to another definitely helps my wrists.

The fork was switched out from the Marzocchi EXR fork with, I think, 4+ inches of travel to a Kona 29’er fork unsuspended fork (I wanted to maintain the bike geometry). Bike looks a little funny with a 29er for and 26 in wheels but it works and the bike handles very well.

Other things about the bike that might be of interest to commuters:

  • Planet Bike Speed EZ ATB Fenders.  Easy to install on Disk brake bikes. Not rock solid but does what is supposed to do
  • Topeak Explorer Rack w/ disc Mounts. Solid rack and verrrrry easy to install on bikes with disk brakes.
  • Specialized Nimbus Armadillos tires – Great commuting tires. However, if i had to do it again, I would get marathon racers with tire liner.  I’m a big Schwalbe fan.
  • Performance bike campus pedal – Nothing special but they work. Nice to be able to rid my bike with cycling shoes or regular shoes

Not shown:

  • Dinotte AA headlight and tail light 
  • Ortlieb large office bag- I can carry a laptop, change of clothes

Happy bike-commuting! Mike

11 Responses to “Gallery: Mike’s Iron Horse Warrior Expert”

  • Ken says:

    Great re-tasking of a nice bike.

    What mirror are you using? I’ve not had luck finding something for the North Road bar.

  • Steve Fuller says:

    Likewise, great job of repurposing an unused bike into something useful. It’s a good solid useful bike for doing what needs to be done. Here’s to hoping that it leads to more rides than just the morning commute. A set of grocery panniers or a small trailer and you’re on your way to some serious utility cycling.

  • Perry says:


  • Tamia says:

    A great commuter! Like Ken, I’d like to know how Mike attached that mirror. I’ve yet to find one for my road bars to match my favorite, the Zefal Cyclop, which I have on straight bars on my mtb.

  • Mike says:

    @ Ken and Tamia,

    The mirror is a modified Evo Lite Mirror ( I removed the extension connecting the mirror from a a mirrcycle bar end mirror and connected it to the evo light mirror. I think what I ended up with is basically the Evo Mirror ( .
    Works very well with very little vibration. The mirror is mounted to the handlebar with a Cateye SP-5 mounting clamp (also using a couple of spacers to snug up the fit). Tamia, check out calhoun cycles selection of mirrors. they have quite a few mirrors for road bars. BTW – I am not affiliated with Calhouncycle, just enjoy doing business with them

    @ Steve. I should of mentioned it but this bike is used for errands, trips to grocery store, and such. I have a Jandd Grocery pannier but I am not too happy with it because the sides do not have enough support and sags with heavier loads. I like the grocery pannier Alan reviewed and am seriously thinking about buying them.

    Thanks everyone for the kinds words.

  • Tamia says:

    Thanks for the info on mirrors,Mike. I’m about to go check them out.

    Let me get a plug in on the Nashbar Townie panniers. I’ve been using them for weekly shopping trips for four years now, carrying as much as 30 pounds in each. These suckers are sturdy, they fold flat when not in use, mount securely but come off easily when you want to transport them, and are the dimensions of a brown grocery bag — they hold about as much as a sensibly packed bag do. Here’s a page on my website showing them in action:

    I don’t own stock in Nashbar, but these bags are really good. Only casualty is a broken snap on one upper side, but I could replace it with a cheap snap tool. Have been too busy (my way of saying lazy) to do it. Not a problem though.

  • Ken says:

    Thanks Mike.

  • Geoff Steele says:

    If you don’t want to continue that long daily commute from Loudoun into the city every day, I have a wonderful 4-bedroom 2.5 bath colonial brick home for sale in North Arlington that’s just 6 miles from the Federal Triangle..and most of that is along dedicated, off-road bike trails. I commuted to/from downtown from my home on bikes for 27 years and the ride was something I looked forward to every day. In later years, I drove part way from my home to a little loop road right next to the Custis Bike Trail just a little above Key Bridge and rode from there. My time from parking the car to my office bike parking garage at 14th and Constitution was 22 minutes (all on off-road trails). My house also is walking distance to the East Falls Church Metro station (3/5 of a mile) and right in the middle of great shopping and other services. Email me if you’re interested. The house is listed with ReMax.

  • Geoff Steele says:

    Mike: I guess email addresses are not published. So if you’d like to see my house in North Arington (great neighborhood…and best schools, too), call me at (704) 875-8876, or on a cell at (703) 447-0046.

    Geoff Steele

  • Bob says:

    Great bike. I too have a mountain bike I’m working to turn into a commuter.

  • EcoVelo » Blog Archive » Gallery: Mike Ko’s Iron Horse Warrior Expert says:

    […] I thought I’d share some updated photos of my commuter bike (“before” photos here). […]

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