I bought the Ironhorse outlaw mountain bike and the rep told me it was aluminum but when i got home i see it's chromo hi-tensile steel. I have no idea what that is but can someone tell me if this will rust? Should I return it and upgrade to an aluminum bike? I am not much of a rider just bought the bike to get some exercise during the summer.
It will eventually rust if the protective coat gets rubbed off. But if you take care of it, it can last a pretty long time. You can get it sprayed with frame saver i think its called to recoat it. As for exchanging it that is totally up to you. Aluminum will be lighter and you dont need to worry about it rusting. But on the down side the ride will be alot stiffer then on the steel bike.
The Outlaw is steel - it shouldn't rust as long as you take reasonable care of it (i.e. clean it periodically, touch up any scratches that show metal through the paint, ideally store it out of the weather, etc.). Looking at the specs, I'd avoid any semi-serious off-road trips, it looks to be more of a pavement/smooth trail kind of machine.
As to returning it: If you got a good deal (and hopefully you did, as 2003 was the last year Iron Horse made that model, it looks like the Maverick, which is aluminium, superceded it from '04 forward) and you like it, I wouldn't bother, though if the salesperson did lie or misrepresent the specs, (or if you really want aluminium) it might not hurt to follow up and complain -
The MSRP for the 2003 Outlaw was $200 - For a 2-year old bike I might want to see a bit more than 25% off, but at the same time when you get that low, it kind of skews things a bit. I'd say it's a good, not great deal, but I don't think you're getting ripped off.
You can go to the Ironhorse website and download the 2003 catalog (that has the Outlaw in it) as a PDF. The bike has a cro-mo seat tube, the rest is regular ("hi tensile") steel. A mix of cro-mo and "regular" steel is not uncommon on bikes in this price range. If it's a new (not 2003) bike, $150 seems decent.
Depending on your cash flow, the cheapest of the aluminium Mavericks is $220 - might be worth saving a bit extra...