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  1. #1
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    First AM 29er - Stache 7 or Goblin?

    So I finally decided to convert and get my first 29er. I wanted a bike that would be fast on singletrack and easy to climb with, but that could also take a pounding on rough terrain or even some (light!) jumps or freeride stuff. Out of all the bikes I've researched and managed to ride over the past couple of weeks, I liked the Trek Stache 7 the best. It was sturdy but surprisingly light, fit me well and gave me confidence riding. I also like the 120mm fork, and it generally has good components.

    At the same time, I've heard really good things about the Airborne Goblin. It has some nicer components than the Trek - a Reba fork instead of the Recon Silver, and Elixer 7 brakes instead of Elixer 1 - and would be about $100 cheaper, but because they sell direct to consumer and I don't know anyone with one, I won't be able to test ride it before buying it.

    So I have a dilemma. Do I go with the bike I know I like, or the bike that might be a better value but won't be able to ride until I've bought it? Does anyone have experiences with either of these models, good or bad? Thanks for any help

  2. #2
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    Back in September I bought a Canfield Bros. Yelli without ever seeing one in person. It's the best fitting bike I have ever owned. I thought the bike would fit really well based on the geometry and my preferences. I am a tweener but I wanted my next bike to be smaller v. larger, because I had always ridden larger, so I went for the medium instead of the Large. My only concern with the fit of the medium was toe overlap because I have big feet (size 12), but it wasn't a problem even running 2.4 ardents.

    I wish the Yellis were sold complete builds like the Goblins, would have saved me a lot of money. If the Goblin and Trek have similar geos., maybe they'll fit you the same? But I would start with what are the geos an how the Goblin might fit.

  3. #3
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    I don't know much about the AM market, but I would say the Guardian is a more typical XC geometry.

  4. #4
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    Right there you're comparing apples to oranges.The Stache is designed for the type of riding you want to do, from the frame geometry, to tubing, the Goblin is not, it is an XC designed bike. So for $100 you would take a gamble on something instead of getting something you could actually put your hands on and test ride and liked?
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  5. #5
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    Get the Stache. You can upgrade down the line as you ride it.
    Slx brakes from Bluesky on the front are 70.
    Look for a Manitou Tower Pro 120mm fork on sale or ebay.
    Airborne has said a longer travel bike is in the works, but the price you're getting is hard to beat.

  6. #6
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    Like lynx said, you've got two different beasts here. The goblin from all accounts is a very stout bike, but isn't in the same geometry/intended usage category as the trek. You could get sick on both, but the stache may be the better choice for your needs.

    You may want to check out the airborne sub forum for the goblin threads. May find someone local to you who would let you borrow one or who rides like you do.

  7. #7
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    If Airborne comes out with a bike with a 68 HT angle and 435 chainstays you would have a more trail oriented ride. 71 and 450 on the Goblin.
    New XC designs from Trek, Scott and Canyon and other European designers are more slack and short.

  8. #8
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    Airborne 'folks' on the Airborne board have hinted at a Stache-esque bike being announced/released possibly this month.

    I wouldn't really put the Stache in the true AM category. Trek even calls it a 'trail bike'. A little burlier, a little more slack, a little more travel than your typical XC-ish bike.

    A true AM hardtail bike IMHO would be something like the Niner ROS or the Diamondback Mason, and they will not be as fast up a hill compared to a trail bike (like the Stache), let alone an XC bike. The Goblin is an XC-ish bike (in travel and geometry) that has good value for what you pay, but it's a little portly compared to a true XC race bike that costs more money. More or less, the old saying 'TINSTAAFL' applies here. If you want an AM hardtail, it comes with a price. If it didn't, we'd all be riding them.

  9. #9
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    Based on your riding description, another vote for the Stache.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  10. #10
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    Sounds like you first need to decide whether you want a FS bike or not.

  11. #11
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    There's a reason we use the geo we use on the Goblin: It's tried and true and very stable. We have yet to hear anyone who owns one lament the fact that they wished they were slacker or had shorter rear ends.

    For those who want a slacker, beefier version of the Goblin with a short rear end, 120mm Revelation fork, big tire clearance, and 142x12 rear axle: it is coming soon. We've been riding protos of them locally all year and are about ready to go to production. This will be in addition to the current Goblin.

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  12. #12
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    Happy to hear this and interested in the parts spec, although guessing it'll be another SRAM based pick, which just isn't for me If your statement were absolutely true, you would not be producing this new bike/frame, now would you

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    There's a reason we use the geo we use on the Goblin: It's tried and true and very stable. We have yet to hear anyone who owns one lament the fact that they wished they were slacker or had shorter rear ends.

    For those who want a slacker, beefier version of the Goblin with a short rear end, 120mm Revelation fork, big tire clearance, and 142x12 rear axle: it is coming soon. We've been riding protos of them locally all year and are about ready to go to production. This will be in addition to the current Goblin.

    Jeremy
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  13. #13
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    BDF didn't say they hadn't received requests for a trail type hardtail. He only said people who own a goblin have not complained about it. Those who would complain about the goblin setup probably didn't buy it.

  14. #14
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    A lot of new riders buy a bike on either a 'name brand' or a good price. A small number do enough research to think about geo and, of course they don't have the riding experience to tell much difference.
    Airborne has a pricing advantage by offering direct sales without free shipping over the name brands. They also spec their bikes pretty well. And their customer service before and after the sale has been solid and unbeatable.
    This is a business model that seems to work well at attracting new riders.
    But I don't see as strong an effort at going after experienced riders- the guys who know what they want. To do that you have to push forward with something more than "tried and true" Spec and Giant geo from a couple years ago. 29ers are developing quicker than that and experienced riders don't buy that old stuff.
    Bring out bikes more on the leading edge and you won't lose your main new rider market. They will buy on price and customer service the same as now. You'll gain the much larger group of experienced guys you don't now attract. Everyone could benefit from direct sales with pricing going the way it has lately. And the new riders who don't buy on geo will benefit from it as they develop their skills. Everyone can win.
    So I'm looking forward to the longer travel frame and bike you've mentioned and I'd also like to see the carbon HT frame you've talked about follow the same design themes--like a Pivot Les(at your pricing) and Canyon Gr Canyon CF SLX(well spec'ed at about $2k and sold out).

  15. #15
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    Thanks everybody. It sounds like the Goblin is a good bike but not exactly what I'm looking for right now.

  16. #16
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    Jeremy - can you give any idea of when that bike might be revealed? Or an approximate price point?

  17. #17
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    Jensonusa apparently sales the Mason over the internet. If I were replacing my Yelli today this would on the short list--after another Yelli. But that part spec is good, this seems to be a good value for AM
    HThttp://www.jensonusa.com/All-Mountain-Trail-Mountain-Bikes/Diamondback-Mason-29Er-Bike-2013

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    A lot of new riders buy a bike on either a 'name brand' or a good price. A small number do enough research to think about geo and, of course they don't have the riding experience to tell much difference.
    Airborne has a pricing advantage by offering direct sales without free shipping over the name brands. They also spec their bikes pretty well. And their customer service before and after the sale has been solid and unbeatable.
    This is a business model that seems to work well at attracting new riders.
    But I don't see as strong an effort at going after experienced riders- the guys who know what they want. To do that you have to push forward with something more than "tried and true" Spec and Giant geo from a couple years ago. 29ers are developing quicker than that and experienced riders don't buy that old stuff.
    Bring out bikes more on the leading edge and you won't lose your main new rider market. They will buy on price and customer service the same as now. You'll gain the much larger group of experienced guys you don't now attract. Everyone could benefit from direct sales with pricing going the way it has lately. And the new riders who don't buy on geo will benefit from it as they develop their skills. Everyone can win.
    So I'm looking forward to the longer travel frame and bike you've mentioned and I'd also like to see the carbon HT frame you've talked about follow the same design themes--like a Pivot Les(at your pricing) and Canyon Gr Canyon CF SLX(well spec'ed at about $2k and sold out).
    Thanks for your commentary. We'll just have to agree to disagree on geometry. If you personally dont like it, thats OK. That doesnt mean its wrong for others or that other brands that use similar numbers are suffering in terms of sales. I personally dislike how sketchy a short rear end is on bumpy descents and like what we have done on the Goblin and other hardtails.


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Happy to hear this and interested in the parts spec, although guessing it'll be another SRAM based pick, which just isn't for me If your statement were absolutely true, you would not be producing this new bike/frame, now would you
    The Goblin is an XC bike. The bike I am speaking of is for us to hit another niche/category. Two different bikes for two different riders. Does the existance of the Stache mean there is something wrong with Trek's 100mm travel XC hardtails?

    Thanks,

    Jeremy
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  20. #20
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    As the saying goes, "Ignorance is Bliss" and new riders who buy XC bikes just don't know any better or any different. When I was researching the Paradox I read all kind of "This ain't an XC bike" and other such crap, but when I actually got on it I reliased how much better it suited a casual rider for anything from XC to Trail to even light AM. Those super steep geos from the 90s just don't cut it anymore and all the BS associated with them that slack bikes handle tight stuff like crap etc are just that BS. If you want honest opinions, get some of your happy Goblin customers on the new slack geo bike and see what they say, but don't forget to use a 51mm offset fork and keep the stays under 17.5"

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    The Goblin is an XC bike. The bike I am speaking of is for us to hit another niche/category. Two different bikes for two different riders. Does the existance of the Stache mean there is something wrong with Trek's 100mm travel XC hardtails?

    Thanks,

    Jeremy
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  21. #21
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    These are the two bikes I've been looking at currently as well. Had a 26" fs bike and would like to get a 29er ht. The value of the goblin is obvious but I'm not sure how that fork would handle through more technical terrain. If the goblin had a fork with a 15 mm through axle it would be the clear winner of the two. I did not realize Airborne was coming out with a new model with slacker head angle and more Trail/AM geometry. If this new bike is a value packed as the goblin it could be a no brainer.....how much longer until we see this new bike?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    As the saying goes, "Ignorance is Bliss" and new riders who buy XC bikes just don't know any better or any different. When I was researching the Paradox I read all kind of "This ain't an XC bike" and other such crap, but when I actually got on it I reliased how much better it suited a casual rider for anything from XC to Trail to even light AM. Those super steep geos from the 90s just don't cut it anymore and all the BS associated with them that slack bikes handle tight stuff like crap etc are just that BS. If you want honest opinions, get some of your happy Goblin customers on the new slack geo bike and see what they say, but don't forget to use a 51mm offset fork and keep the stays under 17.5"
    I think it's a little more complicated than that. My own experience is this; I was introduced to biking by a buddy of mine. He made suggestions on a good place to start, which was Specialized. I did a little research and saw they were a solid bike and got one within my price range.

    After time I wanted a bike to do more. I bought a FS bike but stayed in my comfort zone and got another Speshy. Then I drank the 29er kool-aid. Having some experience under my belt I decided to break free from what I thought the mainstream was. My buddies all ride Specialized, Trek or Cannondale. So I bought a Niner frame and had it built up.

    As I feel my riding and knowledge of bike evolve I become more and more interested in the details that make each bike specific. My biggest frustration now is that where I live there isn't a good market for bikes other than the mainstream players. Lots of Speshy, Treks and Cannondales to be found but smaller bike makers are non-existent. I can't get out and test ride a bike I've read about without traveling to another state. So this "Get out and ride one" advice is easier said than done. Unless I get lucky and see one on the trails (a long shot) and get someone to trust me with their ride.

    South Texas has it's perks but MTB variety isn't one of them.
    Let's make like a Bike and get the Huck outta here...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    As the saying goes, "Ignorance is Bliss" and new riders who buy XC bikes just don't know any better or any different. When I was researching the Paradox I read all kind of "This ain't an XC bike" and other such crap, but when I actually got on it I reliased how much better it suited a casual rider for anything from XC to Trail to even light AM.
    This. Lots of people buy XC bikes because most entry level 29ers have that geometry. I don't consider bikes like the Nimble 9 to be AM but more like good trail 29er and agree that the geometry makes these bikes fun because they are stable and fast. IMO more stable and fast than most XC bikes. IMO XC bikes are for racers and everyone else should be on more "trail bike" oriented geometry.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    I personally dislike how sketchy a short rear end is on bumpy descents and like what we have done on the Goblin and other hardtails.

    Jeremy
    +1!!

    After reading so much and admittedly believing the short CS hype once I finally rode a short CS 29er (Mason) I loved the handling in tight stuff. It wasn't faster thru this section of trail it just steered easier and slightly quicker. But on rocky descents - I was very disappointed. My bike with .4" longer CS feels like a tank it's so stable this thing just couldn't keep up with the what the fork was doing.

    People need to get out and experience these things for themselves and decide what trade offs they are willing to make for slow speed flick-ability.

  25. #25
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    For nubs, a stable, better climbing bike would give more confidence and enjoyment.

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