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  1. #1
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    Scott Aspect 940 vs Airborne Guardian

    I'm looking to get my first entry level 29er. I've done a little bit of research and have come down to two models, the Scott Aspect 940 and the Airborne Guardian. I've ridden the Aspect 940 and liked it. I liked it a lot better than the Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc and Rockhopper that I tried and think it has better components. The cost of the Guardian and the Aspect 940 is about the same. Any recommendations or suggestions would really help since I'm new to all of this and am still learning.

    Thanks for your help.

    The specs are below:

    Scott Aspect 940 - $689
    Weight - 14,5kg / 31,94lbs
    Frame - SCOTT Aspect 29 Alloy 6061 Double Butted, Performance geometry, Integrated Headtube
    Fork - Suntour XCM-29-HLO with Lockout 100mm travel
    Headset - Ritchey Logic OE integ.
    Derailleur (Rear) - Shimano Acera, RD-M390, 27 Speed
    Derailleur (Front) - Shimano Acera, FD-M390 / 31.8mm
    Shifters - Shimano SL-M390-9R R-fire plus
    Brake Levers - Shimano BL-M395
    Brakes - Shimano BR-M395
    Hydr. Disc - 160F/160R mm Rotor
    Crankset - Shimano FC-M391 44x32x22 T
    BB-Set - Shimano BB-UN 26, Cartridge Type
    Handlebar - Aspect OS 660mm, black, 31,8mm, 15mm rise 8
    H'stem - HL TDS-D345A-8
    Pedals - Wellgo C 127 S
    Seatpost - Alloy, 31.6mm
    Seat - Aspect SCT19
    Hub (Front) - Formula CL51
    Hub (Rear) - Shimano FH-RM 35 CL
    Chain - KMC X9
    Cassette - Shimano CS-HG20-9 11-34T
    Spokes - 14 G, stainless, black
    Rims - Alex XC-49 Disc 32H, black
    Tires - Impac Ridgepac 29 x 2.1


    Airborne Guardian - $600 + pedals + tax + $75 shipping
    Frame - 6061 Hydroformed Aluminum Hardtail 29"
    Fork - RockShox XC28 TK Mg29 with Preload Adjust, Rebound Adjust and Lock-Out, 80mm
    Headset - Ahead Sealed Cartridge 1 1/8"
    Brake Levers - Tektro Auriga Comp
    Brakes - Tektro Auriga Comp Hydraulic Disc
    Rotors - Tektro 160mm Rotor
    Shifters - SRAM X-5 Trigger 9-Speed
    F Derailleur - SRAM X3
    R Derailleur - SRAM X5 9speed Long Cage
    Cassette - SRAM PG-950 12-34T 9-Speed
    Chain - KMC X-9
    Crank - Truvative E400 22-32-42T
    Bottom Bracket - Powerspline Sealed Cartridge
    Pedals - NONE
    Rims - Weinmann Disc Bull Double-Walled with Eyelets, 32H
    Hubs - KT HiFlange 32H
    Spokes - Black 14g Stainless
    Tires - KENDA Small Block 8, 2.1"
    Handlebar - AIRBORNE Alloy Flat, 640mm width
    Stem - AIRBORNE Alloy +/- 7 Degree Rise, size specific
    Saddle - Selle San Marco SPID White/Black
    Seat Post - AIRBORNE Alloy 31.6mm Diameter, 350mm Length
    Extras - Owner's Manual, Clear Coat, H20 Bottle Mounts

  2. #2
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    Unless you know how to wrench on bikes, buy from a local shop, and since you like the Scott go and get it. You'll be getting your bike serviced more than you know and it's important to cultivate that relationship with the lbs. I'm assuming the Scott is coming through a local dealer, of course. As for the bikes, they're both entry-level so it really doesn't matter.
    Please donate to IMBA or your local chapter. It's trail karma.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. I currently don't know how to wrench on bikes, but hope to learn. The Scott is from a LBS. Is it better to put more money in a bike up front to get something better or is it better to upgrade later?

  4. #4
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    It's mostly better to put the money in upfront. But Scott raised their prices 18% over last years bikes so they are not as good a value as say an Elite was last year with a list price of 1500(now 1850 for a 950) If you can find a 2012 Elite at a discount buy it. The dual air Reba Fork it had is now a lesser solo.
    Airborne kept prices the same.
    Airborne bikes come almost totally assembled. They will answer your phone calls and help you with any tuning questions. You need to know this stuff and it isn't complex once you put some time in. LBS do not make service calls out on the trail.
    The fork on the Aspect needs a $175 upgrade to a Raidon if you intend to ride off the bike paths. The Guardian doesn't need an upgrade if you weigh 170 or less.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sm1217 View Post
    Thanks. I currently don't know how to wrench on bikes, but hope to learn.
    That's 1 more reason to get your bike from a local shop...

  6. #6
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    LBS LBS,,,,,

    My Aspect 940 was/is a perfect first 29er for me...

    I caught a 15% off sale at my LBS,,bout $625 tax included...

    I haven't broken anything yet, the rims are double wall and I have pounded on them,,, still true they are ..... The Suntour fork works fine for me but I'm told its crap.. Ignorance is bliss, I do not yet know better XD

    The stock seat sucked big time, the LBS gave me $5 for it,, suckers, LOL

  7. #7
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    I bought a Scott aspect last year. Didn't want to spend much on my first bike but wish I would have spent more so it's easier to upgrade but now it's a better value to just get a new one because I'd rather not buy new wheels when many forks may have a thru axle now and don't want to change the fork because the bike isn't tapered. That's just my reasoning but I'd rather have new parts that I can move to other bikes as I upgrade and everything down the road.

    In terms of which bike I would definitely recommend getting something from your local shop because for a new rider if you have a good shop they can be very beneficial.

  8. #8
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    To the OP I bought a Scott Aspect 920 late last year after demo'ing it vs the Hardrock and equivalent priced Rockhopper. It just felt better to me and I also thought it was slightly more highly specced than the equivalent Rockhopper. They were in separate shops however since buying it I have found the shop that was selling the Specialized bikes to be more helpful and knowledgeable than the shop that sold me the Aspect. The Aspect stock seat was terrible but when I went back to the shop to ask about new saddles they seemed pretty vague and disinterested. The Specialized shop on the other hand have a seat 'fitting' system where they measure your sit bones and they had a range of seats to try with a 90 day return policy if you didn't like it. A great service. Since then I have gone back to them for the majority of my requirements. I also bought a Rockshox Reba fork online and they were happy to fit it for me and flip the stem all for the whopping fee of $35!!!

    I guess what I am trying to say is that you don't have to buy a bike from your LBS. If you were to get the Guardian I'm sure your LBS won't turn down your cash when you need servicing or repairs.

    Having said that at least you have ridden the Aspect and know that you like it.

    I bought the Aspect, upgraded the stock seat, put the Reba fork on it and also upgraded the pedals. The Reba was an expensive upgrade and in hindsight I would have been better off buying a more expensive bike but I'm very happy with it now. But that's not to say you should buy a more expensive bike. If you are in North America you can always use the Suntour upgrade programme and there are also other cheaper options than the Reba like the Recon Silver or Gold. That's if you want to upgrade it. Or you can just keep the stock Suntour fork if you're happy with it. It's fine for easy/beginner trails. Ignorance is bliss as Osco pointed out.

    The saddle and pedals were not expensive upgrades and it's quite normal to 'personalise' those.

    Anyway very happy with the bike now.

    Scott Aspect 940 vs Airborne Guardian-20130507_133538.jpg

    Scott Aspect 940 vs Airborne Guardian-20130507_133529.jpg

    Good luck with your decision.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi_GR_Biker View Post
    To the OP I bought a Scott Aspect 920 late last year after demo'ing it vs the Hardrock and equivalent priced Rockhopper. It just felt better to me and I also thought it was slightly more highly specced than the equivalent Rockhopper. They were in separate shops however since buying it I have found the shop that was selling the Specialized bikes to be more helpful and knowledgeable than the shop that sold me the Aspect.
    I liked the Aspect better than the Rockhopper as well. I have the same issue as you had with the two different bike shops. The Specialized dealer is much more helpful than the other shop. I've also dealt with the Specialized dealer before. I guess in the end, like you said, it shouldn't be an issue because either shop will service the bike.

    I've emailed a few local dealers to see if they have the 2012 Elite in stock before I make my final decision.

  10. #10
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    I'm out of luck on the 2012s. No one around me has any left. My LBS is trying to steer me towards the Scott Scale 970 for $1000+tax.

    SCOTT Scale 970 Bike - SCOTT Sports

    Is it worth the extra $400 to upgrade over the Scott Aspect 940?

  11. #11
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    I believe it is but for that extra money you are still not getting a great fork. The Suntour XCR is an improvement on the XCM but not much. But the Scott Scale 970 is a big improvement in every other respect and has a good racing geometry frame that is well worth upgrading. The drivetrain is Deore which is a couple of notches up from the Acera on the 640 and and there are more Syncros components vs Scott parts. I bought the Aspect 920 as you know which has pretty similar specs to the Scale 970 and is about the same price but if I had the choice I would choose the Scale. For the extra $400 you are getting a great starter bike that you can grow with and a frame that is worth upgrading as parts break or wear out. The fork is fine to start with and you can always take advantage of the Suntour upgrade programme down the road.

    But just to throw another option out there you are now getting into the price range of the Airborne Goblin which already has great components including a Rockshox Reba fork. No upgrades required. Might be worth considering?

  12. #12
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    Scott raised prices for 2013 by 18%. You can get a 20% discount like Spec or Trek dealers can give now. The fork still needs an upgrade to a Raidon or Recon Gold or preferably a Manitou Tower Pro off ebay.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi_GR_Biker View Post
    But just to throw another option out there you are now getting into the price range of the Airborne Goblin which already has great components including a Rockshox Reba fork. No upgrades required. Might be worth considering?
    Since I've never really worked on a bike, I'm a little worried getting the Goblin, which I know is a great bike. Even the $1000 for the Scott Scale is a little more than I wanted to spend.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Scott raised prices for 2013 by 18%. You can get a 20% discount like Spec or Trek dealers can give now.
    The $1000 for the Scale is with ~16% off. The LBS has it listed for $1199.

  15. #15
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    The scotts are very nice bikes, i rode the aspect 910 a couple times, in the end, i went with the rockhopper comp 29er. Both bikes felt good, but i liked the price of the rockhopper, as well as the shop was much more pleasant to deal with. In the end, service won over price, scotts are very nice bikes.

    As stated before, its better to put the money in upfront, you do get more, and for $1000+ i'd expect atleast a rock shox fork over the Suntour.

  16. #16
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    One of the biggest questions that needs to be answered is how much is service worth to you? Buy online they will not fix anything and will not provide discounted labor so a guardian at 1200 plus shipping, pedals, cost to get it put together is gonna almost 1500 dollars. I have had multiple shops tell me they charge more to put together a bike you but online because you don't support your local shop. Kind of skeet but a common practice I think. You buy from your LBS you got warranty, tune ups, and discounted or free labor as long you you have the bike. I am biased to buying local but feel the long term value is buying your local, building relationships, and getting discounted parts down the road.

  17. #17
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    lost does make an EXCELLENT point. You can save a few bucks, buy it online, but if you can't put it together you have to pay.
    I see this all the time in my field of work, i'm a car audio installer, i see people try to save a few bucks by buying it online, and thats all well and good, but when you can't install it yourself, you bring it to me, i charge you the same as if you bought it from me, but in the end, i can't help you if it stops working and its not "labor" related. Sometimes stuff just fails, i see it time an time again i've learned the phrase "just because its new, doesnt mean it works".
    Same principal of all the other little things you'll likely need, helmet, bottle, cage, some shops even offer free flat repair. alot of shops will even work those items into your final price by just buying the bike there.

    Sorry for the mini rant, but you catch my drift, if you can't fix it yourself, you may be better off buying from a local shop, learning, talking to them, most of them are happy to help, especially when you've bought a bike from them. I know i can go back at any time, and if something doesnt feel right, i can get a more experienced second opinion at no charge, help if i break something, tune up, warranty problem, i dont have to wait for emails, phone calls back ETC.

    Service is everything in any field.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sm1217 View Post
    Since I've never really worked on a bike, I'm a little worried getting the Goblin, which I know is a great bike. Even the $1000 for the Scott Scale is a little more than I wanted to spend.
    This forum can make you over think your decision. Maybe you should just stick with your original budget, get the Aspect 940 for about $600, ride the crap out of it and save a little extra for a possible fork upgrade later on if you so choose. It's a great bike to start on. If you decide you want a better fork I think the Suntour Raidon can be had for $175 on the Suntour upgrade programme.

  19. #19
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    I finally picked up my Aspect 940 over the weekend. Haven't had much of a chance to ride it due to all the rain. Thanks for all the help.

  20. #20
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    I have bought on line and via LBS.

    Currently ride an Airborne Goblin XO.
    I did not know squat about wrenching.Airborne came 90% assembled. No problem at all.

    I think it is important to know how to do some basic stuff like tire change, brakes, chain change etc.

    First time I took the rear wheel off the Airborne I was concerned about getting it back on with derailleur and all. Great confidence builder.

    My take is buy Airborne and support your LBS via accessories.

    I think you get more for the money buying online.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sm1217 View Post
    I finally picked up my Aspect 940 over the weekend. Haven't had much of a chance to ride it due to all the rain. Thanks for all the help.
    Congrats on the new bike. Enjoy!

  22. #22
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    Let us know what you think of it. The rain has been brutal here also. I haven't gone on a decent ride in a few weeks.

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