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  1. #1
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    Airborne Guardian 29er Riders

    I like the bike...Only upgrades I have are white Wellgo MG-1 pedals, and I'd like to put a riser bar instead of that flat curved bar and see how my upper body likes that.

    I'll post some pics up soon...

    Anyone else having issues with...

    Tuning the front derailleur?
    I could not tune it for the life of me. I took it to a fellow rider and did not have much luck either. I took it to a bike shop and they had a hard time tuning it also, and they even called SRAM for advice with no luck. Eventually they got it rideable with tiny issues.


    Problems with clearance issues with the front derailleur with the tire?
    Seems clearance is a big factor with this frame running certain tires...
    also on the front derailleur there is a screw on the tail of metal piece that rubs my tire per rotation because a small bulge on the kenda tire...

    I had called Airborne and they said nobody has had issues reported yet...so I'm curious if this is true or not...

    Would running a x7 or x9 front derailleur help with taller/wider tires?

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    Nice looking bike, thinking of getting one also, may go with the Trek Mamba which is about 130 bucks more when I factor in shipping and getting the bike put together. The Mamba has a better fork I think. What size is the Guardian?

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    Mine is 20" assembly was really easy actually...shipping to IL to me was like $50 .

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    The shipping charge is $75 now and I live in Ca where the bikes ship from. How tall are you, as I could go with either a 18 or 20 inch. Aside from the issue you described how would you rate the bike?

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    I am about 6'2 6'3ish with like a 31.5 inseam no shoes if i remember correctly...the bike fits well. I just stood over it barefoot and the top tube just touches the eggs...

    With the derailleur issue...ugh i dunno....its kinda annoying...and tire clearance issues....If i did it again I'd prolly buy something from the LBS. I cant order tires because I dont know what exactly will fit.

    But I do like it as a starter 29er! and I will keep it as my back up bike for sure...You cant beat the price with the component set up it has...
    I was at a LBS and it compares to a $1050 ( SRAM x5 and shock ) bike just about from what they had, so I went home and ordered this.

  7. #7
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    BikingCivic - I noticed your front brake housing is pretty free and is going around the outside of your fork. That could be a big problem if a branch or something were to get caught in there. You might want to look into shortening or rerouting that housing which is easier said than done with hydro's

  8. #8
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    I can get a Cannondale Trail SL2 29er for a grand. Is that a good deal, 2012 model.

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    I couldn't tell ya...but the choice is up to you...lol

    Ya i know Sean. Good looking out. hehe That's how it came, I threw a zip tie on there to kinda tuck it.

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    Thanks

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    Post some pics of the clearance issue.

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    The LBS got it where the derailleur screw there was not rubbing the tire anymore...but its pretty darn close still. Also between the derailleur and tire I cant stick my finger in between them...so a taller tire would gunk up mud, dirt, and etc... there pretty good (if i could even run a taller tire *tire with taller tread*).


  13. #13
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    Wow, too close.

  14. #14
    BPP
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    Have you had any issues with the rear wheel coming off? I have an Airborne Goblin and my rear wheel has came off 5 times during riding.

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    Hope you guys get your issues resolved, this convinces me to just go through a LBS for my first 29er.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BPP View Post
    Have you had any issues with the rear wheel coming off? I have an Airborne Goblin and my rear wheel has came off 5 times during riding.
    You need to resolve this now. I can't see the bike from here but I am assuming it is some sort of aluminum alloy. You are wearing a channel into the drop outs that will always make the wheel want to leave the frame. Even the cheesiest bike on the planet should not loose a wheel, once in a while a designer or engineer drops the ball, but then all of these bikes would be doing it.

  17. #17
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    It is 6061 aluminum frame. It seems like a safety issue to me.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigstar View Post
    Hope you guys get your issues resolved, this convinces me to just go through a LBS for my first 29er.

    Good Call, If your not a seasoned bike mech it can actually cost you more in the long run by buying online. I good LBS won't sell you a bike with a misaligned frame or poorly run brake housing.Back in the day when I was a shop rat we had a frame from a major mfg come in missing about 1/3 of weld on the bottom bracket, needless to say we didn't put that bike on the floor for sale.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean831 View Post
    BikingCivic - I noticed your front brake housing is pretty free and is going around the outside of your fork. That could be a big problem if a branch or something were to get caught in there. You might want to look into shortening or rerouting that housing which is easier said than done with hydro's
    The bike ships with the zip tie for the housing in the RockShox bag (along with the shock manual and RockShox decal) for the consumer to put on the bike. The bike packs better that way than putting the ziptie on before packing.

    Regarding the FD, it is somewhat close when shifted down into the small front chainring, but it doesn't hit. This is a bit of a compromise on a 29er with a 3x9 system. The clearance is the best we could make it. That's part of the reason why 2x10 systems are advantageous on 29ers.

    In regards to the rear skewer, if it is TIGHT it should not come loose. This is important on 29ers in general. The BB being below the plane of the hubs means that on a vertical drop-out the rear wheel is more susceptable to being pulled out if it is not tight. I rode on a Goblin with those exact skewers for over a year with no issues, but I am anal about my skewers being tight, because in the old days when I used to ride on Ti the CP dropouts were hard and it was difficult for the skewers to get a good bite, and after losing a wheel twice on climbs back then I started making them REALLY tight and never had a problem again. It's now become a habit of mine.

    If anyone has any questions or problems, please give us a call or email directly and we would be happy to help, thanks!
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  20. #20
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    I got news for all of you saying never buy online, go spend a few days
    at your local LBS and see how many bikes come in with issues that
    were put together by the LBS. I don't believe there is anything bad about
    Airborne bikes that can't be fixed by someone taking the time to look and
    think about it, instead of complaining about it on a forum.
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  21. #21
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    If there is a problem with a bike from a LBS I will just keep going back until it is resolved, if I buy online and have a major problem that the vendor should fix it will be a hassle to send the bike back or I can just pay the LBS to fix the problem. My LBS will take care of the issue for free if I buy from them.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loudviking View Post
    I got news for all of you saying never buy online, go spend a few days
    at your local LBS and see how many bikes come in with issues that
    were put together by the LBS. I don't believe there is anything bad about
    Airborne bikes that can't be fixed by someone taking the time to look and
    think about it, instead of complaining about it on a forum.

    Lets not make this a LBS vs. Online purchase thread. We are asking questions about the bike and trying to resolve issues with them, and showing them off.

    Also no my back wheel is not falling off...

  23. #23
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    As a small direct-to-consumer bike company, we do whatever it takes to make our customers happy. Our reputation is important to us, but more importantly we want to do "the right thing" if someone has a problem.

    I personally don't want to see this become a "buying direct versus buying thru a bike shop" thing. Both have their merits.

    For some customers buying their bike thru a shop is truly the best option, and on occasion we will tell someone that. It could be an issue of fit, lack of mechanical ability so they couldn't put the bike together, etc, etc. We would rather be honest and up front than have a dis-satisfied customer later.

    But for those folks that are savvy, so their research, aren't hard to fit, and have the mechanical ability to put their bike together and do *some* of their own work, Airborne or any other direct retailler are a viable option. We're here to offer that choice and try to do it better than our competitors that are doing the same thing.

    Thanks~!
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikingCivic View Post

    Would running a x7 or x9 front derailleur help with taller/wider tires?
    The X7 FD and X9 FD have a rivet instead of a screw that holds the cage together, so they will offer 2-3mm more clearance for a larger tire.
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    The X7 FD and X9 FD have a rivet instead of a screw that holds the cage together, so they will offer 2-3mm more clearance for a larger tire.
    Awsome! Thanks!

  26. #26
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    Airborne has been great in resolving any issues I have had. I bent my rear rotor and rear skewer due to my wheel coming off and they are sending me new ones. I keep the rear skewer so tight that when I have had flats I can hardly get the skewer loose to get the wheel off.

  27. #27
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    I just want to say, I'm very happy with my Airborne Guardian. I'm 6'6" 195lbs and my 22" frame fits perfectly. The fork does it's job well too, much better than the suntour fork that was on my specialized hardrock 29er. I think it's an excellent deal considering that my hardrock cost me more money. Overall, a great bike and anyone debating whether to buy one should just do it!

  28. #28
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    Airborne guardian 29

    I have the same exact problems with my airborne guardian except my rear wheel is secure with no problems.I tried bigger tires like 2.2's but they dont fit the front der clearance is simply not there so forget it. the front der is also not set yet I have had a couple of people better than me trying to dial it in but the thing to do is Im just going to get another front der so I can put bigger tires on anyway. it also rubs the tire a lot in the lowest gears and small chainring .the stupid nub on the backside of the der is the worst part of it.for the money its a good bike but with shipping its a 675.00 dollar bike not 599.00 so it shouldnt be compared with 599.00 bikes more like the 700.00 price point . the seatpost and handlebars are heavy and not that great but heck everyone gets diffrent ones anyways. the wheels are also a bit heavy but its hard to get a 700.00 dollar bike equipped this good so I can accept heavy wheels for my fat butt anyway.the only real complaint I have is the front der should have never been put on this bike. when this bike was designed it should have been built with a front der that has more clearance and is more compatible with this type of frame. other than that its a good bike and the airborne guys I have talked to are good guys. I guess considering all they have done in a short time with a new start up bike company they are doing great and deserve credit. BF29

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGFAT29 View Post
    I have the same exact problems with my airborne guardian except my rear wheel is secure with no problems.I tried bigger tires like 2.2's but they dont fit the front der clearance is simply not there so forget it. the front der is also not set yet I have had a couple of people better than me trying to dial it in but the thing to do is Im just going to get another front der so I can put bigger tires on anyway. it also rubs the tire a lot in the lowest gears and small chainring .the stupid nub on the backside of the der is the worst part of it.for the money its a good bike but with shipping its a 675.00 dollar bike not 599.00 so it shouldnt be compared with 599.00 bikes more like the 700.00 price point . the seatpost and handlebars are heavy and not that great but heck everyone gets diffrent ones anyways. the wheels are also a bit heavy but its hard to get a 700.00 dollar bike equipped this good so I can accept heavy wheels for my fat butt anyway.the only real complaint I have is the front der should have never been put on this bike. when this bike was designed it should have been built with a front der that has more clearance and is more compatible with this type of frame. other than that its a good bike and the airborne guys I have talked to are good guys. I guess considering all they have done in a short time with a new start up bike company they are doing great and deserve credit. BF29
    I agree completely. The front derailleur clearance is the only problem I've had with my guardian thus far. This der. does not fit when in smallest chainring with my Geax Saguaro 2.2s. This is a bummer because I was planning on sticking a Geax Gato 2.3 in the rear for fall, winter, spring...Other than that, the bike is pretty solid and I really like the fork on it. It does the job enough for me to not be wishing I had something better.

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    Knock on wood, haven't had any similar problems with my Guardian, though I do have the 22", so that may be a factor. Hope you guys can figure it out...

  31. #31
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    How does everyone like riding them?

    Geometry?
    Overall handling?
    Overall feel of the bike on different terrains?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGFAT29 View Post
    I have the same exact problems with my airborne guardian except my rear wheel is secure with no problems.I tried bigger tires like 2.2's but they dont fit the front der clearance is simply not there so forget it. the front der is also not set yet I have had a couple of people better than me trying to dial it in but the thing to do is Im just going to get another front der so I can put bigger tires on anyway. it also rubs the tire a lot in the lowest gears and small chainring .the stupid nub on the backside of the der is the worst part of it.for the money its a good bike but with shipping its a 675.00 dollar bike not 599.00 so it shouldnt be compared with 599.00 bikes more like the 700.00 price point . the seatpost and handlebars are heavy and not that great but heck everyone gets diffrent ones anyways. the wheels are also a bit heavy but its hard to get a 700.00 dollar bike equipped this good so I can accept heavy wheels for my fat butt anyway.the only real complaint I have is the front der should have never been put on this bike. when this bike was designed it should have been built with a front der that has more clearance and is more compatible with this type of frame. other than that its a good bike and the airborne guys I have talked to are good guys. I guess considering all they have done in a short time with a new start up bike company they are doing great and deserve credit. BF29
    I cannot agree more...I love my bike, but I wish we could resolve the frond derailleur issue and figure out what we can do to fix it. I would like to run a knobbier tire if possible also...

    I took mine on the dirt trails and paved trails...It handles great. I like it...no complaints besides from what we have been talking about. I love it!

  33. #33
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    Some of my upgrades:
    Lizard Skins Chainstay Protector
    Wellgo MG-1
    Planet Bike Protege 9.0 Bike Computer
    Fortť Team 720 Flat Handlebars 199g, 720mm, 9 degree sweep






  34. #34
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    That looks great!

    The white pedals really look good on there. Those are one of my favorite flats and super light, but they aren't the most durable. I had a set and let a friend borrow the bike they were on and he clipped a rock with one and it basically exploded into 4 pieces. No one was hurt or anything, it was just a disappointment since I liked them so much~!

    Now go out and put some miles on that computer!
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  35. #35
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    Same here

    I also have the same problem with mine and it took a lot of adjustments during assembly. I finally got it tuned down after adjusting the housing on the frame. I took it for long rides (road) and then readjusted; the gears now shift smoothly with no chain slaps. I didn't take it to a LBS and am glad I didn't because I learned a lot about the bike's system. Also slapped on some WELLGO LU-C27G and pedal it with 5.10 spitfires Matches well with the other toys, very happy with the purchase.






  36. #36
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    Sweet bikes guys, i have had my guardian for about a month now too and I love it. Unfortunately, i took a pretty big fall and bent/cracked my rear derailleur and mount. Like most on here I was having a hard time getting the front derailleur to shift properly due to clearance issues. I took it to a local bike shop who basically told me this was as good as they could get it.
    Now that the rear derailleur has to be changed, do you guys think it would be worth it to upgrade the front and rear derailleurs for x7 stuff while keeping the x5 shifters?
    What are the chances of installing the x7 front derailleur and still having the clearance issues?

    Thanks for any help. I am planning to call Airborne in the morning to get their opinion.

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    I spoke with Eric from Airborne on the phone about the front derailleur issues and he said, they new about the tire clearance issues when designing the bike. I guess they had to cut corners somewhere...I mean, you get a lot of bike for the money, so I'm not complaining. He suggested buying an x7 derailleur If I want to fit a bigger tire. So, yes it will definitely fit indeed. As far as how the bike rides, I'm very impressed with it. The riding in southeastern NY is rocky, rooty and flat out rugged terrain. I feel very nimble on my guardian and I'm 6'6" riding the 22" frame. The tire clearance thing isn't really an issue as I will be upgrading as I go anyways.

  38. #38
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    Update:
    Well i got my bike back from the shop, it has been a pretty intersting week.

    I decided to go ahead and upgrade the x3 front and x5 rear to x7's since my x5 rear had to be repalced. When the parts came in the shop was having problems tuning the bike. Under further inspection they realized that the bike had a 8 speed sram x5 rear shifter and a 8 speed chain. As we all know the cassette of the guardian is for a 9 speed. I called Airborne immediately and they sent the bike shop the necessary replacement parts directly. Airborne Customer service was fantastic they totaly took charge to make sure that the shop was not trying to scam me out of my money.

    Today i finally picked up the bike. first ride out i realized the front needed further adjustment so i took it back right away, after a few tweaks it was much better. here are pictures of the front x7 derailluer with the stock kenda tires so we can compare how much more clearance we have for larger tires. to me it looks minimal. the front is at the smallest gear in these pictures. the shop installed a high clamp front x7 derailluer vs the stock low clamp. im not sure if this will cause any difference in clearnance.





    in the end, i sort of regret buying the guardian and just going straight for the goblin with the 2x10 x7, reba setup.

  39. #39
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    I've been working on the FD on my Guardian and that looks like a big jump in the gap there. I notice a few mm difference between yours and mine. Glad it worked for you as I've been wanting to do a 2x10 setup for awhile now and will probably do it to the Guardian now that I've seen it done. But not for awhile as my setup is running like clockwork right now.

    I don't know if I will ever get a wider tire for it though. If your wheel gets out of true on the trail, you're gonna have to true it up right there or just not use the small cog.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfifty View Post
    Update:
    Well i got my bike back from the shop, it has been a pretty intersting week.

    I decided to go ahead and upgrade the x3 front and x5 rear to x7's since my x5 rear had to be repalced. When the parts came in the shop was having problems tuning the bike. Under further inspection they realized that the bike had a 8 speed sram x5 rear shifter and a 8 speed chain. As we all know the cassette of the guardian is for a 9 speed. I called Airborne immediately and they sent the bike shop the necessary replacement parts directly. Airborne Customer service was fantastic they totaly took charge to make sure that the shop was not trying to scam me out of my money.

    Today i finally picked up the bike. first ride out i realized the front needed further adjustment so i took it back right away, after a few tweaks it was much better. here are pictures of the front x7 derailluer with the stock kenda tires so we can compare how much more clearance we have for larger tires. to me it looks minimal. the front is at the smallest gear in these pictures. the shop installed a high clamp front x7 derailluer vs the stock low clamp. im not sure if this will cause any difference in clearnance.

    in the end, i sort of regret buying the guardian and just going straight for the goblin with the 2x10 x7, reba setup.

    I've only had the Guardian for less than a month and I've already converted it to 1x9 - no more front derailleur issues I'm no bike mechanic but I've managed to get the rear derailleur working perfectly. I might swap it out it for 2005 SRAM X.9 - I bought one for the 26er I'm building...it was only $35 brand new!




  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by adonis_abril View Post
    I've only had the Guardian for less than a month and I've already converted it to 1x9 - no more front derailleur issues I'm no bike mechanic but I've managed to get the rear derailleur working perfectly. I might swap it out it for 2005 SRAM X.9 - I bought one for the 26er I'm building...it was only $35 brand new!




    You will need some type of chain retension system for the front. The chain will not stay on once the bike is moving over bumpy terrain.
    I resolve to constantly assert my honest opinion on anything and everything - whether it is requested or not.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    You will need some type of chain retension system for the front. The chain will not stay on once the bike is moving over bumpy terrain.
    Oh yeah, I'm already researching that. I'm looking at the Bashguard + Jump Stop combo or a Paul Chain keeper. maybe even an mrp chain guide...but for now, I run the chain 2 links tighter than previous and seems to be ok on the occasional speed bumps.

  43. #43
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    check out the Bioncon c.guide v2.0 Its a great, inexpensive, and very effective device.
    "Don't believe everything you read on the internet." -Abraham Lincoln

  44. #44
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    **please delete**
    Last edited by ifinditfunny; 07-23-2012 at 08:51 PM.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by adonis_abril View Post
    I've only had the Guardian for less than a month and I've already converted it to 1x9 - no more front derailleur issues I'm no bike mechanic but I've managed to get the rear derailleur working perfectly. I might swap it out it for 2005 SRAM X.9 - I bought one for the 26er I'm building...it was only $35 brand new!
    Adonis,
    Awesome idea, i had no clue we could take the rings off of the front crank. I am a Noob...

    From the picture i am assuming you were able to remove the largest and smallest chain rings and only using the middle, is that right?

    I think i will remove just the largest ring and replace it with a bashguard since on the type of trails we have around here i am always on the middle ring.

    Are the rings put together with rivets, or is everything connected with bolts?

    Thanks for the info.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildfifty View Post
    Adonis,
    Awesome idea, i had no clue we could take the rings off of the front crank. I am a Noob...

    From the picture i am assuming you were able to remove the largest and smallest chain rings and only using the middle, is that right?

    I think i will remove just the largest ring and replace it with a bashguard since on the type of trails we have around here i am always on the middle ring.

    Are the rings put together with rivets, or is everything connected with bolts?

    Thanks for the info.
    Yes, you can use just the middle ring (104 BCD * Bolt Circle Diameter)... but you might find it limiting when on flats or going downhill - I ended up getting a 36t chain ring and used that in place of the middle one which is a 32t chain ring (t = teeth *I think). This gives me a good range of gears for urban/trail since I do use the bike to commute to work as well.

    It's connected with rivets - you'll need a 6mm and 8mm hex wrench for the chain rings and of course a crank removal tool. I would use some bigger wrench for torque - I was using a portable multi-use tool and it was PITA to disassemble.
    Last edited by adonis_abril; 07-24-2012 at 09:46 AM.

  47. #47
    local bike dr.
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    My LBS sold out of the Giant Revel 0 I had hoped to buy next week. After calling 30 bike shops within a 150 mile radius, nobody could get me the size I need, so I started looking at 29ers. I refuse to buy a bike with a non-damped fork, yet still want to spend less than 800. I've noticed several references to these Airborne bikes as the best components for the money, so I'm hoping to get feedback on how the components stack up. Namely, are the brake levers easy enough to operate with one finger? When testing the Giant Talon at my LBS, they had Avid Elixir brakes and one finger operation was flawless. I love the mix of other components on these bikes! Also, what does the standover height end up at? The L size Talon was definatley too tall, 30.4" standover and the top tube was ..uncomfortable...

  48. #48
    mtbr member
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    I have owned my Airborne Guardian for about 3 months now. I ride it hard 2 to 3 times a week on mostly xc trails in the area. The brakes are the 1 component I have not had any issues with at all. They were perfect straight out of the box. Yes you can control them with one finger without any issues.
    This is my first mountain bike. I have never tuned gears or anything like that so I had to take it to a bike shop to get the shifting to work correctly. The front derailleur seemed to never be perfect so I decided to remove the big chainring and run a 2x9 setup. I am enjoying the bike a lot more now.
    I have the 18 inch model, I am about 5í7 with a 30 inch inseam and I donít have any problems with the stand over. If you want more details about the size give airborne a call.
    Iíve just had bad luck with my bike, I took a fall which damaged my rear derailleur to the point it had to be replaced. So I upgraded to x7 front and rear. The small block 8 tires are great, but I have had 3 punctures already. Yesterday I went for a ride with a couple of friends and a lose branch got wedged into the spokes of my rear rim nearly throwing me off the bike. I really messed up one of the spokes.
    I have not ridden any bike with an elite rockshox reba or fox shocks, but the XC front fork on the airborne does its job very well. I like the rebound and preload adjustments you can make on it. I guess it could be lighter and more exotic but for my skill level at the moment and the trails I am riding it seems to do the job very well.

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation: adonis_abril's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    Throughout the time I've owned mine, I've taken a big spill going downhill, dropped it 10ft into a lake, 3-4feet drops, rock gardens (Eastern Sierras)....and it's my daily commuter I did have to replace the headtube assembly but I think partly due to my incompetence putting it back together when I took it apart. Since then I've built a 26er for downhill with BB7 mechanical brakes. The Guardian is a rocksteady bike for the price, brakes are good but I prefer my 26er's BB7.

    Goat, the frame standover height depends on the frame size you get. I'm just shy of 5-11, 6ft with shoes on, 31 inch inseam and I ride an 18 inch Guardian frame. Fits perfect.

  50. #50
    NeedGod.com
    Reputation: Barheet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G0at View Post
    I've noticed several references to these Airborne bikes as the best components for the money, so I'm hoping to get feedback on how the components stack up. Namely, are the brake levers easy enough to operate with one finger?
    Yes, I only use one finger for braking. I'm amazed how powerful these supposedly "cheap" bottom of the line hydraulics are. If these brakes are "bad" I can't imagine how great some Elixers would be. Seriously, no complaints about any of the components on this bike. Hydros worked great in the rain, too.

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