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  1. #1
    I've never had a Pliny
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    Goblin 16" Review

    Hi All: It's my first post on MTBR! I'll wait for the applause to subside...

    Just want to throw in and provide feedback on our recent Goblin purchase. All-in-All, 5 stars - it's exceeded my expectations so far. We had it together out of the box in under 1/2 hour. The only thing we dialed in was the rear-derailleur limit screw after the chain fell off between the cog and wheel on the first ride. Make sure and check that because it can really ruin your ride (and components) if it becomes really stuck.

    Bike weight - stock bike with Shimano PD-M540 pedals: 27.4 lbs.

    The Goblin wasn't for me, it's for my son. It's a 16" and fits him perfect - he's on the shorter side for an 11 year-old but the stock stem worked out fine. Might be a little bit of a reach for him but he's growing fast.

    First upgrade will be the saddle - that thing is rock-hard.

    Second upgrade will be tubeless - probably 2 pounds of rotating weight savings will make this thing fly.

    Great talk with Jason before making the buy. We're in CA and I haven't seen another Airborne here. Next race is in 2 weeks - will be interesting to see the interest in the bike. I'll be a proponent!

    Here's a vid of the Goblin in action. Hard to tell it's a Goblin but it is:

  2. #2
    Airborne Product Dude
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    Awesome, glad you like the bike!

    I don't know what we'd do without Jason, he's a great employee!

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  3. #3
    I've never had a Pliny
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    A quick update on the Goblin after 2 months of riding. Still a great bike value - the component selection (besides the rock-hard seat) is great. Still, as with everything, a couple things to watch out for:

    - Rear Derailleur Hanger: Made from a very soft alloy. Look at it hard enough and I think it would bend. Never lay your bike down on the component side - intentionally or otherwise. Order replacement hangers now for the time you do lay it down because it will bend and you will dump your chain into your spokes.

    - T25 Torx bolt on the brake lever clamps. Nothing like needing a new tool for adjustments, eh? Mine was over-tightened and I managed to strip both of them trying to adjust the cockpit. Replaced with what should be a standard 5mm Allen bolt. I know that's an Avid thing and not an Airborne thing (except possibly for the overtight bolt). Still, a bit of a pain.

  4. #4
    Airborne Product Dude
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    Quote Originally Posted by atayl0r View Post
    A quick update on the Goblin after 2 months of riding. Still a great bike value - the component selection (besides the rock-hard seat) is great. Still, as with everything, a couple things to watch out for:

    - Rear Derailleur Hanger: Made from a very soft alloy. Look at it hard enough and I think it would bend. Never lay your bike down on the component side - intentionally or otherwise. Order replacement hangers now for the time you do lay it down because it will bend and you will dump your chain into your spokes.
    To be truthful, our RD hanger is no softer than standard. It has to be the weakest link. Otherwise folks would be complaining about the expense of a new X7 RD.

    Regards,

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    To be truthful, our RD hanger is no softer than standard. It has to be the weakest link. Otherwise folks would be complaining about the expense of a new X7 RD.

    Regards,

    Jeremy
    I was glad for the soft alloy on the hanger. I destroyed the X5 rear der, and the hanger (Bent it backwards). Pretty sure there would've been some frame damage if it was a non replacable hanger. I've bent the hanger on my steel road bike by laying it down drive-train down in the back of my car. That one is integrated, but of course, steel so I can bend it back many times.


    Are the torx bolts on the brake lever clamps a Goblin thing? I was able to swap bars on my Seeker with a couple of hex wrenches.

    Love the review and love that your son is racing on an Airborne. Great honesty there.

  6. #6
    I've never had a Pliny
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    Yeah, Torx is what the Elixer7 ships with - not just a Goblin/Airborne thing. No idea why they would choose a Torx bolt for a clamp - I hope it's more than just to be different.

    I get that the RD hanger is weakest link and saves costly frame damage. I have two other bikes w/ RD hangers and have thrashed those all over the trails - never had a bent hanger. This one gets bent regularly.

  7. #7
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    If you replace the hanger, the replacements come from Wheels Mfg and are a slightly different design. I haven't really tested my replacement too much but you may find it to be a bit sturdier.

    Yeah I meant the Elixer 7s, not that Airborne does it. I just think its crazy that Avid did that when my Elixer 1s have an old fashion hex bolt.
    Eric

  8. #8
    Airborne Product Dude
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyphix View Post
    If you replace the hanger, the replacements come from Wheels Mfg and are a slightly different design. I haven't really tested my replacement too much but you may find it to be a bit sturdier.

    Yeah I meant the Elixer 7s, not that Airborne does it. I just think its crazy that Avid did that when my Elixer 1s have an old fashion hex bolt.
    I think the torx bolts are a point of differentiation for SRAM between the higher end stuff and the regular range. The XX and XX1 stuff also use torx bolts, even on the RD.

    Our hangers are cast alu like most OE hangers, while the Wheels MFG ones are CNC'd I believe.

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    I think the torx bolts are a point of differentiation for SRAM between the higher end stuff and the regular range. The XX and XX1 stuff also use torx bolts, even on the RD.
    I guess I can save some money then

  10. #10
    I've never had a Pliny
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    I think the torx bolts are a point of differentiation for SRAM between the higher end stuff and the regular range. The XX and XX1 stuff also use torx bolts, even on the RD.
    That's what I was afraid of. That's just silly - another wrench needed for no practical reason. BTW I'm surprised at the reviews for the Elixer7 on MTBR. It gets hammered. We've not experienced any of the problems people claim (squeaking, bleeding etc).

  11. #11
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    OP, great to see your boy out there with you! I know you treasure those moments; I've been blessed with a slew of kiddos and love our time on the trails (and otherwise) together.

    How tall is your son, if you don't mind? Does he seem able to control the bike well? Curious what his experience has been. Airborne seems a great way to get some good steeds under my little ones that can be passed down as they outgrow them.

  12. #12
    I've never had a Pliny
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    akaHector, Leo's 4' 11" at 12 years old. Slightly vertically challenged but he fits the smallest Goblin well and has a few years worth of growth before he'll outgrow it. Moving from a 26 to a 29er is always a learning curve but he handles it well and screams on the downhills.

    Attached pic of him on the Goblin so you can see how it fits.Name:  210a.jpg
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