Guardian - a few things you should know
A friend of mine has been chomping at the bit to do more mountain biking, but he has a minor disability (i have a thread going in the general section on setting up one hand control) - anyway, he didnt want to make a big investment in case it doesnt work out for him. based on the feedback i saw on here, i recommended the guardian. he had it shipped to my house so i could set it up.
so overall, it is a pretty decent deal, but there are some things that everyone needs to either know or be prepared for:
It is very unlikely the target market will have any chance of assembling this bike - they say you have to have it professionally assembled and it is absolutely the case - some bikes maybe you get away with basic knowledge and if you are handy with tools... not this one.
-the cables are going to come hooked up to derailleurs - it doesnt mean anything is even close to being dialed in.
-the derailleur hanger was badly bent and you need a special tool to bend it back correctly or it will never shift right
-the front derailleur is CHEAP - like the worst possible - really tough to dial in and flexes so badly it barely shifts. budget in a replacement out of the gate. maybe replace it with a deore (you can mix sram/shim on the front - not the rear)
-spend the money to have the rims trued and stressed if you can - at least trued
-getting the brakes to not rub is not rocket science, but not something most folks know how to do and these are a little tricky.
-rear tire clearance looks really tight - skinny 2.1's will be the rule - not a big deal, just dont get a 2.25" - i think it will rub on the front der.
Again - you really cant buy a 29er with a rock shox TK and at least some X5 parts for $600 - but have reasonable expectations and have a pro set it up (not someone like me) - buy a front der from them as well.....
I just bought one for my wife for Christmas and agree on the X3 front derailleur. I ordered an X9 after screwing with that thing for 2 hours, new one took 1/2 hour to dial. Tons of videos online to learn as I had never dealt with multi-speed bikes before I bought my own last September, but you don't need to know that much to get it together. If you're mechanically inclined, a first timer should be able to get it to work reasonably well with video instruction.
Thanks for the feedback.
Honestly it sounds as though your bike may have been banged around a bit before it arrived at your door. Complaints about tuning and wheel trueness are few and far between. The bikes are generally tuned and ready to go other than basic assembly. Had you called us we would have gladly either walked you thru your issues or just sent you another bike.
As far as rear tire clearance goes, 2.1's are the norm for XC 29ers and they do fit with no problem. The frame will accept fat 2.2's like WTB Wolverines (I ran them on my first gen Goblin which was the same frame) but we do recommend a FD upgrade for clearance. Truthfully sometimes FD clearance is a 29er issue in general, especially on price-point bikes. That's why 2x10 is an ideal set-up for 29ers in general IMHO.
Please call us if you have any questions, thanks.
Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne as of 12/5/2014. If you have an Airborne question please contact them directly.
Generally, when people present their opinions that are different than mine, I don't really care. But here, you stated your opinion like it was a fact. I consider myself part of the "target market" since I bought a Guardian and I had no trouble putting it together and getting it tuned. I'm curious who "they" are who say it has to be professionally assembled.
Originally Posted by fatpig
Also, it sounds like your FD was damaged or something because it's not that bad. It's not a great FD or even a good one, but with some patience, it does tune in reasonably well. Mine was tuned just fine right out of the box. Although I will admit mine is sitting in my garage in a box right now since my bike is running 1x9.
Hope your friend enjoys his new Guardian!
Jeremy - my post was not complaint so much as a heads up to folks to set some reasonable expectations. my case may have been unusual, but the bottom line is that people really need to be prepared to heed the advice on the Airborne site to have the bike professionally assembled and be prepared and understand $600 may be just the beginning - with assembly, wheel truing (if needed ), an upgrade on FD....etc. say you are comparing the Airborne to a fully supported $800 bike from a shop - it evens the playing field a bit.
To Barheet - i was a bit abrasive stating my opinion - fair enough - but the bike that showed up on my doorstep could not have been assembled properly by someone without some specific tools and knowledge - that is fact. maybe i am the only one who ever got a bent derailleur hanger for example, but as soft as it was, i doubt it... your bike worked out great - and that might be the case for the person looking at this thread doing research on a purchase - but it might not....
my intention was not to go on to the airborne forum to pick a fight - its a great bike for a great price - i am the one who recommended it in first place - i just wanted to reflect one guy's experience to make sure folks know what could happen when you buy a bike that is not supported by your local shop...
Agreed, I bought one.
Originally Posted by Barheet
I chose the Guardian because I wasn't sure if mountain biking was for me at the time. I didn't want to spend a lot of money but I wanted something quality that I could upgrade if I chose to.
I think that puts me in the target market but doesn't mean that I am mechanically inept.
I am also not a professional mechanic. Its a bike, not a spaceship, I don't think there is anything on a bike that some one who has "basic knowledge" and is "handy with tools" can't assemble or fix on it themselves given the proper tools. I guess mechanical ability is a matter of perspective.
Don't be afraid folks. You can do it.
Re: Guardian - a few things you should know
I had no issues getting my Goblin set up. It's been a fun bike so far. Sometimes I think it IS a spaceship! The original poster's experience seems atypical and he probably would've gotten his bike sorted more quickly by calling Airborne directly about his bike's supposed issues, rather than taking the time to put together his rant/public service announcement.
Originally Posted by swildnm
Wow! I wish I rode that well!
Originally Posted by perturbo
Mountain biking is a very expensive and frustrating endeavor if you can't do basic maintenance and adjustments. Something is always getting beat up If you can't assemble and adjust a bike-in-a-box, you're going to spend a lot of time at the bike shop. That's a good thing for the shops. I ride 3 or 4 times a week. It would get wicked expensive to take my bike to someone every time I needed brake pads, new fork oil, derailleur adjustment, or new tires. Most of us have our limits; I can't true a wheel to save my life. If you have the resources to hire a pro to work on your bike, maybe an Airborne is not for you.
Re: Guardian - a few things you should know
Yeah, what Tyrebyter said. And, as you progress with the sport, you'll want to make adjustments to your bike - you know, move things around, like, your bars, flip your stem.
Maybe the OP did "get a lemon", but the Guardian is a really good bike for the money, as all Airborne's offerings seem to be. Plus, the customer service is there. You call Airborne, and your going to talk to someone like Jeremy, who will answer your questions. The day after I ordered my Goblin, I had some lingering concerns about whether my bike was going to fit. I called, and he Jeremy spent a good 1/2 hour with me just to make sure I was going to get the size of bike I wanted. So, you call Airborne, and you talk to the dude who actually specs the bikes they sell. Where else do you get that kind of service? That's why I think the OP would have gotten a lot more accomplished by dealing with Airborne versus putting some weird "warning" about the Guardian, which seems to be generally regarded as a quality bike.
While assembling my Goblin, I was thinking there should be an online handbook to cover unboxing, adjustments, first ride and beyond. Yes, that's exactly the info found scattered around forums, sram manuals, youtube, and blog reviews, but organized into something like a wiki with links to existing how-to's and more.
It could start small like this as a sticky post: Whats with Airborne Bikes?
Ultimately it could grow to have a basic trouble-shooting section (sort of like the one I have for my water heater) with when to call Airborne (sizing questions, bent derailleurs, shipping damage) or your local shop (wheel truing?), what things to grease and what to use, close-up pics of everything (in case you drop headset spacers or whatever), helicopter tape and a tube on your chainstay, wtf?, suggested first upgrades, why are my cables so long?, what's with the zip tie and the little rollers (rockshox spacers?), etc.
Some of us are shy and we don't want to call Jeremy.
I just assembled my black goblin. Aside from the bent derailer hangar (thanks FEDEX) it was easy. If anyone has ever referred to you as "handy" you can do it. OR. Take the money you saved buying direct from Airborne and have you lbs put it together. I had to take mine to lbs for the bent hanger. After seeing how easy it was to swap out I felt foolish but having the tech gawk at the bike was well worth the $40. Plus the gawking happened before I told him what I paid for the bike. That jawdrop was priceless.
Oh almost forgot. You could just search YouTube for "how to assemble a gaurdian" and get free assembly advice. Seriously it's not that complicated.
Back Goblin came via Fed-Ex..packed overly great..took me longer to unpack and cut zip ties than to put it together...20 minutes of assemble time and riding down the street..shifted great..front rotor rubbed a bit..quick adjustment and all was well..if you are going to own and ride bikes you will either learn to work on them or will be relying on the LBS for your mechanical issues...the LBS really will not help when your out on the trail...a little research and reading and anyone can become self reliant on working on their rigs..