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  1. #1
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    To Guardian or to Goblin...that is the question....

    Big fan of Airborne all around!

    I plan on upgrading my ride in the near future and keep getting drawn to the Airborne 29ers.

    I've been searching, and I just don't think you can get a better bang for your buck on a HT. Great spec in either model and perfect for a guy on a budget.

    Should I.....

    Buy the Guardian with the thought of upgrading the fork and wheels when more $$ is available or.....

    Buy the Goblin (X7 build) and live with it and possibly upgrade the wheels WAY down the road.

    Basically, would it make more sense to pay $600 for the Guardian and spend $600 on a better fork and wheels equalling pretty much the same price of the Goblin and have a bike that could be equal or better even though it has slightly lesser components?

    I live in Kansas City and ride everything from river bottom sandy singletrack to hilly rock gardens with tons of roots and such.

    The Guardian gets me a 29er and better bike much quicker, but I don't want to be regretting the decision if the Goblin is that much better of a bike.

    Thanks in advance!
    www.getbusylivin.org

    Redline Monocog Flight 29er
    Specialized Rockhopper 26er

  2. #2
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    As much as I hate to say this because I would love to bring my Guardian down there and ride with you and your Guardian at Landahl, if you have the money you must get the Goblin. The air fork alone is worth the upgrade and the Goblin has a lot of upgrades that are pretty good, including the wheels. Also, the X7 drivetrain is much nicer than the X3/X5 on the Guardian. The general rule is get the best possible bike you can afford. So...if you have the money get the Goblin. I'm betting 99% of people would agree with me there.

    If you don't have the money for the Goblin, the Guardian is a great bike. I've been riding mine since July and I don't regret it at all. I've had no major problems with it. I'm really glad I got it. But, I didn't have the money for the Goblin at the time I bought my Guardian. So it was the most bike I could afford at the time.

    At first, I thought I would ride the Guardian for a couple of years and then upgrade to another HT. But now, I love my bike so much with the upgrades I've made that I can't see myself EVER selling it. I'm not a racer, so no need to spend $1000 on wheels. I'll just find something like these BF's everyone's talking about or get something from Stan's. Other than that, loving it.
    Nathan

  3. #3
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    I would get the Goblin and then down the road some time upgrade the wheels. The Reba is a great fork. You would have to spend some serious $$$ to do better IMO.

  4. #4
    TXTony
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    Another vote for the Goblin..X7 may not be X0 type stuff but its quality stuff that will work and is dependable..when I bought the Goblin I had planned on sticking some X9 on there...I will eventually do that as the other stuff wears out or breaks..the Reba fork is a great fork...I did swap wheels out but honestly the wheels that come with will get the job done..

  5. #5
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    Re: To Guardian or to Goblin...that is the question....

    Another vote for the goblin. I'm in a similar situation as you about upgrading my entry level mtb. I just told myself I would save up for the goblin and not be impatient (I don't have a lot of patience, so it was hard) and buy something cheaper so I could have it quicker. So I am set to finally buy the goblin in March sometime, can't wait!

  6. #6
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    Copy that!

    Thanks everyone! This has really put it into perspective. I have an adequate bike (Specialized Rockhopper) right now that works just fine!

    I truly appreciate all of the responses!

    Time to start saving some more coin!
    www.getbusylivin.org

    Redline Monocog Flight 29er
    Specialized Rockhopper 26er

  7. #7
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    Here is a thought...

    Get the Guardian now for $600 and ride the heck out of it for a year. After you have gotten a chance to enjoy it for a season, sell it for $400 and apply the money toward the Hobgoblin, which, after the $400 is applied, would cost you $1349.95!

  8. #8
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    I love my Guardian, but I wish I had bought a Goblin instead.
    The Goblin has a better fork, better drive train and better wheels (but I'd still probably upgrade them). Also the tapered head tube shouldn't be overlooked as an important difference. I'm thinking of buying a Goblin Frame and moving all of my guardian's components to it just for the tapered HT.
    If you can afford it buy the Goblin.

  9. #9
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    To Guardian or to Goblin...that is the question....

    I love my Goblin. I have the first gen Green Goblin. I'm considering buying the new Goblin frameset and moving all of my parts over. That being said, my friend has a Guardian and he is very happy with it. I'm the type of person to always want to improve my stuff and he is happy with his the way it is.

  10. #10
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    My opinion.

    If you are not sure whether you will like a 29er or whether you will stick with riding then consider the Guardian. It is a good bike and a good value.

    If you are more confident that you want a 29er and that you'll ride it plenty then go with the Goblin.

    I would not recommend buying a Guardian with plans to upgrade. You'd be better served to start with a Goblin than upgrading a Guardian.

  11. #11
    Airborne Product Dude
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    IMHO there's two ways to look at this.

    If you have the means, it's a no-brainer to buy the Goblin. From a financial standpoint it makes more sense to buy the Goblin-level bike up front versus trying to eventually bring the Guardian up to its spec level; you'd spend more money doing that. Plus even if you do, you can't change the fact that the Goblin has the tapered HT which the Guardian does not have.

    The other way to look at it is if you don't have upgraditis, and are just a casual user, it makes sense to buy the Guardian. The bike is a steal at $599 and frankly can't depreciate very far even in a couple of years...........meaning that if you decide you don't like 29ers (heaven forbid!) you can still roll it over for most of your money....

    So...................this makes me want to ask you guys a question. We know that there is a big jump between the two bikes in terms of price ($600 to $1200) and have always felt that we needed a tweener bike that sits midway between them in price and spec. Often we speak with customers that want more spec than the Guardian offers yet don't have the $$$ in the budget for a Goblin. What would you say to a bike that sits between them in terms of price, has the Goblin frame with the tapered HT, a 2x10 X5 group, better brakes and a slightly nicer tapered fork than the Guardian? This is something we are working on for late this year..........

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  12. #12
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    To Guardian or to Goblin...that is the question....

    I would even like to see 1x10, x5, recon fork, and good mechanical discs like bb7. Not crappy low end hydros.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    What would you say to a bike that sits between them in terms of price, has the Goblin frame with the tapered HT, a 2x10 X5 group, better brakes and a slightly nicer tapered fork than the Guardian? This is something we are working on for late this year..........

    Jeremy
    I'd say that sounds great. It's always nice to have more bikes to choose from. But I still can't believe the bike you put together for $600.

    As for the low-end hydros, I haven't ridden down any mountains with mine, but they have done a great job bringing me to a grinding halt, and I ride some very hilly stuff.
    Nathan

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barheet View Post
    I
    As for the low-end hydros, I haven't ridden down any mountains with mine, but they have done a great job bringing me to a grinding halt, and I ride some very hilly stuff.
    I'll agree there. I've got no complaints about the Tektro Brakes and I haven't heard any major complaints about them.

  15. #15
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    Jeremy, you just described what I would buy right now. However, since you don't have that model yet, I'm sure I'll be more than happy with a Goblin which I hope to order in the next week or two. A month at the latest.

    I had planned all along to get a Guardian for my first bike in MANY years. I'm sure it would be just fine and I would love it. However, I do like to tinker with stuff and feel like the level of parts already on the Goblin will satisfy me for my hardtail 29er needs/wants.


    Mike H

  16. #16
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    Reality aside, going to mechanical disks would be marketing suicide. The Tektros are as good as the low-end Avids. A big boost to the Guardian would be a tapered headtube and lightweight, stiff fork... though I'd prefer the Manitou Tower to the Reba. Leave the drivetrain alone to keep the price down.

  17. #17
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    To Guardian or to Goblin...that is the question....

    Quote Originally Posted by tyrebyter View Post
    Reality aside, going to mechanical disks would be marketing suicide. The Tektros are as good as the low-end Avids. A big boost to the Guardian would be a tapered headtube and lightweight, stiff fork... though I'd prefer the Manitou Tower to the Reba. Leave the drivetrain alone to keep the price down.
    Yeah...I agree about the marketing. Been burned by cheap Hayes hydros and would much rather have bb7s so I am bitter.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  18. #18
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    yeah i second boomer on the recon. being a heavier rider myself its hard to find something in the guardian price range that has a burly enough fork for the extra heft hell i probably wouldve paid a little more just for a recon and the same spec guardian if the option were there!

  19. #19
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    I'm 6' and 220, Expect to drop another 15-20 fairly easy though.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FirefighterMTN View Post
    Copy that!

    Thanks everyone! This has really put it into perspective. I have an adequate bike (Specialized Rockhopper) right now that works just fine!

    I truly appreciate all of the responses!

    Time to start saving some more coin!
    I would also say you want the Goblin I'm in KC and would be more than happy to let you take a look at my black goblin any time not sure what size your riding but mines the 22" you can give it a spin if your big enough to get on it. give me a pm some time I spend most of my time riding or working on Wyco but I hit up almost all the trails in KC many times a year see ya on the trail.

    Cliff
    (Jones on Earth Riders)

  21. #21
    Happy Trails
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    To Guardian or to Goblin...that is the question....

    I wish I'd bought a little less bike... Said no one ever.

  22. #22
    Airborne Product Dude
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoomerBrian View Post
    Yeah...I agree about the marketing. Been burned by cheap Hayes hydros and would much rather have bb7s so I am bitter.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    I strongly feel that the Tektros on the Guardian work great and are a nice bit of spec to have on a $599 bike; I have the same brakes on my personal Wingman and have no need to upgrade them.

    To go backwards in spec (to cable actuated brakes) on a more expensive bike would make no sense for us. Unless we downgraded the brakes on the Guardian which would not be a good idea IMHO.

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott In MD View Post
    I wish I'd bought a little less bike... Said no one ever.
    See, that's funny.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    I strongly feel that the Tektros on the Guardian work great and are a nice bit of spec to have on a $599 bike; I have the same brakes on my personal Wingman and have no need to upgrade them.

    To go backwards in spec (to cable actuated brakes) on a more expensive bike would make no sense for us. Unless we downgraded the brakes on the Guardian which would not be a good idea IMHO.

    Jeremy
    I agree Jeremy. My original idea was based on emotion and not logical thought. No way you could go mechanical on the bike that is a level higher than the Guardian if the Guardian already has hydros.

    I just had some bad luck with cheap hydros and I am a little gun shy. I have not used the Tektros so I can't comment. As long as you used some that works better than what I have seen you should be OK.

    IMO. Your new line of bike should compete spec wise with the Trek Cobia. In the $1000 range I feel the Cobia is one of the best deals out there. 10 speed drivetrain and air shock are the main features of interest. If you could spec a bike similar and sell it in the $800-$900 range I think you would have a winner.

    BTW...I don't have an Airborne but I really like what your company is doing and think you guys are putting out some really nice bikes at great prices.

  25. #25
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    Im gonna tell you my bike came with these tektro hydros I'm going to test them on the trails some time soon but on the street they have great stopping power. All in all are they the best brakes in the world? probably not. But they do the job.

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