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  1. #1
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    I'm sold on Airborne

    But... I would love to hear some of your experiences with Airborne as compared to other bikes you may have owned or ridden.

    I have owned, almost exclusively, Specialized Rockhoppers (26" variety). I sold my most recent bike, a 2009 Expert, last fall. I have lusted over a Stumpjumper forever. FOREVER. So, when I saw that the Goblin compares very favorably with the Stumpy I became interested. When I saw that the Goblin was/is $1,000 less than the Stumpy I became VERY interested. I'm not about having or relating to a bike that is a Stumpy knock-off but consider the Goblin to be it's own presence - if that makes any sense.

    I am 6' 2.5" and weigh 245 lbs - up from 220 because I broke my ankle last November and have been in a cast since, getting no exercise. The cast is coming off tomorrow and we have snow and temps below 20 here, in SE Michigan (Ann Arbor area) and I am doing my homework with the intention of buying a new bike in April. I gave my stats because I also want to know if the Goblin is "sturdy" or should I be looking at the Evolution?

    Looking forward to reading your responses!

  2. #2
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    I had a Trek 4300 hardtail, then I got an Airborne Zeppelin Elite, then I built another 26" hardtail using a Blue XC Carbon frame.

    The Zeppelin is very sturdy and overbuilt, as a consequence it is also heavier than average for 26" trail bikes. The Zeppelin is an older design so I bet that the Goblins will be closer to competing 29" hardtails in weight but still be sturdy.

    I haven't heard of any Airborne bikes having frame issues. Airborne's designs aren't ground-breaking or bold/innovative so I wouldn't expect them to experience failures.

  3. #3
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    I'm sold on Airborne

    We're the same height/weight and I ride a 20" Goblin. It's a very nice bike!

  4. #4
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    I still own bikes from Specialized, Cannondale, Surly, Fuji, the only bike frames I have ever had that cracked on me was from Specialized(they did warranty all three bikes) a carbon Stumpjumper, M2 Road Bike and a Carbon Epic.but it took several weeks to months to resolve the warranty stuff..no big deal as in the end I got replacement frames..

    I had to deal with a issue on one of my Cannondales and the issue was resolved but emailing them and getting a reply took about three days in between each email back and forth...so even though it was a little issue on anew bike took around 4 weeks to resolve.

    When I went shopping for a 29er I decided to go the other route mail vs LBS..a lot of research and reading forums I had pretty much decided on the Goblin..what sealed the deal was the customer support...I emailed Airborne with a few questions and within a few hours I got a response..ordered the Goblin up and could not be happier..made some changes to it to for personal preference and love the bike...it is pretty much my go to bike for trail duty these days..

    If they still made the Delta I would own one..if they ever get back into cross bikes they will be the first place I go to for another ride..a steel frame 29er or cross/gravel rig I will get one..when a need or want another mountain bike I am pretty sure it will be an Airborne...

    I would say the Goblin is plenty sturdy as long as you keep the tires on the ground and do not huck and such...it is a great xc rig while the EVO is more for technical trail type stuff with rocks and roots and gnar and will allow you to run the larger tires front and back vs the Goblin...though I must say if the EVO was available when I purchased my Goblin I may have went the EVO route..just a sweet rig from all appearances but am totally satisfied with my Goblin and Airborne the company.

  5. #5
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    Re: I'm sold on Airborne

    I got my gf the guardian 2. That is a solid mtn bike for someone in the beginner/intermediate stages. Great price too. At the same time my brother got the rockhopper sport disc for a little bit more than we got the guardian and imo its way better. Better fork and hydraulic brakes. I try to tell everyone looking for a mid level by to get the guardian.

  6. #6
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    I'm liking my experience with Airborne so far. I'm 6' 7" at 220 and just built a 22" Goblin frame set into a very decent riding 27lbs bike.

    I also have bikes from Specialized and a VooDoo steal frame ss hard tail.

    I shopped for this last frame build for several weeks and even considered a Crave frame from Specialized. While the Specialized frame may be a bit lighter than the Goblin, it just didn't make sense at more than 3 times the price. And, even with their good warranty, durability was still a concern to me as I know the Carve/Crave frame and the Stumpjumper ht frame have had cracking issues the last couple of years.

    So, while I considered many different options over the last few weeks, I kept coming back to the Goblin and decided it was my best option especially considering my budget constraints and the parts compatibility of what I already had on hand. Now that I've ridden it a few times and just did a 26 mile XC race over the weekend, I'm pretty sure I made a good choice. It fits me very well, it rides amazing, is not bad to look at, and is pretty exclusive as no one in these parts has one.

    The folks at Airborne have been very responsive and seem to really enjoy what they do and offer. Their warranty adds peace of mind as well.

    Bottom line is you can't go wrong with any of the new Airborne products if they suit your riding ambitions.
    Everything that kills me, makes me feel alive

  7. #7
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    6'2, riding weight between 250 and 260.

    I owned a 26" Trek from the late 90's until recently when I broke the frame. I rode that forever - it was the bike that both got me hooked on riding and made me hate aluminum as a frame material. The Airborne made me realize that aluminum could be designed to ride far better than it used to, and still be far stiffer under pedal. I've also ridden a Niner, 26" Kona MTB (Hoss, from the early/mid 2000's,) a newer Trek.

    They all ride nicely. The Niner is a little bit twitchier over fast rough stuff than my Seeker (same frame as the Goblin,) but the geometries also would indicate that. I lust over a steel frame 29'er because I just prefer steel over aluminum but if it says anything, when I got the go-ahead from the accountant to order a steel frame I decided to wait until this season and get a set of wheels instead. We're still buried in snow and sub-zero temps here in NY as well so riding seems forever away, but I look at my Seeker every day and can't wait to ride it.
    Eric

  8. #8
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    I got a Goblin last fall after watching my Dad get a bad case of upgrade-itis. I had a Trek 3700 and watched him go from an 80's Schwinn rigid bike to a Specialized Rockhopper (29er) to a Specialized Carve Pro (now called a Crave). With no changes to his fitness level he started pulling away from me on the trails, which I had to stop!

    I found his Rockhopper to be very sluggish in cornering and difficult for me to ride through switchbacks. It was the first 29er I had ridden and it made me want to stay on 26" tires forever. The Carve was a different story. If money was no object, I probably would have bought one myself. But being on a budget, I looked for other options and eventually found Airborne.

    I geeked out a bit in my research (created a dxf file of the geometry of every bike I had ridden and overlaid them to compare theoretical handling characteristics) and eventually pulled the trigger on a Goblin. I was incredibly nervous during shipping wondering if I made the right decision, but I have been very happy with the purchase.

    The Goblin is a bit quicker steering than the Carve, which I think is primarily due to the narrower bars. It also feels slightly more aggressive in it's riding position. I have disproportionately long legs, so I have the seatpost out as far as it will go, which probably contributes to the aggressive feel. (I'm 6' 2.5", 165lbs, and ride a 20" frame.) The Carve has a 19.5" frame and is about 1lb lighter than my Goblin. Acceleration and speed are a bit different between the bikes, with the Carve being slightly faster off the line and the Goblin rolling 3-4 mph faster with the same effort. The Carve has Ground Controls and the Goblin is running the stock AKAs, so I chalk that up as the main factor. Regardless, over the same stretch of trail, I am substantially faster on the Goblin.

    It will be a long time before I move to a different bike. But after my Goblin, my next bike will probably be an Airborne too.

  9. #9
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    The Goblin was my first 29er I've owned but I test road a Trek Cobia and a Niner with both feeling a bit heavy and cheap. I couldn't be any happier with the Goblin and have since become a far better rider.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTx View Post
    I would say the Goblin is plenty sturdy as long as you keep the tires on the ground and do not huck and such...it is a great xc rig while the EVO is more for technical trail type stuff with rocks and roots and gnar and will allow you to run the larger tires front and back vs the Goblin...though I must say if the EVO was available when I purchased my Goblin I may have went the EVO route..just a sweet rig from all appearances but am totally satisfied with my Goblin and Airborne the company.
    My friend, at almost 49 years of age (later this month), 6' 2.5" and 245 pounds, I ALWAYS keep my tires on the ground! I became a geologist because I like being grounded. All joking aside, I think the Goblin will more than fit my needs. The guys I ride with the most ride Superflies and Stumpies; so, if their rides are fine for the kind of riding we do the Goblin will be just fine too. Unfortunately, one of the guys is a friend who owns the LBS where I have purchased all of my previous bikes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyphix View Post
    6'2, riding weight between 250 and 260.
    This is very encouraging.

    Speaking of snow... I lost my third mailbox to the snow plow this winter. I can't wait for something above 40.

  12. #12
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    i have the original goblin and have ridden it for 2 years (about 500-600 miles total...) while weighing 240-250 and it has held up well... was thinking about upgrading the wheelset this year but just couldn't justify the price (~700) as i couldn't find a whole bunch of justification that it was worth the money...... (<--- backhanded compliment that the wheels have held up pretty well...)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by la10slgr View Post
    i have the original goblin and have ridden it for 2 years (about 500-600 miles total...) while weighing 240-250 and it has held up well... was thinking about upgrading the wheelset this year but just couldn't justify the price (~700) as i couldn't find a whole bunch of justification that it was worth the money...... (<--- backhanded compliment that the wheels have held up pretty well...)
    I put a set of Mavic Crossmax STs on mine a little over a year ago and they transformed the bike. Saved about two pounds of rotational weight and the bike accelerates really nicely. At the time, I converted to tubeless and haven't had a single flat yet. But, yeah, pricey. I do think it's a worthwhile upgrade and the Goblin takes upgrades really well. It's a nice bike, for sure.

  14. #14
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    Re: I'm sold on Airborne

    Quote Originally Posted by la10slgr View Post
    i have the original goblin and have ridden it for 2 years (about 500-600 miles total...) while weighing 240-250 and it has held up well... was thinking about upgrading the wheelset this year but just couldn't justify the price (~700) as i couldn't find a whole bunch of justification that it was worth the money...... (<--- backhanded compliment that the wheels have held up pretty well...)
    Not sure if its still available but Nashbar were offering sun ringle black flag wheelsets for under $300 very recently.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk

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