I have now had my Guardian for about 3 months and have about 300 miles on it. Let me just say that it has been an awesome bike and has held up well. I could not be happier with it, I ride it every chance I get. Everything that has been done to it falls in the minor maintenance category in my opinion and I have done all of the work myself. I have been keeping track of everything I have done to it so I thought I would post it here if anyone is interested. If it is not mentioned below just take it as it has been working well and trouble-free. Here it is!
Received Airborne Guardian 4/25/13. Frame size 18”
NOTE: This bike was built in the last production run of the Guardian 1.0. Therefore it shipped with a SRAM X5 FD.
Initial Assembly and Adjustments:
All parts arrived well packed with no damage. Assembly was simple and trouble free as stated by many others.
FD and RD did require some adjustment. High limits on both derailleurs were significantly out of adjustment. The RD also required minor cable tension adjustment. The adjustments were not difficult and no further issues were encountered. They are still working well.
Both front and rear brakes required adjustment due to the pads contacting the rotor while the brakes were not applied. This was due to misaligned brake calipers. The brake calipers were aligned by doing the following: The two 5mm hex bolts that secure the brake caliper were loosened; pressure was applied by squeezing the brake lever; while maintaining pressure with the brake lever the 5mm hex bolts were tightened evenly. Bleeding the brakes was not required to accomplish the necessary adjustment. Overall very simple.
Pedals: Shimano PD-MX-80 Saints. Great pedals, a bit heavy but smooth and grip my shoes well.
Saddle: WTB Pure V Pro. The stock saddle was a bit harsh. I cannot say enough about the WTB saddle, very comfortable.
Bars: Crank Brothers Iodine 3, 680mm, 30mm rise. I have a history of lower back issues. After about 10 miles on the trail I was having back pain with the flat bars. The slight rise and sweep of the new bars helped my riding position quite a bit.
Grips: Lizard Skins Peaty Lock-On. The stock WTB grips were not sticking to the new bars. Rather than using hairspray etc., I opted for lock-on grips. My Fox Dirtpaw gloves stick to these like glue.
Chainstay Protector: Found a package of clear plastic sticker type frame/chainstay protectors for $3.00 on Amazon. It has been working nicely. I will add an old tube homemade chainstay protector next time I junk a tube.
Tires: The Kenda SB8’s in general have been working well as long as the surface is reasonably dry and firm. The awesome rolling resistance is the main reason they are still on the bike. Grip can be lost on either end if pushed hard enough. I have encountered a few slick clay hills that have me thinking twice about the SB8’s, as they are not suitable for mud. Something in a 2.2 and slightly more aggressive will be next. I have been running 28 PSI front and back with no pinch flat issues.
The Rider: 5’11” 200 lbs.
General Riding Conditions: 80% trails and single track. 20% roads, paved and unpaved. The typical single track and trails has been mostly rough, fast hard pack with lots of roots. Areas of deep sugar sand are also common.
Chain Lube: Used Finish Line Dry Lube for first 250 miles. After each ride (normally 15-20 miles) the drive train was wiped down, then blown out with compressed air. Lubed applied and excess wiped from chain. At five ride intervals (approximately) the chain was degreased using a Finish Line chain cleaning tool and Zep degreaser.
50 miles: Noticed a very small amount of slack in the headset. Adjusted and tightened. The tutorial I used is here: How to Tighten Your Headset - YouTube
60 miles: First flat, rear tire. Cause was broken glass. Installed Slime tubes front and rear. Will eventually go tubeless.
80 miles: I noticed significant cable rub on the top tube, just aft of the head tube. Also noticed cable rub on the left side of the seat tube just below the top tube. Added some clear sticker type frame protectors that came with the chainstay protector.
200 miles: Fast talking salesman at a LBS talked me into a wet lube called “Skip 2 Renew Re:Cyclist Race Day Bike Chain Lube”. It did not go well, switched back to dry lube immediately. My scathing review is here: Skip 2 Renew Re:Cyclist Race Day Bike Chain Lube Reviews
250 miles: Switched chain lube to White Lightning Clean Ride. The White Lightning Picks up less dirt than the Finish Line Dry Lube by far. However it only lasts about 15-20 miles before the chain is dry and noisy. Since most of my rides are about 15 miles, it works out. The White Lightning requires minimal drivetrain cleaning compared to the Finish Line Dry Lube.
300 miles, 7/16/13: Bent spoke due to a stick in the rear wheel. I noticed that the wheel was slightly out of true after this. I was able to tighten the bent spoke slightly to pull the bend out and straighten the wheel for the most part. Both wheels are slightly out of true at this point anyway. It is surprising to me that they are as straight as they are after 300 miles of flying over roots at 10-20mph. It is not noticeable while riding at this point but I am planning on taking them in to be trued in the near future.
Bike is still running great. No further brake or drive train adjustments have been required.
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Thread: My Guardian Experience