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  1. #1
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    Several Questions About The Guardian

    I'm really considering the Guardian as my next mountain bike...seems like the best bang out there for the buck, and I've read great reviews about it, including this very positive one here:

    Bike Review: Airborne Guardian 29er | Mountain Bike Review

    I do have a couple of quick questions:

    1. I weigh about 225 to 230 pounds. Is there going to be an issue with the fork? I won't be able to ride it on anyhting but pavement until at least February. By then, I will hopefully have lost 5-10 pounds.

    2. Do the hydros make a difference in how hard you have to press the levers? I'm dealing with a case of carpal tunnel syndrome that is progressively getting worse. I noticed some hand pain last time I rode with my Avids while breaking. Hoping hydros will make a difference.

    3. Should I just hunker down buy another front derailleur before the bike arrives? I've heard the X-3 isn't so great.

    4. I might compete in my first race this year. Is this more of a recreational bike, rather than a race bike or would I have a chance to be competitive with the Guardian?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by getagrip; 01-02-2013 at 02:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    I think you'll be ok on the pavement with the XC28 but you'll probably want something stouter when you hit the trails.
    I can't really say how the brakes will feel to you. I went from an old late 90's bike with V-brakes to the Guardian. never owned a cable/disc setup. My wife says the brakes are fine for her on her Skyhawk (same brakes), and she has carpal tunnel too.
    the X3 derailleur works. but you can find cheap upgrades that will work better and allow for wider tires if you look around. I switched to an X9 I found for under $40.

  3. #3
    Airborne Flight Crew
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    I echo swildnm's comments - but wanted to emphasize that the difference between your cable disc's and the Tektro's that come on the Guardian is night and day. You'll probably get a way with one-finger braking. It would be nice, competent bike to get started racing on.
    Airborne Flight Crew

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  4. #4
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    Sorry to the OP for the thread hijacking but thought I'd avoid creating a new thread with this one relatively new. A few more questions...

    I've been to several LBS demoing various larger, brand name bicycles. From Specialized base Rockhopper to their Hardrock and Trek's Cobia down to their Marlin. Also threw a leg over a few Kona 29ers (and fell in love with the '13 Unit - but am currently resisting the temptation due to it more or less going down the path of my other fixed/SS road and track bikes).

    --- My question would be, what should I be comparing the Guardian to? I realize it's easy to look across price points and make a decision from there. But based on geometry, options, how each bike handles, and of course price; what bikes from, say, Specialized and Trek should I be weighing the Guardian against?

    --- This question would likely be more for BDF if you ventures into this thread, but the size 18 frame is currently sold out. Are there plans to restock? Due to my geo and what I currently ride, a 19 is my sweet spot so I could probably go between an 18 or 20 but was just curious. I have my complete fit calc numbers written down at home but I've got a 33'' inseam and I'm just a hair under 6'1". Would a 20 be ideal on this frame?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by providence View Post
    Sorry to the OP for the thread hijacking but thought I'd avoid creating a new thread with this one relatively new. A few more questions...

    I've been to several LBS demoing various larger, brand name bicycles. From Specialized base Rockhopper to their Hardrock and Trek's Cobia down to their Marlin. Also threw a leg over a few Kona 29ers (and fell in love with the '13 Unit - but am currently resisting the temptation due to it more or less going down the path of my other fixed/SS road and track bikes).

    --- My question would be, what should I be comparing the Guardian to? I realize it's easy to look across price points and make a decision from there. But based on geometry, options, how each bike handles, and of course price; what bikes from, say, Specialized and Trek should I be weighing the Guardian against?

    --- This question would likely be more for BDF if you ventures into this thread, but the size 18 frame is currently sold out. Are there plans to restock? Due to my geo and what I currently ride, a 19 is my sweet spot so I could probably go between an 18 or 20 but was just curious. I have my complete fit calc numbers written down at home but I've got a 33'' inseam and I'm just a hair under 6'1". Would a 20 be ideal on this frame?
    I did end up purchasing the Guardian, and I really like it. Before I purchased it, I test rode a Specialized Rockhopper Comp and a Kona. The Rockhopper felt "twitchy" and the Kona felt a lot more stable - I'd compare the ride quality of the Guardian to be similar to the Kona, but more nimble.

    Not sure about the size. I'm 5'7 and ordered a 16", so I'd think that a person 6" taller than me would be ok on a 20", but you might want to check with Airborne on that. The main thing I'd be concerned about is standover height, which isn't that big of a deal unless you are dealing with really technical terrain and are concerned about the top tube hitting your you know what. So, if you are used to having lots of standover clearance, I'd say wait until an 18" is in stock. If you are ok with a very minimal amount of standover, you should be ok with the 20".

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by providence View Post
    Sorry to the OP for the thread hijacking but thought I'd avoid creating a new thread with this one relatively new. A few more questions...

    I've been to several LBS demoing various larger, brand name bicycles. From Specialized base Rockhopper to their Hardrock and Trek's Cobia down to their Marlin. Also threw a leg over a few Kona 29ers (and fell in love with the '13 Unit - but am currently resisting the temptation due to it more or less going down the path of my other fixed/SS road and track bikes).

    --- My question would be, what should I be comparing the Guardian to? I realize it's easy to look across price points and make a decision from there. But based on geometry, options, how each bike handles, and of course price; what bikes from, say, Specialized and Trek should I be weighing the Guardian against?

    --- This question would likely be more for BDF if you ventures into this thread, but the size 18 frame is currently sold out. Are there plans to restock? Due to my geo and what I currently ride, a 19 is my sweet spot so I could probably go between an 18 or 20 but was just curious. I have my complete fit calc numbers written down at home but I've got a 33'' inseam and I'm just a hair under 6'1". Would a 20 be ideal on this frame?
    Hey there,

    Regarding similar bikes, the Specialized geometry isn't far off, although their sizing is slightly different being that they are in odd sizes and we use even sizes. I wouldn't really compare ours or any others to Trek 29ers due to the G2 geometry differences. That's just my personal opinion though, others may think differently.

    OK, I checked on the 18's and we do have a few left. The website has a fail-safe built in where it turns a size off once we get down to a very low number to ensure someone doesn't order and pay for a bike that doesn't exist in our warehouse. I've checked on it and turned it back on so the few we have left can be ordered. Thanks for the heads up on that! We do have more Guardians and Goblins being produced in the next few weeks in the smaller sizes so our stock on both will be replenished in early March.

    Based on your sizing, I would recommend the 20" size. We are the same height but I have a longer inseam. I ride a 19.5/20 in most manufacturer's frame sizes. Stand-over on the 20" won't be an issue for you and you certainly need the ETT length that the 20" would give you. I think an 18" would be too small for you unless you really felt strongly about wanting the smallest framesize you could ride, in which case if you bought a longer stem and longer seatpost you could make it fit........but again I really think the 20" is the best option.

    Hope that helps!

    Jeremy
    Homebrewer, Patriot, Amateur Photographer

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the responses. Cleared up a few more things for me. Still not sure if I'm ultimately going to go with this bike as I just started looking around in the past week or so but regardless; kudos on a seemingly very sound entry level option!

  8. #8
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    Just thought I'd take a minute to answer one of my own questions, for all who can benefit from them, now that I understand just a "tad" more about mountain bikes than I did when I first posted my original question...

    If I could do it all again, there is no question that I would have ordered a Goblin, mainly because of the fork. Basically, when you think of the cost of upgrading a fork, plus a 10 speed drivetrain, better brakes, a much better fork, and a crankset with an external bottom bracket, you would have to go with the Goblin.

    I'm very happy with the $300+ Manatou Tower Export fork that I've upgraded to, plus the $240 Cole Light wheelset I've invested in, not to mention the X7/X5 shifting I upgraded to by purchasing a $300 used bike equipped with these components, but I still would have come out ahead had I purchased a Goblin.

    Of course, had the Seeker been available at the time of my purchase, no question I would have gone with it instead of the Guardian, or Goblin for that matter. Anyway, just thought I'd write this post for anyone who is weighing their options. When in doubt, go with the more expensive bike, because when you pay just a little more for mountain bike, you get a LOT more bang for your buck!

  9. #9
    Captain Climber
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    So what did you get?

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