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  1. #1
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    Who are the Airbourne of road bikes

    Airbourne seem to have a great range of low cost, direct to consumer mountain bikes. I'm just wondering if there's an equivalent company doing the same for road bikes. Or will Airbourne start selling road bikes at some point?

    I would love to get into road biking on something like a Trek Madone 2.1, but that price point is just too high for me to try something out. That's what I love about Airbourne. You can get into mountain biking for as little as $600 on the Guardian and feel confident that you're buying a half decent bike. Then you can push up to the Seeker or Goblin and have a well speced bike without spending a fortune.

  2. #2
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    Bikes direct have some road bikes, but I've got no experience with those. Occasionally you'll find some good deals on Jenson as well.

    What I did was call a very cool LBS. He was only too happy to order me a previous generation road bike at a significant discount. I got a great road bike for almost half off.
    Eric

  3. #3
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    I've looked on Bikes Direct. I know that's an option, but I don't love their formula of churning out hundreds of bikes all with lots of marketing hype. I much prefer the Airbourne formula of focusing on getting a few models right. I don't have anything against BD. I just get more of a sense of passion for cycling from Airbourne and I wondered if someone's doing the same in the road bike world.

  4. #4
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    I think at some point in the future, Airborne will be the "Airborne" of road bikes. It's not on our immediate plans but is on our longterm plan.

    Jeremy
    Homebrewer, Patriot, Amateur Photographer

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    I think at some point in the future, Airborne will be the "Airborne" of road bikes. It's not on our immediate plans but is on our longterm plan.

    Jeremy
    I can see how it's hard to focus on everything though. Right now I want:

    * A Seeker mountain bike.
    * The "Guardian" of road bikes.
    * The "Guardian" of fat bikes.

    If you made them all, I'd be happy to be an Airbourne fan boy :-)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by benmills View Post
    I've looked on Bikes Direct. I know that's an option, but I don't love their formula of churning out hundreds of bikes all with lots of marketing hype. I much prefer the Airbourne formula of focusing on getting a few models right. I don't have anything against BD. I just get more of a sense of passion for cycling from Airbourne and I wondered if someone's doing the same in the road bike world.
    Completely agree, which is why I jumped on a Seeker but was sort of "blah" about the BD bikes.
    Eric

  7. #7
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    Out of interest, is there more or less of a "guessing the size/fit" issue buying a road bike online than buying a mountain bike?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by benmills View Post
    Out of interest, is there more or less of a "guessing the size/fit" issue buying a road bike online than buying a mountain bike?
    I would say fit on a road bike is way more finicky than fit on a mountain bike. If you already ride a road bike, come close to matching the overall reach, as that is going to be the more important measurement. For instance, I ride a road bike that has an ETT of 60.5cm + a 105mm stem.

    If I found a bike that had a 62.5cm ETT I could get away with it if I swapped out to an 85mm stem. It typically isn't very desirable on a road bike to run a sub 90mm stem but it can be done effectively. I prefer to size my road bikes up because I do not like the saddle-bar drop to be too high, but if I was someone that liked and performed better with an aggressive position, I would choose a smaller frame, like a 59.5cm ETT, and run a 110 or 115 stem. This would put my saddle higher in relation to the bars and slow the steering down a little bit, while putting me a bit forward on the bike and in a more aggressive, aero position.

    There are a lot of really good calculators online if you don't already own or haven't ever ridden a road bike and have no idea of what to look for. What I gave you was the very basics of "can I make this bike work." Other things, like leg length variances and things like that do come into question, but to get going, I always recommend judging by the ETT rather than the normal measure of seat tube length.
    Eric

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyphix View Post
    I would say fit on a road bike is way more finicky than fit on a mountain bike. If you already ride a road bike, come close to matching the overall reach, as that is going to be the more important measurement. For instance, I ride a road bike that has an ETT of 60.5cm + a 105mm stem.

    If I found a bike that had a 62.5cm ETT I could get away with it if I swapped out to an 85mm stem. It typically isn't very desirable on a road bike to run a sub 90mm stem but it can be done effectively. I prefer to size my road bikes up because I do not like the saddle-bar drop to be too high, but if I was someone that liked and performed better with an aggressive position, I would choose a smaller frame, like a 59.5cm ETT, and run a 110 or 115 stem. This would put my saddle higher in relation to the bars and slow the steering down a little bit, while putting me a bit forward on the bike and in a more aggressive, aero position.

    There are a lot of really good calculators online if you don't already own or haven't ever ridden a road bike and have no idea of what to look for. What I gave you was the very basics of "can I make this bike work." Other things, like leg length variances and things like that do come into question, but to get going, I always recommend judging by the ETT rather than the normal measure of seat tube length.
    I ride a 59.5cm ETT with a 120mm stem. I also have a rather agressive position with a 120mm drop from saddle to bars so I'm a little old-skool in that respect. Most people I know hate to have their bars that much lower.

    Sizing road bikes over the interweb is much harder than sizing mtb's, but with the right questions and measurements it can be done with good success.

    Jeremy
    Homebrewer, Patriot, Amateur Photographer

  10. #10
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    It definitely can be... The competitive cyclist calculator seems to work extremely well and I was initially fit for my road bike over the phone (like you fit me for my seeker over the phone Jeremy.)

    I like about a 50mm drop. I've run as high as 100 but my time trial performance significantly diminished with that set up. I'm also way more comfortable at 50mm than at 100. As far as I know, current philosophy is to run as small a frame as reasonably possible, so sounds like you're right in on the trends Jeremy!
    Eric

  11. #11
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    Hi -

    what is the background to Airbourne bikes? They used to make models like the Zeppelin, but the current firm with the Airbourne name is clearly not the same. Were the original Airbourne cycles well regarded? They quite often appear in the market (especially their titanium models)

    Richard

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFord05 View Post
    Hi -

    what is the background to Airbourne bikes? They used to make models like the Zeppelin, but the current firm with the Airbourne name is clearly not the same. Were the original Airbourne cycles well regarded? They quite often appear in the market (especially their titanium models)

    Richard
    I know it may sound confusing, but we aren't the same company as the company that originally sold Titanium bikes. For a more in-depth explanation, check out this thread:

    Airborne history and company structure

    Thanks,

    Jeremy
    Homebrewer, Patriot, Amateur Photographer

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