Airborne. Demand service or DIY? First post- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Airborne. Demand service or DIY? First post

    I hope this is the right place for this.
    I am a mid lifer who grew up on BMX. Just got back on wheels recently with a Airborne Goblin.
    I suspect most of you know the deal with Airborne. Online purchasing only.
    I am NOT slamming Airborne here. Great guys and they went over the top to get me a great deal on a bike that would work for me.

    However...


    When I assembled the bike the back brake was rubbing a fair bit. Did some research, did the mecanical calibration, and decided there was some air. I burped out a slug of oil and ordered an AVID bleed kit.
    No biggie. Brake working good now.


    The rear derailleur was way out of cal. so my chain got between the big cog and the spokes, jammed, and bent the hanger. "sigh" I knew the derailleur needed set up and rode anyway. My bad. I was able to bend the hanger back pretty close and set the derailleur. Working pretty good now.



    The drive system had been "jumping" I thought it was the derailleur not aligning on the cogs (see above). Nope. The rear hub (Quanta) is slipping and it is getting worse. now not really ridable. Every third, or so, time I crank from a stop it free wheels and eventually catches. The ratchet...thingie is not doing it's thing right out of the box!

    So. Do I just school myself on hub repair or hold Airborne to the fire?

    Again, I am happy with the Goblin and would probably purchase from Airborne in the future. I like working on bikes and don't have a problem tooling up a little but ...

    Thanks in advance. Sorry so wordy.

    C

  2. #2
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    No matter what you do, I would highly recommend you learn as much about working on bikes as possible. It helps a lot out on the trail for trail side repairs and saves you money and aggravation because most shop mechanics that I have met don't really know much about fixing things.

    As far as your specific situation, I would contact Airborne and see what they are willing to do for you. I would guess that too much grease, or too thick a grease, was used on the pawls in the freehub causing them to stick. It probably would be simple enough to open it, clean it and relube it with proper grease, but if its a new bike you shouldn't have to do that. They ought to do something for you.
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  3. #3
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    Drop them an e-mail describing the problem. FWIW, demands usually don't go over well, some firm yet polite requests would probably be appropriate. I'm sure they'll take care of you.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the quick replies!

    I really am inclined to see problems as opportunities to learn and I am pretty good at this kind of stuff. This one looks like it would involve a couple tool purchases too

    I have an email into them. I will follow up with my results.

    Cheers!

  5. #5
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    Good advice. I love working on and building stuff so...

    I like the thick grease theory. I will order the tool(s) to pull the cassette, will need it at some point regardless, and wait to hear from Airborne
    Thanks

  6. #6
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    nashbar routinesly has a good 50 dollar tool kit which includes all the usual suspects youll need when wrenching on your bike, your friend bikes, your families bikes, your neighbors bikes, etc. Once you have tools, and the ability to fix problems, bikes in various states of disrepair will come out of the woodwork.

    Pull the freehub and see if anything looks obviously broken. It would have to be some awfully thick grease to keep those pawls held in. Hopefully airborne will make it right.

  7. #7
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    it must be said: this is the price you pay for buying something online without local service. I love your attitude about DIY bike maintenance. keep it up. most people lack that and just b1tch about their bikes and paying someone to fix them.

    *edit* not trying to preach the "support your local bike shop at all costs" gospel, just pointing out that online purchases include some non-obvious costs that you have to be aware of. weigh the value of each and make an informed choice.

    I think anyone who does not feel comfortable adjusting derailleurs, bleeding brakes, adjusting hubs, truing wheels, etc should not buy a bike online unless they are willing to pay full pop for a local mechanic to do it. the issues you are dealing with are mostly things that your LBS would have been expected to handle if you had purchased the bike from them. when I assemble a new bike at my shop, the hub bearings almost always need adjustment, cranks and bottom brackets are not installed correctly, shifting needs a lot of work, and hydraulic brakes often need a bleed even though they are brand new. it takes most of an hour to get a bike from box to sales floor. this is part of every new bike.

    on the other hand, you are learning a lot of valuable skills that will save you time and money (or at least money) in the long run with DIY shop work. I would never ride a new bike without checking the shifting, the hanger alignment, bolt torques, brake calibration, etc.

    however, with that rear wheel, they probably owe you a new wheel, or the parts to fix that one. that sounds like a warranty issue. I don't know much about that particular hub, but once a freehub goes, it's usually done for good. replacing just the freehub might fix that, if you are willing to buy some cone wrenches and take the time to learn how to overhaul that hub.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 09-24-2015 at 08:45 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    it must be said: this is the price you pay for buying something online without local service.

    I think anyone who does not feel comfortable adjusting derailleurs, bleeding brakes, adjusting hubs, truing wheels, etc should not buy a bike online unless they are willing to pay full pop for a local mechanic to do it. the issues you are dealing with are mostly things that your LBS would have been expected to handle if you had purchased the bike from them. when I assemble a new bike at my shop, the hub bearings almost always need adjustment, cranks and bottom brackets are not installed correctly, shifting needs a lot of work, and hydraulic brakes often need a bleed even though they are brand new. it takes most of an hour to get a bike from box to sales floor. this is part of every new bike.

    on the other hand, you are learning a lot of valuable skills that will save you time and money (or at least money) in the long run with DIY shop work. I would never ride a new bike without checking the shifting, the hanger alignment, bolt torques, brake calibration, etc.

    however, with that rear wheel, they probably owe you a new wheel, or the parts to fix that one. that sounds like a warranty issue. I don't know much about that particular hub, but once a freehub goes, it's usually done for good. replacing just the freehub might fix that, if you are willing to buy some cone wrenches and take the time to learn how to overhaul that hub.
    For whatever stupid reason, derailleurs are just about the only part of a bike that annoy the hell out of me. Maybe it is just how touchy they are. +/- 1mm can bring your chain from perfect, to grinding down the hanger. (Maybe when I finally upgrade to a 1x11 I will work on my own derailleur, lol. On a triple crank, its just not worth the hassle!)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitsBoy View Post
    nashbar routinesly has a good 50 dollar tool kit which includes all the usual suspects youll need when wrenching
    Like this one?
    Nashbar Essential Tool Kit

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinD View Post
    Yep. They're not park tool quality, but it has all the usual tools you'd need. Occasionally it drops to 39.99 but then you'd need to pay shipping. A few other stores have the same or very similar kits for a few bucks in either direction. Any of them will get the job done.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    on the other hand, you are learning a lot of valuable skills that will save you time and money ...
    I like this part about online bikes. It forces you to know your bike. Nothing worse than having something minor happen on a trail and not knowing how to fix it. bent hanger, chain break, brake caliper alignment, even the stupid "cable came out of the cable stop". I've had to help 3 different people because their "bike stopped working" because of that last one.

    Everything sounds like normal setup except that hub. Warranty would seem appropriate, but before that, I'd take the wheel off the bike, tilt it against a wall at a 45 degree angle and spray a litle transmission oil into the freehub/axle interface (one part spins, the other part doesn't). When you turn the cassette, the trans oil should get pulled into the freehub and loosen up the grease. If this doesn't work, warranty. If you don't have transmission oil, engine oil or WD40 will work, but I've heard too many good things about using transmission oil and to this day, I haven't had a problem using it.

  12. #12
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    Rear hub would be warranty.
    The other 2 are user set up. As stated earlier, that's the deal with online bikes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    I'd take the wheel off the bike, tilt it against a wall at a 45 degree angle and spray a litle transmission oil into the freehub/axle interface (one part spins, the other part doesn't). When you turn the cassette, the trans oil should get pulled into the freehub and loosen up the grease.
    first, DO NOT do this until you have removed the axle and bearings. you will need to drain any excess oil out of the freehub and then re-assemble the hub with fresh bearing grease. if you do this with the axle and bearings in the hub, you will need to overhaul the hub when you are done anyway.

    I have never heard of transmission fluid being used this way, but I could see that working. my choice would be a thick bicycle-specific oil like Phil Wood Tenacious Oil or Pedro's Syn Lube.

    however, a wheel that new should not have those problems. I could see a freehub crapping out after years of riding in dust and mud, but not on a new bike. I doubt that lubing the freehub will help, it's probably just defective if the pawls are not catching.

  14. #14
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    Wow! You guys have a very helpful community here. I appreciate all the feedback.

    I think it's best if I don't mess with it until I hear from Airborne...which reminds me!

    This is day three since I emailed Airborne (and left a voice mail)
    ...Eric? You there?

    Silence Are they on travel? Is there a race or event happening this week? It has been raining here so I am not missing trail time or anything but it would be good to hear from them.

    I was worried about the quality of the $50 tool kit but...I only have one bike and I since it is new I should not have to be doing too much...I will just get it. I can replace any items I am unhappy with down the road.

    Thanks again for all the help.

    Aloha, Colin

  15. #15
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    Heres the bikehand toolkit if you prefer Amazon

    Amazon.com : BIKEHAND Bike Bicycle Repair Tool Kit : Sports & Outdoors

    Its identical to the nashbar one as far as I can tell.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinD View Post
    This is day three since I emailed Airborne (and left a voice mail)
    ...Eric? You there?

    Silence Are they on travel? Is there a race or event happening this week? It has been raining here so I am not missing trail time or anything but it would be good to hear from them.
    everyone who is anyone in the bicycle industry has been here for the past week: Interbike - Home

  17. #17
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    Ahh, that makes sense. I will probably hear something Monday, which is fine.

    Thanks.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBass_ View Post
    Rear hub would be warranty.
    The other 2 are user set up. As stated earlier, that's the deal with online bikes.
    Exactly, well stated.

  19. #19
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    This is totally how I feel, But at the same time, if there is an easy fix...ya know?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinD View Post
    This is totally how I feel, But at the same time, if there is an easy fix...ya know?
    sledge hammer and fire will loosen that hub right up. single speed fixed gear?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    sledge hammer and fire will loosen that hub right up. single speed fixed gear?
    Ahh! Two tools I always keep within reach and have often wielded with great success!

    We will make that plan B

  22. #22
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    As expected Airborne made good. (Thanks Eric!)

    Looking forward to getting back in the saddle.

    I will post the cause of the failure when I get it sorted out. Thanks for all the help!

  23. #23
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    Awesome to hear.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinD View Post
    I bought a kit similar to that from Nashbar in 1995 or 96 and still have and use most of the tools. Of course I've added various tools over the years but that kit has saved me probably 1000's of dollars in repairs since I bought it. Great starter kit.
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  25. #25
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    Quick update; I had to go off shore for a week and when I got back a new wheel was waiting. Swapped the rotor, tube and tire and was good to go. The cassette has a much sharper sounding "click" and does not slip, at all.

    Super happy I went with Airborne. Thanks all for the input.

    Cheers

  26. #26
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    Awesome to hear man, glad they took care of it for you. Thanks for posting up and letting everyone know they stand behind their bikes.

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