Airborne frames????- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Airborne frames????

    I was planning on buying a German HT frame from Drossiger. Nice, light(1420g) and around the corner from my house. The dealer tells me it will be a few weeks till he gets the color and size I need. And it just so happens I am about to move back to the states in a few weeks.So, I start looking around and found the Airborne site. I remember seeing a few here and there but never inquired about the quality and performance. I own a Trek HT (4300)and a Cannondale Full-sus but need something more suited for strictly XC race. Under 4lbs with race geometry. I know about the Giant and all the common brands but want to go the obscure route, not run of the mill frames. I have been racing my cannondale the last few years and think it's time to drop the 28 lb. all mountain for a slimmer, trimmer HT. I really like the looks and understand the geometry is similar to Gary Fisher's Genesis. I have searched everywhere for modern reviews and found a few,all positive. I have faith in this board and respect most of the your opinions. I would appreciate any feedback on Airborne products, specifically the Airborne Liberator. I am on a budget as well. Under $400 for the frame.
    my parts on hand for the new frame:

    2005 Skarab platinum
    2005 Race Face deus crank, headset and stem
    RF evolve seatpost
    fisik nisene seat
    candy sl pedals
    easton flat carbon
    XT shifter/pods
    XT front/XTR rear
    Avid SD7 scrubbers with levers
    XT/Mavic XC717 wheelset
    Panaracer rubbers

    AND THE FRAME
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    Last edited by Ringer X; 06-02-2005 at 09:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    vague history

    I believe they hit the market about 5 years ago, they got cost advantages by being one of the 1st to make the frames in mainland China (not Taiwan, an offshore island) Then Airborne got bought out, I forget by whom.

    From a quick look at their site, I can tell you the founder & president is still there....that's a good sign these days.

    Sorry, that's all I recall, Jim

  3. #3
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    wow, guess it is obscure!

    Very few opinions. Guess this is an obscure frame...
    Anyone?

    JimC, I think Huffy bought them out when the chips were down and the owner managed to scrape up enough funds to buy them back. This is one of the reasons I am asking about the quality and performance. I wonder if the whole build process remained the same over the years, ie..frame material, craftmanship, country of origin and so forth. I really do not want to buy a frame from a Huffy factory

  4. #4
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    don't know about the mtb's but...

    the road bikes get raves over on the roadie site. i've been considering one of the road frames.

  5. #5
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    try this

    long ago I e'd them and owner Jamie ? e'd me back. can't hurt to try. I think they make good stuff, but in Canada, I've only seen one, never ridden one. Good luck, Jim

  6. #6
    zeebot
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    I've ridden one of their titanium road frames and my girlfriend just bought their al + carbon stayed road bike called the blackbird. Both are very high quality and for the price, imo, can't be beat.

    I would not hesitate to buy one of their frames or complete builds. The manhattan project I rode was top notch quality and rode very nicely. i especially liked the all carbon fork they make.

    i've got my eye on the 29er ti.

  7. #7
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    I ride an Airborne

    I have a 1999 Airborne Lucky Strike - titanium hardtail of the same design as the Liberator. The frame is now on its third fork, 2nd drivetrain... I can't say anything negative about Airborne. For the price you get a great frame - maybe not as refined as a Lightspeed or other big name but neverthless a solid performing frame. Back in 99 their service was great and has been for me when I bought a few accessories later. Good luck.

  8. #8
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    WEB site info

    I don't know if this information is to late for you but it looks like they are now Fylte. Check out this site. http://www.flyte1.com/soar/janette/about.asp

  9. #9
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    I just bought a Ti Lucky Strike on EBay. It came with Bontrager stuff on it. I striped it down and rebuilt it top drawer (SRAM XO, XTR Crank, NOTubes ZTR-Olympics, CK Hubs, SID WC Fork). It came in at about 22 1/2lbs. It's sweet, laterally pretty stiff with the Super-fortress Single Seat Stay...corners like it's on rails. Still has the Ti Softness though. I'd rate it a 9 out of 10. Ride quality is exceptional. The only reason it's a 9 is that the welds are maybe not a smooth as say a Seven or Titus, but they are decent and look well done. It's also maybe not the lightest Ti Frame out there, but what you give up in weight makes up for it in stiffness. I'd buy one again if I saw one. In fact I'd like to get a hold of a Black Widow. The "Enigma" rear stay looks trick.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC.
    I believe they hit the market about 5 years ago, they got cost advantages by being one of the 1st to make the frames in mainland China (not Taiwan, an offshore island) Then Airborne got bought out, I forget by whom.

    From a quick look at their site, I can tell you the founder & president is still there....that's a good sign these days.

    Sorry, that's all I recall, Jim
    Huffy purchased them. Which goes right along with there quality.
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  11. #11
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    Nice lookin frame. I'm worried about the strength, tho. If you have the equipment and get the time, you might want to run anouther bead along all those seams.

    WOOF!

    Ross

  12. #12
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    And your point is???

    Quote Originally Posted by zaxxon
    Huffy purchased them. Which goes right along with there quality.

    Yanno...I hear this quite a bit and here's my take on it. What I'm about to say may be accurate and it may not be...but it's what I think is going on.

    Airborne pissed a lot of Manufacturers off. Ti HT Manufacturers at that. They were the boutique darlings that could demand exhorbnent sums for their hand built frames. You know who I'm talking about....Moots, Seven, Titus, Litespeed, Merlin....

    How'd they piss 'em off??? Well, during the collapse of the Soviet Union during the mid-90's, one of the world's largest miners & manufacturers of Titanium all of a sudden didn't have military hardware to build and needed to develop a modern economy. So they started selling cold drawn titanium tubing at bargin basement prices. Airborne was just getting started in the "online" "mailorder" business of building bikes. Jamie Raddin started the company and here's a timeline of Airborne's history.

    http://www.flyte1.com/soar/janette/about.asp

    Being an astute organization they were able to pull together the material and put it together with the skilled labor that could work with Titanium. They developed really good designs from experince as mountain bikers who rode and learned and yes "took" lessons from others. And then they sold them over the internet at prices that the boutique firms could not match. That pissed people in the industry off...

    As for fabrication, they probably started in Tiawan, but soon realized that as Mainland China developed a modern economy that the costs of doing business and the quality of fabrication made sense to move production to Shanghai. Now anyone who tells me that Chinese products are somehow "inferior" is living in the same historical fog that once was applied to Japan. The fact is, the Chinese are as skilled as anyone at producing consumer goods, but I don't need to open that rat hole. (And please, I'm not saying I espouse the Chinese model...it is what it is)

    Now, I'm not going to say that the early frames maybe didn't have some quality issues, but if you look at the reviews that Airborne frames get, the design of the frames and the customer service mean that they are highly rated. So what gives with people bashing them, other than the weak Huffy comments that get bantered about. I mean Huffy certainly didn't design the frames or build them...they infused $$$ is about all they did.

    So what gives??? I think it's dis-information that the boutique folks throw out at Airborne and that affeciendo's of those frames continue to propogate.

    I will tell you I own a 2003 Airborne Lucky Strike and it is one of the nicest handling frames I have ever ridden. They really did get the geometry spot on and the Flying Fortress single seat stay gives you good lateral stiffness to counter the "noodlie" feel of "other" Ti bikes. I believe if you read the Reviews on this site, you'll see that the frames get really high marks for ride quality. The Black Widow with the "Enigma" rear stay is a further improvement on the LS and Airborne riders hold it as being a step up from the LS design. If you still have doubts, ask what Mike Curiak thinks of his B-29.

    What I want to know is what will become of Airborne in the US??? The designs are now owned by a Dutch consortium and at present they say you can't buy an Airborne in the US. I myself am going to try so we'll see what happens....oh, and here's a shot of my "Lil' China Doll"....she's sweet and petite at 22lbs dripin' sweat....
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    Last edited by dugodugo; 02-23-2006 at 10:15 AM.

  13. #13
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    A friend who does not post here dumped his S-works hartail for that frame. He loves that bike. I thought he paid more even on the military discount.

  14. #14
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    Check this out....

    Wow...it seems that Airborne has been bought by a Dutch Consortium (European Bicycle Imports). Jamie Raddin has gone off and set up Flyte as a separate company. I believe the main guy at Airborne is a gentleman by the name of Jan-william Sintnicholaas. Now it looks like Jamie has prevented them from selling under the name Airborne, so be prepared for the Launch of the new Airborne as Van Nicholas Bikes. It seems this may be a play on Jan's name but maybe not.

    Keep an eye on this site...

    http://www.vannicholas.com

    Notice the nice Ti finish of the banner....uhmmmm....interesting.

    This was Jan's post on the Airborne Site forum....

    "All I can say rightnow is: Sitback, Relax and Hold Steady. Something is coming up soon. And you guys better be ready.

    Jan-Willem Sintnicolaas
    Airborne Cycles and "... ........"

  15. #15
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    I have an airborne lucky strike to sell, but I don't know what to ask for it. I bought it years ago and used it for a few mountain bike races and adventure races, but then switched focus to the Ironman. It's been in my garage ever since.

    I registered to this forum because I thought I would find help pricing (or maybe even a buyer) here.

    I'm in west bloomfield michigan (near Detroit), and would appreciate any help anyone has to offer.

    Thanks!

  16. #16
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    Awesome!!!

  17. #17
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    5yrs 4 months?!?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfinger View Post
    I have an airborne lucky strike to sell, but I don't know what to ask for it. I bought it years ago and used it for a few mountain bike races and adventure races, but then switched focus to the Ironman. It's been in my garage ever since.

    I registered to this forum because I thought I would find help pricing (or maybe even a buyer) here.

    I'm in west bloomfield michigan (near Detroit), and would appreciate any help anyone has to offer.

    Thanks!


    2 bucks, that's what it costs to place a for sale ad in the classifieds here: http://api.viglink.com/api/click?for...xt=Classifieds Good luck.

  19. #19
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    Thanks, that does help with the "where to sell" question, but what is a fair price for this bike?

  20. #20
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    Is it a complete bike or just the frame you are looking to sell?

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