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  1. #1
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    Airborne Goblin Q/A

    Hello,

    I'm embarking on a new journey both literally and figuratively. I am buying my first MTB and I've narrowed it down to the Airborne Goblin @ the $1000-1200 price-point. I'll be ordering it soon, however, I have a few more questions before I pull the trigger.

    I'm reading the review on twentynineinches.com, and they state that the bike is not compatible with tubeless tires? This was the first thing I was going to upgrade on it. Can someone chime in and please explain exactly what they mean when they say:

    "Airborne should perhaps look at shortening the chain stays a hair, or opening up the rear tire clearances a bit, and preferably both. (Although that is a tall order when you are trying to keep the price of entry low.) In this day and age, looking at a bike that doesn’t support tubeless compatibility is a bit of a downer. The Goblin owner would surely benefit from tubeless tire technology."


    Source: Airborne Goblin 29: Final Review

    Thank you

  2. #2
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    That just means that the stock rims are not rated for running tubeless. However, I would suspect that you could set it up tubeless regardless (do some searches for 'ghetto tubeless' and poke around the tire forum). At that price point I don't see that as a deal breaker. You could always just sell the stock wheelset and scour ebay / craigs for a good deal on a 'tubeless ready' wheelset if you don't want to futz with it.

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    Thank you. I have been looking at do-it-yourself videos of the ghetto-tubeless mod on youtube and it doesn't seem that difficult. I've also been reading here on people's different home-made sealant brew recipes, so I'd be able to do a tubeless ghetto mod with the stock tire/rims?

    I wonder why they chose such poor wording when they said, "looking at a bike that doesn't support tubleless compatibility is a bit of downer." So basically what they're saying is that the stock rims are not rated as "tubeless-ready." For future reference, the clearance for the tires would still be ok for tubeless rims/tires though, right?

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    Weeeeeell, ghetto tubeless can be hit or miss depending on the specific rim and tire combo you are trying to use. I would check and see exactly what the stock rims are, then do a bit of research to see if people have had good luck converting them to tubeless. But I reckon it should be do-able. Look at some of the comments in their review - someone specifically says:

    "While the WTB rims are not tubeless, they do work perfect set up ghetto tubeless with gorilla tape and Specialized 2Bliss tires – I even got mine seated with a floor pump!"

    Regarding the review, that's a bit of nit-picking IMHO. Again, at that price point the rest of the spec is pretty killer. I would check and see what the maximum rear tire clearance is. I suspect it's in the 2.1 to 2.2" range - fine for this sort of bike. If you are riding really rocky terrain and want to run bigger tires that could be an issue, but probably not a deal breaker.

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    Great thanks. I'll try to do the ghetto tubeless with the stock tires, if not, I'll look into the specialized @ $65 a pop.

    And I agree its a bit of nitpicking, but i know next to nothing regarding MTBs, so I just wanted to clear up any concerns.

    Thanks again for your help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scatl M artin View Post

    I wonder why they chose such poor wording when they said, "looking at a bike that doesn't support tubleless compatibility is a bit of downer." So basically what they're saying is that the stock rims are not rated as "tubeless-ready." For future reference, the clearance for the tires would still be ok for tubeless rims/tires though, right?
    I chose "such poor wording" for exactly the reasons you are on here asking questions: Namely that if the rims were spec'ed as tubeless ready, you wouldn't have to worry if they would work or not.

    Just like the previous commenter said, "it is a bit of a crap shoot" to do a "ghetto tubeless" set up. I'm not saying it cannot be done, but obviously, it isn't a 100% fail proof way to go tubeless. At least the odds of success are a lot more in a rider's favor if the rims are spec'ed as tubeless and you swap to using the wheels that way. No?

    In my opinion, tubeless tires for 29"ers, (or most mountain biking), is preferable to running tubes. I figured the potential Goblin owner would appreciate that if it was offered. I think most bikes over a grand should have that as an option. That's my take.

    Make sense?

    In most every other way, I thought the Goblin was a lot of bike for the bucks. Hope you enjoy yours.
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    Hit that button man.... Get that thing in the mail. You will be happy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted View Post
    I chose "such poor wording" for exactly the reasons you are on here asking questions: Namely that if the rims were spec'ed as tubeless ready, you wouldn't have to worry if they would work or not.

    Just like the previous commenter said, "it is a bit of a crap shoot" to do a "ghetto tubeless" set up. I'm not saying it cannot be done, but obviously, it isn't a 100% fail proof way to go tubeless. At least the odds of success are a lot more in a rider's favor if the rims are spec'ed as tubeless and you swap to using the wheels that way. No?

    In my opinion, tubeless tires for 29"ers, (or most mountain biking), is preferable to running tubes. I figured the potential Goblin owner would appreciate that if it was offered. I think most bikes over a grand should have that as an option. That's my take.

    Make sense?

    In most every other way, I thought the Goblin was a lot of bike for the bucks. Hope you enjoy yours.
    It makes perfect sense.

    SO wait...you're the author of the article? Well let me just say that I really enjoyed all the parts of the review. It was professional, thorough, informative, and fun to read. Its just that last part that threw me off being the newbie that I am.

    Anyway, I'm impressed at how the MTB community has taken care of my questions/concerns so far, in a very informative , yet friendly manner. I hope that I have as much luck locally as I've had here on mtbr.

    Thanks everyone.

    As far as the bike, I'm pretty much set on it, and I'll attempt my first tubeless ghetto mod whenever I get my first flat... so let the crapshoot begin! HEHE

    I'll most likely end up getting tubeless rims and better tires anyway... but I'm going to try and make the stock ones work first.
    Last edited by scatl M artin; 04-08-2012 at 08:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by codyh12345 View Post
    Hit that button man.... Get that thing in the mail. You will be happy


    Will do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes View Post
    Weeeeeell, ghetto tubeless can be hit or miss depending on the specific rim and tire combo you are trying to use. I would check and see exactly what the stock rims are, then do a bit of research to see if people have had good luck converting them to tubeless. But I reckon it should be do-able. Look at some of the comments in their review - someone specifically says:

    "While the WTB rims are not tubeless, they do work perfect set up ghetto tubeless with gorilla tape and Specialized 2Bliss tires – I even got mine seated with a floor pump!"
    I completely missed all the comments people posted. I'll try the ghetto-tubeless mod with the stock tires/rims whenever I get a flat and hope for the best, if not, I'll upgrade my tires.

    With a 29er, Do I use 20" or 24-26" tubes for the mod?

    All of the videos I've seen so far are mods on 26ers with 20" tubes.
    Last edited by scatl M artin; 04-08-2012 at 10:53 PM.

  11. #11
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    I've used 24 and 26 inch tubes. 24 is ideal if you're buying them specifically for the conversion.

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    Great thanks.

    Just one last thing, do I need a tube with a removable valve? Or would 24" Wal-mart tubes do?

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    Removable valve isn't required but if you don't have one, you'll have to remove the tire and use a new tube every time to add sealant every couple of months. I like removable cores but to each his own. You might check out Pricepoint, Jenson, etc. and see if they have 24" Presta tubes with removable cores. Buying ten at a time is often cheaper.

    Have you checked out the Gorilla Tape tubeless? Just run a strip(maybe two or three strips depending on how tight your tires fit. Tighter is better.) of Gorilla Tape around the rim bead, install valve(cut from an old tube or, ideally, a Stans valve), install tire, add sealant, air and presto! Not as easy as the split tube method but you can remove the tire at will and not have to replace the split tube every time you switch tires.

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    wasn't the Goblin cheaper not too long ago? For some reason I thought it was $600 bucks....but I am a newb so please forgive...

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    maybe it was the lower end Airborne.

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    From what I read the Goblin went up in price but only about $100. So yeah, you must be thinking the lower-end model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scatl M artin View Post
    From what I read the Goblin went up in price but only about $100. So yeah, you must be thinking the lower-end model.
    I think it went up by $100 last year at some point, but it's less than the original price was now...

    I bought a Goblin last year and love it. It's a great bike. I was able to convert the rims to tubeless (I used stan's rim strips from a 26'er which took a bit of stretching, but worked). The Kenda small block 8's seemed to work much better when setup tubeless.

    Since then, I've picked up a set of Stan's crest wheels and Rocket Ron tires. The lighter weight, makes a huge difference on the trails.

  18. #18
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    Don't get too hung up on the tubeless thing. The Goblin looks to be an excellent first bike. You're not going to miss out on any of the fun by riding with tubes in the tires.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted View Post

    In my opinion, tubeless tires for 29"ers, (or most mountain biking), is preferable to running tubes. I figured the potential Goblin owner would appreciate that if it was offered. I think most bikes over a grand should have that as an option. That's my take.
    I hope no one takes offense to me offering an opinion on this from a Product Manager's point of view..................

    The Goblin is a storming deal at the price it is, and a large part of that is the fact we don't have a distributor/retailler in the middle of the equation taking their 40% cut. And we also operate at fairly low margins ourselves because we are small with little overhead, and get to take advantage of our parent company's warehouse and shipping infrustructure.

    I don't see where any bike that is being sold thru an IBD has room in its budget to have tubeless on bikes at a $1K pricepoint. Heck for us to do it with our business model, we would have to take something nice off of our bike and replace it with something cheaper. What would you prefer we cheap out on in order to have tubeless? Cranks? Brakes? Shifters? Fork?

    When we began work on the Goblin, we made a list of "must-have"s for people who would be looking for an XC bike at the $1200ish price point. Tubeless was there, but low on the list and it didn't make the cut.

    Again, no offense meant, just offering up my opinion.

    As far as tire-clearance goes, a 2.2 Wolverine, which is a fairly fat tire and really a 2.3 in all reality, fits fine on the rear of the Goblin. It is an XC bike after all. We don't see many XC guys wanting to run anything larger than 2.3.

    Thanks~!!
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

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    BigDaddyFlyer -- Airborne did a great job spec'ing this bike. I tried to find to find anything local w/ the same components and couldn't do it. Even looking at last year's closeouts I'd end up being in the $1500 range with lesser components. The best part of the bike is the sram 2x10 drivetrain! I'm very happy with my purchase!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselgti View Post
    BigDaddyFlyer -- Airborne did a great job spec'ing this bike. I tried to find to find anything local w/ the same components and couldn't do it. Even looking at last year's closeouts I'd end up being in the $1500 range with lesser components. The best part of the bike is the sram 2x10 drivetrain! I'm very happy with my purchase!
    Awesome, thanks for the kind words! Enjoy your bike~!
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    Quote Originally Posted by scatl M artin View Post
    Great thanks.

    Just one last thing, do I need a tube with a removable valve? Or would 24" Wal-mart tubes do?
    I used 26" tubes without removable cores on my first 29er ghetto conversion with Stan's. I don't remember looking for 24" tubes mostly because I think it would be incredibly hard to find them with presta valves. While any tube would suffice, if you went to your LBS and asked for a pair of spent tubes when you buy the sealant, you might get the tubes for free. Why buy two new tubes only to cut them with a razor?
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  23. #23
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    BigDaddyFlyer- I'm so impressed with the look and geometry of the Goblin at its price point that I plan to likely make it my first 29er. I am a XC racer and we get a deal on specialized thru my race team; no matter I want the Goblin! Great job on this bike!!


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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    I hope no one takes offense to me offering an opinion on this from a Product Manager's point of view..................

    The Goblin is a storming deal at the price it is, and a large part of that is the fact we don't have a distributor/retailler in the middle of the equation taking their 40% cut. And we also operate at fairly low margins ourselves because we are small with little overhead, and get to take advantage of our parent company's warehouse and shipping infrustructure.

    I don't see where any bike that is being sold thru an IBD has room in its budget to have tubeless on bikes at a $1K pricepoint. Heck for us to do it with our business model, we would have to take something nice off of our bike and replace it with something cheaper. What would you prefer we cheap out on in order to have tubeless? Cranks? Brakes? Shifters? Fork?

    When we began work on the Goblin, we made a list of "must-have"s for people who would be looking for an XC bike at the $1200ish price point. Tubeless was there, but low on the list and it didn't make the cut.

    Again, no offense meant, just offering up my opinion.

    As far as tire-clearance goes, a 2.2 Wolverine, which is a fairly fat tire and really a 2.3 in all reality, fits fine on the rear of the Goblin. It is an XC bike after all. We don't see many XC guys wanting to run anything larger than 2.3.

    Thanks~!!
    Thanks for the info. I definitely wouldn't want Airborne to cheap out on any component in order to offer tubeless tires, as a newbie that's probably the easiest thing I can upgrade myself.

    So I will definitely be getting the best bang for my buck, I'll be ordering mine in the next few days -- 'can't wait.
    Last edited by scatl M artin; 04-09-2012 at 03:04 PM.

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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by dieselgti View Post
    Niice. How do you like it?

    ..'like the way the tubless rims look on it. That'll probably be my first upgrade.

    what pedals are those?

    Thanks
    Last edited by scatl M artin; 04-09-2012 at 07:44 PM.

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    This is a great value because of its components. The frame has room for improvement.

    Another direct to consumer company is Canyon. They are available in Europe, but next year are setting up in the US. The Grand Canyon AlL29 has thin seatstays for carbon-like compliance, 438mm chainstays, 74 degree seat tube angle and 70 degree head tube angle. Frames can get better, especially for a newer product line.
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  28. #28
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    You can use the Stan's tubeless conversion kit on those rims...a more "off the shelf" version of "ghetto tubeless". The trick with the tubeless conversions people fail to do is to build up the center of the rim with the Frost King tape like the Stan's instructions say. This will allow the tire to fit snuggly and greatly improve the chances of success and make it much easier to inflate. I agree 100% with GT...anymore, just spec rims that are tubeless ready and include valve stems and tape in the parts kit box. It can't cost anymore to machine a rim with the proper shape and clincher so that they are tubeless ready!
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    When you say, "Building up the center of the rim", you mean to run several layers of tape within the rim?

    Hmm, is Frost King tape better than Gorilla, or am I ok with either?

    People have had success converting the stock rims, so I'll try the "ghetto tubeless conversion" on the stock rims/tires first, then hopefully that'll hold up until I need new tires, and by that time I'll probably look into tubeless ZTR rims.

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    That will work too. I have used a couple layers of Velox rim tape to do it but there is some Gorilla tape now that comes in the right width so you don't have to screw with cutting it. The Frost King brand weather stripping is just light weight foam the will help take up extra space in the center of the rim cavity. If you look on the no tubes site they have the rims I believe that come stock on the Goblin and tell you how to convert them.
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    That will work too. I have used a couple layers of Velox rim tape to do it but there is some Gorilla tape now that comes in the right width so you don't have to screw with cutting it. The Frost King brand weather stripping is just light weight foam the will help take up extra space in the center of the rim cavity. If you look on the no tubes site they have the rims I believe that come stock on the Goblin and tell you how to convert them.
    Awesome. Thanks!! +1

    Edit: I saw all of the videos on notubes.com. but I never saw the WTB rim that comes with the Airborne. If you find it, please link me up.
    Last edited by scatl M artin; 04-09-2012 at 11:52 PM.

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    WOW. After watching all of the notubes.com videos.. 'have to say I'm impressed with the tubeless ZTR rims.... they make it so easy to go tubeless, you just mount the tries and voila!

    I'm a complete newb, I just started reading up on MTB's last week, so please excuse the newbness.

    If you do a ghetto tubeles system with a nontubeless tire/rim, do you still need the rim strip? or is that the purpose of slicing the tube?

    Also, wheres the cheapest place to get gorilla tape?

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by scatl M artin View Post
    Awesome. Thanks!! +1

    Edit: I saw all of the videos on notubes.com. but I never saw the WTB rim that comes with the Airborne. If you find it, please link me up.
    It was in a chart for rim compatibility, not a video. It lists the WTB rims and mentions that they have a deep center cavity that needs Frost King blah blah blah tape to make it work. I have used this same technique on other rims for riding buddies to get their tubeless to set up correctly. No burps to date! Good luck! You can always just email notubes and ask what they recommend.
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    The sliced tube acts like the Stan's rubber rim strip, just WAY cheaper and works the same. However, when you do the ghetto split tube, you can't really re-use it when you have to change the tire or remove the tire. The Stan's strip is better in my opinion for that reason. Think about it, you need to have a seal between the bead of the tire and the rim - the split tube lays across the rim and acts like a rubber "cradle" for the tire to sit in and seal against with the sealant. The Stan's strip does the same thing, but it fits much tighter under the lip of the clincher and requires a bit more time to set up correctly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scatl M artin View Post
    WOW. After watching all of the notubes.com videos.. 'have to say I'm impressed with the tubeless ZTR rims.... they make it so easy to go tubeless, you just mount the tries and voila!
    Thanks
    And you just made my point: If the bike had come with a Stan's rim in the first place......
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    Quote Originally Posted by scatl M artin View Post
    Niice. How do you like it?
    ..'like the way the tubless rims look on it. That'll probably be my first upgrade.
    what pedals are those?
    Thanks
    I've been very happy with the bike. The tubeless wheels and tires made a huge difference in my mind. They were more money than I really wanted to spend, but it really made a noticeable change when spinning up. The pedals are low-end shimano's (m520) that I pulled from my last bike. They work fine and it's what I'm used to, but I'd like to upgrade them at some point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scatl M artin View Post
    WOW. After watching all of the notubes.com videos.. 'have to say I'm impressed with the tubeless ZTR rims.... they make it so easy to go tubeless, you just mount the tries and voila!
    It really is that easy with the ZTR wheels and the right tires to go tubeless. I struggled for days converting a set of mavic kysium wheels for cyclocross. Ended up throwing in the towel and just ran tubes. I should probably tackle that project at some point. The stock Goblin wheels were easier, but still took some work.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted View Post
    And you just made my point: If the bike had come with a Stan's rim in the first place......
    .......it would have been much more than $1149.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    .......it would have been much more than $1149.
    It probably would have bumped the bike into a price point I wasn't looking at. It's also nice to have an extra set of pit wheels...

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    How much more can just the rims add to the price though? another $100, or more than that?
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    I looked up two Trek bikes: the X-Cal and the Cobia. The X-Caliber is $1600 and is tubeless ready, which I believe means you still actually need to buy a few parts to make the wheels tubeless, so perhaps "almost but not quite tubeless ready" would be more accurate.

    The Cobia is $1200. It is not tubeless ready.

    The Goblin is what, $1149? I haven't looked at other manufacturers than Trek, but is anyone else putting tubeless ready rims on their 29ers at that price point?

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    New question here.

    Quote Originally Posted by dieselgti View Post
    It probably would have bumped the bike into a price point I wasn't looking at. It's also nice to have an extra set of pit wheels...
    I have to agree. I'm 24 years old and a student.. so as it is, $1200 is stretching it quite a bit. If it was $1500+ w/ the tubeless ready, then it is effectively -- out of my range. And if Airborne was to offer lower-end components in order to offer tubeless, then consequently the bike is no longer the great bike I have been reading up on. 'Really do appreciate Airborne focusing on the components of the bike and offering a bike that is comparable to a $1500+ bike from the big-name brands.

    After all, I can always go tubeless later, and that's something that as a beginner its easier for me to do myself -- 'good way to get my feet wet.

    I have a question regarding the assembly that's required. I know this is a dumb question, but I don't like to leave anything to speculation:

    1. I get instructions on how to install whatever parts I need to assemble?

    2. Do I also get instructions on how to adjust the brakes and shifter? Or does that come adjusted?

    Thank you
    Last edited by scatl M artin; 04-10-2012 at 10:57 AM.

  43. #43
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    Is Airborne still owned by Huffy?
    Me. The chosen one. They chose me. And I didn't even graduate from fu**ing high school.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    The sliced tube acts like the Stan's rubber rim strip, just WAY cheaper and works the same. However, when you do the ghetto split tube, you can't really re-use it when you have to change the tire or remove the tire. The Stan's strip is better in my opinion for that reason. Think about it, you need to have a seal between the bead of the tire and the rim - the split tube lays across the rim and acts like a rubber "cradle" for the tire to sit in and seal against with the sealant. The Stan's strip does the same thing, but it fits much tighter under the lip of the clincher and requires a bit more time to set up correctly.
    Ok, I see what you're saying. I'm at the notubes site and they have the WTB rim listed as compatible with the Cross Country 29er Rim Strip, so this replaces the need to get generic 26" tubes and the valves.However, I don't see how the tubes is a cheaper option unless you get the discarded ones free from the LBS. Its only $22 per strip and it comes with the valve. Anyhow, i still got a more reading to do, I wanna know the proper way to install them.

    Edit: After watching the video, It'll be easier for me to install the strips than the sliced tubes.

    .... the fact that I don't have to cut the excess tube and that I can reuse the strip has me sold already.

    Quote Originally Posted by appleSSeed View Post
    How much more can just the rims add to the price though? another $100, or more than that?
    A tubeless rim set from Stan's is $450. I'm not really informed on any other brands yet.
    Last edited by scatl M artin; 04-10-2012 at 11:54 AM.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by scatl M artin View Post
    A tubeless rim set from Stan's is $450. I'm not really informed on any other brands yet.
    Just the rims? Not the entire wheels?

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    Just the rims? Not the entire wheels?
    The entire wheel set.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by scatl M artin View Post

    I have a question regarding the assembly that's required. I know this is a dumb question, but I don't like to leave anything to speculation:

    1. I get instructions on how to install whatever parts I need to assemble?

    2. Do I also get instructions on how to adjust the brakes and shifter? Or does that come adjusted?

    Thank you
    There aren't specific instructions for assembly for each bike; there is a generic BPSA manual for all models included. In regards to assembly, the Goblin is fairly straight-forward:

    1. Install handlebars in stem.The stem is already on the steer tube with bearing tension pre-set.
    2. Tighten the two bolts on the back of the stem after aligning to be straight with the fork.
    3. Install the seatpost/seat into the frame and tighten once set at the needed height.
    4. Install the front wheel.
    5. Install your pedals.

    All you need are a set of metric Allen wrenches and a pedal wrench (depending on your pedals).

    Brakes and Shifters should be pre-adjusted already from the factory.

    We recommend that you check the tightness of all bolts before every ride, especially during the first few rides of any new bike.

    It will probably take you longer to unpack the bike from its box and packing than it does to assemble it.

    Hope that helps~!

    Is Airborne still owned by Huffy?
    Yes, Huffy is our parent company.
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  48. #48
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    Great, thanks! Seem easy.

    ..some pedals require a special tool?

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by scatl M artin View Post
    Great, thanks! Seem easy.
    Do not forget that we've got your back. Mtbr.com - we are the A-Team of mountain-biking. Post up if you run into trouble. We leave no biker behind.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by scatl M artin View Post
    Great, thanks! Seem easy.

    ..some pedals require a special tool?

    No, you'll just need a 15mm wrench. Or an Allen depending on which pedal you buy. But a 15mm wrench is all you need. Use a long one so you have the leverage to tighten it/loosen it.
    Annie are you ok? Are you ok, Annie?

  51. #51
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    Thanks everyone.

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    I just received my Goblin a few weeks ago.

    I didn't really have any problems putting the bike together and I'm a complete NOOB to the mountain biking scene. I did have some experience with an old Trek my wife owned that I was trying to rehab (spent forever trying to get some busted shifters to work) and I own a Hybrid so I was pretty familiar with how a chain goes on, derailers, quick release levers, etc. Never had a bike with a Presta valve so that was a new one for me, but very easy to figure out.

    If you google the Airborne Goblin reviews, a few of the blogs and Airborne's site have some good close-up pictures so you can make sure that what you're assembling remotely resembles the image of the bike. I found it helpful, at least. Oh, and the SRAM 2x10 chain does NOT contain a PowerLink that can be removed by hand. Found that out the hard way after fumbling with it for a few hours. I found that the derailers worked just fine out of the box and didn't need any adjustment (to my admittedly untrained viewpoint) and the brakes worked great (however, see below).

    Finally, and I think this goes for any new bike, but make sure after your initial set up and such that you go out either with a friend, be prepared to make repairs, or not very far from home.

    On my maiden voyage we had to deal with:
    - Breaking my chain about 1 mile into the ride on the first mild uphill (looks like a defective pin on the SRAM 1051)
    - Had to retighten my saddle nut
    - Had to adjust the front brake caliper (admittedly I should have seen this in the pre-ride checklist - the front wheel was NOT spinning freely at all... was wondering why I was working so hard! )
    - Rear tube went flat about halfway into the ride. Fortunately was a minor leak and just got by with refilling for the final bit a few times.

    I also found out that I was really, really out of shape. Couldn't even really handle the moderately technical stuff and the uphills and ended up hoofing my bike up most of it. Also my first experience with clipless pedals. Regardless, had fun, especially when I got a got flow going - just need to get into better shape.

  53. #53
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    Thanks for all the pointers.

    I can't believe the chain broke. I don't think I've ever broken a chain even with a cheap ($400) Iron Horse.

    So what happened? Did you get it replaced?

    I'll make sure the wheels run freely and the caliper doesn't rub against it. Also, I'll double check that all of the nuts are tight and secured before riding.

    Hehe as far as feeling it on the trail, that is one of the reasons why I want to start riding. I want to do some cardio and like they say, "no pain, no gain."

  54. #54
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    Got mine today. Install took about 2 hours (im OCD). I fine tuned the derailleurs and brakes and did some custom adjustments on the bar and stem. The bike rides great so far, I've only taken it on the road but I really like it. Oh and the green looks AMAZING! Hope to hit the trails tomorrow

  55. #55
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    Post some pics when you get the chance. I'm just waiting for my scholarship funds to come in and the bike will be making its way to me.

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    Yeah the look on my face was probably along the lines of "i can't believe that just happened".

    Just removed the link and reattached the chain on the trail. The chain size looked fine to me when I first got it but everything still felt fine despite missing a link (anything bad that could happen if the chain is too tight??). One of the flight crew bloggers mentioned removing a couple of links on the chain... not sure how much Airborne looked at chain length in the factory.

    the bike does cut a fine figure, that's for sure... going to be a challenge to maintain the green/white combo throughout the upgrade process, unfortunately.

  57. #57
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    Ah, ok, I thought it was broken beyond repair. Excuse my newbness, but how exactly do you remove chain links? I definitely want an efficient chain and a tight fit... 'always put my bike on the hardest gear to work out the legs (except on steep climbs).

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by scatl M artin View Post
    Ah, ok, I thought it was broken beyond repair. Excuse my newbness, but how exactly do you remove chain links? I definitely want an efficient chain and a tight fit... 'always put my bike on the hardest gear to work out the legs (except on steep climbs).
    I don't know what the blog post that was referred to was speaking about. The chain length is set at the factory so that when in Big/Big the RD is in the proper max extended position per the manufacturer. We do not recommend to shorten the chain, as that will eliminate the usage of at least the Big/Big combo and/or possibly destroy the RD if attempting to shift into that gear.

    Thanks~
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  59. #59
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    Thanks for clearing up my confusion. Will leave the chain as-is.

  60. #60
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    Anyone have any idea what year of rockshox Reba RL comes on the bike? Just curious for maintenance and possible travel adjustments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    I don't know what the blog post that was referred to was speaking about. The chain length is set at the factory so that when in Big/Big the RD is in the proper max extended position per the manufacturer. We do not recommend to shorten the chain, as that will eliminate the usage of at least the Big/Big combo and/or possibly destroy the RD if attempting to shift into that gear.

    Thanks~
    [insert WWW}.mtnbikeriders.com/2011/05/08/airborne-goblin-out-of-the-box/

    With the wheels installed that left the saddle and drive-rain as remaining parts in the box to be installed. I took a quick stab at the estimated saddle height and tightened down the collar. Then I completely removed the chain from the frame and wrapped it around the two largest cogs to confirm it was the appropriate length. I ended up taking a couple of links out.
    That being said, I do plan on putting a replacement link in, just worked to get me through the ride. Don't think I would use the big-big combo too much unless I was doing big uphill followed by a nice flat where I wanted to go fast.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaidal View Post
    [insert WWW}.mtnbikeriders.com/2011/05/08/airborne-goblin-out-of-the-box/


    That being said, I do plan on putting a replacement link in, just worked to get me through the ride. Don't think I would use the big-big combo too much unless I was doing big uphill followed by a nice flat where I wanted to go fast.
    I had a few problems with that review when it was posted last year. That is not the correct way to check for proper chain length. The chain needs to be run thru the RD to check it properly. Thanks for the link~! (no pun intended )
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  63. #63
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    I know the guys from mtnbikeriders.com and I'm pretty sure the part about not mentioning running the chain through the RD was an oversight.

    Measuring the chain by just by wrapping it around the big-big's would result in a pretty short chain and I'm sure the author was aware of that.
    Annie are you ok? Are you ok, Annie?

  64. #64
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    Here are some pics I took tonight while setting up the shock. The bike rides good. I had to diagnose a creaky seatpost but I think it was caused by a little paint overspray inside the tube of the bike. I fixed her up and she sounds good now.










  65. #65
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    It looks sick. I love the white accents. Is this your first 29er?

    Edit: Hey, do you think this is a good pump for the money?

    Cannondale Airport Business Class Bike Floor Pump | eBay
    Last edited by scatl M artin; 04-11-2012 at 08:15 PM.

  66. #66
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    Yep... first 29er. My brother in law got a niner and I fell in love.

    That pump looks ok. Check the reviews on it and check some of the bike sites (hucknroll, pricepoint, department of goods, etc.) for deals.
    Last edited by codyh12345; 04-12-2012 at 04:45 AM.

  67. #67
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    Can anyone speak as to the ease of converting the 80mm reba to 100mm? I have good wrenching knowledge, but all with road bikes and cross bikes etc. All rigid stuff!
    Thanks!

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfinator View Post
    Can anyone speak as to the ease of converting the 80mm reba to 100mm? I have good wrenching knowledge, but all with road bikes and cross bikes etc. All rigid stuff!
    Thanks!
    I converted two Tora forks a couple years ago. Similar internals. Fairly easy task once you get past the intimidation factor of opening up your fork.

    SRAM's website makes the service manuals available that how how to take apart and put back together. Grab the manual. Read through it first.

  69. #69
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    Question for the airborne guys - are there any changes to the Goblin planned for the near future? Seems like I always buy a product and a month later an upgrade comes out. This bike is on my short list, would love to know if a new color is on the way.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by portlander View Post
    Question for the airborne guys - are there any changes to the Goblin planned for the near future? Seems like I always buy a product and a month later an upgrade comes out. This bike is on my short list, would love to know if a new color is on the way.
    There will be a new Goblin, with a few changes, late this summer. The changes will be more than just color.

    The current Goblin is selling fast, so we have no plans on discounting it any deeper to move it as we will probably run out of them before we have the new one here to sell.

    Thanks!
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  71. #71
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    Noooooo... That means you'll be out of them before I have a chance. I'll have to wait for the newbies!

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    I converted two Tora forks a couple years ago. Similar internals. Fairly easy task once you get past the intimidation factor of opening up your fork.

    SRAM's website makes the service manuals available that how how to take apart and put back together. Grab the manual. Read through it first.
    Do you need new oil or seals after opening it? I'd like to convert mine but don't want to mess it up.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Durzil View Post
    Do you need new oil or seals after opening it? I'd like to convert mine but don't want to mess it up.
    You'll need new bath oil, because what you have now will run out once you remove the lowers. If you follow the instructions in SRAM's service guide, you'll need new damper oil too, because their process has you dumping out the old.

    Seals. I did not replace mine when I changed travel.

    If you don't want to risk messing up the fork, then have a shop change the travel for you.

    When you tear into your own fork, you have to be willing to accept that you might make a mistake. Recently for example, I serviced one of my Rebas. I did something wrong, maybe an o-ring didn't sit quite right, the air pressure leaked out of the air chamber, and the dust seal ended up blowing off the top of the fork leg. I have made other mistakes too, as I've learned.

    The travel change really is a simple operation, but that's only after you've done it a couple of times.

    Sorry to be so long-winded. I enjoy doing a lot of my own maintenance. I just want to set the right expectation. I don't want to over-trivialized the task.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post

    The travel change really is a simple operation, but that's only after you've done it a couple of times. . . . I just want to set the right expectation. I don't want to over-trivialized the task.
    Well said.

  75. #75
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    yeah I had planned on having a shop do it after looking at the manual and not wanting to cause myself an issue. I have to go out of town to get the service done which is the major downside. It seems simple enough but with no local support I don't think it's worth it at this time. I'm really liking the bike overall and I think with the travel change I'll feel even more stable.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    There will be a new Goblin, with a few changes, late this summer. The changes will be more than just color.

    The current Goblin is selling fast, so we have no plans on discounting it any deeper to move it as we will probably run out of them before we have the new one here to sell.

    Thanks!
    In a few weeks I plan on getting a Goblin but would like to know what the differences will be with the new Goblin?

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacklikesbeans View Post
    In a few weeks I plan on getting a Goblin but would like to know what the differences will be with the new Goblin?
    I've said all I can at the moment in regards to the new Goblin and the changes in relation to the current one.

    I can say that if you like the Goblin at the price it is now, I would buy one now versus waiting for the new one later on this summer.
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  78. #78
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    man if only it wasnt that green color.

    i would buy this bike in a second lol ;/

  79. #79
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    I like how it looks in person, I have already had compliments on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by teylix View Post
    man if only it wasnt that green color.

    i would buy this bike in a second lol ;/
    Internet photos don't do the color justice. In person the metallic flake in it really makes it look awesome. I have yet to hear from anyone who has seen it in person that they don't like it.........But I understand, color is personal and subjective. If I had my choice every bike I make/build would be black!
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  81. #81
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    Changing the travel is not that hard. My goblin came set with 2 20mm spacers and measured 90mm of travel. Did the change by sliding the air shaft out the top of the air side. Now at 1 20mm spacer and~106mm of travel. Only need to replace the small volume of oil in the lower.

    Goblin upgrades:
    Captain up front
    folding small blk 8 rear
    easton carbon bar stem and seatpost

    Find myself grabbing the goblin before my carbon specialized fsr

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    Internet photos don't do the color justice. In person the metallic flake in it really makes it look awesome. I have yet to hear from anyone who has seen it in person that they don't like it.........But I understand, color is personal and subjective. If I had my choice every bike I make/build would be black!
    Just received my Airborne Goblin yesterday, put her together last night and she is gorgeous! The Green is sick! It's different which is what I like. Upgrades coming shortly: Roval Control Trail wheelset (waiting on adaptors) Captain tubless tires, Easton Bar, Stem and seatpost.

  83. #83
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    Which seatpost are you guys getting from Easton?

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleDeanXC View Post
    Changing the travel is not that hard. My goblin came set with 2 20mm spacers and measured 90mm of travel. Did the change by sliding the air shaft out the top of the air side. Now at 1 20mm spacer and~106mm of travel. Only need to replace the small volume of oil in the lower.

    Goblin upgrades:
    Captain up front
    folding small blk 8 rear
    easton carbon bar stem and seatpost

    Find myself grabbing the goblin before my carbon specialized fsr
    Any pics of the process? I really want to do this.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Durzil View Post
    Which seatpost are you guys getting from Easton?
    I am looking at the EC70 Bars, Seatpost and Stem. I don't race so I don't need the superlight stuff. I just want a simple affordable upgrades to the stock stuff.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by CUatTheEnd View Post
    I am looking at the EC70 Bars, Seatpost and Stem. I don't race so I don't need the superlight stuff. I just want a simple affordable upgrades to the stock stuff.
    I posted this in my newbie buying question thread but this is the route I went and am extremely happy so far. For my level of riding the value of aluminum far outweighed the weight/stiffness advantages of carbon (pun intended)

    Not listed below Ergon GX-1 grips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Durzil View Post
    I like the Goblin but I have changed things. I put Easton EA-70 lowrise Monkeybar handlebars + EA-50 100mm stem upfront. I can't handle the saddle so I have a WTB Speed V Pro Gel Saddle and Ritchey WCS alloy 1 bolt seatpost in the mail.

    I feel like I got way more bike for my money this way. I have an appointment on the 11th to have the shock travel changed to 100mm and a quick once over on the bike to make sure I did everything correctly. I really enjoy tweaking things to suite me. I did the same thing with my bow.
    Last edited by Durzil; 05-02-2012 at 10:37 AM.

  87. #87
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    Got my Goblin today and built it up as soon as I could. I took it out on the road for its first journey and to get the fit really dialed in. Put about 20 miles on it and I have it just about how I want it. I was planning on making a thread dedicated to the unboxing/building and everything, but I need to get my post count up in order to do so.

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    Oh yeah, I'm also planning on taking my fork from 80mm to 100mm of travel. First trail ride tomorrow.

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    I just found this thread today. I've been pondering a mountain bike purchase and was seriously considering the Salsa El Mariachi 3 before I started reading all the good press on the Goblin. Wow, it sounds solid for $1,149 plus $75 shipping, which is $275 cheaper than the El Mariachi. Price really isn't an issue for me, but I learned long ago that I'm perfectly happy riding moderately priced production bikes.

    I don't actually have anything productive to add to the thread, sorry. Just thought I'd chime in.

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    Would anyone like to offer up their opinion of the Goblin compared to the El Mariachi 3? Frame material is an obvious difference. Overall the spec seems to favor the Goblin. What about the wheelset - Alex XD Comp 29er on the Salsa vs. WTB Trail 29 on the Goblin?

    I prefer steel, but I'm open to an aluminum frame. The OTD difference is around $275.

    I'm not considering the El Mariachi 2 or other more expensive bikes based on the fact that I'll be spending limited time on whatever I buy. I'm mostly a roadie and tourer.

    Thanks!

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