airborne vs. dos niner vs.karate monkey-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Oct 2004

    airborne vs. dos niner vs.karate monkey

    Alright guys I've got a problem. My problem is that even though I just bought a brand new cannondale 1fg, a bike that I love, I rode a 29er the other day and now think that I need a one. I'd like to keep the cannondale but if it comes down to it, I'd probably sell it to finance a 29er. I checked with the shop that I work at and I can get a deal on either a titanium Airborne, a Salsa Dos Niner or a Karate Monkey. I'm wondering which is the better buy? I like the fact that I can buy the Surly really cheaply so maybe I'd be able to keep the c dale but I'm also thinking that I could sell it and put a sweet build on a dos niner or the airborne. I've heard that the airborne is pretty heavy for a ti frame, does anyone have any experience with this bike? also what are the singlespeed capabilities of the dos niner? I'm personally leaning toward the airborne but the racer in me doesn't really want a heavy bike. Any input besides the sarcastic and/or unpreductive type would be really helpfull. Thanks guys.
    what the fu#k is the internet?

  2. #2
    Where's Toto?
    Reputation: endure26's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Ti is eternal.

    KM is heaviest of the three.

    Dos Niner may be the happy compromise.

    Ride on all three is probably equally good - albeit a little different for each.

    You can SS any of them with a tensioner or ENO hub.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: PinsNeedles's Avatar
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    Aug 2004

    Sorry Dan.

    I should not have let you ride the Vulture
    Your 1FG was fun to ride, but I couldn't wait to get back on the big wheels...
    Tough choice between the three. The KM at your cost and buget with a fork and horizontal dropouts is a solid realistic option.
    The Salsa would make a great race bike, but when your include the price of a fork and a wheelset (ENO) you're getting $$$
    I think you couldn't go wrong with the Airborne, but again the build would be more $$$
    So, I would think you can't loose with the Monkey. Afterall my 1x1 got you SS crazy in the first place and you're strong enough to pedal the Surly 'natch' all day...
    Later BOSS,
    ' Bend's dirtiest Acupuncturist '



  4. #4
    Recovering couch patato
    Reputation: Cloxxki's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    Last saturday I kept swapping between my rigid KM and the bike I once considered to be As fast As It Gets, a 21" VooDoo Bokor hardtail my buddy has been riding for years. I even got to borrow that bike for races until I had copied he thing (been on FS before then).
    The peace of riding the 29" is too much to overcome with wheel travel or frame geometry.

    Back to the Q :
    Heavy Ti IMO is a good thing.
    Light Scandium softtails should be about as racey as it gets
    KM's kick ass, but the one that rides it. Money saved it to be put in light part to get it to the same weight as the Airborne or Salsa. Upgrad fame later, if you still think you should. I haven't in over 2 years, and all at once, my KM is from a SS now my 1x9 race bike.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  5. #5
    featherweight clydesdale
    Reputation: Fattirewilly's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
    My custom 21" ST, 25" TT (curved/bent TT)) Airborne B-29 weighed in at 4.2 pounds for the frame. Adjust according for frame size. If it matters, Airborne's customer service is a pleasure to deal with, and the company is once again owned by the original founder, not Huffy.

    Hope that helps.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    Jun 2004

    Hard decisions

    I have custom Ti hardtail, Dos Niner and a GF 293 and I love all three but they each have a different personality and sometimes I get confused on which I want to ride. Mostly depends on the trail.

    The lightest of the three is the TI, but can also be the harshest to ride, strickly because it's a hardtail. Weight with WB .8, Bont rims, White Industries hubs, Nano tires and Ti V's as equiped is around 24.1 pounds.

    The GF 293 (which the only stock thing left is the frame) will handle anything but doesn't accelerate as well as the Ti or the Dos. Weight with WB 1.0 Air , 5th Element rear shock, same wheels and V's as the Ti bike is 26.2 pounds and probably about as light as I can make this bike.

    The newest is the Dos which is everything the Ti is but with a little less harshness in the rear end and is what I'm riding now most of the time. The bike is equiped with a Reba with PopLoc remote, Avid mech disk brakes, standard Bonty Disk Race rims and Nano tires. Weight 26 pounds. Yea, same as the 293. Reason for weight is Reba and disk. I wished the Reba had V mounds but doesn't so I had to go with disk. I can get the bike to 24 pounds the same as the Ti but I have to go to the WB.8 and to the V's. Made those changes last week and lasted two days. The bike just looks good with the silver Reba and even with the weight gain I like the way the Reba performs. I could cut some of the weight with lighter wheelset and disk at about a $1.00 a gram. Just can't justify the weight reduction program.

    It's a tough choice I like the Dos, I like the Ti, I like the 293 - Ti is forever, scandium is unknown and a fs will take you anywhere in comfort. I guess that's why I have all three.

  7. #7
    Nat is online now
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Nat's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
    I'll tell you exactly what to do. First you...

    Quote Originally Posted by SS4life
    Any input besides the sarcastic and/or unpreductive type would be really helpfull.
    Oh wait...ehhhh, forget it.

  8. #8
    hispanic mechanic
    Reputation: sslos's Avatar
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    Jan 2004

    Weight is, IMO, way overrated...

    When I went from my Ibis Mojo (modified with horizontal track-ends) to the KM, I picked up almost 4 lbs. Now, I could have built up the Monkey lighter, but I couldn't justify it just to check out the whole 29" thing. Honestly, I only noticed the weight when I picked it up!
    I raced 24 hour races on it, and XC with a lot of climbing. I was convinced that weight really doesn't make as big of a difference as most of us think.
    My recommendation? Get a KM, don't blow a ton on the build, and ride the snot out of it. Once you fully realize the power of the dark, I mean the big wheels, get yourself a nice custom-built frame.
    Might I recommend Wily?======>

    the los
    Whiskey is my yoga.

  9. #9
    Beware of Doggerel
    Reputation: Adam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    my $.02

    It is pretty hard to go wrong with the Airborne. It is a solid ride. Do a search on the board.

    I have a 292 and the Airborne, the Airborne is a better bike period. Of course my opinion is based on my preferences and the terrain I ride. But the point is if you want a solid reliable, yet comfy ride the Airborne is hard to beat. I like long rides, both in recreation and racing, and the Airborne is always my first choice for any ride over 4 or 5 hours. Get the Airborne ti seat post and you are all set for a smooth ride. I donít think the frame is particularly heavy my medium is sub 4 lbs and I have built the bike up at 23 lbs. I tend to tweak my setup throughout the season, but currently the bike weights an honest 24lbs with a Marz fork and discs. It could easily be built lighter.

    The bike is quick but stable, if that makes sense. It is quick where it should be quick and stable where it should be stable. It handles and holds a line without feeling either sluggish or sketchy. In contrast the 292 holds a line like a champ, but isnít quick, it is almost too stable, my 26er single speed turns like a champ it is steep and quick but canít hold a line to save its life, the Airborne falls nicely in the middle of the spectrum. Iíve loaded the bike with 60 odd pounds of gear and it still feels good on the trail.

    Finally for me the Airborne is good because it will last. Prior to the Airborne I had a GF Mt. Tam, the frame fatigued and broke in two years and lots of miles, GF has an excellent warranty program and all but I have never broken a bike before (always rode steel) and I donít like breaking bikes. Prior to going 29 I rode the same frame for 10 years. During that time I had other bikes as "extras" that came and went but my main bike that I rode everyday was a good solid steel frame (Breezer). I hope to get the same performance out of the Airborne. With the KM I think you will eventually want something lighter, The Dos sounds really cool but, as with any new frame on the market, it has no track record as of yet. The Airborne is a keeper.

    Anyway in case you canít tell I like the bike. If you have similar tastes it might be right for you too.


  10. #10
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    Jan 2004
    I have a very high-zoot Litespeed 29"er that is possibly the nicest bike I have ever ridden. Last summer, I wanted to build a second bike and figured that the $$$ saved by buying a well-liked KM would be a great idea. Guess what... I have a hard time telling the dif except that my Litespeed is 2 pounds lighter, is a bit softer and doesn't get ridden as often as the KM. Dare I say the Monkey is near-perfect? For the price, you can build a great 24 pound bike for the price of a Ti decide.

    wow, this hurts more than it used to.

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