Who's riding an Airborne 29"er?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Who's riding an Airborne 29"er?

    I hardly ever see mention of the B-29 or Dreadnought on this board anymore, and I was just curious how many of you are actually riding (or have ridden) them. I hadn't noticed the lack of reviews until now because I'd decided Airbornes were too expensive for me, but I just learned that I qualify for a substantial discount. It would still be expensive, but suddenly within range of something I could do next year.

    So who's got one? Early reviews on this board were extremely positive, talking about great handling, climbing and a cushy ride for a hardtail, but nothing recent. Still as good as they seemed at first?

    Also, some SS-specific questions: I have little experience or knowledge of how well horizontal dropouts work on Ti frames, though they work perfectly well on my steel KM. Any issues with axle bolts or QRs not gripping the dropout material as well? Also, anything unusual about the Airborne dropouts? Seems odd that they're not visible on the website photos. And the stated chainstay length is 17.5 - is that with the wheel all the way forward? That is a bit long for a 29" SS bike, so any issues with climbing traction?

    Finally, SS specific question for Mikesee: I noticed that at one point you had an early B-29 set up as a singlespeed. Was it set up with a tensioner, vertical dropouts with no tensioner but it worked out just right, or was it a special one-off with horizontal dropouts before they came out with the Dreadnought?

    Thanks in advance for any and all feedback.

    - Dan

  2. #2
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    I have clearance issues with the Bonty 2.2. rubbing when climbing. No problems with 2.1's, but I wouldn't expect to run any 2.3 unless Airborne has redesigned the chainstay. The geometry is custom, so I won't ramble about the ride itself.

    Other than tire clearance, the B-29 has been good, but it's not happy with the Titus in the house now. I've been happy with Airborne's customer service as well.

  3. #3
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    Dan

    They are great frames. I no longer own one (I have the Moots ST and the Lenz, and limited space in the garage...) but there are a number of them around the valley, being ridden by hardtail holdouts. They are very comfortable for a hardtail, typically being described as riding somewhere between sweet steel and top-notch ti. I concur with that--they're very sweet bikes, and coming from a KM or a GF, you'll immediately notice the difference in comfort.

    No problems with the ti horizontal dropouts. I used a qr with a tugnut on mine and on my fiancee's, but others use bolts with zero issues.

    As to your question about the CS length, I don't know where they measured it (forward, centered, or???) but I can tell you that length is not an issue. Best example is my friend Rick, who bought a 16" KM to test the 29" waters, then upgraded to a Dreadnought when he saw the light. He has a Moots Ybb (26") and a sweet Bianchi road bike that collect dust in the garage now, because all he ever wants to do is ride the Airborne.

    My early B29 was simply from the first batch of Dreadnoughts. It had horizontal dropouts.

    If a hardtail is what you're after, it's very hard to go wrong with these bikes.

    MC

  4. #4
    mvi
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    I,m still riding my stratoliner with crimped stays, and a shaved Kenda Claw. The HA is too steep for my liking (72 degree with CX-1?). The frame quality is great.
    I put all my money in road and cross bike, so I quess I will keep riding it. A Ti or carbon fork should be nice.
    This is not a real 29'r of course.
    Does anybody know what a continental twister will measure over the carcass (not the knobbies)? I still have rub in the rear occaisionally.

    Quote Originally Posted by GlowBoy
    I hardly ever see mention of the B-29 or Dreadnought on this board anymore, and I was just curious how many of you are actually riding (or have ridden) them. I hadn't noticed the lack of reviews until now because I'd decided Airbornes were too expensive for me, but I just learned that I qualify for a substantial discount. It would still be expensive, but suddenly within range of something I could do next year.

    So who's got one? Early reviews on this board were extremely positive, talking about great handling, climbing and a cushy ride for a hardtail, but nothing recent. Still as good as they seemed at first?

    Also, some SS-specific questions: I have little experience or knowledge of how well horizontal dropouts work on Ti frames, though they work perfectly well on my steel KM. Any issues with axle bolts or QRs not gripping the dropout material as well? Also, anything unusual about the Airborne dropouts? Seems odd that they're not visible on the website photos. And the stated chainstay length is 17.5 - is that with the wheel all the way forward? That is a bit long for a 29" SS bike, so any issues with climbing traction?

    Finally, SS specific question for Mikesee: I noticed that at one point you had an early B-29 set up as a singlespeed. Was it set up with a tensioner, vertical dropouts with no tensioner but it worked out just right, or was it a special one-off with horizontal dropouts before they came out with the Dreadnought?

    Thanks in advance for any and all feedback.

    - Dan

  5. #5
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    oooh, oooh, oooh!!!!

    i got one. it's freakin' beautiful. the plate work is unique and the welds are very nice. steering is almost as good as a monkey, but i bet it would be better than the monkey with a sussy fork on it. i am riding with a km fork. however, even with the longer stays, i think it gets much better traction than the monkey did. much better. asthetically, it is about the most attractive ti bike ive ever seen. cool gussets, plates, dropouts, etc. even has a ti headtube badge. if you are heavy, you may get some tire rub single speeding if you really have to honk on it, but if you ride a smaller size frame, probably not going to be an issue for you. it isn't the softest ti bike i have ever ridden (that would be an old titan) , but it is the stiffest. i ride a 20 for what that's worth. i think if they put the plate work at the bottom bracket, it would be even stiffer in a sprint, or for single speeders. detail work is excellent. someone (mike?) put some real detail design time into these things, thats for sure. geometry is so neutral it is mindless. that is meant as a compliment. you can let er' rip and it just does it's thing. worth the money in my mind. customer service is top notch, too.

  6. #6
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    I also really like the Stratoliner!

    Great choice mvi!

    Quote Originally Posted by mvi
    I,m still riding my stratoliner with crimped stays, and a shaved Kenda Claw. The HA is too steep for my liking (72 degree with CX-1?). The frame quality is great.
    I put all my money in road and cross bike, so I quess I will keep riding it. A Ti or carbon fork should be nice.
    This is not a real 29'r of course.
    Does anybody know what a continental twister will measure over the carcass (not the knobbies)? I still have rub in the rear occaisionally.
    I ride this SS/fixie with a White Industries ENO rear. The fork is a Tom Teesdale 29er suspension corrected for 80-100mm. The headtube angle feels great with this fork. It isn't a 29er in back as the widest tire I can fit is a Mutanoraptor; its about a 28.5 in the rear with a full 29+ in the front. This frame is very lively and comfortable, with lots of standover space, and the bottom bracket area doesn't flex when I'm doing the stand-up-and-crankit-hard on the hills. Also the frame is very light. It was cheap, too: used and $310 + postage. When I can afford it I may upgrade to a disc/EBB frame, but for now, the Strat is a wonderful ride.
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    "Look for your breath; it's always there... Make friends with your breath." Thannisaro Bhikku

  7. #7
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    B-29 at Pat's

    The Airbornes are great and I highly recommend them. No more M Stratos left, but I have a L(21) in stock. But if you want to really ride off-road, get the B-29. I happen to have a few demos on sale....
    The SS I have is a great biike and if you want to spend that much on a SS you can't go wrong. You'll need a BMX chain tensioner(Tugnut) with QR rear wheels, but not with bolt-on.
    Other than that they're pretty straight up frames.
    Pat Irwin

  8. #8
    mvi
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    Stratoliner

    Nice bike! I whish I could build a SS that is close to a 1;1 ratio. Is there such a thing?
    34/34? I should check the SS board I quess. I,m not gonna ruin my knees with anything less.

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