Is this a bad idea?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is this a bad idea?

    Has anyone heard of the manufacturer airborne? I am looking at buying a different bike and my price range is up to about 1200 maybe more if I find a good deal. Clearly I am looking at used bikes. But airborne makes the taka which is about that price new. It has 8" suspension from marzocci and uses other big name parts. Im really interested now but skeptical, so turning to you guys here.

  2. #2
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    Seems like a good deal for the price. It would be worth taking a look in the classifieds for a used bike at the same price though I feel.

  3. #3
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    I agree. The taka will get you on the gnarlier trails for cheaper, and you could always replace parts as you break em. The frame itself seems bombproof - perfect for a newer rider who might go otb alot.

  4. #4
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    If you were in my shoes how would you feel about it. Its stillmy first season and planned on usin my current bike till next year and wait for something to pop up. But this bike seems really nice and worth a try but cant find much about it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by iridesl4 View Post
    If you were in my shoes how would you feel about it. Its stillmy first season and planned on usin my current bike till next year and wait for something to pop up. But this bike seems really nice and worth a try but cant find much about it.
    Very entry-level/basic fork/shock, and you may feel the need to upgrade the brakes in time.

    You can get, say, a spec sx-trail used as a complete w/ nicer components for 12-1500$.

    There are so many good deals on used bikes right now in the $1500 range on PB. If you only want new, then the taka is a pretty good deal for what it is.

  6. #6
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    If it were me I'd save for a little longer and get something that you really want. These bikes cost a pretty penny and it's not worth settling when you could find a great deal on a used rig.

  7. #7
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    Pb with a $1500 limit and scour theres some smoking deals. You could grab a Sunday for that
    Price built well call Pearce cycles I the UK for hardware for it and be set.
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  8. #8
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    2011 Airborne Taka Bike
    Here's a review from Vitalmtb

  9. #9
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    That was the original plan then i just found this in decline mag an said wow thats cheap for a new bike . It wont be until next spring so who knows if something comes up i need to buy i would grab it im always looking at used bikes.

  10. #10
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    Yeah man since the end of the season is quickly approaching anyways I'd just keep my eyes peeled on the classifieds for something you really love. Life's way to short to settle sometimes. Good luck dude

  11. #11
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    I have the iron horse yakua, which is the same exact frame. Something happened with iron horse and now airborne sells all their stuff yadayadayada...who really knows? anyway....I've been on my bike for 3 solid seasons now and have not had a single problem with the frame. I've swapped out my fork and brakes but mine came with a SUPER crappy RST fork which was the worst excuse for suspension ever. Yeah, you can get a used bike for the same price, but nothing compares to getting something BRAND SPANKING NEW. ya know? Just something to think about. I like my bike and it's great for getting into the sport on the cheap (at least relatively)
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  12. #12
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    So to sum it up it basically it is a decent bike thag will be fine for a few seasons and if i like the bike enough worth upgrading the parts.

  13. #13
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    Last edited by SHIVER ME TIMBERS; 08-16-2011 at 10:09 AM.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by iridesl4 View Post
    So to sum it up it basically it is a decent bike thag will be fine for a few seasons and if i like the bike enough worth upgrading the parts.


    Great price any way you look at it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS View Post
    a few guys have had problems with the bike out of box, shipping etc... I would buy a good used bike
    Out of the thousands of bikes we have shipped, we have had exactly 4 incidents where the wrong bike was shipped. This was due to some problems with where the wrong model was intermixed on the racks with another model, and the warehouse guy missed it. We've since rectified the issue, and none of the customers that had this issue were left hanging.

    In regards to problems out of box, those are few and far between. The last incident/discussion (that you also weighed in on) was probably due to shipping damage. This is the potential risk with buying anything that has to be shipped to your door, whether it be a new bike, a used bike, a toaster, or whatever. Again this rarely happens because we have a fairly robust clambshell box with 3 layers of foam. Our bikes are packed better than the standard industry "short-pack".


    Thanks for your input.

  16. #16
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    i'm wondering about this bike too. I bought a 08 big hit 1 used for *800. after 4 days riding it the rear brake cable and fork failed. if i fix this i will have roughly another 450 or better into it. total cost 1250 ish. for another 250 i could have a new bike with no prior use/abuse. and a warranty. not sure if used was a good idea. @ bigdaddyflyer how does someone become a member of the flight crew?

  17. #17
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    I rode the Iron Horse Yakuza DH for a couple years (same exact frame) without a single problem. I gave the frame to a friend who has been riding for 2 more years (same bearings and all). Parts that I replaced included brakes and stem. Mine came with Hayes Nines that were complete garbage. The Juicy 3's on this bike are way better. I'm still using my original Laser Disc DH wheels for back ups. The Yakuza jumped better than the frame I replaced it with that cost 2x more than this whole bike

    I think this bike represents the best bang for the buck DH bike out there, and would have no problem recommending it to anyone looking for a budget ride.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    Out of the thousands of bikes we have shipped, we have had exactly 4 incidents where the wrong bike was shipped. This was due to some problems with where the wrong model was intermixed on the racks with another model, and the warehouse guy missed it. We've since rectified the issue, and none of the customers that had this issue were left hanging.

    In regards to problems out of box, those are few and far between. The last incident/discussion (that you also weighed in on) was probably due to shipping damage. This is the potential risk with buying anything that has to be shipped to your door, whether it be a new bike, a used bike, a toaster, or whatever. Again this rarely happens because we have a fairly robust clambshell box with 3 layers of foam. Our bikes are packed better than the standard industry "short-pack".


    Thanks for your input.
    thanks for the response ...it's good for the people to hear what type of customer service you guys are doing....service like that with a price point like yours is a great value and benefit for someone buying your product. Post edited
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  19. #19
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    the manager of a bike shop told me this would be an good intro bike since i am barely starting the sport... but i opted for a used bike just because if i wanted a new bike i want it to last and handle everything i throw at it... i am a quick learner and like to push my limits pretty quick...

    i read a few places where buying first generation bikes are not that great unless their warranty is good...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by carspidey View Post
    i read a few places where buying first generation bikes are not that great unless their warranty is good...
    This frame has been in production for at least 5 years, simply under another brand name.

    5 year Airborne defect warranty is better than most for DH frames.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by k1creeker View Post
    This frame has been in production for at least 5 years, simply under another brand name.

    5 year Airborne defect warranty is better than most for DH frames.
    My bad... thanks for correcting me! i did not know that

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS View Post
    thanks for the response ...it's good for the people to hear what type of customer service you guys are doing....service like that with a price point like yours is a great value and benefit for someone buying your product. Post edited
    Thanks! I appreciate the kind words and the edit~

    @ bigdaddyflyer how does someone become a member of the flight crew?
    Every year we rotate some of the 'Crew out and bringing in new ones. Look for an announcement sometime in early February asking for resumes/submissions. We'll pick the new members in early March. Thanks for your interest!

  23. #23
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    seems like a good deal for getting your feet wet. bar/ stem setup seems a bit clunky though so you may have to do some swapping there.

  24. #24
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    Heres my recent experience, hopefully it will help you out some.

    I recently bought a downhill bike from eBay. I paid over $800 bucks for it, and when I got it, it was way more thrashed than it looked in the pictures.

    Most things like cars, dirtbikes, etc. are fine if you buy used. But downhill bike are made for thrashing, and theres a good chance a bike will be thrashed by the time you buy it.

    After this experience, I am selling the bike, but I will lose several 100 bucks

    Bottome line is: if you can afford it, buy downhill bikes new. You know what you are getting that way. Even if you are buying a used bike in person rather than online, there are so many things (bearings, lubrication, etc.) on a bike that might not be seen with the eye, but might be in bad working condition.

    Anyway, if I were you, I would buy the Taka. You know exactly what you are getting, and it will make a good platform for upgrading in the future if your riding needs require upgrading.

  25. #25
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    Thanks for your post, i agree. I bought my big hit in person and still wasnt perfect. Ive decided to wwait and save alittle more to get a sette vexx its alot better parts for a few bucks more. Maybe next season ill be able to justify it.

  26. #26
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    @HuckMyLife... what you are saying is almost always true.. and this goes for anything you buy used... sometimes however you can spend the money on a brand new bike... i just recently got into DH and was able to get a used bike for 800 bucks... so far the only things i've upgraded are the grips, tires and pedals... i now need a new rear rim but that should do it... the bike is an 06 and still going strong...

    again, you are right on that you get what you pay for but sometimes you can't get what you want with the money you have... and sorry to hear about your experience...

  27. #27
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    By all means, if you find a used dh bike that's in good condition, then go for ti! But you just have to make sure you inspect it very thouroughly before purchasing

  28. #28
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    Not bad, if you like that, go for it!

  29. #29
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    I bought my take this past year to get me started in the DH scene. As i have said in a post earlier this year, my bike came looking like the fork was dropped. It some scrapes on it and it took two people to put the front thrus axle in because it was somewhat bent. I should have called airborne right away, but I had a big trip planned to start downhilling. Once it was all put together the fork hasn't been too much of an issue, other then the long break-in period for the fork. Though I have never had to take the thru-axle out since, i am sure it will be a pain in the you know what.

    Only other issue is the Juicy 3 brakes. Lucky for me I had some extra cash laying around where I bought different brakes to use. My juicy brakes come with the paint peeling off of the reservoir, it looks as though the person who bled the brakes spilled DOT fluid on the reservoir and never bother to clean it properly. I didn't really care, since I had brand new brakes to put on the bike.

    All that being said, I would def recommend the bike as a starter rig. It handles all of the trails at Whiteface and Platty just fine. Only real issue is the suspension tightening up when braking, which is normal for a single pivot simple design. JUST MAKE SURE YOU DONT PLAN A TRIP CONTINGENT ON YOUR BIKE BEING PERFECT OUT OF BOX! I wish I could have sent the bike back for a setup that didn't have twisted stanchions and paint boiling off of the brakes

  30. #30
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    The thing about the Airborne is the rear triangle and bearings...extremely weak, crack and wear so quickly. They end up sloppy and clunking and have lots of warranty stuff going on from most of the guys @ the DH park I ride @ and all of them said they would never buy another one. A few ppl w/ the exact same issue. The warranty issues were taken care of by Airborne but the exact same issues came back on these bikes even after the new parts were installed. One of the guys got his whole bike replaced under warranty and guess what....same issue! If you're just starting to ride DH, its fine for the first year. If you're an experienced rider, don't bother with it. You'll kill it fast and cause you lots of down time. You get what you pay for! Save the hard earned pennies for a qlty bike.
    I'm thinking about shreddin' it up right now!
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by 95 GT Rebound View Post
    The thing about the Airborne is the rear triangle and bearings...extremely weak, crack and wear so quickly. They end up sloppy and clunking and have lots of warranty stuff going on from most of the guys @ the DH park I ride @ and all of them said they would never buy another one. A few ppl w/ the exact same issue. The warranty issues were taken care of by Airborne but the exact same issues came back on these bikes even after the new parts were installed. One of the guys got his whole bike replaced under warranty and guess what....same issue! If you're just starting to ride DH, its fine for the first year. If you're an experienced rider, don't bother with it. You'll kill it fast and cause you lots of down time. You get what you pay for! Save the hard earned pennies for a qlty bike.
    I hope you don't mind if I correct you on a few things.

    We have never had a bearing issue, The bearings on the main pivot of the Taka are very robust. As a matter of fact the only bearing requests we ever receive are from owners of well-used Yakuza's that are looking for replacement parts for their own rigs.

    What you are referencing is a problem we have had with Marzocchi shock bushings and Roco R shocks on occasion. They aren't parts that we make or design, and we have done our best with the few people who have had this issue out of the many Taka's that we have sold. It's unfortunate.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly, thanks.
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  32. #32
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    I would never buy a used DH bike sight unseen. Even if you can see the bike in person, if you aren't very experienced it is easy to overlook some issues the bike may have. for these reasons I would recommend buying a new bike for a new rider.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    I hope you don't mind if I correct you on a few things.

    We have never had a bearing issue, The bearings on the main pivot of the Taka are very robust. As a matter of fact the only bearing requests we ever receive are from owners of well-used Yakuza's that are looking for replacement parts for their own rigs.

    What you are referencing is a problem we have had with Marzocchi shock bushings and Roco R shocks on occasion. They aren't parts that we make or design, and we have done our best with the few people who have had this issue out of the many Taka's that we have sold. It's unfortunate.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly, thanks.
    Fair enough. I stand corrected somewhat. It was the metal or material around the rear shock bushings (the area the rear shock & bushings mount to) that elongated causing the bushing and shock to flop around in there making the rear half of the bike junk and ruining the bushings as well. Saw it first hand. I understand you work for Airborne but its just what it is...the truth. Maybe the junk bushings ruined the rear of the bike where the bushings and shocks mount to? I'll say this, the owner of that bike called it a piece of **** and had it less that 1 season. I won't say that since I have never owned one nor do I know what kind of abuse the owner of that bike put it thru!
    I'm thinking about shreddin' it up right now!
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by 95 GT Rebound View Post
    Fair enough. I stand corrected somewhat. It was the metal or material around the rear shock bushings (the area the rear shock & bushings mount to) that elongated causing the bushing and shock to flop around in there making the rear half of the bike junk and ruining the bushings as well. Saw it first hand. I understand you work for Airborne but its just what it is...the truth.
    I intend no offense when I say that is simply untrue.

    I know the exact individual that you are referring to. The rear shock bushings on his Taka failed, but he continued to ride the bike in that condition. When he finally contacted us, we sent out new bushings immediately; but by then he had damaged the rear shock-eye in the Roco R, so of course when he installed new bushings the shock still had slop in it.

    Not being there to diagnose it and wanting to do right by him, we refunded his money in full and had him send the bike back to us to diagnose it. This is after he rode the bike for almost an entire season. Once it arrived here we found that the rear shock eye was damaged (elongated). The frame was not compromised at all. We installed a Vivid shock and there was no play. In fact, that same frame still lives on today as a bike that one of our shop employees rides. He has taken it to Snowshoe, Ft. Duffield, and Newark with over 100 runs on it now and no play issues.

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me directly. Thanks~
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  35. #35
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    I'll start with the fact that I'm a Flight Crew member, and as such, I have been provided a Taka at no cost to me (It replaced my 2005 Giant Faith). I experienced the bushing issue mentioned above, and Airborne provided new ones - which fixed the issue for me.

    Over the season, the bike did very well - Angelfire, Telluride, Durango shuttles, Northstar, Mammoth, and silly as it was on a dh bike - Downieville. I nabbed a first in my category at the MSC Anglefire race in May, and most recently won the Amateur Solo class at Tellurides 12 hour downhill race in October. Its been a great bike for me, and has held up well to all my abuse. I will continue to rock through the next season too.
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  36. #36
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    Same issues the Ironhorse had...Its a good intro bike with decent parts but will be nothing more than some catalog bike with stickers slapped on it . But thats the way alot of mtb brands are.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    I intend no offense when I say that is simply untrue.

    I know the exact individual that you are referring to. The rear shock bushings on his Taka failed, but he continued to ride the bike in that condition. When he finally contacted us, we sent out new bushings immediately; but by then he had damaged the rear shock-eye in the Roco R, so of course when he installed new bushings the shock still had slop in it.

    Not being there to diagnose it and wanting to do right by him, we refunded his money in full and had him send the bike back to us to diagnose it. This is after he rode the bike for almost an entire season. Once it arrived here we found that the rear shock eye was damaged (elongated). The frame was not compromised at all. We installed a Vivid shock and there was no play. In fact, that same frame still lives on today as a bike that one of our shop employees rides. He has taken it to Snowshoe, Ft. Duffield, and Newark with over 100 runs on it now and no play issues.

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me directly. Thanks~
    I do not know the person who had the prob. Only met him while riding and discussing bikes but from what I saw and head, I would never buy one LOL. I do understand your trying to save face though
    I'm thinking about shreddin' it up right now!
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  38. #38
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    95 GT Rebound

    "I do not know the person who had the prob. Only met him while riding and discussing bikes but from what I saw and head, I would never buy one LOL. I do understand your trying to save face though"

    So you ran into someone you dont personally know, had a brief conversation, and use that as the basis to propagate bad information about a company online... Thats lame..

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by dansMTB View Post

    So you ran into someone you dont personally know, had a brief conversation, and use that as the basis to propagate bad information about a company online... Thats lame..
    It wasn't quite like that so relax. I wouldn't have spoke up other wise!
    I'm thinking about shreddin' it up right now!
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  40. #40
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    Let it be known that I am not saying the bike is junk by any means. Just that what had happened to the rear made the back end of it junk. Not the entire bike. This is the experience of another owner/rider in which I was sharing what had happened. I do understand that the owner/rider may have made this situation much worse by what he was doing.I am not knocking the Company as they did the right thing by taking the corrective measure on more than 1 account. I am just sharing this info because the OP was inquiring about the bike! Take it easy guys. We are all learning things here. I apologize if I came off like an azz!
    Last edited by #Cyclelife; 12-06-2011 at 07:33 PM.
    I'm thinking about shreddin' it up right now!
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