18 May, 2012

Hello Airborne, it's been awhile--welcome back!

Getcha sum.  Here's my new love suckas, and she's inanimate.
Busted the inaugural off-roadmove on Airborne’s Goblin/Guardian rig. She was spec’d with X7 with a 10x2 drive. First time to run a 10x2 and it worked just perfectly. The big gear wasn’t quite as big as the outer triple and the small isn’t quite as small as the inner but it didn’t slow me down. Seemed my rpms where a tad slower than I remembered but it never slowed my climbing down. Absolutely loved the tires that are on this rig-the Kenda’s small block eights. I’m gonna transfer ‘em on my Crossmax’s and run some Stan’s to become tubeless once more. I did switch the 160 mm rotors and ditched the 185 mm and transferred the 9 nine speed into the 10 speed cassette from my original 29er. Now, after some blue loc-tite and torque spec’ing the TORX bolts, the Crossmax’s are on the Guardian with the proper hardware.

Farted around after I assembled the bike, so my first ride (instead of going during the day) was a night ride. No worries though because I’m pretty familiar with all the terrain nuances out at Green Mountain here in Lakewood. Off the get go I’m digging my upper body stance and how lively the frame is even with the stock wheelset. I remember when I bought my first Yeti racing hardtail how it seemed like it was like a sled on snow. The Airborne geometry is sending the same sensations through my brain, recalling my fondness for a fast, hardtail with sexy lines (no dual suspension evokes such aesthetics like an old school hardtail). The deluxe dealio about this ride though is that she’s a 29er. Thought I’d be the last to pull the 29er trigger but once you start rolling on the big boy wheels the rolling inertia makes for overcoming obstacles, climbing, throwing it around switchbacks almost like cheating (let alone hammering on the flats). Got the 16” frame thinking it might be too small but once I settled in the cockpit and did some counter steering around some curves it felt perfect (maybe a smidge longer stem because I’m a road weenie?). Where the smaller frame shone for me was my ability to English the bike as threading the rock needle or humping over an uphill obstacle without pedaling. Effortless I’m telling you!

Remember when you have a bike that’s so novel it’s like having the placebo effect? Once I got on the long downhill fireroad at Green Mountain she started talking to me (oddly my Yeti was red too, is red my conduit to the darkside?). A smile came over my face because it was like a sled on fresh snow. The 29ers where rolling fiercely and I felt like I was gliding. She, I’ll call her Penelope, was saying stuff to me like, “Hey Mikey, you know you can go faster….” And “What’s up with feathering the brakes?” and “Doesn’t that wind feel good against your face?” I know it’s a piece of aluminum but jeez the riding sensation was terrific. It’s like the difference between quality clinchers and middle of the road tubulars-there ain’t to substitute for tubulars. Well there is no substitute for quality ride sensation that translates to ease of clearing obstacles and climbing. It was quality. The only thing I forgot to do was to put noise erasing material on the drive side chainstay. Other than that the entire ride was ninja quiet. I love quiet bikes.

I also notice I was smiling a lot. Maybe it was night and other senses where being used, but I couldn’t get over how silky smoof my new ride was. Kept thinking to myself, I can upgrade the components on this race frame and she’d be a killer. Ran the fork at higher pressures but that’s because I’m a road weenie and don’t need the big hit setup, just enough to float over the profile that ills me.

Dare I say there are endocannabinoids floating around in my bloodstream? Yes, I think I will.


Anonymous said...

Nice guardian.you got the 16" frame how tall are you ? I worried about sizing since I cant try one out.thanks,jk

Anonymous said...


...it's me!... said...

I'm 5'7". It's right at the cusp of being too small but the trade-off is: it's quick and agile. Tweak a longer seatpost and stem JK!

...it's me!... said...

Contact Airborne and talk to either Jeremy Mudd or Eric McKenna and they'll ask you for your measurements and their expertise will guide you towards a proper bike size JK. Have someone take your most accurate inseam in inches before you contact them.