The Airborne Goblin 29 has been un-boxed, assembled, and is currently being trail tested. We’ll have a First Impressions post up soon, but now let’s take a closer look at this green machine.
Delivery/Assembly: The first thing I noted before seeing the bright “Coolaid Green” paint scheme was the box that you get the Airborne Goblin 29 in. Pretty impressive! This is important to the review here, since Airborne sells direct to consumer, and if you buy this rig, you will get it in the box. So, this “Out Of The Box’ post is really going to be about coming “out of the box’.
The box is a cardboard construction, “lid type” box, much like some big companies use for their carbon fiber road bikes. The Goblin was expertly packed with everything zip tied in place and separated by thick, foam sheets. (You’ll want to hang on to this bike box, it’s that nicely done.) This makes getting the Goblin out, un-packed, and assembled rather easy compared to a lot of bikes I’ve assembled. In fact, after attaching the rear derailleur, sticking the handle bars, seat post, and front and rear wheels into the bike, it is pretty much ready to go. (You’ll need to provide some pedals. They are not included with the bike.) I did do some minor adjustments, but in reality, the bike was ready to ride once assembled. It will ride better if you give it a “once over”, or have a good mechanic look at it, but I thought it was impressive from the standpoint that most “average” mechanically minded folks shouldn’t have any issues here.
Frame/Components: The frame is made from 6061 Aluminum and has a Hydro-formed top and down tube. No fancy tapered head tube here, but the headset is an integrated type. Some of you may remember Airborne as the titanium company from the late 90′s/early 00′s, and that they did jump in early with titanium 29″ers. This is the same Airborne, but reconfigured to give riders a great value package for less cash outlay. Thus the move to aluminum.
Up front we have a Rock Shox Reba RL with lock out and 9mm quick release drop outs. You can see the integrated head set here and the Kenda Smallblock 8 tires. The top and down tubes pretty much engulf the back side of that head tube, promising good torsional stiffness.
The drive train features SRAM’s X-7 level components and a 2 X 10 set up. The drive gears are 39 X 26 and the cassette range is 12T-36T. The chain is a 10spd SRAM unit as well.
Nuthin’ fancy down here. Just your garden variety bottom bracket shell with a TruVativ GXP outboard bearing set up. That down tube takes up all the possible real estate it can on the bottom bracket shell for maximum stiffness.
Airborne branded stem, handle bars, and seat post make up the cock pit. The striking white colored handle bar and seat post make the bike stand out from the crowd, that’s for sure! SRAM X-7 triggers, which are 10spd, 2X specific, look and feel more like the old X-9 stuff. Avid Elixir R model brakes do the stopping duties here. The Goblin has 160mm rotors front and rear.
Geometry: The Goblin 29 features a steepish 74 degree seat tube angle mated with a 71.5 degree head tube angle. The 20″ test model received here features a 24.48″/622mm effective top tube, 450mm/17.71″ chain stay length, and a 1220mm/44.1″ wheel base. The head tube measures 110mm/4.33″ and allowed me to easily achieve a racy, lower handle bar position by flipping the stem and dropping one spacer on top of the stem. I still have about an inch and a half of spacers under neath the stem to go, should I want to lower the bars even more. This being an “XC category bike”, it makes sense to be able to set it up this way, but the head tube does seem a wee bit short here. Built as seen here the Goblin 29 weighed in at 27.78lbs on my digital scale.
Wheels: Let’s not forget the wheels! Those aforementioned Smallblock 8′s are mounted to these WTB Laser Disc rims with what appears to be straight gauge spokes and powder coated brass nipples. The hubs are branded “Quanta”, and seem to roll all right. Tubes are inside. These wheels aren’t all that light, and some of that 27 plus pound weight can be attributed to these components. However; when one considers that Airborne asks $1199.95 for this rig, one should not expect super light, high zoot parts. That said, the Goblin seems like a pretty good value on paper. The proof will be found out on the trail, and then we shall see if these wheels, and the rest of the Goblin 29, is matching with performance what we are seeing on the spec sheet.
Stay tuned for the “First Impressions” post to come soon.
Airborne Bicycles sent this bicycle for test and review at no charge. We are not being bribed, nor paid for this review. We will strive to give our honest opinions and thoughts throughout.