For the Goblin we stuck with the 2x10 set-up because we're still convinced that 2x10 gearing is perfect for 29ers, especially now with the 38/24 gearing option that we picked. The Goblin X0 shares the same great 6061 hydroformed Alu frame as the standard Goblin. The tapered HT and large BB/DT juncture ensure that the frame is stiff enough to accelerate quickly out of the corners, while the gentle s-bend stays help even out the trail chatter. Handling the suspension and tuning duties is a RockShox Reba RLT that can be locked out on the fly when needed. We love Sun-Ringle's Black Flag Pro wheelset and that's what we've decided to use on the X0. The Blag Flag Pro's are strong enough to be great every day wheels, yet light enough to stay on for race-day. In the box we've included all that you'd need to convert the wheels to tubeless if that's your thing. We've spec'd-out the rest of the HobGoblin X0 with great stuff: Elixir 9 brakeset, FSA SL-K carbon cockpit, Selle San Marco Ponza saddle, Maxxis IKON 29x2.2" tires, and Velo lock-on grips.
Strengths: Firm chasis, Price, Components, Fork, wheels, Seat...pretty much everything.
Weaknesses: Fork 'chatter' at DH speeds....and where the tapered headset meets the top/down tube seems alittle funky and not on par with higherend frame designs.
My background: been riding 26ers for 20 years, full and hardtail, trail/XC/AM riding, dable in races occassionally. I do between 12-18 mile rides 2-3x a week. I buy bikes that have excellent value and dont purchase bikes because their trendy and what everyone else uses.
Which brought me to AIRBORNE.
One of the hardest things in the world is to buy something without trying it...especially when it comes to MTB, that r so different accross the spectrum. Read, the reviews out there...they will help form an opinion. Also, get out there and ride demos....i mean really ride to see what u like the most. I had the opportunity to demo Specialized S-works HT 29er, Specialized Epic FSR 29er, Trek Superfly Elite and lower end bike like diamondback Mason HT 29er.
I discovered I really like the 29er HT configuration and really appreciated the agility and response of a 26er HT.
Enter the AIRBORNE GOBLIN 29er.
Geometry....The riding position feels like youre inside the bike rather then on top. The bottom bracket is located .5-1" lower to the ground. While this surely helps with lowering the center of gravity it also directly translates into more pedal strikes with objects and while turning at speed. Rotors also seem to get wet more then a 26er. I dont love or hate the geometry.
The fork responds superbly to drops and big hits while smoothing out progressive bumps. I do get alot of 'chatter' at top speed going down hill...which translates too less feedback at the controls, especially if trying to brake. I believe this is mostly my not having tuned the fork for my wieght yet (165#)
Gearing...I love the 2x10 drivetrain. The chainteeth they paired with the new drivetrain is flawless. I rode this bike through the hard stuff the first month i had it and never felt like i needed another gear. The Goblin climbs very well as long as you dont come to the point where your grinding out in the large granny gear. It becomes unstable and hard to control....(u will learn not to follow your buddy to close in the technical stuff as this is the only thing that will cause you to slow down when you knows its not a good idea too.)
Ive heard people complain about the seat and foam-ish hand grips. Its true the hand grips do get crazy slippery when wet - if your not wearing gloves. Who dosent wear gloves? I actually love the seat, maybe best seat ive ever owned. Ive had other people say how much they liked the seat as well. Its amazing.
SRAM components.... I have 3 other bikes, all 26er and all with Sram x7 level components. Obviously i like what they make and am bias. IMO, they are value priced components that give a smooth precise feel consistantly and will take a substantial amount of abuse. XO feels like a refinement on an already stellar product. Feels like they added some ball bearings to what otherwise might have sealed bearing races. Overall the same feel just more refined and crisp. (Kinda like 2.5# trigger pull compared to a 4# trigger pull on a fire control group, feels about the same just more refined)
Wheels feel exquisite and are much lighter then i expected for such a big hoop. I immediately made them tubeless...which i feel is mandatory to help with the stiffness of a HT. I would have some reservations with these wheels if I were a heavier rider. These hoops could use a wheel truing after a month of hard riding...but these are not the heavier duty rim that 'black flag' , but the race version so i expected to have to tighten them after a months use. But I expect to not have the same issue again after the initial break-in.
Brakes are what id expect from a hydrualic system. Ive put close to 100 miles on this rig so far and the pads/rotors seem to not have bee "fully bedded" yet. Strikes me as odd...they work fine but theres a slight audible sqeual that i dont have on other bikes. Read above where the rotors get wet more often then a 26er. Pretty sure the problem lies there.
Weight is neither heavy nor light...somewhere right in the middle. I cant imagine getting much skinnier while using an aluminum frame. Which BTW, AIRBORNE has powder coated for durability.
Would like to inquire info about the New Goblin X0 that will soon become available. Especially the pricing. I would imagine it will be well over $2500. Also curious as to the full specs of the bike, most importantly which wheelset will accomodate the X0 gruppo. I figure I make a separate thread abou ... Read More »