Airborne 1999 Black Widow Hardtail Bike

5/5 (10 Reviews)


Product Description

Airborne Black Widow


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Reviews 1 - 10 (10 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jon Hall a Cross Country Rider from Reading, UK

Date Reviewed: September 27, 2002

Strengths:    Puts a grin on my face every time I ride it. This is a wonderful bike. Fast, responsive, fun. Soaks up the miles without bashing me to bits. Climbs superbly, controllable down hill. I've even used it with slicks and it thinks it's a road bike.

Weaknesses:    Paint a little prone to chipping.

Bottom Line:   
I absolutely love it. This bike even makes a mile and a half commute into work good fun. I first saw one of these on a long ride back in Spring 2002 and lusted after it! However, I never expected to get one. Idly surfing the airborne site one day I found this ex-review model in the "Clearance hangar" for $750+delivery+tax that I couldn't really afford. But that's what credit cards are for...

This bike turns heads and makes me very very happy.

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Favorite Trail:   Bracknell Forest / 9feet.com trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   Airborne direct

Bike Setup:   21" Black Widow, Rock Shox Duke XC 80mm, Deore drivetrain and V-brakes, Rolf Satellite wheels, Kore stem & flat bar, ODI lockons, Thomson post, WTB Laser V saddle

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dan a Cross Country Rider from San Diego, CA

Date Reviewed: November 27, 2001

Strengths:    This frame rocks. Very Strong with the ride quality you would expect from 853. Very stylie Tom Ritchy socket drop outs, very clean welds, beautiful paint and I love the pin up girl decal.

Weaknesses:    None that I have found in the six months Ive been riding it, could be lighter but I gladly accept the weight penalty for the ride.

Bottom Line:   
This frame is a great ride at a fantastic price. They retail for about 400, i got my frame used for 250. If you can get your hands on one, i would highly recommend it. Nothing rides like a steel hardtail, and the PRICE! I give her five flaming chillis!

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Favorite Trail:   Noble Canyon

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi Superfly, XTR, Avid Mags

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dan Odling a Cross Country Rider from Leicester

Date Reviewed: August 18, 2001

Strengths:    fantastic value and ride, much nicer than aluminium and not really any heavier

Weaknesses:    not avaliable any more

Bottom Line:   
by far the best handling and climbing bike I have ever owned, I can't understand why they stopped making them as not everyone can afford ti even at airborne prices.
Bring back this bike!

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $399.00

Purchased At:   airborne

Similar Products Used:   orange clockwork, kona cinder cone

Bike Setup:   SID xc's, XTR except avid mags, pace/hope hubs on mavic rims

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by edouble a Cross Country Rider from wheatley heights,ny

Date Reviewed: October 25, 2000

Strengths:    forgiving ride,awesome climber,geometry,neutral handling and unmatched value. by the way i bought the frame and built it up.

Weaknesses:    my disc mount was slightly bent and so i now have a v-brake on the back. in all fairness the formula discs are not adjustable like the avids but it still should fit.

Bottom Line:   
reynolds 853-$399,i repeat reynolds 853-$399!. can you say unheard of?, this is one of the great bike deals of all time. plus the bike has the long top tube (24.75" c to c) relatively short chainstay (16.73")and low standover height that you usually only find on much more expensive "boutique" bikes. sure a long top tube may not be as quick handling as a shorter top tube,but the bike is still very agile and most of all predictable. this is a safety feature in itself. 6ft. 2in. and 240lbs hammering down the trail out of control would not be a pretty sight.

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Favorite Trail:   da wiss' in philly

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $399.00

Purchased At:   airborne.com

Similar Products Used:   i have rode many bikes but none like this one.

Bike Setup:   AIRBORNE 21" BLACK WIDOW FRAME judy xc,kore xcountry 3/4" riser bar,oury grips,grip shift x-ray shifters,diacomp levers,thomson elite stem and post,koobi si saddle,zac 19 (yes zac!, they work great on my bike and im 240lbs. i guess who builds em' matters!)wheels w/geax blade front and hook rear tires. thanks to bike junkie in bethpage,ny for putting it all together so,so sweet! if you are in the ny area this IS THE SHOP FOR YOU!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by joe biker a Cross Country Rider from atlanta

Date Reviewed: June 17, 2000

Strengths:    steel, disc mounts, bi oval tubing

Bottom Line:   
Bike rides well, airborne does a good job of setup, very little assembly req. They didnt include my 25 bucks for a tune up but hey, I got a great bike spec'd out very well for 1400. One thing if you go with the paired spoke type wheels, a computer magnet wont fit the spoke,,

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Duration Product Used:   3 months

Bike Setup:   xtr, raceface.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Trick a Weekend Warrior from Huntsville, AL

Date Reviewed: May 14, 2000

Strengths:    cheap, has the components I want, awesome looking, customer service, the ride, not everyone has one

Weaknesses:    scratches easily, brake posts a tad flexy

Bottom Line:   
Awesome, frame has a muted feel to over sharp bumps and also looks great. Customer service has been helpful and upgraded some stuff that I didn't pay for- I got 9.0sl instead of 9.0, hollowtech cranks instead of '99, and mavics instead of bontagers. I cant argue with that. All the components were well tuned from the start. The fillet brazing on the frame is a really nice touch though it probably doesnt help weight. You dont see many of them around so a lot of people stop and ask about it. I love this bike and would recommend it to anyone wanting a good deal on a steal bike

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Favorite Trail:   Goat Trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   trek 830, schwinn s[9five].3

Bike Setup:   XT, SRAM, FireXC, Thomson, Manitou, Kore, WTB

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sean Lavigne a Weekend Warrior from Philadelphia, PA

Date Reviewed: April 28, 2000

Strengths:    Price/Value
Steel Ride
Customer Service


Weaknesses:    Sent me the wrong wheelset (oops, they upgraded me)

Bottom Line:   
This bike is wonderful. I waited for a few months before I reviewed this bike, since I always hated when people reviewed a bike without having ridden it for any substancial amount of time. Now that I have some real miles on it, I feel I can give a fair review. I received the bike within two weeks of ordering (normal waiting period) without a scratch. Then I noticed that Airborne had sent me the wrong wheelset. I had ordered XT hubs laced to Bontrager rims, and they sent me XT hubs laced to Mavic rims. Then I realized that the wheels were actually an upgrade (about $50), so I decided I wasnt about to complain. A screw-up on their part that may have pissed off somebody else, but not me. Now I have ridden the bike for almost 4 months, I must say that it is the nicest riding bike I have owned. Another nice aspect of the bike for some of us heavier bikers out there is that the frame is more stout then your average cromo frame (Independent, etc). I rode a Super Deluxe, and although it was a wonderful bike, it wallowed under my fat ass. The Airbornes bottom braket and rear end track perfectly, while still providing that cromo sensation. The welds arent the prettiest, but they get the job done. I really cant say enough about this bike, for the price it is the best out there. If you are a core mountain biker (fat ass or not) on a budget, buy this bike. Riders concerned with status and perfect, beautiful craftsmanship may want to go elsewhere. Airbornes are not status symbols, they're great bikes.

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Favorite Trail:   Da' Wiss'

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   GT Tequesta, KHS Alite

Bike Setup:   Full XT except Avid brakes, Judy Race

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sam W-H a Cross Country Rider from Mt.Kisco, NY, US

Date Reviewed: April 14, 2000

Strengths:    Smooth Ride, Custom set up, Sharp looking

Weaknesses:    Paint scratches easily, no free tune up, tiny bit heavier than aluminum.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is great. After having ridden aluminum bikes, steel is simply the best. The ride is not stiff like an aluminum bike and is much more comfortable while it still is very quick accelerating. Longer rides are no longer punishment on your rear.
I bought this bike because I could choose exactly the parts I wanted and the value was incredible. I was able to build up a 24.5 pound bike for only $1300. The bike is also very good looking, with nice looking graphics and sweet metallic black paint.
The only downside of this bike is that the paint can scratch easily. This is annoying but the scrathes can be taken out with car wax.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Ninham Ridge, Carmel

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Schwinn Moab 1, Schwinn Mesa GSX

Bike Setup:   LX drivetrain, Judy race fork, XT Brakes, Easton risers, Thomson seatpost, Kore stem, Time ATAC pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by neil marsh a Weekend Warrior from Llangoed, Anglesey, Wales, UK

Date Reviewed: January 13, 2000

Strengths:    Robust, light for steel, comfortable, fast !
Love the wishbone rear end, adds comfort without
loss of power transfer.





Weaknesses:    Top tube could a bit longer , for me.
Would like the weight of the Lucky Strike !!!


Bottom Line:   
Did a few road rides, then took some of my N.Wales Junior team to the 25mile Karrimor Trail. Bike handled Everything!!
Thudbuster was a revelation, as I've only ridden full.sus for the last 5 years.Climbs like an F16, and descended the
frozen trails with no problems.Can't wait to race it in the
Vet's series in 2000. Taking it to Spain for some warm weather training in Feb. and maybe to Lanzorote in April.
Excellent service from Jan Willem Sintnicolaas, Airborne
European office.As the N.Wales Regional Coach, would highly
recommend it for FAST XC Racing/Trail riding. Nice!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Red Bull or Karrimor, N.Wales

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Raleigh Ti bike, LX/XT
KHS Montana Pro LX/XT


Bike Setup:   Machine Tech brakes/canti and f.hub, LX C.set/r.hub
Race Face risers, Sachs g.shift, XT rear mech,Sus.s.post.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Marc a Cross-Country Rider from Sugar Loaf, NY

Date Reviewed: November 1, 1999

Strengths:    
price/quaility
CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!!
excellent climing ability


Weaknesses:    
NONE


Bottom Line:   
I LOVE THIS BIKE!!! I am so pleased with my new Black Widow. I haven't been off it since I received it a couple of days ago. It was securely packaged, however, did come with a few scratches, but hey it gives it character as they say. I also had a brief problem with my seat post collar-- It appears that the screw was STRIPPED, no loss there I got another screw and rethreaded it through the clamp. GOOD as NEW!! Airborne give you a certificate for a $25 reimbursiment for either initial setup or tuneup during the first year of ownership. Out on the trail I get many questions and curious fellow riders looking at my setup (not many Black Widows around) and I must say looks pretty sharp with full XT, Bontrager Mustang Rims, and a '99 Marzocchi Z.2 Atom Bomb. I must say that the customer service has and is SUPERIOR. I don't understand all the problems I have heard about e-mail response time. If an e-mail is not returned, make a phone call it is an 800#. Otherwise, On the trail this bike kicks BUTT, the long top tube is exactly what I was looking for. The ride is great, and the responsiveness is sharp and controlable. If you are looking for a good deal and want a serious cross country hard-tail. Consider the Black Widow. You will be happy you did. Overall, I would have to say that I love this bike and will continue too for many years to come. I wish there were more chilis to give. It is definately a 10 chili!!!
Just my opinionMarc Chasin, M.D.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
too many to pick

Duration Product Used:   
less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   
Raleigh M60


Bike Setup:   
99 XT (full)
Bontrager Mustang Asym Rims
Veloceraptor tires
99 Marzocchi Z.2 Atom Bomb

Reviews 1 - 10 (10 Reviews Total)

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