With its 8" of travel and 66/60? DH-specific geometry, Marzocchi 888RV fork and SRAM drivetrain with e*thirteen chain guide, the Taka can handle any downhill you can. And probably more. Makes for a great freeride bike, too. New for this season, the Taka now comes with the Rockshox KAGE R rear shock!
Strengths: The Frame seems strong, nice parts spec for 1400 bucks.
Rear suspension is simple and the most plush I have ridden (although this is my first downhill bike).
Handles some decent size drops, and rocky trails well.
Pretty light, especially at this price range. My bathroom scale says 41 pounds.
Weaknesses: The assembly This bike should be fully broken down and rebuilt upon arrival. Nothing was properly greased and the shifters and chain length and brakes were not adjusted correctly. Also the rear shock was mounted so the rebound adjuster was upside down, and the linkage came loose. As others have said the shock and pivot bushings aren't great, and mine have some wear from not being greased out of the box. After greasing the bushings and tightening everything down, there is little flex, and it works smoothly.
Front fork is heavy takes a while to get used too, for a downhiller the stem angle should be slacker (Taka is 66 degrees). The front fork is a little sticky, and flexy and the weight takes a while to get used too. Also it only has a rebound adjuster and on drops ~4 feet to flat it tends to bounce unless the rebound is almost maxed out to slowest.
This is a rebranded iron horse. No full length seat-tube, so you have to cut the post if you wanna drop it all the way. Derailleur is stiff and does not feel high quality, shifts reliably though. Mine stuck in 1st gear for a while til it broke in.
Pedal bobs pretty bad once you stand up out of the seat, probably because it has 8 inches of travel.
I got this bike 3 months ago size 17, I'm 5'11 and the fit is pretty good, great size for going downhill, could go a size up for pedalling on flat or going uphill. I have about 200 miles on it and so far it's been pretty good and reliable. This is my do everything bike, and has been used more as a all mountain bike than as a straight downhiller. Although I like to go fast and jump on the downhills, so I've been able to test it at speed through rough terrain. Therefore I switched out the 40t chainring for a 32t and I can go up everything but the steepest uphills that my friends on xc bikes usually end up pushing up too. I like having 1 chainring up front, and It's really nice having a big bike once the trail turns downhill. Overall this bike is a great deal, as It's hard to find a downhill/all mountain bike under 1500 bucks. However, I don't think you'll see any top professional riders on it because it is not the best thing out there. Nonetheless it is a great deal, and a great entry level downhiller.
Similar Products Used: Iron Horse Warrior Pro DS 2006
Canondale Scalpel 2012 with lots of upgrades
Bike Setup: Stock except a 32t front chainring for the ups.
from greenland nh USA
Date Reviewed: September 27, 2011
Strengths: Cheap Cheap Cheap
Weaknesses: The rear shock mounting hardware and bushings
STAY AWAY, this bike is cheap, but that is the only positive. I bought one of these a year ago, it came out of the box with play in the rear shock bushings, airborne sent me multiple sets of bushings and even a new rear shock and nothing fixed it so they ended up giving me an entire new bike. I thought this was great, until the new bike had the same exact issue. Three months of heavy riding, two rear shocks, and several new sets of bushings later my problem was still very bad, bad enough that I wore out the entire inner eyehole of the shock and bent my rear mounting bolts. After telling airborne that I couldnt even get the shock out because of the bolts being bent, they told me that they know about the issue, and have no solution for it, and offered me a full refund for the bike. I took the refund, sent their peice'O junk back and bought a real bike. In short, they know that their bushings dont work in their shocks, but they continue to sell their bikes knowing they are not up to spec, stay away from these bikes.
Date Reviewed: July 29, 2011
Strengths: The bike is a very sold, well built bike.
*Eat up drops, roots, rock gardens with ease
*suspension is GREAT
*would not of hit some features without this bike
Weaknesses: The fork springs are too soft for me, weighing 210, needed to update to a firmer spring
Overall, this bike is AWESOME!!!. I have ridden a few other downhill bike costing nearly 4-6 thousand in MSRP. Even though these bike are top of the line, I feel the Taka holds up to its rep while it feels and rides like these expensive bikes. YOU WONT be upset with this bike!!! PERIOD!!!
The taka takes the cake! It definitely feels like a 4-6 thousand dolla bike at a cheaper price...BUY one, you cannot go wrong!
Bike Setup: all stock, new headset and handle bars
a Cross Country Rider
from Oconomowoc, WI
Date Reviewed: July 12, 2010
Strengths: Value!!!!!! A great package for the money. Solid Suspension, drive train and braking system. It's eaten up everything I've thrown at it thus far.
Weaknesses: Tires are not great on hard packed sand.
The Airborne Taka is an incredibly fun bike to ride and an outstanding value. Despite being a 40+ lbs downhill bike, it feels designed to take flight. Once airborne, it is well composed and confidence inspiring because of it's predictability. And what good is all that if a bike can't handle the landing? No problem for the Taka. Landings are eaten up with ease by the Marzocchi shock and fork combination. The ride was, dare I say, plush (this is coming from a rider who normally rides aggressive xc and knows about plush). The bike begs to be ridden fast through it's FSA/SRAM drivetrain. No matter how fast you're going, it seems to scream at you "faster!!!!" And I was only so happy to oblige. As speeds increased, so did the smile on my face. Controlling the speed are a set of Avid Juicy 3's which perform the task with no fuss. The Maxis Minion's on the WTB laserdisc wheels are not the stickiest tires in cornering on hard packed sand, but they work well in the loose stuff and don't complain under heavy braking.
Bike Setup: Airborne Taka with Answer Protaper DH 780 handlebars, Rove FR pedals and Fall Line DH lock on grips.
from Roanoke, Va
Date Reviewed: July 11, 2010
Strengths: For the price you will not find a better bike. It comes stock with Marzocchi suspension. including a Marz 888 and a Roco coil rear. the bike is ready to take out of the box, and hit the trails, no upgrades or modifications needed. the drivetrain is solid and has good components like the LG1 chainguide. The brakes are good for the price and come with 203mm rotors to help get it stopped. the cockpit is setup nicely with Kore components. the bike is simple plush and comes with a 20mm front and 12X150 rear. it is stiff and preforms like a bike worth twice as much. It has it were it counts but does not waste money on upgraded components that will raise the price. at 40 lbs out of the box it needs a small diet but is on par with many other non race DH rigs.
Weaknesses: The grips. They would have been better using duct tape.
For the price you can't get a better bike. quality parts that will last you till you can save up for upgrades. a lifetime warranty on the frame. 40lbs out of the box, 8" of plush travel. it will get you out and on a quality DH machine for less, but preform like a bike costing twice as much. If you are a seasoned racer, a grom, a convert from XC or just want to try a new brand you can't go wrong. I have had the bike a few months, rode it at seaotter, and also in the mountains of VA. I have seen it preform in Moab and take on everything that it was pointed at. The bottom line is you can't go wrong. I gave it a value rating of 5 because of the build and quality for the price. but gave it a 4 for overall because you can always be better. Airborne is a old company with new blood at the helm, and they want to see happy people on bikes. You will not be sorry.
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher King fisher, Transition blindside, versus Weapon X, and many others.
Bike Setup: I changed my setup and personalized it to suit me. I added a set of Raceface atlas FR bars,on a holzfeller stem, new ODI grips, Elixir CR break set, upgrading the cassette to a pg990 26/11 with a Sram Force road rear mech. also adding a x9 or xo rear shifter. everything else is staying stock for now, or until i mess it up