Airborne Lucky Strike 2003 Hardtail

4.9/5 (10 Reviews)
MSRP : $999.00


Product Description

The Pioneering Airborne Lucky Strike is our flagship hardtail. Built with our own 3Al/2.5V aerospace-grade, cold-worked, tapered and size-specific titanium. Designed around our Superfortress mono-stay rear triangle, the Lucky Strike continues to set the standard for stiffness and performance. Includes NEW Integrated disc brake mount. (Five sizes available in High Lust Polish: 14, 16, 18, 19.5 and 21")


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Reviews 1 - 10 (10 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by da1top_dog a Weekend Warrior from hermitage tn usa

Date Reviewed: February 28, 2011

Strengths:    nice geometry.soaks up like a sponge.have not had a problem with it being "whippy"as reported. i'm 6'1" 213lbs
'love the long top tube.as i'm legs and arms.







Weaknesses:    none don't make any more

Bottom Line:   
glad i was finally able to afford a ti frame.enjoy this bike more than any of my previous bikes.with 100psi slicks it is almost as fast on the road as my r1000 cannondale. will never sell.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   hamilton creek

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   nothing compares to ti.2008 garty fisher super caliber,2000 voodoo hoodoo. gt pantera

Bike Setup:   thomson elite stem,marzocchi mx comp air 100mm,titec 118 ti flatbar,lx shifters,avid disc,salsa seatpost clamp,bontrager x lite carbon post,raceface dues xc crankset,scram 970 cassette and971 powerlink chain,ritchey grips rims hubs spokes,panaracer firepro xc's

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sofakinold a Cross Country Rider from Raleigh NC, USA

Date Reviewed: December 12, 2010

Strengths:    Bought mine in "99" during the original introduction offer. Got it's first tune up in Madison Wis. Excellent service. Strong, resilent, nimble. This bike does everthing right and looks good doing it. Ti stands up to anything.

Weaknesses:    The worse thing to come with the original bike was a Ti stem without a seperate faceplate. A major pain trying to get cockpit sizing right. The original frame popped the welds at the head tube on a hard impact. Fortunately, it was before the demise of the company. Got a new "03" built up at the Ohio factory. Best thing that ever happened cause the updated frame was vastly superior right down to the gusseted welds and disc mounts. All the decals have long worn off and I miss the top tube cutie.

Bottom Line:   
The Lucky Strike had been a steadfast friend now for 11 years and remains my primary ride. During the same time I have destoyed; 2 Jamis Dakars, 1 MoraTi H2, 1 Cuga Myata Ti, 1 Kona ManoMano, 1 Jamis Diablo HT. I am a Clydesdale, and ride hard and am very hard on bikes.

My stable now includes; a 853 HT and a Kona Kikapu FS and my old 531 road bike. For most riding I still prefer the Lucky Strike

Every couple years the Airborne gets new cables and drive chain. With upgrades and some geometry changes. It's gone thru 4 forks; Original was RS SID XC, "02" SID XL race, "05" Marzocci Pro, "07" Minute. The Long travel Minute has been the best geometry addition, it never comes out of the 130mm setting.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tar River Tails

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   direct from Airborne

Similar Products Used:   MoraTi H2, lightspeed Occee

Bike Setup:   In ten years It has been thru multiple setups. Currently running a Manitou minute, Easton risers, 90mm Thompson stem, Chris King headset, original Airborne Ti seatpost, gel Flite Ti saddle, BB7 discs, XT/LX shifter/derailuers/drivetrain, personally built XT/mavic wheels DT butted spokes on front and asym rear lace.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rich Waller a Cross Country Rider from South Africa

Date Reviewed: June 23, 2004

Strengths:    1.) Torsional flex characteristics of Ti compared with aluminium.
2.) The Ti finish also stays looking good - never gets tatty. Just buff away the scratches with some wire wool.


Weaknesses:    1.) Weight versus top-end aluminium frames. The weight is noticeable, but not ridiculous, but my old bike (Giant XTC2) is incredibly light.
2.) The long top tube geometry takes some getting used to. 3.) Don't stress about the price versus aluminium - it's worth it. And you'll get over it anyway.


Bottom Line:   
1.) At first, I thought I'd made a horrendous mistake becuase of the extra weight. That first week was like a bad date - I really hated the beast. On the weekend however, I went onto bad dirt roads with mean corrugations. It floated through the gnarly stuff and soaked up bumps. It really was amazing. Now that I'm used to it, it's great, and all is forgiven. I train on tar quite a bit unfortunately, where it is slower. But we race on dirt, and that's what counts. I also lent it to a mate who is a bike expert - he was incredibly excited.
2.) The Ti characteristics come into their own off-road and in the bush. Don't test it on tar - stick to your BMW.
3.) At 70 kg, I am a light guy, and mostly do long marathon cross country events. I have never been convinced that dual suspension is necessary unless you are heavy, and are doing serious trail riding. Then I read about Ti, and ended up with a Lucky Strike. Poetry, poetry. For light people, a Ti hardtail is the answer without pushing all that extra weight around. I love climbing, and this baby can climb. All that is written about Ti's climbing capabilities is true.
4.) A word of heed to all prosective buyers: you need to check your size live on a frame. Do not buy unseen via the internet. A 19" Giant is totally different to a 19" Airborne. I should have gone one size down......
5.) Airborne needs to set up an outlet in South Africa. I must have the only one here! It certainly draws comments and strange looks!
6.) Bottom line: this is a bike for the discerning rider. It is not worth the extra cost unless you can extract all it's unique features and benefits. But having said this, don't be put off - Ti bikes are in a class of their own. They will inevitably attract a different type of rider and customer.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The longer and steeper the better....

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Imported frame into South Africa

Similar Products Used:   Converted from a 2-year old Giant XTC2 to the Airborne Lucky Strike.

Bike Setup:   1.) I took my whole set-up off the Giant XTC and put it onto the Airborne frame. Mostly XT-level throughout, with a very tired Rock Shox Duke XC that needs upgrading. As funds become available, I will replace with lighter components to drop the weight.
2.) I would recomment to new buyers to go light as possible throughout.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Peter Buch a Racer from Atlanta, GA

Date Reviewed: October 2, 2003

Strengths:    Very Strong frame. Rebounds energy back. Stiff without being harsh like Aluminum. Small front triangle with longer Top Tube I ride 16" frame 5'9" 166. Nice welds.

Weaknesses:    If you don't ride Disk brakes the "intelligent routing system" seems like a waste an once of weight. There are five small brackets welded to the frame. I'm thinking about grinding them down. If you ride rear disk you're stoked. The bomb stickers on top tube are a little much considering current war monger climate. acetone takes them off I hear.

Bottom Line:   
Because of Airborne's longer top tubes/effective top tube. I dropped down to the 16" frame from my 18" 1998 Gary Fischer Hoo Koo e Koo. The stand over height is about the same. The climbing is awesome and the down hills are absorbed nicely by the characteristics of titanium. Jay at the factory gave me a quote on a scratched frame for way less then retail and it ended up he had already sold it. He gave me the deal he quoted anyway. That's just cooooool. Thanks Jay. I can't wait to get out there and race or do some long sick enduro. I had some guy say there isn't any difference between Aluminum and Ti, its just not as light. This is not true in respect to riding comfort. Aluminum is down right rigid. My buddies S-works Aluminum frame weighs less but is not a fun ride on sick bumpy trails. I love steel and now I love Ti. I can't speak for the larger frames but this thing barely has any lateral bend which would affect steering. I rode the 18" in the shop and it was the same. Great frame design. A guy commented on the shape of he top tube not making sense he said it was an up and down oval... It's actually a tear drop shape so it give strength up and down and side to side. smart. Five Flaming chilly's for initial quality and ride. I'll write back if there is any status change.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bull Jake Combo

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Airborne.net

Similar Products Used:   Gary Fisher Hoo Koo e koo, Specialized S-works, Trek 9000

Bike Setup:   XT shifter/brake XT front XTR rear, 03 Duke Race with lockout (sweet), Mavic Crosslink Front rim/hub, XT/517 rear, 01 Team Stylo Crank, Selle Italia Titanium seat.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ken Liberty a Cross Country Rider from Lexington, KY

Date Reviewed: September 9, 2003

Strengths:    Light, well balanced, cool chick decal, great ring clearance, turns well, comfortable on long rides.

Weaknesses:    Stock headset/handlebar set up is a bit goofy, tapered bar not easy to put on lights. A bit creaky and tingy sounding (I like quiet rides). Chain bangs chainstay a bit, needs a guard (only to reduce sound). Would have liked to tried one out before purchasing (highly recommended if you can).

Bottom Line:   
Bought this during a "clearance" from Airborne. I could not have asked for a better bike! This bike is definitely better than me, and I now have many years of awesome riding in my future. At 6-feet tall, 185 lbs, , I'm not sure if a 19.5" was the best choice since the headset has 5 spacers and the seat is all the way back; maybe just some tweaking needed. But right now the bike does fit me, and I do like the stretch. If you're looking for a XC hardtail, and don't want to spend $3000, I recommend the Lucky Strike any day. I haven't raced with it yet, and there are lighter bikes out there, but I'm not a big racer so this bike works for me. If you're thinking about it, visit their website, find a dealer and call to see if there's a bike in store that you could test ride.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Sheltowee Trace

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Campus Cyclery, Cin., OH

Similar Products Used:   Old school Raleigh M60 (10 years).

Bike Setup:   2003 model, full XT, Avid discs, Judy XC Air-assist shock (not that great), Time ATAC pedals (also not that great). This is the basic XT package offered by Airborne, except for the fork. Weight is about 24lbs. including accessories.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tim a Cross Country Rider from argonne, WI USA

Date Reviewed: August 21, 2003

Strengths:    Price, handling, looks. Ability to pick and choose every part of the complete bike

Weaknesses:    Inability of potential suitors to be able to test ride

Bottom Line:   
Sweet ride. I've ridden Lucinda (my bike's name) for five seasons. It has held up well, as I've only needed to replace a few components as regular maintenance and upkeep. It accelerates quickly, handles well. The weight is in the middle of the pack, but I attribute a lot of the weight to my heavy fork. The hand brushed finish keeps it looking new. I have friends that bought painted AL bikes at the same time. Their bikes show the nicks and scratches of some hard singletrack. Mine is still a pretty ride.
If you like singletrack and technical trails, this is an excellent buy for the money and overall.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bear Creek- Crested Butte

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   Airborne Direct

Bike Setup:   SRAM 9.0 shifting, Marzocchi Z2 Atom Bomb, XT brakes, Bontrager wheels, CK headset

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Alek a Weekend Warrior from Fayetteville (Ft. Bragg), NC

Date Reviewed: July 8, 2003

Strengths:    Frame is extrememly durable. Welds are bomb proof. Design of bike stands up well to my size (200lbs +) and handles any situation thrown at it. I'm more than confident taking this bike on an cross country, downhill, or freeride course.

Weaknesses:    $, but considering what you get it's worth it.

Bottom Line:   
This bike will handle anything you can dish out. I've had it for 4 years and it still outperforms any other bike I've tried. As a very aggressive, tough rider, I'd recommend this to anyone with a similar riding style.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   CCT in NOVA (very convienient)

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   Direct from Airborne

Bike Setup:   XTR with replacement XT crank and bottom bracket (XTR broke on me), RockShox Duke XC (best fork ever used), RockShox suspension seatpost, Airborne Ti skewers, Airborne kevlar saddle, Mavic ceramic rims with Panaracer Fire XC tires.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Matthew Williams a Racer from Dallas, TX

Date Reviewed: March 21, 2003

Strengths:    The welds are beautiful. And the angle back end creates wonderful climbing stiffness. Descends like a rocket. Double butted tubing adds great strength.

Weaknesses:    As expected some lateral flex due to material make-up.

Bottom Line:   
Best ride ever...It brings fun back into riding.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Colorado Trail Summit County

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   for frame only from website

Similar Products Used:   Litespeed Tanasi

Bike Setup:   Full XTR, Mavic 517 ceramics, Chris King headset, SID Race, Thompson Elite post and stem all =22.4 lbs.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Harold a Weekend Warrior from Edwardsville

Date Reviewed: March 18, 2003

Strengths:    This bike takes downhills at speed and feels very stable and climbs even better. Makes you want to get to the trails.

Weaknesses:    Not a knock against the bike itself but a remote lockout for the front shock would make the bike perfect.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great bike, a little pricey, but well worth it...

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2200.00

Purchased At:   Direct from Airborne

Similar Products Used:   Trek 4500

Bike Setup:   Shimano XT 2003; Bontrager Super Stock DISC wheels; Rock Shox Pilot XC; Airborne TI seat post and stem and FSA headset; disc brakes weight appr. 24.9 lbs

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by ernst p. baakker a Cross Country Rider from netherlands

Date Reviewed: March 3, 2003

Strengths:    feels of a racer

Weaknesses:    non so far

Bottom Line:   
not cheap but worth it

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   roestelberg

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   direct from airborne

Similar Products Used:   giant atx 970; airborne lancaster

Bike Setup:   xtr 2002; mavic crossmax ust; marzocchi marathon bomber doppio air; easton carbon bar; thompson; fsa; v-brakes
weight appr. 10 kg

Reviews 1 - 10 (10 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Lucky Strike - completed

I finally completed my build. I out some red colored parts to compliment the brushed ti finish. One thing I can say - this is one fast bike. I'm having a blast so far.Read More »

Airborne Lucky Strike - lightening project

Here's my latest build. Size 18 Lucky Strike. I'm trying to lighten it up so I need some suggestion. I'm still waiting for a Thomson seatpost and a Salsa seat clamp (non-QR). I'm also thinking of replacing the wheels with a Crossroc tubeless tires. Any suggestions are welcome. ThanksRead More »

Airborne Lucky Strike, what fork length?

I have a LS with a 80mm SID on it right now. Would like to have 100mm of travel if possible. Can I put a 100mm fork on there with no problems. Frame is Ti so I'd hope the added stress on the head tube would be OK. Also, anyone have info on what head tube angle this frame had back in the late ... Read More »

That's one Lucky Strike

I've had this bike for about 6 years now and although there have been several others in between, this ride is the one that I have spent most of my time on - with gears however. Well, lately it has been getting intermittent use and I thought I'd try a conversion to SS as a way to bring it back into ... Read More »

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