Strengths: I have read a lot of reviews and there seems to be a few people having misaligned frames. My Lucky Strike frame is perfectly true, my local bike shop checked it before it was built up recently. It was a 2001 frame which I haven't had the money to build it up. the welds are very smooth!! obviously not as beautiful as you would get on top end 'money no object' ti frames...but still very even, smooth and pleasing on the eye!! I happen to break my hand the day before it was ready to collect so have only taken it out once and it was so much better than the steel and ali GT's i've owned. I love this bike.
Weaknesses: I haven't detected anything wrong with it yet....the frame got scratched during a move several years ago but a quick polish and the scratch disappeared...seems the scratch was particles of whatever scraped against it!!
So far with one ride all I can say is it's excellent. It really accelerates fast, it's not noticably flexy(I'm 14st 4lb's or 200lb's if you don't do stone!).
It seems smoother over frozen or rocky ground than other bikes I've riden. Basically the reason I wrote this review is that some of the reviews carp on about it not being a litespeed!! It's not supposed to be...it's just a great bike and a steal for the money (£750 in 2001)
Similar Products Used: My previous bikes were a 1995 GT pantera and a 1998 Karacoram frame built up with alsorts.
Bike Setup: SLX discs shifters and mechs and chainset. XT hubs DT revolution spokes mavic 717 rims. Ritchey WCS carbon seatpost, riser bar and stem. SDG Ti saddle. REBA Race fork. Wellgo mag flatties.
a Cross Country Rider
from columbus, oh
Date Reviewed: February 2, 2008
Strengths: Extremely lightweight, great for ascending/descending, handles well on a variety of terrain/weather conditions.
Weaknesses: Some excessive vibration over loose rock/gravel. no disc brake option, graphics are a little corny, average welds
This is a great bike for anyone who rides XC on a regular basis. I used this for racing, weekend trips/daily rides, all four seasons in all conditions. I've never needed to replace any of the components, expect a new chain once a season and a different wheelset. Now I use this as a backup during winter/muddy months. For $2500 and a decade of abuse, it's been an awesome ride!
Similar Products Used: Jamis Dragon Team Several Trek models
Bike Setup: All XTR components, Crossmax wheelset, King headset, 80mm Rockshox, Thomson seatpost, easton handlebar
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: October 24, 2005
Strengths: Cornerning, climbing (in or out of saddle), geometry, weight & balance
Weaknesses: Hmmm...can get a little jittery on long, steep, loose fire road trails. Tends to loose the line when there is lots of loose rocks, while going around a turn.
This is a follow-up for me, since last time I wrote I was still pretty new on my bike. I also felt inspired because of the guy from China writing in - NICE!
This bike rocks! Comming from a BMX background, it has all the right geometry angels to give you a really confident feel. Great corning (especially during high speeds). Great on switchbacks. Easy transition from one position to another. Speaking of transition, this bike really forces to you be in the right position according to your trail sitiuation. If not - you are going to loose your line or fall. Once you get your form down, you can fly! I have one of the earlier models (before the sale to Huffy), so the welds are a little bulky, but I like it.
Bottom line is this bike is a great deal (almost sad to say "for the money", but we all know there are more expensive bikes out there) & once you get your components on, it will ride like the wind.
Favorite Trail: Any & all single track in the East Bay or Marin.
Duration Product Used: More than 3 years
Purchased At: Airborne
Similar Products Used: Any GT bike & Yeti
Bike Setup: Mixture of XT & XTR, Spinergy SPOX wheelset, SID world cup & bits of carbon (seat post, handlebar).
a Weekend Warrior
from Avesta, SWEDEN
Date Reviewed: March 24, 2001
Strengths: Felt right first time testeng it. Smooth ride, Quick response when steering.
Weaknesses: Don't know of them yet...(don't believe there's some)
I really love this bike, the finish of the frame is great- the ti look is mucho great'oh. The welds are very clean and the tubing is very,very nice... I'm 6'15 feet tall, inseam 35.5 inches so the 19'5" frame with a 120mm 0 degree stem are perfect for me.
************************************************************ -Thanks Jamie Raddin & co. for this great frame.
Mikael , a weekend warrior from the middle of Sweden. :)
Similar Products Used: 99' Nishiki Timbuk 00' GT Backwoods
Bike Setup: LS 19", SID SL fork, Shimano WH-M575 wheels with WTB 2.1" Nanoraptors; XT-drivetrain, XT-levers and front derailleur, XTR rear derailleur; TIME ATAC pedals; KORE Lite 3 120mm Stem-Lite riser handlebar- and LITE 2 seatpost, WTB Speed-V saddle and headset; AViD discbrakes with SD-5 levers.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: March 2, 2001
Strengths: Good for the price! Ti frame is not as stiff as a GT Al ones.
Weaknesses: not detailed enough,the handcraft is not very well at some corners.
In China, you can buy Litespeed, but cost as times as this much! The frame is made in China, so I bought it at a lower price then you. Actully the Airborne frames are not allow to be sold in PRC, because the company can not earn much money, they would rather take it over the sea, to the other side of the world. So there is a problem: we haven't got any costmer service!! But any way, take a rest over the night on a train, the next day you can get to the company in Beijing. The number of Lucky Strick is not very large ----there are 1'600'000 people in Changsha(the city i live), but there is only one Airborne LS in the city! There are some GT Avanche, some Giant Al frames such as XTC, but nothing better.There lots of DBR WCF and DBR TT-lite here,because they made in China and very very cheep-----$50.00! I like the Airborne bike very much. I am only only 16 years old and a high school student, so I am not as stronger as people in there 20s, so I need some lite frames.In this case,I used a Wheeler Ti frame----only 3 Ibs! But the frame is as soft as the suspension of a Lincon Towncar.The Airborne is a good Ti frame contains both lightweight and stiffness at same time.When you want to climb, it goes like as someone is pushing you up to the hills. I have never had this kind of felling on my GT Avanche LE. When you goes down the hills or stairs, it goes like as it has a rear suspension.-----This is the features of Ti frame. If you just want a good frame, take one and have a try. If you want a luxury frame, go and take the Litespeed of some thing like that. Because of the hard school work, I don't ride it everyday. Instead of it, I take a look on it everyday----Yes, the Airborne Lucky Strick looks nice! Thank you for reading my review! I am now studing in a foreign language shool and learning English. So there lots of mistakes in ther airticle above, I am sorry. As the only review from China in MTBR.com, you can see some thing about the MTB sport in China. I am very pleased to meet all of you as friends. Please send me your opinion at Car_Benz@21cn.com, thank you! By the way, welcome to China, there lots of trails down the infitive land.
Similar Products Used: Wheeler Ti,GT avanche,DBR WCF 6.1,DBR TT-lite,Giant XTC
Bike Setup: XT system with XTR shift levers and CN-7700, 517CD on DT Onyx, SID SL, WTB sst.x seat, AZONIC riser bar, WTB Velorapter tires,
a Cross Country Rider
from San Francisco, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: January 30, 2001
Strengths: Good shock absorbtion, incredible geometry, good customer service, GREAT DEAL. PS: you don't get weird looks from some YUPPIE bike store worker who's never seen a blk person riding a mtn. bike when you buy online.
Weaknesses: Bike seems to have trouble holding tight line while turning on high speed open fire roads (or San Francisco hills with slick tires).
I am SOOOOO glad i did not read the reviews before buying my bike. I only read MTN BIKE mag's review and i was sold. No, it's not a seven, but then again i'm not Donald Trumb either. I've been riding bikes since i was about seven years old and the LUCKY STRIKE is on of the best i've ever owned. It corners like a 90 degree angle and climbs like a son of a' b*tch. This bike will last forever and has made me a better rider...and that's the BOTTOM LINE!
Similar Products Used: All high end GT bikes since '94. $1,000-3,000.
Bike Setup: 16" frame (better handling), XT drive train, avid brakes, syncros stem, icon post, Spinery SPOX tires, CK head-set.
from Fresno, CA USA
Date Reviewed: February 23, 2000
Strengths: Fantastic bike, especially for the money; very light - 20.9 pounds; saves money by picking the components you want from the get go, rather than having to replace stuff; understated good looking bike.
Weaknesses: Everyone will want one - there goes any advantage
People can't believe how light this is, and for not much more money than some other companies' Ti frames alone! Airborne's website showed it would weigh 20.6 pounds; my scale and a bike shop's scale both had it at 20.9 pounds (the bike shop said they had never seen a mountain bike that light).
The bike came ready to ride after 10 minutes of unpacking and installing the stem, pedals, seatpost, and front wheel; I mean, "ready to ride!" No adjustments whatsoever needed. Man, is it light - can't quit picking it up; received it on Friday, rode it on Saturday, and raced it on Sunday; everything worked perfectly, even in the race that was 90% mud. The bike is so light you can hop it over many things you might otherwise have to ride around or through; on my first ride up a steep single track I have ridden a thousand times on my full suspension 29 pound bike, the same gear ratio I usually use, ordinarilly pushing it to the max, was incredibly easy on the Airborne. The thing handles like my 16 pound road bike, too; you think it, it goes there; the Ti frame absorbs most bumps and chatter - don't miss the full supsension at all (selling the latter now).
Ordered the bike late on Friday, received it the next Friday, although should have been here on Thursday but for a shipper problem. Good communication with Airborne; they were very helpful and informative. I do feel guilty not supporting local bike shops, but they can't do this - put a bike together with exactly the parts you want, and show you the weights of everything, and for this kind of price. I was hesitant to buy this way (internet), but I have been buying computers from Dell this way for years. No messing around - just spec what you want and you get it. All costs and specs known as you go.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Ground Control; Bianchi road bikes
Bike Setup: The lightest of everything from Airborne's selections; 18" Ti frame; SID SL fork; XTR/Gripshift SL; Bontrager Racelight wheelset; Avid Mag brakes; carbon handlebar
a Cross-Country Rider
from Woodland Park, CO
Date Reviewed: December 14, 1999
My $700 dollars bought me a titanium frame that looks good, is strong, reasonably light, won't rust, mates up well with all my components, won't wear out in my lifetime, climbs and decends very well and, most importantly, got my spouse's blessing to purchase. I believe it's a good deal, not perfect, but it has made me a better rider -- period. What more can you expect from a bike frame? Just one last comment. A bike mechanic for a shop that sells Lightspeeds took mine for a quick spin. After that quick ride he looked it over, commented it compared well to a mid-range Lightspeed hardtail, and was CONSIDERING a Lucky Strike frame for himself.
Weaknesses: not assembled correctly upon reception
To Mike, a cross-country rider from Kent: I hope you reconsider your claim of fake reviews, which the people at mtbr.com have done everything to refute, including checking for unique dns addresses. Did you ever think that, just maybe, Airborne buyers are just a little more educated than the masses of people buying those other bikes? I've owned my Lucky Strike for several months now and can't say enough good things about it. It corners quickly, descends confidently, and climbs (to steal a phrase) like a monkey on crack. It's everything I could possibly ask for at a price I can afford. The only complaints I have are that it was not adjusted correctly when I received it. On both front and rear brakes, the cable arm (with attaching bolt) pad was touching the rim, the grips were on the wrong sides of the bar and not rotated correctly, and the chain rubbed the front derailleur when in the top two gears. Also, from a purely physiological standpoint, the saddle flares out too wide for my narrow hips and the long bar ends are way, way too short for my big hands. Then again, I'm 6'2, 200 lbs. On a positive note, the bike corners like it's trying to please you and comes back for more, no matter what one does to it. This is a follow-up to my earlier review, as well as a replacement, since I can't seem to find my last one...
Weaknesses: people who cry about huffy buy-out (who cares?) very poor attention to assembly details cable routing
ride is excellent. can non-pros really tell if the monostays are not aligned? does it matter? frame is very resillient. crashes have only caused very minor scratches, which can be buffed out. IF YOU ORDER A COMPLETE BIKE, MAKE VERY CERTAIN YOU TRIPLE CHECK EVERY LAST FASTENER FOR TIGHT. my bike was delayed in shipping for who knows what reasons (huffy buy out, parts back order, spec switch, etc.) and STILL was not even close to adjusted right. BE VERY THOROUGH. it seems like mine was the exception in these reviews, but...frame: 4.5 dung heaps assembly: -1.5 dung heaps customer service:.5 dung heaps customability: .5 dun heaps
I thought i'd share the following e-mail response i received from Airborne-- Yes it is true! The parent company of Airborne Direct (American Sports Design) has been urchased as a subsidiary of Huffy Corporation. Our warranty will not change. Our current warranty does cover the frame of the bike for the lifetime of the original owner. The warranty only covers a manufacturing defect. It just so happens that this is the same policy that Huffy Bicycle uses. We have moved to Springboro Ohio to the Huffy Tech Center. By doing this, we are able to use there testing facilities. We are also able to take advantage of some of Huffy Bicycle's distribution. Sincerely, Michael Wuellner Customer Service Airborne DirectOK, true, riding around a bike made by a company now owned by Huffy will be rather ignomious, but gosh, i've always wanted to own a high-end huffy. Regardless, after riding it almost every day (commuting and weekend XC/racing) i still love this bike, unaligned monostay extensions and all. I still love the feel and performance of the frame and i'm still happy with the service i've received from the company.
a Cross-Country Rider
from Missoula, MT
Date Reviewed: September 3, 1999
Strengths: material, price, geometry, customer service, ease of selecting components
Weaknesses: jealousy and envy created by yuppie-brand loyalists who overspent and received similar quality and inferior geometry
It's a true pity that people like ISC below need to degrade this incredible piece of equipment. The welds might not be as pretty, but where is ISC's proof that they aren't as strong, as those on a Litespeed or Seven or Merlin or other yup-cycle? I would be happy to examine my Airborne in view of real facts and proof submitted by ISC or any other disbeliever, but until I see such proof, I stand my my earlier review that proclaims this bike the best value on earth. I also stand by the fact that this bike's handling is much better than that of the litespeed or the merlin or the seven, even if I don't have a BMW to mount my Lucky Strike as another symbol of consumerism rather than riding skill. If you want a piece of show-off equipment, go ahead and spend $4000 on a merlin, seven or litespeed. If you want a great Ti bike that is worth more than its cost and handles better than bikes costing thousands more, get this one!
Similar Products Used: various from $750 to $2500 US
Bike Setup: 18 Lucky Strike, Marz Z2 BAM, SRAM 9.0 ESP rear der & shifters; XT front der & bottom bracket; King headset; Icon stem & seatpost; WTB SST X saddle; Avid 2.0 levers and Arch Rival 50 calipers; Bontrager Mustang ASYM w/ DT 14-15 and XT hubs
from San Diego, CA
Date Reviewed: August 13, 1999
It's great if you guys like the Airborne bikes, no problem here, but there's a reason they're only $600. I'm not intending to badmouth their bikes, just open your eyes. Airbornes are mass produced in the orient with low grade 3/2.5 titanium, and if you look at the loose welds, uneven headtubes (not faced properly), and badly chased bottom bracket threads, you'll see the lack of quality. Also the dropouts are not typically straight. These factors make for a poor handling bike. Welds on titanium are crucial and should be even and as close as possible. Look at yours and then go look at a Litespeed or Moots. Also, Airborne doesn't use 6/4 ti in the bb shell or dropouts like high-end companies such as Litespeed. I'm happy that you guys like the bikes, and they may ride nicely, but don't be fooling into thinking that they're top quality frames.
Weaknesses: Only a few small ones: minor shipping problem; rear brake not adjusted well; cable routing.
The Decision: After deciding that my riding style and needs were best suited to a hard tail rather than full suspension, I had to choose which hard tail to buy. It quickly became apparent that I wanted either titanium or high-end steel, because I find aluminum frames just too stiff. That's when Airborne and their killer web page stepped into the picture. Being able to completely customize your bike like that is just too cool, and must be the wave of the future. At the last minute, my local bike shop offered me a great deal on a new Litespeed Obed w/full XT componentry. So, I called each company. Airborne gave me a candid comparison of each bike, and basically told me that the bikes were probably equal performers. Litespeed told me that I shouldn't buy an Airborne because their frames are made in China. No assessment of the two bikes' pros and cons from Litespeed. So, I nervously took the plunge with the Lucky Strike because I felt that everything else was probably about equal, but Airborne's customer service was better and their bike was still a bit cheaper.The Bike: Now that the bike has arrived, I feel that I made the right decision. It's beautiful: nice welds, excellent finish, great artwork from WWII era, tuned well, excellent geometry.The Ride: The ride of the Airborne Lucky Strike, which is really what counts, is phenomenal. The bike is rigid in all the right places, but flexy enough to absorb the bumps -- the reason I wanted Ti in the first place. The bike is responsive, lively, and handles well. The Ti frame absorbs the small bumps, chewing and eating the washboard for brekfast. If you want a super stiff ride, this probably isn't the bike for you. But who wants to have a sore butt? Because it is so lightweight, it accelerates and climbs like a beast. Sprinting and bunny hopping have new meaning for me now. I am probably only riding this wonderful bike to 25% of its potenital -- I look forward over the next few years to a beautiful relationship as I really push my and the bike's envelope.Negatives: I have only a few minor complaints about the Lucky Strike bike. First, during shipping, the front wheel (which was detached from the bike) wedged itself firmly on the crank arm. It was a bummer to separate these two and scratch up my beautiful XT crank. Second, the rear brake was not well adjusted when I received the bike and needed some minor tuning. Finally, and the only structural comlaint I have, is the cable routing on the bottom of the bike's top tube. This will make long carries more difficult than they have to be.The Detractors: Airborne seems to take a lot of grief from the bike world by people who have NEVER ridden a Lucky Strike. No one I know of who has ridden or owned one has criticized it. So, I can only assume that the detractors (who have never ridden a Lucky Strike) are in some way threatened. This stands to reason: here's a successful, upstart company with innovative marketing who is cutting the retailers out of the loop --- and stealing their business in the process! So all Litespeed could say was that Airborne frames were manufactured in China -- they offered no real criticism because there really isn't any. (Note: they didn't complain that Shimano parts are manufactured in Japan. Hmmm...). As far as the recent Airborne acquisition by Huffy goes, I have reached a point of comfort. I have spoken with the folks and Airborne: their sale to Huffy will improve the product, increase the product line, and provide even better customer service. Nothing about the Lucky Strike will ever be like or be marketed like Huffy bikes. (Note: just because Chevy owns Corvette, doesn't mean that Corvettes will look or drive like the Sprint. Get it?). I was disappointed that the Sept. '99 issue of Bike magazine gave the Lucky Strike a lukewarm review. But, they appeared to be comparing apples and oranges, pitting the Lucy Strike against much more costly Ti bikes. Sentences like the Lucky Strike's ride isn't quite as lively or refined as its pricier competition is an example. I would hope that if you spent $4,000 for a Moots or a Seven that it would have a nicer ride.If there are any disbelievers in what I am saying or in my review, or if you just want to know more about the Lucky Strike, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a completely independent review and I am in no way connected with the Airborne company, except that I own one of their awe-inspiring bikes.