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My New Airborne Carpe Diem(6 posts)

My New Airborne Carpe DiemRich Clark
Jun 20, 2001 2:36 PM
Have you guys seen this frame? It's a ti 'cross/touring frame, and it's sweet. Mine is set up for commuting/touring: Ultegra triple but with XTR and an XT 11-32 in back; Mavic T519 36-spoke rims with Ultegra hubs, built by Wheelsmith with Wheelsmith 14/15 spokes; Conti Top Touring tires, 700x32c; Ritchey Pro build kit; Surley cro-mo 'cross fork.

The bike has rack and fender mounts and comes with Avid Shorty cantilever brakes.

I was surprised to learn that Airborne has dealers now, and even more surprised when I found my LBS was one. Cool, because the price was the same (they discounted the bike to compensate for the additional sales tax) and I could get it fitted at the shop.

I'll be commuting on my new Carpe Diem when it's not raining (I'll leave the fenders and the panniers on my Novara Randonee for sloppy weather, at leastt for now), and doing more day trips on weekends. This bike was a reward for riding 4000 miles between my 49th and 50th birthdays; I hit the mark with three months to go and decided to get the bike now. Why waste the summer?

In my first two commutes I cut 6 minutes off my previous 26-mile round trip record. And speed wasn't even the point.

Anyway, I just wanted to preen a bit. Getting a new bike is something to talk about!

Kudos to Airborne for recognizing the need for a bike like this. It would be hard to imagine another bike as versatile that was also this much fun to ride.

Saw the review in Cycling +look271
Jun 20, 2001 3:00 PM
They loved it. Was their Bike of the Year. Congrats. Enjoy it. I got a new road bike last year and the new bike feeling still hasn't worn off. I'd seriously consider that bike for 'cross and commuting, but lets face it; even at Airborne's price, that's alot of $$ for a commuter.
Saw the review in Cycling +Rich Clark
Jun 21, 2001 7:59 AM
"that's alot of $$ for a commuter"

I don't think of it that way. I think of it as "it's a bargain for a bike I spend 10-14 hours a week riding."

Saw the review in Cycling +look271
Jun 21, 2001 9:53 AM
I was only speaking of what I would use it for; in your case, it's a really good value. My main ride is a Look kg271.
Just out of interest..muncher
Jun 21, 2001 8:23 AM
What does yours weigh in its "in use" garb?
WeightRich Clark
Jun 21, 2001 10:46 AM
About 250 pounds, since I'm usually on it when it's "in use."

Seriously, the Airborne configurator lists the bike as spec'd at 22.22 pounds, including pedals. A different wheelset would have shaved more than a pound from that. I added a fairly heavy Topeak rear rack, along with a Performance rack trunk to carry tools, tire stuff, lock, phone, eyeglasses, and other commuter junk. And two bottle cages. And a Planet Bike computer. For the summer, at least, I won't put the fenders or panniers on this bike.

I haven't weighed the actual bike. It's probably 32 pounds ready to ride.

I didn't buy it for light weight, although I was conscious that the bike would weigh 6-8 pounds less than the equivalent steel touring bike. I bought it for durability, ride quality, better hill-climbing, and because I wanted a really good frame to hang high-end parts from. I figured if I was going to buy an Ultegra/XTR sport/tourer anyway (even if there were such a thing), going ti would only add a couple hundred bucks to the total cost, if that. And I already have a steel touring bike, and I didn't really want aluminum.

So far it's everything I hoped for.