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Zaphros makes observations(25 posts)

Zaphros makes observationsZapros
Aug 27, 2001 4:44 AM
Zaphros is back. Notice that nobody post reviews of Airborn Zeppelin since Zaphros nail their @$$ to wall. Zaphros find this funny-used to be MANY reviews, all much like each other. This not good. Zaphros wonder if most are bogus?

Zaphros wonder if the following is what happened:
Airborne write bogus reviews of own bike.
Airborne get concerned that too many good reviews look suspicious.
Airborne start water botle giveaway as excuse for too many reviews.
Zaphros find things odd, and post on this board.
Man with name of Mudd write immediate rebuttal, knowing that jig is up.
Airborne stop writing bogus reviews now that people might find out truth.

Zaphros think that company which uses website as major advertizing might be willing to do such stuff. Zaphros notice that link in website straight to reviews in RBR. Anybody else think Zaphros might be right? This only a question by Zaphros, not accusation!

Maybe many people with brand-new bike and no knowlege of each other actually DID write similar reviews, all at same time? Maybe true, but maybe hogwash? Anybody want to buy a bridge?
re: 4bykn makes observations4bykn
Aug 27, 2001 5:03 AM
Sorry, man but my "@$$" is not nailed to the wall. I doubt the reviews are bogus, I know several of the reviewers and their only connection to Airborne is that they own one. If you look at the dates of the reviews, you can see when there is a sharp increase in the frequency of them. This will obviously coincide with the start of the "bottles for review" program. The number of reviews has since declined in all probability because everybody who wanted to post one has.
My new favorite review is the one posted by "Idjit Savant". A real laugher.
Zeppelin framesalex the engineer
Aug 27, 2001 6:08 AM
I have been doing a little bit of research on this whole cotroversy, at least toward the accusation some people have made about Airborne bikes being a piece of $hit. After wading through all their advertising hyperbole and getting to the actual specifications, I have found the following facts:
1) Zeppelin frames have no butted tubing, except for a sleeve on the seat post, euphamistically called a butted insert. In other words, these frames use plain, constant-thickness (aka "gas pipe") tubing.
2) Zeppelin frames weigh 3.75 lbs. This seems quite heavy, especially when you consider that Titanium weighs 1/2 that of steel, yet has similar strength properties.
3) After actually looking at a Zeppelin frame, I would rate the quality of the welds as "adequate", most likely done by high-volume machines.
Airborne makes a BIG deal about the frames being of Aircraft grade material and quality, and this may be true. However, in my professional observation, bicyle manufacture is usually held to HIGHER standards (especially in the appearance of welding) than is the case in aircraft manufacturing.
As a value judgement, I would have to say that the Zeppelin frame is comparable in quality to a low-end bike-shop purchased steel frame. The only thing unusual about this frame is the use of the exotic material, titanium. In all other respects, it is a mediocre piece of manufacturing.
For the same amount of money, you COULD buy a very well-made steel frame. Both frames would weigh about the same, and both should be strong. You could most likely find a lighter steel frame for the same money. What you would end up with is a piece of craftsmanship. Zeppelin frames seem to be nothing more than a piece of machine-built mediocrity made of exotic metal.
It's your money, I guess, and if all you really want is "something made of titanium", then you could probably do worse. Frankly, I'm not sure how titanium suddenly became the metal du jour, but these fads come and go. Aluminum was a big deal a few years ago, as was carbon fiber. All have their places, strengths, and weaknesses. Just don't let advertising fluffery obscure what is really important.
Aluminum "was" a big deal?Mel Erickson
Aug 27, 2001 6:40 AM
Today, more bike frames are probably made from aluminum than all other materials combined. It's easy to see why, low cost, light weight and ease of construction. Even cheap aluminum frames made today will probably outlast the owner as construction techniques and knowledge about what works have matured. I'm not set on any material but try to look at the whole package. I know next to nothing about Airbourne so I won't take a stab at that debate. I do know you can't tell the quality of a weld (whether steel, aluminum or titanium) by just looking at it. Some are prettier than others, but not necessarilly better. The time it takes to weld vs. the time it takes to finish a weld is where the money is in any welded frame.
my point exactly:alex the engineer
Aug 27, 2001 6:59 AM
the welds are not finished smoothly (like on my C'Dale-an aluminum frame), but look more like a quick machine weld. Not much attention to detail. I wouldn't go so far (as many do) to call it a "titanium Huffy", but it might qualify as a "titanium Specialized".
I guess that I wasn't clear on the remark about aluminum. The point that I was making was that, a few years ago, many manufacturers made a BIG deal about their frames being ALUMINUM, without really addressing why they did so, or explaining why a person SHOULD use their frame. The fact is, that the word "aluminum" was a major selling point, for no really good reason. There were (and still are) come crappy aluminum frames around, but most knowlegable people now realise that aluminum has is bad points, too.
ThanksJon Billheimer
Aug 27, 2001 7:25 AM
Thanks Alex for your response. I actually LEARNED something. Sometime when you have the time and inclination I'd like to see your review of carbon fibre frames, comparing OCLV, Kestrel, Calfee, and Look.
welcomealex the engineer
Aug 27, 2001 7:38 AM
However, I have no real experience with stressed CF. As a compound material, it is considerably different in properties from metal. Carbon Fiber has the possibility of being extremely light, but it is brittle, does not stand up well to abrasion, and will decay when exposed to certain greases, water, and even UV light. Any person considering a CF frame bike should keep in mind that it probably won't last as long as a metal frame bike will.
my point exactly:Steeve
Aug 27, 2001 9:10 AM
Readers should realize that the external appearance of a weld has little correlation to the quality of the weld (it could be perfectly smooth on the surface, but one big gas pocket inside). This is well accepted in industry, thus it is the proccess used in the weld that is critical. Indeed, there are standards set in industry that define the proccess development, testing, inspection etc. required for weld certification.
my point exactly:jaybird
Aug 27, 2001 9:29 AM
Alex, c'mon man, you know that you cannot tell the quality of a weld just by looking at it... Also, C'dale buffs their welds down...
You should repost as a main topickenyee
Aug 27, 2001 6:55 AM
Instead of a reply to Zaphros.
You make some interesting points and I'd like to see some responses on the lines of "bike X would be better because of these features at that price point" instead of the "Airborne marketing sucks" and "Airborne Customer Services rulez" emotional responses (though I suppose choosing a bike is partially an emotional thing ;-)
Zeppelin framesSteveS
Aug 27, 2001 8:24 AM
Say d'alex (Derek) what was that 20 year old Reynolds 531 frame you said you had that weighed less or equal to a Z? The make and model please. The one you said was a 63cm size.
Aug 27, 2001 2:25 PM
Since you are offerring your "professional observations," what kind of engineer are you? Didn't you post that you are a mechanical engineer? I noticed when you posted at the Airborne website under the name "d*alex" you asked whether Zeppelin bottom brackets were "investment cast" didn't you? And in your professional expertise, how many titanium builders of any price use investment cast bottom brackets? Surely you know what kind of frames use that type bottom bracket, don't you? I mean, an engineer with over 20 years experience with high grade bicycles ought to know what kinds of frames use investment castings,don't they? And since you were doing "a little bit of research" you didn't happen to check any of the zoomed pictures of a Zeppelin frame to see how it was made? Maybe you wouldn't know investment cast if you saw it.

And again, what was that 20 year old lugged Reynolds 531 frame, size 63cm, that you said was amazingly light? I believe I would like to do "a little research" on it, so what was the make and model.

Sorry, "Alex the engineer", "d*alex", or whatever your next nom de plum might be, you sound an awful lot like Derek Mattice. Poor thing.

(I am laughing at your claim to be an engineer and asking about investment cast bottom brackets on titanium frames right now. Engineer, maybe you should also ask which high end carbon fiber, aluminum, and titanium frames are using investment cast bottom brackets. Maybe the same manufacturer as your old steel frame. I mean, that was a critiera you as a professional engineer set forth in your post at the Airborne website, an investment cast bottom bracket for a titanium frame. Engineering expertise must come cheap nowadays like one those internet only SPAM mail degrees. That one is rich, think I will show it to some of my engineer friends for a "professional observation" or two.)
Engineer? Alex???TiRider78
Aug 27, 2001 5:35 PM
You may be an engineer but you don't seem to understand how it relates to cycling.
Picture of Zaphrosnova
Aug 27, 2001 8:26 AM
Your show stinks, but you are pretty funny.
Zaphros not a comedianZaphros
Aug 27, 2001 8:34 AM
You not find picture of Zaphros. Zaphros not that ugly. You get Zaphros mixed up with Zapatista, maybe.
I thought the character was from Babylon5?kenyee
Aug 27, 2001 11:06 AM
same 3rd person style of talking/babbling.

But the character's name was Zathros AFAIK.
Hey Trollman! Someone is copying your "third person" style.9WorCP
Aug 27, 2001 9:33 AM
Whatcha gonna do about it, Huh? Or did you copy Zaphros? Is there gonna be a fight?
Maybe they're the same person...hmmm??? (nm)JL
Aug 27, 2001 9:37 AM
Maybe Bob Dole will jump inmike mcmahon
Aug 27, 2001 9:40 AM
Senator Dole was fond of referring to "Bob Dole" while on the presidential campaign trail in 1996. He laid claim to this practice well before our new board friends. Now that Dole's on the Viagra and the Pepsi, I'll bet he's more feisty, so you guys had better watch out.
OOOH! Mike Tyson also has this habit from time to time.9WorCP
Aug 27, 2001 10:00 AM
Still my money's on Dole as long as he's knocking back the viagra with Pepsi chasers.
Real people use real namesChris Zeller
Aug 27, 2001 12:52 PM
Isn't it funny that you make acusations about fraudulant reviews on this site, when you yourself won't even use your real name. If your only purpose is to rip on a particular bike manufacturer go back to high school. If you want to bring up real criticsm of a particular product, use your real name.

I am using my real name and I do own an Airborne. The stigma against this particular manufacturer, isn't based on any type of experience. Airborne has a 10-day satisfaction gurantee. I haven't heard from one person who says that they didn't like the handling or quality of an Airborne that they bought and sent back--or bought and regretted. IMHO this whole debate is based on LS, Merlin, and Seven owners defending their right to exclusivity of their $5000+ bikes.

The whole water bottle deal is outright endorsement and advertizing not for Airborne but for RBR. Remember RBR is a business too and the free content that everyone provides is what drives their advertizing machine. By getting more owners to post content to a website, it builds the quality of the website--it's a true benifit to the website not the product. Trusting that a promotion like this won't backfire on you requires selling good quality products.

I'm sick and tired of hearing about "Pretty" welds. Who really gives a S##t! I don't sit around staring at my bike all day. The welds on my bike look fine--the weight is identical to the comparable Litespeed and if the weld fails--Airborne gives me a new frame--for life. Most companies with "pretty" welds don't offer that. If I crash it I get a discounted replacement. True, Airborne only has ovalized straight gauge tubing, but only about half of the bikes from top titanium bike manufactures use butted tubing anyway. The poster above failed to mention that the 3.71 lbs frame is size 60--most frame weights are quoted in size 43 where you should compare to the Airborne 3.09 lb. I think you would have trouble finding a steel frame with a similur weight.

This is a review from a real person with real experience with this company. Zapharos--get a real name--get a life!
Oh, so testy.grzy mnky
Aug 27, 2001 1:58 PM
All he's saying is follow the sequence of events and the money trail. Who pays for the water bottles and why? How come things suddenly started then stopped?

Zaphros would counter that an actual Airborne owner wouldn't know a poor handling bike from a virgin. Don't give him any extra ammo.

Question: how does the handling and ride quality of the Airborne compare to the afformentioned rides? If it's the same in your mind then you got a deal if it's worse then you got what you paid for.

In any event you come across as shrill and defensive. I'm not here to bust your chops - just make some observations.
Real people use real namesTri-State Cycler
Aug 27, 2001 2:15 PM
I agree. If you like the bike and it suits your riding style, who gives a crap what the decals say? The bike bashing stuff is crazy.
did you ever write about what you compared with, etc.?kenyee
Aug 27, 2001 3:35 PM
I'm curious what your search criteria were and what others you tried.
Observation: Zaphros verb impared. (nm)grzy mnky
Aug 27, 2001 1:50 PM