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Manhattan Project - Worthy of the price tag?(27 posts)

Manhattan Project - Worthy of the price tag?EW
Nov 19, 2001 5:33 PM
re: Manhattan Project - Worthy of the price tag?Akirasho
Nov 19, 2001 5:56 PM
...Whew... maybe they should rename the company "Liteborne" or "Airspeed"...

It's more than I would have expected... I guess they did their marketing homework though... If I'm lucky, there'll be some on hefty clearance at Airborne's next garage sale.

I've been eyeing the '02 Litespeed Ultimate (already got an Airborne). It'll be interesting to hear comments from our first test guinea pigs on this one...

We abide.

Remain In Light.
Nov 19, 2001 6:51 PM
$1700 for an Airborn?? Who are they kidding. You can get rides like a Pinerello Opera, Colnago Dream Plus (with a lot of parts), Kestrel 300 EMS, Cinelli Airplane, Eddy Merckx Team, or Look KG 381 for the same price. They have lost their mind if they think their frame is in the same catagory.
Quien sabe?SteveS
Nov 19, 2001 7:00 PM
Who would have any real idea to base an opinion upon, no one has ridden one except for maybe some of the company's employees?

I would prefer to have read the opinions of some of the European magazines after they have had a chance to review one. Then I might be able to draw some conclusions from their opinions. Some other people seem to think they have full knowledge of a bike's ride characteristics after looking at the decals. Or maybe looking at ads. Mostly kids.
Airborne=Supergo Scattante Qualityspookyload
Nov 19, 2001 8:19 PM
I have seen both companies products. They are of the same quality as far as welds go. The Scattante frames are very good frames, as are the Airborne frames, but Supergo knows what price range to sell their Taiwanese Magic carpets at. I would be willing to bet Scattante will have a ti/carbon frame this year, and it will come in closer to $1000. They already have the all carbon for $795 and the Columbus Airplane/carbon frame for even less. Now you tell me which you want...a top of the line Columbus tubing frame or a generic ti tubing frame. There I go again putting my faith in labels. Guess what, all the companies I listed in my first post, as well as Columbus got their reputation from years of research and product development. Airborne is an infant compaired to all the companies I listed. They did a Jurassic Park...instead of researching and developing a product, they jumped on the bandwagon and borrowed idea's of others to produce a product as fast as posssible. It very well could be a great riding frame, but I think they priced it way above their market. People won't want to spend $1800 on a south pacific made ti frame.
Nov 19, 2001 8:43 PM
It may be that this frame is priced well above it's market. T'ain't my problem. I had the opportunity to buy one this week, as did any of the readers at the Airborne website and chose not to. I chose not to because I am extremely happy with my Zeppelin, which guys using your exact same logic tried to pan based upon ads. They were wrong as proven thousands of times over. Makes me happy and I laugh whenever I think of them. (I am never returning to aluminum no matter whose name or what paint job)

Basically, what you are saying is that you have no real knowledge of this bike, it's ride, or quality, but you do know reputations of some bikes that you have seen or read about.

Heres the kicker, the buyers of this frame will have the same opportunity to return it in 10 days and get all their money back if they don't like it. How many of those that you mentioned, wherever they were made, whatever their welds look like,whatever their decal, back their product with the same satisfaction guarantee? I'll go check and see if your Scattante pals do the same.
do some research pleasecollinsc
Nov 19, 2001 8:48 PM
if you were really so interested in labels, you would have seen by now that the Airborne MP is made from Reynolds double butted tubing. its not any "generic ti tubing frame", as if thats some bad thing, I seriously doubt you can find any serious fault with my Valkyrie. you might not like the ride characteristics, or the geometry, or whatever else you think you can piss on, but those are in no way make one frame any better than another.

and where do you figure " they jumped on the bandwagon and borrowed idea's of others to produce a product as fast as posssible"?? did you work with airborne on this? were you there when they said "hey lets throw some carbon on this huffy and sell it for a billion dollars!"

piss off if you feel that way, no one wants to hear your uninformed bitchings.

oh, and btw, if i had 1800 to spend, id spend it with airborne before anyone else.
Did research and brought pics for youspookyload
Nov 19, 2001 9:31 PM
First of all, I never doubted you Valkyrie was a nice ride. As for ways to make a better frame, it boils down to craftsmanship. Look at the picture I uploaded. Notice the difference in welds? One looks like a highschool welding class, the other one doesn't even seem to have a weld. They both work fine, but there is a difference in the work. That is what you should expect in a frame costing more than $1500. Oddly Airborne wouldn't show any of the major welds on the frame, just the ones at the chainstay's. As for jumping on the bandwagon, what made them decide to use carbon this year? They have absolutely no history in carbon. Could it have been the early pics of Litespeeds Ultimate frame? God how I really hate Litespeed, and now I have to defend them. Odd you compared your beloved Airborne to a Huffy, I never mentioned that. What is it with Airborne owners, they get so defensive about the company. Sort of like Saturn owners. And my personal feelings of Airborne are actually very good. They make a quality alternative to WAY overpriced frames from Moots, Seven, and Litespeed/Merlin/Quintana Roo.

oh, and btw, you can spend your $1800 on what ever you want. I personally like all carbon, so that is what I would buy. But that is what makes America great. You can buy whatever the heck you want.
problem with looking at the "welds"gtx
Nov 19, 2001 9:42 PM
unless you're a welder and really know what to look for, chances are you're looking at finishing work. A lot of the welds on $300 bikes look okay for this reason. The real question is (besides ride quality, geometry, fit), is it light, is it straight, will it stay straight, and will it break? Ask a guy who's built up 10 Moots and 10 mass produced bikes together how many of each were perfectly straight. A perfectly straight, durable bike won't make you go any faster, but it does cost money to make them. That's why Moots, etc., cost what they do.
That was a moots frame inset actuallyspookyload
Nov 19, 2001 10:00 PM
You emphasize my point about craftsmanship. For the price of the MP you should expect that sort of craftsmanship. Most any custom builder will have very finely finished welds. If it is steel, it will be fillet brazed or if you drop big coin, you will get amazing lug work. If it is aluminum, you better not see finished welds. You severly weaken welds by sanding them on aluminum. The FAA prohibits sanding aluminum welds on aircraft for this exact reason. I liked the article someone else posted about the difference between theirs and Asian Ti frames. I had better tread softly or some other Airborne owner is going to get all bowed up. Remember guys, it isn't the bike that makes it go fast, it is your legs, and everybodies are made of the same thing.
That was a moots frame inset actuallygtx
Nov 19, 2001 10:10 PM
I know that was a Moots. I think we probably agree--I posted the thing on Asian ti frames. And you're right, it's the engine...
Finishing aluminum welds...Nessism
Nov 20, 2001 6:20 AM
improves fatiugue life of bicycle frames. The standard single pass "worm" texture welds are not as durable as the double pass ground and smoothed welds that Klein and Cannondale use. The larger welds distribute with load over a larger area and do not have notches where stress cracks can start. Plus, most high performace Al frames require heat treatment after welding which repaires the heat related microscopic grain growth that occures in the weld area.
As far as the FAA goes, can you imagine someone heat treating an airplane after welding...that would be some oven!
Did research and brought pics for youcollinsc
Nov 19, 2001 10:05 PM
Thanks for actually responding, im impressed that you arent the cocky ass i thought you were from your first post.
But im still wondering why a companies first offering must be a rushed hack job and a jump on the bandwagon. Airborne doesnt have a whole lot of "history" period, so why cant they experiment a little? and why cant it be good?
How early were the early pics of the Ultimate? Airborne's been working on the MP for quite some time now. What bike is in the inlaid pic for comparison?

As far of as the rest goes, I did not compare my bike to a huffy and I never would, just as i wouldnt compare a fiat to a ferrari (even though Im a huge fiat fan). I was attempting to stress the sillyness of your original accusations that Airborne just tossed some crap together and ended up with the MP. And the reason Airborne owners are so defensive is because they are constantly attacked by name nazis who think that brands = quality.

Anyway, thanks for your input.
re: Manhattan Project - Worthy of the price tag?tarwheel
Nov 19, 2001 7:02 PM
Take your pick: You can buy this brand new Colnago CT-1 from for the same price, $1795, and build it up for a lot less money than what Airborne charges. I know which one I'd pick. Seems like Airborne would need a price advantage to make someone choose their MP over a CT-1.
Nov 19, 2001 7:20 PM

Check your email - I sent you a picture of the bike. I'll ignore your comments on the ride quality of carbon.

re: Manhattan Project - Worthy of the price tag?kyroadie
Nov 20, 2001 12:00 PM
I'd take the CT-1 too. But keep in mind, if it breaks, you are on your own!
re: Manhattan Project - Worthy of the price tag?gtx
Nov 19, 2001 9:24 PM
glancing at the specs it looks like they knocked off about 1/2 a pound from the Zeppelin frame (which is kind of heavy, considering it's ti). So maybe in addition to the Reynolds tubing, they're going with higher quality and lighter bb shells, machined parts, etc., in this new frame, which might also account for the massive price increase over the Zep. I still doubt they'll find many takers at that price, but who knows? They might be trying to improve the image by having an expensive frame in the lineup. Personally, I'd rather hand my hard earned cash over to some guy like this:

Also, thought this was interesting--from James Bleakley at Black Sheep bikes.

Q: People reading this are likely to be bike aficionados, and likely they will have shopped around quite a bit for their dream bike, There seems to be a mad proliferation of sub $700 titanium bike frames out there, why should someone buy a more expensive black sheep instead of one of those?

James: First and foremost the quality of the base material is what is in question with a cheap bike, not all ti is created equal. The sport grade Asian Ti's are not up to the quality or specifications of their US counterparts. We use 6/4 grade titanium for all machined parts and Bottom brackets, our Asian counterparts do not, which means that the parts have to be vastly overbuilt to prevent premature failure, so there goes your weight advantage for owning a Titanium bike. If they don't overbuild their Bottom brackets and head tubes, then these Ti bikes, that people buy expecting them to last a lifetime, end up having deformation and tolerance problems.
not much infoDA
Nov 20, 2001 6:27 AM
on the chester site and he uses the same angles for all sizes- how long has he been building frames? still may be a good welder though
not much infogtx
Nov 20, 2001 10:54 AM
Don't think he's been building all that long--he's in his twenties. Has a fairly rabid following amoung singlespeeders--his singlespeed frame comes with stock angles. But it looks like he's heading to more of a custom route.
What was the Manhattan Project?Me Dot Org
Nov 19, 2001 10:54 PM
It was was expensive...and it blew up.

This is a little like Hyundai making luxury car, where perception is a large part of the problem. Can Airborne convince the bicycle buying public that their souless Chinese frames are as good as the ones made by Italian Artisans who drink the blood of Fausto Coppi? Everyone knows the profit margins increase on upscale items, but when you've made your name being the cycling equivalent of an outlet store, how do you convince the public that suddenly you're Tiffany's? This had better be a DARN good frame, because Airborne has to sell past some competition with a lot more cache.

Until you ride one, you won't know.
Drink the blood of Fausto Coppi????John-d
Nov 20, 2001 3:56 AM
It has just occurred to me that I don't think I have ever seen a posting on drug testing and the effect of various liquids and the effects of drinking untested substances.

Would this be a safe pick me up?
Coppi's blood is now marketed under the name EPO (nm)Me Dot Org
Nov 21, 2001 9:22 AM
Interesting comparisonnova
Nov 20, 2001 7:12 AM
The car analogy is a good one. But think back to when the first Honda Accords and Toyota Corollas were imported to the US. The fact is that they were perceived as garbage by many people, but they soon proved that the Big 3 were in fact churning out the trash from Detroit. Honda and Toyota now offer both luxury and economy cars, and I'll take anything they build before I buy "American" again. (I'm from Detroit with family in the auto industry, so please, I don't want to argue about that topic ;-)

So now we have Hyundai and Suzuki trying to make inroads in the auto market. Like Honda and Toyota before them, perception is their primary obstacle. But if we are to take a lesson from the past, it is that perception is never a close approximation of reality.

With Airborne, we could be witnessing a "Honda" of sorts in the bike industry. Time will tell.

I own a Zep, and I'm satisfied. If I were to spend $1700 on another Ti frame, I would look for something other than another Airborne, but mainly because I want variety amongst my bikes.
Interesting comparisonMe Dot Org
Nov 21, 2001 9:20 AM
Continuing the car analogy: when Honda, Nissan and Toyota when upscale, they rebranded as Acura, Infiniti and Lexus. I doubt if this type of marketing separation is possible on the profit margins of a single bicycle frame.
re: Manhattan Project - Worthy of the price tag?John-d
Nov 20, 2001 3:46 AM
It looks very nice, but I am wondering what the advantage is of carbon seat stays over Ti.

It seems that, in Britain it would cost about £1,100 more than my CAAD4 R800 for a similar 105 spec and weight. This is after adding tax and delivery charges from Holland. Is the ride that good, or are there other benefits?
As yet untested4bykn
Nov 20, 2001 7:15 AM
This is really not a good place to determine the worth of the MP.I assume there will soon be a review done in one mag or another, that would be the place to look. Just mentioning the Airborne name on this forum brings out a lot of uninformed opinions(prejudices?). You ask an innocent question and get slammed for even considering Airborne.

Is it worth it? That's strictly up to you. Is it a quality frame? Could be, my Zeppelin is flawless.
Nov 20, 2001 7:32 AM