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Kestrel or Airborne? Need help!(10 posts)

Kestrel or Airborne? Need help!rengaracchi
Mar 30, 2002 5:39 PM
I am considering purchasing a new bike that will replace my 13-year old Cannondale. After spending hours on the net, my choices are nailed down to two alternatives: Kestrel Talon or Airborne Zeppelin, both with Ultegra set up and Mavic Kysrium SL wheels. The prices of the bikes are about the same (3k).

What I concern about the most is the quality of ride and the fatigue factor of the materials they use for the frames. I understand that titanium is very durable, but is carbon as durable as titanium? I also worry about crash if I buy a carbon frame. My friend recently got Airborne Valkyrie, and I was very impressed by its ride and the craftsmanship of the bike. I haven't rode Kestrel but read so many positive reviews, and I like their idea of the "one-piece advanced composite" construction. I am 5.8" tall and weigh 150 lb. and am a serious weekend rider live in a country side of Japan.

Thank you very much.
re: Kestrel or Airborne? Need help!pmf1
Mar 30, 2002 7:38 PM
These are both "bargain" bikes for their medium. I would not worry about carbon being delicate. I've had a Kestrel 200 Sci for 8 years. Never crashed it, but I can't see why it would be any different than a ti bike in surviving. Folks on the board like grz have crashed them repeatedy w/o problems.

Both of these bikes have their drawbacks for the material. the Zepp has a CP BB and HS, the Kestrel is not a true one-piece frame that they are famous for. Both bikes would make you happy though. Try riding a CF bike. I like them, but many folks do not (FWIW I also have a ti bike and I like it as well, but the ride is different).

You are limiting yourself too much. I saw in Velonews today that you can buy a Litespeed bike with Ultegra for $2200 (U.S.). This is without doubt, a better frame than the Zepp. Don't forget steel -- gvhbikes.com has a nice Italian Viner with Ultegra and a carbon fork for $1500. And you can never have enough wheels (with the savings). Look around more.
re: Kestrel or Airborne? Need help!rengaracchi
Mar 30, 2002 8:18 PM
Thank you pmf1 for the input. Now I have much better ideas about the frames and possible alternatives. You are probably right that I limit myself too much (and too early). I will do my study more. The first step is to visit LBSs to test ride a carbon frame bike!
re: Kestrel or Airborne? Need help!liu02bhs
Mar 30, 2002 8:25 PM
Since you live in Japan, why not just buy a Japanese bike. Or better yet, find out where in China Airborne get its bikes from and buy it direct. I'm sure it'll be a lot cheaper even with the shipping. As for the durability issue, my friend bought a Trek 5900. First crash and the frame was cracked. Maybe Kestrel's frame will fair better. But I have crashed my aluminum and have seen titanium bikes been crashed, they come out with a few scratches.

good hunting
You've got to be kidding!Uncle Tim
Mar 30, 2002 8:45 PM
A choice between a Kestrel and an Airborne. Please.

You crashed a Trek frame and it cracked, therefore the Trek CF frame must be inferior to the other frames you've crashed. Brilliant deduction.

Simple reality check: all crashes are not created equal. If you crash a bike hard enough - and in the right way - the frame will crack. It may seem as though a crash impact isn't be so bad, but the stresses on a small area may be high enough that the laws of physics demand that the part give.

I would suggest that the original poster ignore the above post.
Whose deduction?Crankist
Mar 30, 2002 9:40 PM
Give the guy a break. He's relating an incident and trying to be helpful. You seem to be the only one deducing that one is inferior to another- merely your "brilliant deduction". I would suggest that the original poster ignore the above post.
This guy must work for Trekliu02bhs
Mar 31, 2002 10:26 AM
Wow, I didn't know you can get so offended about my observation. I realize your point of view, but I'm not stating a fact, merely an observation. I even added "maybe Kestrel frame will fair better." I apologize about not being scientific about it and committing the fallacy of composition.

Peace Out
re: Kestrel or Airborne? Need help!LC
Mar 31, 2002 10:40 AM
I have ridden the Talon quite a bit and it is certainly a very good bike. I trade my Look KG386 back and forth with my friends Talon to try to see the differences. I think the Talon's stiff rear triangle makes for a vary good hill climber and sprinting bike and the CF still absorbs the road vibration nicely too. I have not ridden the Airborn Valkyrie, but I have ridden the Zepplin. I was able to flex the Airborn on a steep hill enough to get chain rub, so at least for me the Zep would not be my choice.
Consider Aegis if you are set on Carbon. nmonespeed
Mar 31, 2002 1:18 PM
In that price rangeJekyll
Mar 31, 2002 2:28 PM
You can get literally dozens of different bikes with Ultegra and Ksyriums and quite a few with D/A and Ksyriums in the $3k price range.
A Zeppelin for 3K is a rip either way (unless the pricing is that different in Japan). At $1100 for the frame with just about any fork you would be paying $1900 for an Ultegra build kit (minus probably Ultegra hubs laced to OP's), plus Ksyriums - waaaaaaaay too much.
Got to as many shops as you can and ride as many bikes as you can. Sooner or later you will find one that "speaks" to you. The process is well worth it.