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Airborne build quality(8 posts)

Airborne build qualityCaseysdad
Aug 15, 2003 6:21 AM
I ride in a group in which at least three other riders are on various models of Airborne frames. While behind one of them I noticed that the right-side seatstay tube met the seat tube slightly lower and more toward the center of the seat tube than did the left seatstay tube. I figured that this was either a minor, unfortunate manufacturing defect or an intentional design characteristic. Perhaps a way of countering flex on the drive side of the bike or something like that.

Out of curiosity, I figured I'd check out the other two riders' frames to see if they shared the same asymmetric build. Both frames seemed to have similar inconsistencies in where the seatstay tubes met the seat tube, but there was enough variation from frame to frame that I got the impression that this was due to an imprecise building process rather than an intentional design characteristic.

I don't know much about Airborne bikes, but I've always had the impression that they were at least reasonably well built mid-level frames, so I was surprised to see such apparently consistent inconsistencies across all three frames. Are their build tolerances actually that lax? Is this kind of variation common among other frames? Am I making something out of nothing? Just curious...
re: decentSadlebred
Aug 15, 2003 6:49 AM
I had one of their earliest mountain bike models (literally, mine was in the first 100 made). I rode it for about 5 years before finally selling it this spring to make way for a new cyclocross bike. I never had a problem with the frame itself. The bike was very stiff, a little too stiff for me. The welds were not as pretty as a Merlin or Seven, but they were clean and looked ok. I used the bike to jump stuff, race downhill, race cross country, and to generally beat up on. I never had a problem with it.
" consistent inconsistencies " lol nmcollinsc
Aug 15, 2003 7:47 AM
There is a reason why they are cheap.Alexx
Aug 15, 2003 10:28 AM
The frames are built in China, at a factory owned by Huffy. Airborne is a subsidiary of Huffy. You expect quality workmanship from Huffy??
you are incorrectcollinsc
Aug 15, 2003 11:30 AM
while they may be made in china, the factory is no longer owned by huffy. it was bought back by its original owner about a year ago.
There is a reason why they are cheap.Heron Todd
Aug 15, 2003 12:22 PM
They are still made in China, but the company is no longer owned by Huffy. I don't believe that the factory was ever a Huffy factory. Rather, the manufacturing was contracted to a Chinese supplier.

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
LaSalle, IL 815-223-1776
Made in China by low wage workers. nmUncle Tim
Aug 15, 2003 1:44 PM
re: Airborne build qualityAkirasho
Aug 15, 2003 7:23 PM
I've got a couple (and a half) of Airbornes... and have not noticed any overt imperfections in their welds or alignment... indeed, my latest acquisition lacks a traditional stay in lieu of a CF mono.

No complaints on build quality or aesthetics.

As with most titanium fabrication, Airbornes come more out of China's aerospace industry (many current titanium bicycle manufacturers came into the business because of their expertise in working with the material in military and industrial applications). Low wages in a world economy is a relative term... I'm not well versed enough on China labor to comment further (although, I suspect that these are still highly skilled technicians (required for any Ti frabrication)).

Be the bike.