Entry Level Budget Bike

Discuss & ask about mountain bikes and frames here. Need help with what MTB to buy, model specific questions/comparisons, or just want to discus your bike modifications & builds.
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Entry Level Budget Bike

Postby Mtb_Jay » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:02 pm

I was looking around for a decent entry level bike that won't fall apart after 5-10 rides like those walmart bikes. Bike is for me and my wife, and we probably won't be doing any crazy technical riding, I like a little bit of technical though. I came across this bike and was wondering if anyone had any experience with it.

http://www.airbornebicycles.com/products/111-sabre.aspx

For only 250$ it seems like a good deal, but then again because it's that cheap it seems scary, like it would be another throwaway like I've experienced in my last two bikes. We are both new to the sport and will be living in NC in the summer so lots of trails to ride on... I just want something to last for a few years until I'm ready for a real bike.
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Re: Entry Level Budget Bike

Postby lovemountainbiking12 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:55 pm

looks like a pretty solid bike to me i bought a felt q 520 for 500 bucks and that bike is half the price. mtbgreg1 rides some airborne bikes he could help you out with further details or look up some reviews of this bike
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Re: Entry Level Budget Bike

Postby MTI » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:28 pm

I would be carefull where I ride the bike. I bought my daughters some Trek bikes with similar components 2 years ago. On the gravel paths and smooth trails they are just fine and I am sure that bike will be fine as well, but you may find that it would be better to go up a notch simply because mountain biking is addicting and you may find yourself saying you like some technical riding and then you will be wanting to do more to the point where you are doing more than the bikes components can handle. Where in NC are you going to be living (and riding) this summer?
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Re: Entry Level Budget Bike

Postby gar29 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:12 pm

Definitely better than a Walmart bike, and will be good for paved bike trail or fire road riding. Now the but... But if you plan to ride any real trails, you will find the 7 speed will leave you wanting, along with the brakes. On the good side though, the platform is solid. If you find that you like mountain biking, you can upgrade the components on this bike, where you really can't on the cheaper, department store, bikes.
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Re: Entry Level Budget Bike

Postby Gdb49 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:29 pm

In this price range consider used. Then you will have a frame worth upgrading your components. You can get so much more used and anything new will be a real disappointment when you get hooked on MTB like the rest of us! You can upgrade as the budget allows and learn what you like as you ride, so you can upgrade smarter.
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Re: Entry Level Budget Bike

Postby Stl_Greaser » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:27 pm

I see some of the components not to be the greatest but others have mentioned the brakes. My Trek Marlin came with the same Tektro mechanical brake and I find them to have plenty of power as long as they are adjusted properly. The thing you have to worry about the most with Airborne bikes is they are sold direct and you would have to assemble it or pay a local bike shop to assemble it for you. Then when it comes time for maintenance or adjustments that may be out of your mechanical ability (not saying you can not do any thing, I just do not know your ability at this time) I will cost you more then if you bought a bike from the local shop.

One other thing you can look into is start calling all of the local bike shops. I know a lot of the shops around me are taking in bikes on trade and offer them for very good deals. You can get a bike for close to half price if not better and they are all looked over, repaired if needed and set up by professional bicycle mechanics.

Lastly it is tough to buy a bike over the internet and get a good fit. Every bike is different even if they are all 19" frames they will fit different. That is one of the most important parts of buying a bike. If it doesn't fit well it will not be fun to ride!
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Re: Entry Level Budget Bike

Postby MTI » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:47 am

I see that someone suggested to buy used and yes you can get a good deal however you need to make sure you test ride and make sure the components are in good shape. I had a friend who bought used and got an OK deal but by the time he replaced his casette, chainrings and chain he dumped an additional $250.00 in parts and labor in. Also check the Singletracks For Sale Forum. If you are looking for a 19" I just posted a Rockhopper. It is well above entry level and has handled well all over NC and N. GA. The bike is bored in my basement!
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Re: Entry Level Budget Bike

Postby Mtb_Jay » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:00 am

MTI wrote:I would be carefull where I ride the bike. I bought my daughters some Trek bikes with similar components 2 years ago. On the gravel paths and smooth trails they are just fine and I am sure that bike will be fine as well, but you may find that it would be better to go up a notch simply because mountain biking is addicting and you may find yourself saying you like some technical riding and then you will be wanting to do more to the point where you are doing more than the bikes components can handle. Where in NC are you going to be living (and riding) this summer?


We are moving to Jacksonville, NC and going to be going to Wilmington for school. not to many trails over that way, but we will be heading to the western side often. I probably won't be riding anything crazy until I drop about 30ish lbs or so. I just wanted to make sure I will actually be riding often enough to spend over 500-700 on a bike before I do that. I did find a few Trek bikes on Craigslist for around the same price.

Also, thanks for all the replies...this has got to be one of the best forums I've been on, I'll keep an eye around local bike shops because I haven't checked them at all yet, I would like to at least sit on this bike before I buy it....
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Re: Entry Level Budget Bike

Postby blundar » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:35 am

My Airborne Zeppelin Elite has very similar components, and so far it has been rock solid reliable for a whole season of use. At this price, basically you are paying for the components and getting a free frame. As a beginner bike, that is an awesome bike to start with.

If you decide to latter on upgrade some components (like tires or a front fork), it is also a worth while thing to do. For a Walmart bike, that would be a complete waste of money.
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Re: Entry Level Budget Bike

Postby Greg Heil » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:19 pm

I see some of the components not to be the greatest but others have mentioned the brakes. My Trek Marlin came with the same Tektro mechanical brake and I find them to have plenty of power as long as they are adjusted properly. The thing you have to worry about the most with Airborne bikes is they are sold direct and you would have to assemble it or pay a local bike shop to assemble it for you. Then when it comes time for maintenance or adjustments that may be out of your mechanical ability (not saying you can not do any thing, I just do not know your ability at this time) I will cost you more then if you bought a bike from the local shop.


Re: assembly: there is some assembly required, but they come about 90% assembled. It's pretty basic stuff: stem, bars, seatpost, air up tires... that's about it. It might require a tune up too... depends.

Re: bike in general: I own an original Airborne Goblin and have put a couple thousand miles on that bike. The frame has been bomber! I have worn out and destroyed numerous components... but that comes with the territory. No matter what bike you're riding, you're going to brake stuff. IMO, cheaper components will be heavier, and probably break quicker... but more expensive components will wear out eventually too.

This bike is definitely a pricepoint bike, meaning it's meant to compete well with other bikes at this pricepoint. If you spend more money, you can definitely get better components... but if this is the amount of money you want to spend, you are probably going to get a much better bang for your buck with Airborne.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Entry Level Budget Bike

Postby Mtb_Jay » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:56 pm

It's official, after calling around looking for used stuff with no luck I ordered 2 Airborne Sabre's.....21" for me and 17" for the wife, they seem very solid and I was chatting with one of the guys there talking about fine tuning. They seem to do a lot of the fine tuning before disassembly and shipping so when you assemble it you should be all ready to go.

I think these will be perfect until we find out if we are ready enough to drop 4 digits into the sport. Thanks for all the replies and I'll be posting some reviews and maybe an unboxing/assembly video when it comes in :)
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Re: Entry Level Budget Bike

Postby Greg Heil » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:59 pm

sk8fux wrote:It's official, after calling around looking for used stuff with no luck I ordered 2 Airborne Sabre's.....21" for me and 17" for the wife, they seem very solid and I was chatting with one of the guys there talking about fine tuning. They seem to do a lot of the fine tuning before disassembly and shipping so when you assemble it you should be all ready to go.

I think these will be perfect until we find out if we are ready enough to drop 4 digits into the sport. Thanks for all the replies and I'll be posting some reviews and maybe an unboxing/assembly video when it comes in :)


Congrats on the purchase man, I hope you enjoy them!
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Re: Entry Level Budget Bike

Postby gar29 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:29 pm

sk8fux wrote:It's official, after calling around looking for used stuff with no luck I ordered 2 Airborne Sabre's.....21" for me and 17" for the wife, they seem very solid and I was chatting with one of the guys there talking about fine tuning. They seem to do a lot of the fine tuning before disassembly and shipping so when you assemble it you should be all ready to go.


Congrats on the new bikes! When I got my Airborne, it came in a big box, and all I had to do was put the wheels, pedals and bar on. Everything else was setup, tuned and ready to go. You should be real happy with your bike! Make sure to check back in with pictures of them and tell us what you think!
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Re: Entry Level Budget Bike

Postby blundar » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:24 pm

Major congratz on such an awesome purchase! I am sure that you will love these bikes. These are not Walmart toy bikes. They are well build and spec'd out for some serious riding. The biggest and most noticeable thing for me when I bought my Airborne bike was the huge step up to disc brakes. That made such a huge dramatic improvement for my riding.

If you need any assistance with setting up the shifters and brakes, don't hesitate to ask me. I'll be glad to help any way that I can.

Don't forget to also buy a descent set of pedals. Most mountain bikes at this level do not come with flat pedals included.

Enjoy the new bikes!!
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Re: Entry Level Budget Bike

Postby MTI » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:12 pm

Ride the heck out of them and have a blast!
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