Review: 2011 Airborne Delta CX
I won’t lie, the Airborne Delta CX was the most exciting part of becoming a member of the Airborne Flight Crew this past spring. I was going to have the inside scoop, test ride and ride for a season a wonderful cyclocross bike that hopefully would crack open a huge “hidden nut” in the bicycle industry. A budget priced, disc brake, cyclocross bike. As a lover of cyclocross bikes for the utility and functionality, this bike fit right into my arsenal to refer friends and followers to.
First Taste of a New Bicycle
When I was first notified that I had made the cut for the Airborne Flight Crew my selfish first thought was “when do I get to try out the bikes?”
No longer do either the dreaming of bikes, or critically going through the specifications or grams of a bicycle do it for me. Every bike is built different, and other than the geometry of a bike your early can’t know how all the ingredients of the end recipe will turn out. Every piece of the puzzle matters and even in sales I often would tell a “upgrade crazed” consumer to simply give their new ride a few weeks as stock.
Some great examples :
I cycle through 4 different saddles. Depending on the bikes reach, drop, handlebar width, seat tube angle and “cush” I may fit on one saddle better than the next. There are 3 tires I prefer on my mountain bike. If it’s a suspension bike, full suspension bike, 29″ or 26″, and finally how aggressive the fit is. All of these things change the handling of your bike, which will change how you ride your tires. Do you have more weight on your front tire through the turns, are you able to run lower air pressure, will you ride rockier trails (all mountain style) and the list goes on.
The First Taste of a New Bike
Where was I? Oh yes! I know the generic spec off paper of how the bike will be built. I don’t know how all of those spec’s in this “bike recipe” will taste, and I can’t wait to get my butt on the bike to taste my new bike!
Today’s the Day
As I walk into the 2011 Sea Otter Classic I have a few things on my mind, and a few things to take care of but I am ultimately excited to be testing out what I’ll be riding the rest of 2011. Between the Airborne Goblin 29″ and the Airborne Delta CX my butt will mostly be rotating between some variation of these two bikes.
Look for an initial preview of my first test ride
Budget Minded Airborne Delta Cyclocross Bike
When friend and follower Rick Vosper sent along spy photos of a new cyclocross bike he had up his Airborne Bicycles sleeve, I was impressed and excited. I was sworn to secrecy until they finished testing it.
Here’s the low down. $1099 for a SRAM Apex equipped, custom carbon fork, disc brake cyclocross bike. Yes, you read $1099. Do you know how rare it is to find a cyclocross bike around $1000? Meet the Airborne Delta CX.
Now Airborne Bicycles is a unique company as it is everything that local bike shops hate. You can only purchase them online, and because they take out the middle man their bikes are cheaper. There’s going to be a specific customer for their niche, one that knows what they are looking for, and either knows how to put their unbox their bike, or is okay to take it to the bike shop. Personally, I’m a fan of this concept. Buy your bike online, as long as you know what you are doing, bring it to the shop for them to properly build it and then pay them again to fit you. No low margin bikes for the shop, and only money making profit on the labor of the services. This is a completely different rant, but for now I’ll save you.
The Airborne Delta CX One Part CX, One Part Commuter
This bike will be ready to rock well before the cyclocross season comes back around. It is also equipped with bosses for your rack, as a disc brake cyclocross would be a perfect commuter. That’s the great thing about a good cyclocross bike. The ample tire clearance gives you room for fenders, rack and all those goodies plus a slightly more upright position than a road bike. While living in DC, Boston or major cities cyclocross bikes were my go to bikes for 80% of people wanting to “tool around”, commute and go for a fun road ride.
View more photos on Airborne’s Facebook Page.