Just In: Airborne Hobgoblin 29er

29er Cross Country

Airborne Bicycles is a brand that sells their bikes direct to consumers. Being both the maker and seller of the products allows them to offer a better value per dollar to the end user. There are certain concessions to be made by buying direct, however. If you buy a direct to consumer bike, you have to be willing to give up the comfort and convenience of being able to physically go into a brick and mortar store to see, feel, sit on and demo the bike first hand.

So, with that in mind, value is what Airborne Bicycles specializes in and mountain biking fun is what their bikes offer. We have recently received the Airborne Hobgoblin 29er in for testing. It is an aluminum frame full suspension 29er with 100mm (4″) of rear travel. It is targeted at the XC/Trail rider and comes in 3 versions. The Hobgoblin XO features a SRAM XO drivetrain and Rock Shox Reba RLT fork for $2995.95 and comes in Matte Midnight Black. Since value is the name of the game with Airborne, Mtbr elected to receive the basic Hobgoblin with SRAM X7 drive train and Rock Shox Reba RL fork that sells for $1749.95 and comes in Metallic Normandy Blue. The Hobgoblin is also available as a frame only for $879.95 and comes in Metallic Tracer Orange (with the same Rock Shox Monarch RL shock as the other models).

The frame is 7000 series hydroformed and double-butted aluminum with a tapered head tube, press fit bottom bracket and direct mount front derailleur. The Metallic Normandy Blue paint is very nice, with (like the name suggests) a metallic flake sparkle to it. The clear coat is very thick and looks durable. The frame also features slick internal routing for the shifter cables. It has one set of water bottle cage mounts on the down tube. As you can tell from the photos below, it has plenty of tire and front derailleur clearance. The Hobgoblin is available in 4 sizes: 15.5″, 17″, 19″ and 21″.


Other spec highlights include the Rock Shox Reba RL fork with remote lockout, Rock Shox Monarch RL rear shock, full SRAM X7 2×10 drivetrain, Avid Elixir 3 hydraulic brakes and WTB wheelset paired with GEAX AKA 2.2″ 29er tires. The Selle San Marco Ponza Power saddle looks great and is a nice touch. Airborne brand seatpost, stem and handlebar round out the parts spec.

Like all bikes, one of the penalties you pay for value is weight. Our 15.5″ Hobgoblin weighed in at 30.46 real world pounds. It’s no lightweight XC racer, but the weight is to be expected for the parts and price offered.

We are doing a longer term full review of the Hobgoblin so stay tuned for more ride impressions and info.

Just In: Airborne Hobgoblin 29er Gallery
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

three quarters view
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

head tube with head badge emblem
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

internal routing entry port
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

30.44 lbs real world weight
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

Airborne branded stem
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

Airborne branded handlebar
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

Airborne branded seat post
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

Rock Shox Reba RL 29 w/Lock-Out, tapered steer, 100mm
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

Rock Shox Reba RL 29 w/Lock-Out, tapered steer, 100mm
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

linkage suspension and RockShox Monarch RL with lock-out. modified twin-link suspension
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

internal routing exit port
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

internal cable routing for the derailleur
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

internal cable routing
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

Selle San Marco Ponza Power saddle
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

very wide down tube
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

the down tube is very wide and super stiff
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

rockers and shock
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

rockers
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

Chainstay close-up
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

modified twin-link suspension design
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

Rock Shox Monarch handles rear suspension duties
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

Geax AKA 29" tires - WTB rims
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

plenty of tire clearance
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

plenty of tire clearance
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

SRAM X7 Crank and drivetrain
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Airborne Bicycles - Hobgoblin 29er

30.44 lbs

Official Product Description from the Manufacturer:
The HobGoblin. A 29er XC/Trail beast with 100mm of smooth travel thanks to its modified twin-link suspension. A RockShox Reba RL up front coupled with a Monarch RL out back handle the suspension and tuning duties, and both can be locked out when on the fly when needed. Plenty of mud clearance and oversized sealed bearings means it will take a beating and keep performing for years.

For more information: www.airbornebicycles.com

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About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato has been the Site Manager of Mtbr.com for over 12 years and enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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  • Mitch says:

    So far the people I have talked to that own these bikes are extremly happy. Looks like a sweet rig. That XO model is insane at that price! Airborne is doing a good thing. Made in america too. Sweet!

  • ginsu says:

    Props for the nice price! Suspension looks great. Full floater, Low CoG, and stiff, short links with minimal Instantaneous Center Migration which should minimize pedal feedback. Nice design, very competitive. I wish people bought more bikes like this instead of stupid overpriced Santa Cruz bikes, but they’re too stupid or trendy to realize a bike designed like this one is a great deal!

  • Patrick says:

    Looks like thats the same frame as Fezzari and old Momsen…

  • Airborne says:

    The frame is not the same. Tubeset is similar but different geo, different (beefier to reduce flex) lower suspension rocker, different seat-tube with improved mount area and brace for the upper rocker. Thanks~

  • Wasmachineman_nl says:

    Didn’t Klein use that color on their Mantra’s and Palominos?

  • mitch says:

    How long does a review generally take for a bike? few weeks? Im interested

  • I'mRight says:

    Picture 21 shows why it’s $1700, is that a weld or a JB Weld? This side has a half fender sort of add on structural deformity. Some brake cable near the crank , might get caught on something, then you’ll be Airborne!

    • Outofthewoods says:

      Not sure what’s going on with that weld (pic 21), but the welds on my HobGoblin are damn near perfect!

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