Review: Airborne HobGoblin 29er

29er All Mountain Trail Pro Reviews

Parts Spec

One of the key components to what makes Airborne Bicycles a good value are the parts that are selected for the complete bike build. The highlights are the RockShox Reba RL fork with lockout, the RockShox Monarch RL shock with lockout, SRAM X7 2×10 drivetrain, ELIXIR 3 hydraulic brakes and the WTB SpeedDisc I-19 rims. To help cut costs, Airborne uses their own house brand handlebar, stem and seatpost. All of the house brand components worked fine and we had no problems with any of them, other than wishing for a wider handlebar (the stock bar is 25″ wide). Some might want to add a dropper post, however this will add weight to an already not light bike. The quick release seatpost collar worked fine for our uses. Also to keep prices low, the hubs on the standard HobGoblin are generic, but functioned fine during our testing. The one part that we would definitely change would be the tires. The Geax AKA 2.2″ 29er tires hold back the HobGoblin on the downhills and corners. Fortunately upgrading your tires is cheap and easy. The SRAM X7 drivetrain worked adequately, as did the Avid Elixir 3 brakes. The only thing we noted was the black aluminum brake levers had a decidedly plasticky feel compared to what we are use to.

Here is a complete product spec list:

Geometry

Although listed as a 15″ on their website, the HobGoblin we rode was marked as a 15.5″ model and fit more like a 15.5″. All frame sizes have a 74 degree seat tube angle (with sagged fork) and a 71 degree head tube angle (with sagged fork) according to Airborne. The wheelbase is 44 inches and the bottom bracket height is 13.3 inches according to our own real world measurements. The chainstays are a bit on the long side, they measured 17.8″. The overall geometry and feel of the bike is more slack than a lot of XC-oriented bikes out there and this applies even more so for me. At 5’5″ on a small 29er, my fitment on the bike means my riding position adds to the slacker geometry. There was no toe overlap on this 29er.

Here are the geometry measurements from Airborne:

Continue reading on page 3 for more.

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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  • Rob says:

    I work @ LBS in San Antonio. We have one of these routinely in, constantly develops noises…..and shifting is never quite perfect (geometry or linkage)……….pretty bike, but a headache.

  • ginsu says:

    That’s some decent suspension design there! Interesting to see a design with so little Instant Center migration….compared to, say a Ellsworth.

    Looks like she should pedal really solid because the IC is pretty much always on the chainline.

  • Airborne says:

    If the HobGoblin in your bike shop has nagging suspension noise issues, check the bearings to ensure they haven’be been over-torqued and damaged. If that’s the case, we do offer a complete rebuild kit or, being a knowlegable shop, you can order new bearings per the part# on the outside of the bearing. In regards to shifting issues, we run full-sheath cable to the back and provided that it hasn’t been cut too short and isn’t binding, then any shifting issue is probably related to adjustment or a bent RD hanger. There is no geometry or linkage issue that would contribute to that problem. Thanks!~

  • Jerry Hazard says:

    Really – geometry or linkage? Did you check the derailleur hanger? ;)

    (seriously though, sometimes they get bent during shipping)

  • baxter says:

    I always receive the same guff, and worse, from every LBS I go to. No matter what town I’m in. It makes me kind of sad. I’m just in your town dumping money into your shop and local bar. Why the bad vibes? I can’t afford your bike prices. I’ll grab components and gear all day. Isn’t this sport for everyone? Isn’t this sport about having fun? Or have I broken some unwritten law for riding a hobgoblin?

  • bob says:

    pretty sure the shifting has nothing to do with the geo of the bike…. I’m betting on mechanic error…

  • Doc says:

    Note to self: Avoid San Antonio LBS.

  • tanner says:

    hey guys is this worth th emoney

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