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2011 Airborne Wingman Bike

“AIRBORNE WINGMAN - An Aerial Ace for the Rider on a Budget.”

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The Good: I'm the proud owner of an Airborne Wingman. The Wingman is a dirt jumper and urban assault machine. It also works great for pump-tracks, 4-cross and dual-slalom. Not to mention, it's a rolling work of art you can throw down sick tricks on.

The Wingman's hydro-formed 6061 aluminum frame is a masterpiece and has been described as a work of art by many. It's beefy yet light and has an integrated headset. The top tube and rear drop-out designs are wicked cool, like no other on the market. The frame has only one gusset, which is an open-ended design at the down-tube/head-tube junction. The Wingman is currently only offered in a 17.5" frame size.

Airborne's Wingman stands out for several reasons. One reason being the frame design. Another being the components it's spec'd with. It comes out of the box with 160mm Tektro Auriga Comp hydraulic brakes front and rear. Yes, front and rear. A Marzocchi Bomber DJ-3 fork comes equipped on this beast, which can be found on bikes in the $1,000 range, featuring preload adjust on top of the right stanchion. Traction is put to the ground via BFC-II chromo tubular crank-set, Quantra sealed bearing hubs and Alex FR30 wheels wrapped in Kenda K-Rad 2.3" rubbers. Cockpit consists of Funn Components with 710mm Fatboy bars with lock-on grips, Crossfire stem and seat post, and their Throne saddle.

This bike has an ultra-low stand-over clearance, so it's super flickable and whipable. Making it easy to control, keeping your shins and knees from making unwanted/needed contact with the frame. Which I find aids in cornering and busting out your favorite tricks. I run my saddle slammed, I find it helps me in cornering and for tricks as well... and it looks freaking sweet.

The Wingman's frame is rigid with short chainstays which makes for a flex-free experience when cornering and getting up to speed. The 28/12 gearing is a little on the tall side but works great for my style of riding. The bike is rigid and rolls excellent, making every bit of leg movement flow effortlessly into forward momentum.

Manualing on the Wingman is nearly a subconscious act. Lifting the front end is a breeze thanks to the nicely tucked in rear wheel/tire. This thing jumps and flies through the air like a fighter jet. You can land this bike anywhere you can fit it. It launches like a guided missle. The Marzocchi DJ-3 is stiff to absorb hard landings. Cornering is like riding on rails, making it effortless to change lines and carve berms. The Kenda rubbers make ample traction in dirt and urban environments.

Airborne cuts out the middle man, which means you get an epic deal on a sweet rig. The Wingman can normally be purchased for $800, but you can currently purchase it for $700. My opinion is this rig is better than a lot of other dirt jumpers found in the $1,000 price range. It does require some assembly. So for those of you like me who love to wrench on things, you even get to put it together yourself, how cool is that. When you open the box you will find everything is well protected and held secure with lots of foam and zip-ties. This thing could be dropped as a care package from a plane and survive.

The Bad: Here are some tips/upgrades to keep in mind. Wrap up the chainstay with an old tube and a few zip-ties. It will eliminate the noise of the chain slapping the chainstay. I also put a loving dab of thread lock on the crank bolts, just to make sure they don't vibrate loose. If you plan on doing bar-spins or tail-whips you might want to invest in longer brake hoses.

Overall Review: I must say, I absolutely love the Wingman. It has become my primary rig. A+ to the Airborne crew. It's fast rolling and great for urban assaults and dirt jumps/pump-tracks, light with low stand-over for excellent cornering and insane aerial trickery. Hands down, one boss rig. To get your very own aerial ace visit http://www.AirborneBicycles.com. You can also e-mail them at Support@AirborneBicycles.com or call 1-800-888-BIKE.

2013 GT Ruckus DJ Bike

“Gt Ruckus DJ: great bike”

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The Good: Sturdy, nothing has broken and I have gone on trail rides and jumping. The shock is great and the tires have a lot of traction on all surfaces. The brakes work great every time even when the bike is upside down and I do a brake check, the hydraulic brakes work every time. I have been riding it for almost 3 months even during the winter and it works in all weather conditions and on all surface from trails to roads to jumping.

The Bad: I would rather the color was different but I'm getting used to it and once I got a new black seat, black grips, and black pedals it looks much better. The original grips are white so they attract a lot of dirt and they move around a lot but GT sells black lock on grips and they work great and don't slide at all. Also the paint on the cranks wears off a lot and the bare metal is already showin but it doesn't really matter because the color isn't great.

Overall Review: Overall the GT Ruckus DJ is a great bike because it is durable, reliable, and great for just about any kind of riding. You can ride long distances with it too, I ride it for miles at a time all over during the weekends and it is comfortable and I don't have to worry about anything breaking or needing any tuning. I recommend this bike to anyone who does jumping, trail riding, or long bike rides. This is a great bike.

Grammo Toa Carbon Frame

“Absolute Race Machine”

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The Good: The frame is very light and stiff, making this bike climb like a goat and turn like you wouldn't believe. It's responsive and snappy. It rails the descents better than any hardtail I've ever ridden.

The Bad: Don't you mean badass???

Overall Review: The best hardtail I've ridden. Amazing price, beautiful design, and a great ride.

Grammo Toa Carbon Frame

“Best Hardtail Ever”

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The Good: Super stiff, short wheelbase and tapered headtube make the bike extremely manuverable and snappy. This stiffness also transfers to excellent climbing. Really light, with internal cable routing that both protects the cable from grit and wear, and looks gorgeous.

The Bad: You'll have nothing to complain about except how to spend all the $ you saved building your new race machine.

Overall Review: An excellent bike, great price, super manuverable but retaining all the good aspects of the 29er wheel. I have ridden most other top 29er hardtails on the market, and not only does it ride as well or better, but has many little things that make it shine even more, such as the super low price, the excelllent durability, and internal cable routing, not to mention the much more responsive feel. Some 29ers make you feel like you're hauling a trailer. This one makes you feel like you've recently won the lottery and bought a new exoctic car.

Fox Racing Dirtpaw Gloves

“Some of my favorite gloves”

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The Good: Durable. Breathes Well. It's a glove -- it works -- it keeps your hand from becoming raw when you ride all day.

The Bad: It creases near the top of the palm just below the knuckle, but seriously all gloves do that.

Overall Review: I'm on my second pair. The first pair never wore out, but I lost one of the gloves.

e*thirteen LG1+ Chainguide

“I'd reccomend it”

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The Good: it looks good, it does the job, simple to put on

The Bad: nothing yet but its not been on 6 months

Overall Review: Possibly a bit premature posting a review but it is a good piece of kit and I've not noticed it being noisy on my bike - I thought it was quiet to be fair

SixSixOne Veggie Knee Guards

“What it says on the tin”

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The Good: Cheaper than a lot of the alternatives, doesn't rub, stays in place, comfortable and doesn't get too hot ....oh yeah, and I've still got knees after crashing

The Bad: Takes a while to get them bedded in and if you don't wear them for a bit (weeks) they take a little bit of time to soften up, I personally find that velcro strip for converting them into knee and shin guards annoying as it catches on clothes (depending on the material), the main biggie is no side protection, but thats kinda obvious from picking them up

Overall Review: Not as good as some of the other things on the market but its not trying to be, if this is what you want then go for it as it doesn't seem to have any hang ups

Manitou Minute Expert Fork

“great for the price!”

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The Good: it's amazing! it adusts so i can go from downhill trails to dirt jumping quick. its good for street and park. It's as good as fox forks. i've rode both brands and barely felt / saw a diffrence, the only one was design and stickers. if you have an air pump for yours fork it's even better!

The Bad: non! i love it

Overall Review: amazing fork, it works for all types of riding, just as good as fox, and a litle less in pricing

Foes Shaver Frame

“Foes Shaver, 2012”

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The Good: The most balanced trail bike I have ever ridden. I rode this bike as a demo over a 4 day period. I cleared stuff I never had before, had more fun doing it, rode fast downhill, climbed tough choppy technical, and just felt safer and more comfortable doing it. While the test bike weighed in at around 29 pounds, I never felt it climbing because the bike was so efficient. The single pivot is stiff and just doesn't flex at all.

The Bad: Having to choose between a Medium and a Large. I am 6'-0", right on the cut point for either frame size. As Brent Foes said to me, "You could go either way. Buy a Medium for climbing if that's your thing, or a Large for a more downhill oriented bike." I bought the Medium. It was the demo bike size and I flew downhill with no problem anyway.

Overall Review: I bought this bike immediately after the test rides. To me, it is the best handling trail bike I have ever ridden, and I have ridden many, many bikes.