Named "2000 Bike of the Year" by Cycling Plus Magazine, The Airborne Zeppelin has been our flagship road bike for over two years. For 2003 we have further refined its award winning design incorporating cold-worked, tapered and size-specific tubing, a new lighter machined head tube, and GAMS (Graceful Arc Maximum Stiffness) seat and chain stays that increase rear triangle stiffness and heel clearance. (Seven sizes available: 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 and 62cm)
Strengths: Smooth, light, fast. I'm 200 lbs and I don't flex it, but it soaks up the road just great.
Weaknesses: Not really a weakness, but people considering it should be aware of the Zeppelin's comparatively long top tube - you may need a size smaller than you're used to ordering.
The smoothest ride I've ever experienced, period. I own 6 bikes right now, have owned and ridden many others, of every frame material and component group, and if I had to go a long distance on any of them, the Zeppelin would be the choice. It's also one of the lightest. What a great bike!
Strengths: Great website, customer service, components, Ti for the masses.
Weaknesses: Decals were too loud at first. Now, I am used to them.
I've ridden over 500 miles on this bike and because of the great customer service from Airborne, I feel I owe it to the company to let others know what a great product they make.
First, this bike is the same materials as a Litespeed, Seven, or QR TiQuilo. Its ratio is 3/2.5. The only difference is that Airborne's bikes are made in China instead of USA. Debate the politics to yourselfs. But, this is why you are getting the same bike for much cheaper price.
In fact, I've inspected the welds of my Zepp vs. my friends Vortex and I see little difference and even improvement in my steed. Since it is Ti, the ride quality is superb. Long rides do not affect your back, shoulders, ass, or neck. The brushed look gives the frame a great asthetic. Best of all, if you scratch the bike you can easily buff it out with lemon juice and a Scotch Brite paid (no joke!).
And, at 18 lbs, this is the lightest bike I have owned. This is a definite plus on climbs.
One final word on company. The website (airborne.net) is fantastic. You can build your bike there. This saves tremendous amount of cash in case you want to mix and match components or aquire instant upgrades. I purchased my bike at a local shop but conferred with the website first. When I called, I was surprised to talk to the president of Airborne. He actually talked me out of the Torch (their priciest frame) based on the amount of riding I do and my skill level. I am so happy he did.
Bike Setup: Full Ultegra, Easton EC90 bars, Flight deck, Ouzo Pro fork, Speedplay pedals, Bontrager Race Lite wheels.
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: February 10, 2004
Strengths: it wont rust throuh ever. used to be inexpensive back when it first came out.
Weaknesses: That geometry can be a little deseptive with out being able to test ride. the top tube is to long.
I liked the price that I could get the Zepp for first of all. And thought I liked the long front triangle because of my six foot four size. After calling the compony direct I went a head and bought the fram and fork and put my old Dura-Ace on from my old bike. This was the most comfortable bike I ever owned for the first 2 hours of a ride then I couldent figur out why it would get so uncomfortable. after three years of incositant riding du to worke and family obligations I started riding 6 days aweek last year and figured out that inspite of how extreemely help full the guys at the factory are I ended up ordering the bike with to long of a stem and not enough spacers and endd up a 14 cm off of wher I should be. With that resolved its back to being a very comfortable bike but it doesent go to the races any more its the rain bike ti is good for that expecialy cheep ti. My new TCR1 is lighter faster and much mor comfortable.
Great transfer of power
Weaknesses: None seen
I was looking for an unbreakable bike seeing as how I am a larger rider, 220 lbs, and Ti seemed to be the best. Found Airborne Valkyrie in a mag, and it got a good review. Looked Airborne up and found their bikes have only good reviews. Also found you don't have to mortgage your house to buy them.
After looking at all brands, Airborne is the company I felt had the best product. I called them up, and asked about the Valkyrie. There sales person was very helpful, and suggested the Zeppelin may be better for larger rider.
Two months later, and lots of web and magazine research, I bought the Zeppelin. I felt confidant that I made the right choice, seeing as how I left no stone unturned. When it came, I felt even better. It was so meticulously wrapped, light, and beautiful. This is a good-looking bike; the welds are the best I have seen. The salesman did not lie when he described what I would have to do to put it together; all I had to do was put the seat post in, the front wheel on, and the put the handlebars on. After the 10 minutes it took to unwrap, and build, I started to size it on my trainer. It fit like a glove thanks to Airborne’s step-by-step sizing.
Now was the moment to ride. It glided over the road. Every ounce of power to the pedals went to the rear wheel. It sprinted like a dream. Held it’s line easily, and even made my fat a** climb better. I found it was so stiff, that the bottom bracket never moved when I stood to jam. Believe me I can jam. It also ate up vibration.
Similar Products Used: Schwinn Super Sport
Bike Setup: Ultegra throuout
Alpha Q seatpost
Grand Prix 4 season tires
Airborne bars and stem
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: October 27, 2003
Strengths: The greatest strength of this bike is the company that stands behind it. I did a lot of research before settling on Airborne and I firmly believe that this is one of the finest bicycle companies around. Airborne's risk-free policies are the best by far that I could find in the industry. In fact, I believe that these policies indicate a commitment to quality that is unheard of in this day and age for *any* industry.
Airborne also supports its community of riders and anyone who is interested in riding an Airborne. On their web site forums you can get an answer to almost any question you might have, and don't be surprised if the answer comes from the president of Airborne himself!
Weaknesses: I was disappointed that there was no dealer in the Kansas City area (which is where I live). I ended up going to A & B Cycle in Springfield, but it isn't really feasible for me to have it serviced there. Too bad, since they are a top-notch shop. David Wright was excellent to work with.
I was also disappointed that there were no Campy options in my price range.
This is an awesome bike.
I just got back into road biking after several years' absence. This is my first serious road bike and it has reminded me how much I love being on the road. There are many choices that can be made about how to spend what little time we have in this life. When I am faced with whether I should spend my time on some "great" thing or another, I just ask myself, "would I rather do this 'great' thing or ride my Zep?" I amazed at how often my answer is "ride my Zep". Such focus is priceless. Much less wasted time, much more zest to life.
I'm not going to waste your time going on and on about components or other technical issues. Honestly, I'm not qualified. The bottom line is: I love this bike and if I had it to do all over again I'd buy a Zep.