Airborne 2001 Carpe Diem Older Touring Bike

Airborne 2001 Carpe Diem Older Touring Bike 

DESCRIPTION

  • $1500 - $3500
  • The Ultimate Touring Bike
  • You Choose Each Component to Create and Purchase your Dream Bike Online.
  • Aerospace Grade 3AL/2.5V Titanium Frame
  • Multi-shaped Cold Worked Seamless Titanium Tubing
  • Cantilever or V Brakes, Rack mounts, Fender Mounts
  • GAMS (Graceful Arc Maximum Stiffness) engineered seat and chain stays.
  • Sizes: 50,54,56,58,& 60cm

  • USER REVIEWS

    Showing 1-9 of 9  
    [Jul 14, 2009]
    John
    Recreational Rider

    Strength:

    Relatively lightweight, durable, looks very nice with curved stays and attractive titanium finish.

    Weakness:

    Front fork shudder (still trying to find a solution).

    Bought the frame off eBay 2 years ago for $600 including a Chris King headset. I built the bike up with Dura Ace components from my old road bike and put on some good v-brakes. I've used the bike for everything from daily commuting to cyclocross races. I've even ridden the bike on a couple of 4-day, 400 mile tours. My intent was to get one bike that could do it all and I haven't been disappointed. I suppose my only complaint is that I can't get rid of the front brake shudder. I've tried several different carbon forks as well as a Kinesis Crosslight aluminum fork. I've tried several different models of brakes and countless different brake pads. No matter what, I still get alot of brake shudder when I grab hold of the front brake. It's not so bad if I feather the braking but when I grab hold you can visibly see the front fork vibrating. It's pretty unnerving, especially on a descent. Other than that, the bike has been great.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    [Nov 07, 2002]
    Keith
    Commuter

    Strength:

    Versitility, comfort.

    Weakness:

    None whatsoever.

    As with my Zep, I waited until I had 2000 miles on my CD before posting a review. I got a can't-walk-away-from-it deal on my CD at an Airborne garage sale in June, 5 months ago. I set the bike up with Campy Centaur triple I got for very good price on eBay -- the entire bike cost me about $1000, all new. The CD is extremely versitile, as advertised. I ride it daily on my 28 mile commute to and from work. I've also used it for club rides, including this years Columbus Fall Challenge, a dou ble century in SW Ohio that includes 11,000 feet of climbing and one 23% grade hill ("Malta"). The bike handles beautifully, and performs flawlessly. It's far more comfortable than a conventional road, and very nearly as efficient. I can ride it on a fast club ride with 700 x 25s and stripped down (remove fenders, lights and rack), with cyclocross tires off road (in lots of mud), then with rack, lights and fenders for commuting. It does everything well.

    Similar Products Used:

    Airborne Zep, Mercian Pro, Bottechia Pro, Paramount P-15.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Apr 08, 2002]
    sweeks
    Recreational Rider

    Strength:

    Beautiful frame, stable and comfortable ride, fair price, assistance with component choices. No one else I know has one! Wheels have survived some pretty rough roads with a 195-pound rider.

    Weakness:

    No instant gratification here: it requires a few days'' wait (oh, grow up!); beautiful frame: prospect of riding in wet weather makes me seriously consider mudguards! Small chance of shipping damage (Airborne assumes responsibility). Possibility of alienating LBS owner who can''t (or won''t) get this bike or anything like it for you.

    1) The ordering process After I had looked around a bit and had pretty much decided that I was serious about the Carpe Diem, I called Airborne and spoke to a human (Eric M.). There followed a series of many e-mail exchanges over a few weeks as I made my final selections. Eric was very tolerant of my myriad questions and I became very comfortable about the purchase of such an expensive (by my standards) bike, sight unseen, over the internet. The bike was finally ordered and arrived about a week later, somewhat ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, the carrier (nameless here) played some kind of contact sport with the box, and the front wheel was slightly bent. Airborne promptly shipped me a new wheel (complete with tube, tire and air!), so I was up and riding soon after. I was able to return the damaged wheel later. 2) The product The frame is flawless even under magnification (3.5X). The welds are clearly done by people who know what they''re doing. (See the review of the frame by Tom Voigt.) Assembly was very simple. The Airborne "tool" is the only thing needed to assemble the bike and make minor adjustments. 3) The riding experience Now that I''ve ridden the bike for over 150 miles (hard to do in the Chicago area in February and March... and keep the bike clean), I can at least give a preliminary report. (Short version: I''m thoroughly pleased; the bike is everything I expected!) The frame apparently does what it''s supposed to do with road vibration. The ride is very smooth and comfortable, yet the handling is quite responsive and precise. I was persuaded away from the Kinesis aluminum fork which was said to be harsh-riding in a review published in Cycling Plus; also, the Co-Motion fork was the only one compatible with V-brakes, which I was firm on having. When I actually saw the fork, I thought it would ride like a truck, but it is in fact quite compliant. Also, it has braze-ons for a low-rider mount in case I ever want to do serious touring. The longest ride I''ve had so far was 35 miles and left me without stiffness, soreness or numbness... Anywhere (for what it''s worth, I''m 51)! At speeds of up to 34 mph, handling is predictable and crisp, and stiff side winds have little effect. The drivetrain is virtually silent and STI shifters work well. Minor adjustments to the rear derailleur cable tension were necessary during the first 10 miles or so.

    Similar Products Used:

    Nothing like it: I ride a nice mountain bike (Trek 6000, year 2000), but my last road bike was a 1975 Motobecane Mirage (still in use).

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Mar 04, 2002]
    Jeremy
    Recreational Rider

    Strength:

    Ride quality, price (for Ti)

    Weakness:

    Customization choices could be overwhelming for some, but the thorough research is worth it.

    I''ve never owned a bicycle as fine as this. I had been looking at getting something with a fairly exotic material (to me). Titanium seemed the best choice, and I couldn''t be more pleased. The ride quality is excellent, the bike is light and very smooth and stable at high speed. The Airborne website is very unique. You can configure bikes any way you like before deciding on purchase. While you configure, the site lists the price, weight and warns of potential conflicts with the component choices you''ve made. I still go back occasionally to see what upgrades would fit with my current setup. The customization is cost-friendly. You can spend (almost) as little or as much as you want on componentry/accessories. Titanium is a great material choice, and Airborne''s prices are very reasonable when compared to other Ti labels like Seven, Merlin, Litespeed, etc. Some problems I''ve had with my purchase: Broken cable-adjustment barrel on delivery. Creaky bottom bracket. Front brake squeek (loud!). Poor Flight Deck function in rain/cold. Previously owned rear rack doesn''t fit frame. The only problem I''ve experienced specific to the frame is the rack fit mentioned above. The seat-stays bulge a little near the drop-outs and my cheapy rack doesn''t fit properly around the bulge. If I lost this bike somehow, I wouldn''t hesitate to get another.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Mar 01, 2002]
    Jeremy
    Recreational Rider

    Strength:

    Ride quality, price (for Ti), options

    Weakness:

    Options could be overwhelming to some, but it pays to do some research.

    I''ve never owned a bicycle as fine as this. I had been looking at getting something with a fairly exotic material (to me). Titanium seemed the best choice, and I couldn''t be more pleased. The ride quality is excellent, the bike is light and very smooth and stable at high speed. The Airborne website is very unique. You can configure bikes any way you like before deciding on purchase. While you configure, the site lists the price, weight and warns of potential conflicts with the component choices you''ve made. I still go back occasionally to see what upgrades would fit with my current setup. The customization is cost-friendly. You can spend (almost) as little or as much as you want on componentry/accessories. Titanium is a great material choice, and Airborne''s prices are very reasonable when compared to other Ti labels like Seven, Merlin, Litespeed, etc. Some problems I''ve had with my purchase: Broken cable-adjustment barrel on delivery. Creaky bottom bracket. Front brake squeek (loud!). Poor Flight Deck function in rain/cold. Previously owned rear rack doesn''t fit frame. The only problem I''ve experienced specific to the frame is the rack fit mentioned above. The seat-stays bulge a little near the drop-outs and my cheapy rack doesn''t fit properly around the bulge. I''m hoping I won''t have this difficulty with a quality rack. If I lost this bike somehow, I wouldn''t hesitate to get another.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    [Feb 16, 2002]
    MickG
    Road Racer

    Strength:

    The light overall weight and comfortable ride make this bike a dream to ride. It''s just over 20 lbs without fenders which is lighter than my summer bike. With the triple chainring I can get up any hill in the Cascades. The website is awesome because you get an accurate picture of what you''re buying in both price and weight. The bike arrived within 5 days, with an assigned personal mechanic to call if needed. I needed a stem exchange which was handled promptly. A nicely run business.

    Weakness:

    A few, but mainly resulting from component choice rather than Airborne''s build quality. I should have gone for the better Ultegra or Campy components instead of Shimano 105 but I didn''t want to overspend on equipment for commuting and then get it stolen. The 105 shifting is not quite as smooth and can be clunky. My left shifter rattles continuously on bumpy roads. And since most of my miles have been club riding and training, better components would have made sense. I had a couple of niggly build issues which took a while to figure out. The cantilever brakes squealed like hell - I fixed this by toeing the brake pads. The shifting quickly went out-of-whack - I spent the first few weeks continuously adjusting the cable tension using the downtube cable stops, only to have the shifting go out-of-whack the day after. I finally traced it to a problem with the downtube cable stops which would rotate (adjust) by themselves whenever I turned the handlebars - the tension of the outer cables seemed to be putting a twisting pressure on the cable stops. I fixed this by locking down these cable stops and adjusting cable tension at the derailleurs instead (could these cable stop

    Great bike for a great price and light too. I''ve been riding it for just over 4 months now and have done 3500 miles, mainly club rides and midweek training rides. I bought it for commuting and winter training after realizing that moving to the Seattle area necessitated a bike with fenders. The ride is so smooth and comfortable compared to my Colnago steel (and much lighter). The bike is doing great considering that 90% of my riding is in the Seattle rain. Initially I had a few annoying issues with brake squeal and gear shifting which took a while to figure out but now after riding it so much I don''t want to switch back to my summer bike. If I bought it again I would upgrade the 105 drivetrain to either Ultegra or Campy. I may upgrade these components for next winter.

    Similar Products Used:

    Colnago Superissimo (summer bike) with Ultegra components, Specialized Stumpjumper MTB. Past bikes include: Peugeot, Ribble Cycles, Alan Williams, Ron Kitching.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Oct 22, 2001]
    Uncle Ralph
    Recreational Rider

    Strength:

    Smooth ride. Great Price Good customer service.

    Weakness:

    Customer service is better than most, but was not as good with this purchase as it was with my first Airborne. I would do business again with them.

    Nice bike. It is my second Airborne. First was a Zep which I purchased about 18 months ago. I needed a bike for light touring. The Ultrega triple setup with a 12-27 rear works well here in hilly Tennessee.The bike takes out the road chatter and is comfortable on long rides (50 -75 miles). I am not a "fast" rider but the bike has moved along at over 30 MPH and handled very well.

    Similar Products Used:

    None

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Jul 14, 2001]
    Rich Clark
    Commuter

    Strength:

    Ability to configure bike exactly as you wish; availability of huge variety of top-drawer components; stiff but compliant bulletproof ti frame; value

    Weakness:

    You need to know how to fit a bike before you order one, unless you're near a dealer (as I was). As a touring bike, it could use longer chainstays and a fork with low-rider braze-ons.

    This report comes after 30 days' ownership, about 500 miles, mostly commuting with a couple of 50-milers thrown in. As a commuting, day-tripping, or credit-card touring bike, it would be hard to fault this very sweet ride. Even with the heavy wheels and fork I chose, the bike still accelerates and handles like a racing bike, but still feels stable and balanced with a loaded rack trunk and rear panniers.

    Looks great, too, with nicely detailed decal work by the US staff and very high-level workmanship on the part of the elite and well-paid aerospace industry-trained Chinese framebuilders.

    For loaded touring, the bike would need a fork with low-rider bosses and maybe another set of eyelets, and the chainstays are a bit short for use with full-size panniers unless you have a rack with some setback. But it could be made to work without much trouble. Some riders might not like the higer center of gravity introduced by the extra clearance under the bottom bracket -- this frame is also sold to the cyclocross market -- and those riders might be happier with a more traditional Trek 520-style design.

    But using Airborne's online "configurator" you'll quickly see that this can be almost any bike you want it to be: drop bars or flat; STI or bar-cons; road drivetrain, MTB drivetrain, or a hybrid; racing wheels or touring wheels or 'cross wheels; lots of tire choices, pedal choices, saddle choices. It's pretty damn cool.

    And you end up with a bike that's set up exactly the way you want it, with a "lifetime" ti frame, and it's competitively priced with a lot of pre-fab assembly-line aluminum and steel bikes.

    If you know your measurements, you should be able to get a good fit by working directly with Airborne. Even better, there may be a dealer near you. It turned out that my regular shop was one, so I had the added advantage of getting the bike fit by my regular mechanic, and the security of knowing my bike is supported through the shop. But I wouldn't hesitate to order the same bike right from Airborne.

    If anything changes I'll be back with a follow-up, but I think 500 miles of mixed city and country riding is enough to form a pretty accurate picture of the character and quality of a bike. This is one versatile frame, difficult to find fault with, and the bike that was built from it is everything I could have hoped for.

    Similar Products Used:

    Novara Randonee touring bike; Trek 7300 hybrid; various European sport/touring bikes of the 60's and 70's.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    [Aug 02, 2001]
    Paul Middleton
    Recreational Rider

    Strength:

    Light, strong, COMFORTABLE, excellent understated looks, excellent mix of components, good advice from Euro sales office. As a long distance cyclist (75-150 miles) comfort is a priority. This bike gives you the comfort but not the 30lbs of steel that usually goes with that comfort

    Weakness:

    None - although I still haven't got my Airborne tool kit yet Jan!!

    The comfort of a steel touring bike with the feel and ride of a lightweight racing bike - a perfect combination for me to cope with the short sharp steep hills and the potholed roads here in Britain.

    The Mavic Open Pro rims are superb and the mix of Ultegra/105/XT works fine and gives me the range of gears I need to stay with the pack at 30mph and to grovel up hills at 5mph.

    This bike would really suit the long distance Audax cyclist. I've yet to try it laden but with Carradice limpet front panniers the lack of front fork braze-ons shouldn't be a problem.

    Chapeau!!

    Similar Products Used:

    Dawes and Raleigh touring bikes

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    Showing 1-9 of 9  

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