Friday, April 16, 2010

Airborne Marauder Review

To check out awesome helmet cam footage from riding the Marauder, click here!

Airborne Marauder
I got to Sea Otter this morning, and after partaking of the delicious breakfast spread, I knew exactly what I wanted to do: ride. I grabbed a Marauder and headed out to the trails for about a 25 mile ride all over the event center and Fort Ord, and got a good feel for the bike. (Full Disclosure: at the end of Sea Otter I get to choose a free bike from the Airborne line up).

The Marauder is a hefty steed: 6" of travel front and back, big spring on the shock, big thru axles, a bash guard instead of the third chain ring, large mechanical disc brakes, and beastly wide tires.

Before I got started riding this bike, I swapped out the seat and seatpost with my personal higher end stuff.  I also installed my clipless pedals.

I thought it was going to be a pain to pedal this up the climbs, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be.  I lighter bike with less suspension would have definitely climbed better, but although it felt sluggish in the climbs at times, it was bearable. 


Disc Brake
As may be expected, where this bike really excelled was railing the downhills.  I absolutely loved the tires that this bike comes spec.ed with.  They bit into the turf and railed through the corners!  The burly build and 6 inches of travel made everything on the trails at Fort Ord feel like a walk in the park!  In all honesty, I didn't feel like the trails out there were sufficient to really see what this bike is capable of.  There is so much burl packed into an affordable package and labeled with the name "Marauder" that I'd really need to get it back on some East Coast gnar or some good, technical Rocky Mountain descents. 

The one thing that I was able to really appreciate about this bike was how it handled in the air.  The trails at Fort Ord are fast, and I was able to loft the Airborne Marauder off of a bunch of rollers and lips.  Man, that thing feels so solid and natural in the air! It was effortless to preload and pop the bike off of lips, arc through the air, and softly return to the ground.  I loved it!

Most of the qualms that I had with this bike were a few fine-tuning things that could probably have been worked out pretty easily if I had tried.  These bikes were demos of course, so I don't think I had the shock tuned quite to my body weight.  As I rode I wasn't sitting very far down through the travel, and on one of the jumps that I preloaded hard and popped off of, the rear triangle snapped back and slammed against the main frame.  Again, that's probably my fault for not having it adjusted quite right.

The other item was the weight.  Weighing in at 38.1 lbs. in the 19" frame, the Marauder is quite hefty for a 6" travel bike. But for $899, this bike delivers solid performance at a screaming bargain!

Stats at a Glance
Price: $899

Frame: 6061 Aluminum 6" Travel All Mountain/Freedride Single Pivot Suspension MTB, w/Sealed Bearings
Fork: Spinner CARGO 340 w/34mm Stantions, OX-Valving, 150mm Travel and 20mm Axle
Rear Shock: Marzocchi Coil F
Front Derailleur: Shimano FD-C050
Rear Derailleur: SRAM X-7
Shifters: SRAM X-5 Trigger 8-Speed
Brakes Levers: Tektro Novela Sport
Brakes: Tektro Novela Sport Hydraulic Disc
Chain: KMC X-9
Crankset: FSA Dyna Drive 22/32t with bash guard
Cassette: SRAM PG-820 13-32t 8-speed
Pedals: NONE
Bottom Bracket: FSA Dyna Drive
Headset: Ahead 1 1/8"
Saddle: WTB Pure-V Sport
Seat Post: Kalloy Alloy 30mm Dia., 350mm Length
Handlebar: Kalloy Alloy 31.8mm Dia., 640mm Width, 30mm, 6 Degree Sweep
Stem: Kalloy 2D Forged Alloy, 31.8mm Clamp Dia., 50mm, +/- 10 Degree Rise
Tires: KENDA K877 Front 26X2.6/Rear 26X3.5
Wheelset: WTB FX-28 32H Disc Specific SV
Color: Blue

To check out awesome helmet cam footage from riding the Marauder, click here!


Anonymous,  March 31, 2012 at 6:15 PM  

is nice to hear that is a good bike because im thinking in buying it

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Greg Heil is the Editor in Chief for He's been writing and publishing online since before blogging existed.

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