Editorial by RL Policar: “One of the best things about MtnBikeRiders.com is the ability to test all sorts of great products. But with the influx of product reviews our staff are working on, we requested the help of Team Rider, Art Aguilar to test out the new Airborne Taka DH Bike. Read his review below.”
This is my first test for Mtnbikeriders.com ,and when RL asked me to do this test I was like ”wow cool” , and as one of their newest team riders I wasn’t just racing for them, but asked to evaluate a new product for the masses, now where do I start, pick the bike apart, play with the suspension, or just ride it.
Yeah JUST RIDE IT!
Well the call came in, RL posted it on the site and I laid my eyes on it for the first time and thought “Wow it looks cool for a single pivot bike” , now I’ve had my experience with single pivot bike in the past as a matter of fact my first dh bike was single pivot and let me tell you I didn’t ride that bike it rode me and in rough stuff I had to hold on for dear life, so was this what I was to expect, now on to the test and see what it has to offer.
We met up at the secret testing grounds on a beautiful so-cal day and when I saw the bike for the first time it looked better in real life, the Airborne Taka had no flashy look to it like most DH bikes out there, and as a matter of fact it was very low key. A desert tan with subdued graphics, I liked it, hell give me this thing let me dawn my desert bdu’s put my M-4 on my back and go do some DH in Afghanistan.
OK before the first ride down I didn’t expect much, I set up the cockpit for me, and the suspension. I know it would have to be dialed in and it did, but that first ride I hit a few jumps and aside from the fork topping out it flew in the air well, I stopped played with the rebound on the front and rear, played with the preload and was off. A few more runs and I felt right at home jumping the Taka.
Well it was a short day and I was impressed with this short ride on it, but what will happen when I really push it at race speed and on rough rock sections, or big chopped out brake bumps, will see?
WHAT’S IN A NAME
Taka what does it mean? To me it sounds Japanese, so I looked it up and found that Taka means falcon, no wonder it has such great balance in the air. Ha, ha, I always love what a marketing department could come up with and as they say it’s all in the name.
ONE HECK OF A SPEC’ED OUT BIKE
The first thing I noticed was what this bike came with, again “WOW”, Marzocchi 888 RV fork , Marzocchi ROCO R coil over rear shock, SRAM drivetrain , FSA Moto x cranks, E-13 LG-1 guide, Avid juicy three brakes with 8” rotors, WTB Laserdisc DH wheel set, Kore Torsion bars and Kore B18 stem, WTB saddle, and rounding it up with some great grippers Maxxis Minion dh tires. Wow that’s a lot of good stuff I tell you.
MORE RIDING, HITTING THE ROUGH STUFF
My next test rides were at two well known famous trail in socal, one known as T*****x and the once well known downhill capital of the world Big Bear CA. T*****x is a great dh trail for testing suspension and handling, it has a mix of fast straight a ways, rock drops, and fast berm turns.
The Taka handled all mix of terrain quite well; the Maxxis Minion 2.5 dh tires never let you down and hook up on just about any terrain. Hitting the high speed rough straights the suspension worked great keeping you on track, but once I hit the super rough rocky areas and choppy braking bumps I did experience the rear end become less active under braking, but not like anything I was use to on the older single pivot bikes I owned in the past, it was still active a little and kept me in line to concentrate on the trail ahead. “WOW” new shock technology really works. Cornering on the Taka was effortless I felt super comfortable on it at speed through the turns, point and go, even jumping was great on this bike, it felt light in the air and very controllable.
Running the trails in Big Bear are just as fast, but a little longer and the Airborne Taka shined there to. The stiff frame, DH geometry, and the suspension with a great cockpit layout make this bike a blast to ride.
Now this is the best part, the “PRICE”!
At Giant Nerd they are selling the Airborne Taka for; now get this, “$1300.00 green back”!!
I have never in my life seen a DH bike spec’d out like this for this price. This make it one of the best buy’s you can ever put your hands on, and it makes downhill affordable for beginners and sport racers as well as the weekend warrior.
I find very little to fault on the Airborne Taka. Its well spec’d out for the price, has excellent handling, and would make the perfect beginner, sport racer weapon for the downhiller on a budget.
The best part about a bike like this with its solid frame is you upgrade to top of the line forks and shock and you would have an even better handling bike to eat up all the bumps.
The Airborne Taka truly is its name sake and its flies high to me with its parts package, handling, cockpit lay out, and the best part. “THE PRICE”!
Review Disclaimer as required by the FTC