Monday, January 9, 2012

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

As many of you may or may not know, I've recently added to my bike family. 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 Combat 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 be purchased for $669.95. 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.

Here are some tips/upgrades to keep in mind. Wrap up the chainstay with an old tube and a few zip-ties and invest in a pair of chain tensioners. 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.

Frame6061 Hydroformed Aluminum 26" Jump Frame
ForkMarzocchi Bomber DJ-3 100mm Travel
HeadsetAhead Sealed Cartridge 1 1/8"
Brake LeversTektro Auriga Comp
BrakesTektro Auriga Comp Hydraulic Disc
RotorsTektro 160mm Rotor
ChainKMC Z 510 1/8"
CrankBFC-II Cromoly Tubular with 48 spline 19mm spindle 175mm length, 28T Alu Chainwheel
Bottom Bracket48 spline 19mm spindle with sealed bearings euro-type
PedalsWellgo Alloy Flat
RimsAlex DP17 Double Wall 32h Disk Specific PV
HubsKT Sealed Bearing 36H
SpokesBlack 14g Stainless
TiresKenda K-Rad 26x2.3 inch
HandlebarFUNN Fatboy OE 710mm width 50mm rise 31.8mm clamp
StemFUNN Crossfire 50mm length 31.8mm bore clamp
SaddleFUNN Throne with 8mm cromo rails
Seat PostFUNN Crossfire 6061 31.6mm
ExtrasFUNN Combat Lock-on Grips, Alloy QR Seat Clamp, Owners Manual

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 You can also e-mail them at or call 1-800-888-BIKE.