Sea Otter 2011: Airborne Unveils Disc Brake-Equipped Cyclocross Bike for the Masses
The Airborne Delta cyclocross bike is ready to take advantage of UCI rules and mud. © Clifford Lee / Cyclocross Magazine
After re-launching the brand last year at Sea Otter, Airborne Bicycles was back this year and had a new cyclocross ride to show off at Sea Otter. The Delta cyclocross bike follows the company’s relatively lengthy history of making cyclocross bikes, including the titanium and aluminum versions of the Carpe Diem frame from as long as ten years ago.
Some of the company’s early cyclocross models even came with disc brake tabs, when disc-brake cyclocross bikes were in their first wave of popularity. Now that disc brakes are again a hot topic, Airborne recognized an opportunity to provide an affordable, versatile disc-brake equipped bike named the Delta. The Delta, priced at $1099 and sold consumer direct, brings SRAM Apex, mechanical disc brakes, BB30 bottom bracket, a carbon fork and a 6061 aluminum frame for quite a bit less than larger brands but without the free service often included at local bike shops.
Although the new UCI rule to allow disc brakes has opened the door for such bikes, it’s unlikely that the target customer will be one who will be toeing the line next to Tim Johnson, Jeremy Powers and Ryan Trebon anytime soon, but it’s a beautiful thing that the bike won’t prevent such a rider from a quick ascension through the ranks into UCI-sanctioned races.
The Delta appears to be a versatile bike, letting you battle Nys one day and commute or tour the next. It comes equipped with modern features like an FSA BB30 bottom bracket and Gossamer cyclocross crank, an 11-32 Apex wide-range 10 speed cassette and Avid BB5 mechanical road disc brakes (160mm front, 140mm rear rotors), but remains traditional with 1 1/8″ head bearings and rack and fender mounts to increase versatility. It reminds us a bit of the old Redline Conquest Disc model from years gone by.
The 6000-series alloy frame is matched to an Airborne EVO carbon fork and both are setup for disc brakes only. Your vintage Mafac brakes will have to find another bike. With discs, it weighs about 21 pounds.
Stay tuned as we give an Airborne Delta a full review.