Airnimal Bikes?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Dave W
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Airnimal Bikes?

Postby Dave W » 10 Oct 2017, 6:13pm

I remember they had a pretty poor reputation for frame failures. Does anyone know if they fixed the problem and if so what year?

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Si
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Re: Airnimal Bikes?

Postby Si » 11 Oct 2017, 5:38pm

The seat masts where the plug used to pull out of the tube was fixed around 2002 I think....you can tell which the good ones are as they have chunky brackets on the side going to the pivot rather than using a plug with the pivot on the end of it.

My other issue was that the main tube of the frame fractured and split in two near the seat mast pivot. Dunno if this was common, and if it was common I don't know if they fixed it as I gave up at that point.

A number of people reported problems with the wheel rims splitting on early models - I never had any problems with mine.

Dave W
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Re: Airnimal Bikes?

Postby Dave W » 12 Oct 2017, 4:50pm

Thank you, I missed a really nice one on here a few weeks back, people on eBay seem to expect ridiculous money for second hand Chameleons. I’ll wait.

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Si
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Re: Airnimal Bikes?

Postby Si » 12 Oct 2017, 7:08pm

Yep, they do seem expensive, often more second hand than my ultegra/105 equiped one was new.

I have to say that if you dont have problems with them breaking i found them a beautiful bike to ride....very comfie on long rides and pretty zippy in town. I turned mine into a singlespeed and it flew.

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foxyrider
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Re: Airnimal Bikes?

Postby foxyrider » 13 Oct 2017, 9:26am

My first iteration was from @ 2002 - it was used for fully loaded touring and a lot more until @ 2012 when the main frame broke above the main pivot. The replacement frame set me back £700, that's been used in a similar way to the first but perhaps a bit less due to the way my cycling has developed.(mine is a fully custom spec with 3x10 Campag)

Great ride, very stable loaded or not.

You can't really call down the bikes for the rims - i've worn out / split 3 pairs over the years but the latest R390's have lasted about 5 years so far.

There are bargains to be had, post 2012 should have the revamped frame - easily identified by the large pip under the the main spar ahead of the pivot girderage.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

Dave W
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Re: Airnimal Bikes?

Postby Dave W » 13 Oct 2017, 7:49pm

Large pip? Thanks, don’t suppose anyone can find a picture of said pip.ta.

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foxyrider
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Re: Airnimal Bikes?

Postby foxyrider » 14 Oct 2017, 8:49am

Dave W wrote:Large pip? Thanks, don’t suppose anyone can find a picture of said pip.ta.


You really can't miss it, older frames don't have anything there. I'll try to get a picture later.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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horizon
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Re: Airnimal Bikes?

Postby horizon » 14 Oct 2017, 10:59am

What attracted me to the Airnimal (Joey at least) was the fact that for the most part all the parts are standard - it's normal. So the stem AFAIK is a normal Ahead style which means you have all the usual options and AFAIK the seat post is Micro-adjust. On the Explore, the gear range is 23 - 114. I don't know about the front derailleur.

However I opted for the Tern Node (also 24" wheels) as it came in about £1000 cheaper. It still has 16 gears and the folding is very easy. It also has a long, Micro-adjust seat post. I didn't want an aluminium frame but the Airnimal is alu anyway. Folding is probably better.

Looking back I think I would now go for a Joey Explore and treat it as a normal bike or go for a Tern 20" wheel and reap the benefits of a properly small folder (the Node folds easily, the same as a 20" wheel folder, but remains bigger and heavier). But my nagging doubt remains as to whether you can really treat a folder as you might a steel tourer: is it really as robust? Are you thrashing an expensive, delicate piece of kit? Will you be landed with big repair bills when something breaks? It may be better to regard the folder as a useful but limited option for short city hops. The Joey is overkill for this.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

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foxyrider
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Re: Airnimal Bikes?

Postby foxyrider » 15 Oct 2017, 2:30pm

horizon wrote:
Looking back I think I would now go for a Joey Explore and treat it as a normal bike or go for a Tern 20" wheel and reap the benefits of a properly small folder (the Node folds easily, the same as a 20" wheel folder, but remains bigger and heavier). But my nagging doubt remains as to whether you can really treat a folder as you might a steel tourer: is it really as robust? Are you thrashing an expensive, delicate piece of kit? Will you be landed with big repair bills when something breaks? It may be better to regard the folder as a useful but limited option for short city hops. The Joey is overkill for this.


I must admit that at first I was a bit cotton woolish but I necessity on my first tour got me over that and in fact mine gets abused every bit as much as my full size rigs if not more! It does get taken off tarmac, sometimes alarmingly so, its traversed the Alps, its waded through the sands of northern Europe, all loaded with my camping gear. I've had 2 broken spokes (same trip - long story), one split tyre (east German roads!) and on average 2 punctures per tour, tbh I don't consider that bad over 14 years of use. It does get serviced before any trip but so do my other bikes. Last year I 'thrashed' my carbon plaything for 3 weeks of credit card touring in Austria, yes it would've been expensive if I broke something but why do we have bikes if not to use them?

So use your folder like any other bike, look after it but don't mollycoddle it. 8)
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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horizon
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Re: Airnimal Bikes?

Postby horizon » 17 Oct 2017, 8:47pm

foxyrider wrote:
So use your folder like any other bike, look after it but don't mollycoddle it. 8)


:) You're probably right, though I tend to use my Tern Node only for overnight work trips so I keep it ready for that, clean and reliable. The difference also between the Tern and an Airnimal as I mentioned above is its gear range. This puts me off doing, say, a camping trip although it is perfectly capable of carrying the weight: I use both front and rear panniers on work trips but the distances are much shorter and it spends a lot of time on the train.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

Dave W
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Re: Airnimal Bikes?

Postby Dave W » 16 Nov 2017, 5:00pm

Would this be of the cracking frame variety anyone know?
FD6A211E-A072-4B41-9B8A-C2883D1DC266.jpeg
FD6A211E-A072-4B41-9B8A-C2883D1DC266.jpeg (56.75 KiB) Viewed 1004 times

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foxyrider
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Re: Airnimal Bikes?

Postby foxyrider » 16 Nov 2017, 10:49pm

Dave W wrote:Would this be of the cracking frame variety anyone know?FD6A211E-A072-4B41-9B8A-C2883D1DC266.jpeg


Couldn't say from the picture, later frames have a large (about 50 pence size) riser welded under the down tube approximately under the top hinge (think just in front of the chainset. This was added from @ 2011 along with some other less obvious changes - although older frames aren't guaranteed to break I'd be very cautious about buying one. Mine snapped after ten years of abuse, fully loaded touring, off road riding etc.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!