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  1. #1
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    Airborne ever gonna do a FAT bike?

    Seems like this niche market is exploding which I think is good for all of us as it seems you always pay a premium for the trendsetters. Just wondering if Airborne is thinking/developing a bike for this category? Seems like it could be a sweet spot for the demographics/business segment Airborne thrives in...

    I realize this info is probably not able to be readily discussed, but thought I'd ask!

    I'm quite surprised at how expensive these mostly steel framed rigid "low tech" bikes are! I'm sure Airborne could make something very compelling at a reasonable price point!

    And I really want one and if Airborne were to come out with one in the next few months I'd be pretty bummed I didn't wait...

    Pete

  2. #2
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    You said it. Those fat bikes are ridiculously overpriced. No fork, middle of the road components and $2 grand. I know you don't need a fork, but I'm saying that should lower the price a bit.

    I'm probably going to get one though because I live in Iowa and the winters are long. Curses.
    Nathan

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barheet View Post
    You said it. Those fat bikes are ridiculously overpriced. No fork, middle of the road components and $2 grand. I know you don't need a fork, but I'm saying that should lower the price a bit.

    I'm probably going to get one though because I live in Iowa and the winters are long. Curses.
    Thanks for the reply! Surprised I didn't get more responses on this thread!

    Totally agree on the price gouging going out there on Fat Bikes. Seems ripe for the picking for Airborne...

  4. #4
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    I forgot to add...I think there are a lot of enthusiasts who are interested in this style bike but do not want to spend the big $ to find out. Something decent and upgradeable with universal specs at $600-$800 would sell big time IMHO.

  5. #5
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    I'm working on getting caught up here in the office after being out for a bit, so I apologize for the delay in getting back to you.

    The cost associated with (good) fatbikes is not so much in the frame as it is in some of the speciality fatbike-specific parts that go into it: Rims, tires, tubes, cranks/BB, FD/mount, hubs. There are a small amount of suppliers offering these parts and they are priced accordingly per the rules of supply and demand unfortunately.

    I think to make a good fatbike the $600-$800 range would be near impossible, as we wouldn't want to put junk out there and that price-range would relegate us to some really crappy parts. We wouldn't be happy putting that out there.

    However, could we do a nice fatbike for significantly less than $1800? Yes.

    I've had a fatbike for the past two winters and absolutely love it. Everytime I ride it, I have a big grin on my face and feel like a little kid.

    I'd like to do an Airborne fatbike right now, but at the moment we have a lot of things on our plate we are trying to finish (like the gravity bikes that seem to be taking FOREVER but we want to do them right) and we have to maintain focus. IF I get to do one, it probably won't happen for a year or two down the road.

    But keep asking for things you want and keep giving us ideas. We do listen to everything you guys/gals say and welcome the input. Thanks!

    Jeremy
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  6. #6
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    I would definitely consider buying one when they are available. We don't have bad winters in New Mexico and can rider year round, but a fat bike just seems like it would be stupid fun anyway. I cant help but want one. Another thing to consider is 29+, right now there is no competition for the Surly Krampus, and it seems to be well received.

  7. #7
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    +1 Would love to see an Airborne fat bike!

  8. #8
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    Hobgoblin EVO, then fatbike.
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  9. #9
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    Walmart has a Fatbike for $199.00.

  10. #10
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    I'm down for some Airborne fatness.

  11. #11
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    I am in on the fatness...and a steel frame 29er..Yo Santa...that is my list!

  12. #12
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    I have never ridden one but I have always been intrigued by them when I see them in the shops.

    To some of the above points early in the thread, I do agree they seem overpriced but we as consumers are slaves to supply and demand as bdf said. I can appreciate the airborne business model of selling direct to pass those savings along to us.

    A couple of my riding buddies race for a team and get a team deal on bikes each year at a local shop. Will be hard for me to pay full retail ever again knowing what they pay and how much bikes are marked up for the rest of us.

    As I sit here and look out the window at all the fresh snow...I wish I had a fat bike to take out right now. What's the widest tire a goblin can fit? That will have to be my compromise haha

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTx View Post
    I am in on the fatness...and a steel frame 29er..Yo Santa...that is my list!

    The new Gravity/Trail oriented bikes are cool but this guy... he gets it.
    Eric

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by swengo86 View Post
    I have never ridden one but I have always been intrigued by them when I see them in the shops.

    To some of the above points early in the thread, I do agree they seem overpriced but we as consumers are slaves to supply and demand as bdf said. I can appreciate the airborne business model of selling direct to pass those savings along to us.

    A couple of my riding buddies race for a team and get a team deal on bikes each year at a local shop. Will be hard for me to pay full retail ever again knowing what they pay and how much bikes are marked up for the rest of us.

    As I sit here and look out the window at all the fresh snow...I wish I had a fat bike to take out right now. What's the widest tire a goblin can fit? That will have to be my compromise haha
    Between the time this thread came up and now, Bikes Direct has introduced some low-priced Fatbikes to the market.

    Save Up To 60% Off Fat Bikes and Fat Mountain Bicycles from bikesdirect.com

    What do you guys think about them? I'm curious as to what you think about their spec and pricing.

    I just spent the last few hours working on my fatbike to get it ready for this weekend. Important tip: if you have your fatbike on your rear hitch rack and you drive home with salty water all over the roads, be certain to wipe your bike down and clean/lube it well before you roll it into the garage and don't look at it for 7-8 months.

    Jeremy
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  15. #15
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    I've got some BD bikes, so I'm not afriad of their brand. I'd probably go for the Borris or the Fantom Comp level. My only real concern is based on lack of experience with riding in freezing weather. Hydraulic brakes vs. BB7 mechanical brakes. Will the hydraulic fluid gum up vs corrosion of the cables from salt. Since I'd use it soley for trails, the Borris would be the winner for me.

    The price is OK, but nothing too great, even for BD. I have a feeling that the price of their fatbikes will go down another $100-150 within the next couple years as frames, forkes, tires, and rims become more available and demand levels out.

  16. #16
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    I'd think the Boris would be the way I'd go....but without having experience I'd think a 3x10 would be more beneficial in the type of terrain these are intended for?

  17. #17
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    The BD Fatbikes seem to be a good deal, but they won't be shipping till Feb or March, so basically your buying them for next winter....
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  18. #18
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    I'm not afraid of the BD Fat bikes and have often thought about picking one of the lower end ones up just to test out the genre.

    I'd really like to see a single speed version with something like 34x28 gearing. I find that that is about where I stay on most of my rides anyway, especially the snowy ones where I am not really fighting up steep hills or accelerating on downhills the way I do when they are dry. It would keep the price down and allow for a better wheelset. If it had a hanger AND slot dropouts it would be cheap enough to go 1x8 or 1x9 if you wanted gears.

    The best bang for the buck Fatbike available new right now is very likely the On-One Fatty. Of course, used Pugsley's are coming down in price as well.
    Eric

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angus View Post
    The BD Fatbikes seem to be a good deal, but they won't be shipping till Feb or March, so basically your buying them for next winter....
    I think they got a batch in already and sold them all.

    I'd think a 3x10 would be more beneficial in the type of terrain these are intended for?
    On my personal Fatbike I have a 2x9. The front is actually a triple crank that has the big ring removed and replaced with a bashguard. Seems to be about perfect in my opinion. I've never felt like I'm missing out on the taller gear range the big ring would have offered. Most of the time in the snow you are moving at around 3-5mph so the lower end of the gear range is the most important part.

    Jeremy
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  20. #20
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    I think I'll just rent Fatties until Airborne has the time to do one up proper.

    With the popularity of these bikes, I suspect that some of the wheels, tires, etc. will be getting less expensive.

    I've even seen hybrid setups where guys just replace the front fork and wheel/tire to a fat one on their standard xc frame. Then they just put the widest tire that fits in back. I have no idea how well it works or what conditions limit it. All I know about it for sure is that it looks pretty crazy.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeinMinn View Post

    I've even seen hybrid setups where guys just replace the front fork and wheel/tire to a fat one on their standard xc frame. Then they just put the widest tire that fits in back. I have no idea how well it works or what conditions limit it. All I know about it for sure is that it looks pretty crazy.
    Yeah I've seen that and personally it wouldn't work for me. I really need both wheels to be fat for riding in the winter. The traction of the wide rear wheel is pretty important IMHO.

    I've got sources now for just about everything to build an Airborne Fat Goblin if we ever decide to go after the market. We'll see how things go. I'm sort of the only champion for fat bikes here in the building at the moment. We've still got a lot of other things on our plate that have higher priority at the moment.

    Jeremy
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  22. #22
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    Yeah, I can understand that. The fat bike market is still a niche and volume is the only justification for another SKU.

    Nevertheless, it's amazing just how many ride their fat bikes year-round.

  23. #23
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    The Boris is pretty right on the money for mid price point and specs. I expect that BD is just the leading edge of more reasonably priced Fat Bikes. If this trend continues there will be more and more options at that price point to chose from. Of course all the original fatbike riders will no longer feel elite or exclusive and will move onto something else. LOL.

  24. #24
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    I can tell you that one of those BD fat bikes will be in my garage come spring. That Boris has my name on it. There's no way I'm spending $1500+ on a fatbike, so BD has the right idea.

    I'm assuming it'd be a year or more for Airborne to put out something like like this if there are other products in the pipeline.

  25. #25
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    actually, I'm waiting on wallyworld to put out a better fatty. They have the appropriately named Mongoose "Beast" that could be easily upgraded with a rear gearset and disc brakes. They had a 32" bike last year that was a single speed, and they now have a 32" geared bike with rimbrakes for only an extra $30. If the price of the beast went up $50 and they put on shifters/brakes, I'd bet they'd sell a lot, just to experiment with.

  26. #26
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    After upgrades, that Mongoose or any other Wal-brand fat tire isn't going to be that far in cost from the bottom end of the BD bikes and they are twice the bike, but I say ride whatever you can afford.

  27. #27
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    this would be true with decent upgrades, but if they were just cheap upgrades, which is all the beast really can get before it's out of wally world's target audience, it would at least be rideable. right now, it's not. Most reviews say the gearing is horrible and it steers like a beached whale. Hopefully someone at Mongoose reads reviews and will change the headtube angle and put on some gears.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    Yeah I've seen that and personally it wouldn't work for me. I really need both wheels to be fat for riding in the winter. The traction of the wide rear wheel is pretty important IMHO.

    I've got sources now for just about everything to build an Airborne Fat Goblin if we ever decide to go after the market. We'll see how things go. I'm sort of the only champion for fat bikes here in the building at the moment. We've still got a lot of other things on our plate that have higher priority at the moment.

    Jeremy
    Fight it all the way and make sure the design can accommodate the widest rim/ rubber combo. Namely Clown Shoes 100mm on Bud and Lou 4.8"- Ok maybe my bias cos that's what I spec on mine.
    Still having said.. people can always downsize if they want but if it is not built to go big-- there is no option to "upgrade". I think many brands out there are kicking themselves now as their current frames can only go ~4" rubbers with less wide rims.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by curtboroff View Post
    Hobgoblin EVO, then fatbike.
    +1

    Personally I want a fatbike with a good crank and rear derailleur. Larger rotor BB7s. Higher quality hubs and headset. With at least a 30.9 seat post, low stand over, and full cable housing runs frame.

    So maybe a BDs Boris type frame(slopping top tube, larger diameter seat tube, direct mount FD) with a little beefier rear axle section.
    Component upgrades from the Boris would include X7 shifters, a better crank(maybe X9), fully sealed bearing headset, "better hubs"(no name sealed would do), and at least 180 rotors both ends. The same upgrades I would do to the Boris basically. You get the volume discount though.

    Sell it for around $1200. Ill take one for me and one for the lady please.
    Last edited by Gear Head; 12-12-2013 at 04:15 PM.

  30. #30
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    Looks like SRAM just recalled a grip load of their hydraulic road brakes due to cold weather failure. Definitely looking at mechanical brakes for winter. Boris is still leading the pack.

  31. #31
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    Airborne ever gonna do a FAT bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Looks like SRAM just recalled a grip load of their hydraulic road brakes due to cold weather failure. Definitely looking at mechanical brakes for winter. Boris is still leading the pack.
    The road hydro failure is in the levers (master cylinder). The calipers are fine.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    Between the time this thread came up and now, Bikes Direct has introduced some low-priced Fatbikes to the market.

    Save Up To 60% Off Fat Bikes and Fat Mountain Bicycles from bikesdirect.com

    What do you guys think about them? I'm curious as to what you think about their spec and pricing.
    Living in the Vermont, I'm really interested in an Airbourne fat bike, but I'd still guess it would only get used a half dozen times a year. Just my 2 cents, but I'd be looking for a budget option. Something like the Guardian or Seeker of fat bikes. The $900 price point of the BD Boris is basically the max I would feel comfortable paying. I'm sure others are looking for high end specs though.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by benmills View Post
    Living in the Vermont, I'm really interested in an Airbourne fat bike, but I'd still guess it would only get used a half dozen times a year. Just my 2 cents, but I'd be looking for a budget option. Something like the Guardian or Seeker of fat bikes. The $900 price point of the BD Boris is basically the max I would feel comfortable paying. I'm sure others are looking for high end specs though.
    That is sort of why I was thinking a single speed fatty would be fun. Could go with decent components (like nicer wheelset/etc) and get people riding, then, as long as it had a hanger on the dropout the relatively simple and cheap upgrade process of adding a derailleur would give the option for 1x8/9/10. Would be nice right now with the snow we just got, right?

    Also, I had a non-Airborne owner ask me if Airborne was ever going to do a fat bike. He's in the planning stage of building a 9:zero:7 but would've likely gone with an Airborne if it were available.
    Eric

  34. #34
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    I really want a fatbike for year round riding. However, I want some quality components on it. The BD fat bikes don't look that great to me, especially those tires. Why are such slick tires on a bike designed for riding in the snow? Makes no sense to me. I would be willing to pay more for some good components and tires.
    Nathan

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeinMinn View Post
    The fat bike market is still a niche and volume is the only justification for another SKU.

    Nevertheless, it's amazing just how many ride their fat bikes year-round.
    Fatness is steadily moving out of niche into a more popular ride the last few years so make no mistake they are on the rise with Spesh, trek and kona in the market now. I assem/built my pugs frame up and while i spent a significant amount above what a standard pug cost I was able to do so with top notch parts except for the tires.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barheet View Post
    I really want a fatbike for year round riding. However, I want some quality components on it. The BD fat bikes don't look that great to me, especially those tires.I would be willing to pay more for some good components and tires.
    This is the aspect non fat bike owners still don't realize is the amount of specific parts fat bikes require, hence higher pricing all around.
    I too would like to see a Hobfat-goblin but folks must know it'll be costly. Front suss with fat is also on the rise so another aspect for Airborne to consider. Custom full suss fat is the next phase and gaining speed for the mass produced.

  36. #36
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    Been a year, any new info to report? I am also someone who would be interested in a reliable fat bike that is better than the really low end stuff, but not as pricey as the rest of quality stuff, which seems to run $1500 and up. Something in the $800-$1000 range would be nice.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by pearl-drum-man View Post
    Been a year, any new info to report? I am also someone who would be interested in a reliable fat bike that is better than the really low end stuff, but not as pricey as the rest of quality stuff, which seems to run $1500 and up. Something in the $800-$1000 range would be nice.
    I just bought a framed Fat bike. Pretty decent stuff for the price. This is what I ordered.

    Framed Minnesota 2.0 Fat Bike 2015

  38. #38
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    The Fatty market is ripe for picking. If Airborne could build a Fat Bike with Guardian-ish specs at a $699-ish price point, demand would be overwhelming.
    I bike with tires.

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