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  1. #1
    MTB Fanatic
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    Airborne history and company structure

    Being new to the mtbr forums, I wasn't around when the "old" Airborne was doing business. I'm curious how the current company operates and how it came about. Are people that worked for the old company now working for the new one? Also, how is the company structured? I know that Huffy is the parent company, so how does that work within Airborne? How many employees? I kinda feel sorry for Eric because every time I call, he answers the phone. BTW, it's pretty amazing to call a bike company and get a bike rider AND mechanic directly. But if you keep growing, how is that going to work?

    Also, do you design and test all your bikes yourselves?

  2. #2
    Airborne Product Dude
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    Hey Barheet,

    All good questions. I've answered these in different places in different threads here and there on MTBR and Facebook, but now that we have an Airborne dedicated forum its good to have it here.

    The First Airborne Company

    The First Airborne did primarily Ti frames and bikes and was around from 1997 thru 2005. It was revolutionary at the time as it was one of the first bike companies to sell direct to the consumer and the first one, IMHO, to do it well. Jamie Raddin was the founder and president. The original Airborne allowed a customer to go online to their bike configurator and completely configure a bike with 26 different parts. You could choose your own combo of deraileurs, brakes, wheels, forks, etc. At the bottom of the page you got your total weight and price and placed your order. This was a cool idea that was copied by many others...............however it was frought with issues, mainly the problem of carrying a TON of inventory.

    Due to a few issues, some of them related the inventory problem mentioned above, Airborne went out of business. Jamie went on to run another bike company named "Flyte" that lasted about a year or so and then went out of business. He is no longer in the bike industry as far as I know, but he still rides and is still fast, at least he was the last time I rode with him.

    Airborne NOW

    Fast-foward a few years later, 2010 to be exact, Airborne started back up again as a different company but with a similar mode of selling direct to customers.

    Airborne has the backing of Huffy. This is not unlike the relationship between Dorel/Pacific/Cannondale/GT. It works out great for us as Huffy's buying power is beneficial, and we are able to utilize things like their warehousing and accounting services to help keep our costs down. Other than that we operate on our own separate P&L (profit and loss) statement and are autonomous.

    There are less than 10 employees here at Airborne. All of us are bike guys and riders. I have been racing/riding bikes since I was 11 (I'm 42 now) and have been in the Bike Industry for many, many years. I'm the Product Manager here at Airborne and I occasionally pull double-duty when it comes to things like brand marketing. You also may talk to me on the phone during times when we are super busy as we all tend to pitch in (like now~!). Eric and I went to High School together and have raced on the same teams together in the past. He's a trained bike mechanic and still is a super-fast rider. Both of us worked at the first Airborne years ago but left it at separate times to work elsewhere in the bike industry before it went under.

    All of our current product (meaning stuff that has been made in the past year and a half) like the Goblin, Guardian, Delta, Wingman, etc are all designed here in Ohio and ride-tested and developed by us. Most of our current frames are made by Kinesis and another frame maker named PMT.

    Some of the first Airborne product was based on original Iron Horse designs and was done by the Product Manager that worked here before me. These designs were used on bikes like the Taka, the Zeppelin, Marauder, Spectre, etc. The reason at this time was because Airborne needed tried and tested designs to get a jump-start into the market and the designs belonged to the factory that Airborne was using at the time, since they were stuck with a lot of $$$ when Iron Horse went under and kept the rights to the designs. We no longer use that factory and are not using any of those designs going forward.

    We are growing every day and business is going great. We've stuck to our guns as far as treating customers as we would like to be treated and offering a great product for a good value. As we continue to grow we will add people to our staff to ensure our level of service and commitment doesn't change.

    There, I think that about covers things. Hope that helped!

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  3. #3
    Airborne Flight Crew
    Reputation: jhazard's Avatar
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    Exellent write-up. This should be a "sticky"
    Airborne Flight Crew

    Jerry Hazard website

  4. #4
    MTB Fanatic
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    Thanks for the reply, Jeremy. I second the sticky notion.
    Nathan

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    Airborne is a great company and full of the nicest, most knowledgeable people you could ask for. I was on the first Flight Crew in 2010 and can't thank everyone affiliated with Airborne enough. I have a Zeppelin Elite and a Taka that I've used everyday since I got them in 2010. Great company and people!

  6. #6
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    Sales Structure Question

    I have always been a guy that buys middle of the rode bikes, upgraded theam and when the components were at the level I wanted, I would purchase a higher end frame and swap everything over.

    Will your company ever sell your frames seperately? Branded components(bars, stems, etc.)?

    I really like your brand, and Eric came through for me concerning a part I needed for my Zeppelin, so I hope to be able to get a lighter frame from you guys down the road.

    Thanks

    Oh, by the way, IH old stock or not, my red Zepp is the baddest lookin bike on my trail! Thanks for offering it at such a good price!

  7. #7
    Airborne Product Dude
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    The Red Zeppelins (get it? Like Led Zeppelin?) looked cool. I think I liked the red better than the white. BTW they weren't old IH stock, just the designs. All of the frames were made new and weren't laying about in a warehouse (I've read that on here a few times and that's not true!).

    OK, back to your question. Yes we are going to be selling frames, starting with the new Goblin frames. They are silver with black and green decals and should be here in the next few weeks. We then are going to be offering frames in all of our other bikes that follow: HobGoblin, Toxin, new Taka, Pathogen, etc, etc.

    At this time we don't have any plans to sell branded components separately, but we may consider it in the future.

    Thanks!

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  8. #8
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    Awesome!!! I was reading back on some of the older posts, and it looked like that might not be your plan, but now I can save up and get a new airborne frame, and then swap all the old components back on the , haha, red zeppelin for friends to ride or as a backup.

    I really like working with a brand like yours. When I was racing a few years back I rode a frame from a small company called fetish.

  9. #9
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    what is this "pathogen" bike you speak of Jeremy?

    thanks!

  10. #10
    Airborne Product Dude
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecooke21 View Post
    what is this "pathogen" bike you speak of Jeremy?

    thanks!
    LOL, I wondered if someone would catch that. We are actually working on two DH bikes/frames for next year. That Pathogen is one of them............

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  11. #11
    MTB Fanatic
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    If I lived in the mountains, I'd be all over the Toxin.
    Nathan

  12. #12
    local bike dr.
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    Thanks for making a thread for this topic. I would like to see this one STICKY, pretty please....

    I've seen you answer this question before, appreciate having it addressed again. BTW, wanted to thank you guys for a fantastic bicycle. Have enjoyed my Guardian every day since it arrived.

  13. #13
    Glorified Hybrid Owner
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    Delta CX as a frame too?

  14. #14
    Airborne Product Dude
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockhound View Post
    Delta CX as a frame too?
    There are no plans to offer the current Delta as a frameset.
    Airborne Dude.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    There are no plans to offer the current Delta as a frameset.
    What is the plan for CX going forward? The Delta page on your website makes it sound like that bike is going away.
    I intend to live forever or die in the attempt.

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