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  1. #1
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    How do you feel about the cost of the Pathogen?

    The airborne Taka I believe was $1500, which was a complete bike. The airborne Pathogen is $1600 for a frame and rear shock.

    I was thinking about buying an entry level-low cost downhill bike that would be priced around the cost of the Taka. Now it seems if I went the airborne downhill route I would have to pay $1600 for the frameset and potentially thousands more for a completed bike.

    I thought the whole point of Airborne was to make reasonably priced bikes, that which you order direct.

    Seems like they are really raising the price.

    I know that it may be biased asking a question like that in the airborne forum as many of you may be hardcore airborne enthusiasts and may think that frameset should cost $50000.

    With that being said, why the increases in prices? Are they just cashing in on the popularity of the brand?

    Or have their costs really shot up that much where they have no choice but to charge a lot more money?

  2. #2
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    The Pathogen is a completely different animal than the Taka was.

    The Taka was a frame design that was originally developed by another company that had a few small tweeks made to it by Airborne when we introduced years ago. That meant no tooling costs and other huge costs associated with it. And at the time it was produced, raw materials and parts costs were much lower than they are now. And, IMHO, the parts spec on the Taka was as low as you could get and still have a complete DH bike. Even if we made that exact bike again we would probably want to upgrade the brakes and fork at the very least now; couple that with the increase in material/parts costs, the Taka would cost well over $2000 to make and sell today.

    We knew the Taka wasn't perfect and wanted to make changes to the frame and the spec to make it more inline with our value proposition of making great bikes at a fair price. However, to do that we would have to create new tooling for several of the frame pieces and add in a bunch of other expenses in regards to FEA, EN14766 testing, etc. With those costs staring us in the face we decided that we needed to just step up and make something that was exactly as we wanted it to be.

    The Pathogen is really in line with our current business model. It's not "cheap"; it offers a lot of value for many more riders that are in the market for a DH bike. If you compare the cost of the Pathogen with other framesets that are out there, and take into account that the Pathogen was developed with the aid and feedback of several elite level and professional riders like Caroline Buchanan on national and world cup level events, it is a very fair price in our opinion.

    The reason we are offering it as a frameset is we feel that the majority of customers that buy DH rigs want to build up their own and/or are very picky about what parts are on it. A Boxxer R2C2 may not appeal to a Fox guy, Shimano vs SRAM, etc, etc.

    Hopefully what I've said makes sense to you and gives you a better understanding of things. Please let me know if you have any other questions, thanks!

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  3. #3
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    Great reply about the thought process!

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  4. #4
    WMK
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    $1600 would be a great price for a complete bike, even $2000-$2500 wouldn't be terrible, but $1600 for frame only, I think somebody is a little full of themselves

  5. #5
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    WMK, you mention price but fail to mention any current comparables. Just because $1600 shocks you doesn't mean that it's a bad deal. In fact the comparable frames I've looked at run about $1000 more.
    So what would you do instead? Where do you go for a better deal on a tested competition level DH frame? Or are you hoping for something a little less aggressive for fewer $?? Do you feel that a less aggressive DH frame would be a better niche for Airborne?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by WMK View Post
    $1600 would be a great price for a complete bike, even $2000-$2500 wouldn't be terrible, but $1600 for frame only, I think somebody is a little full of themselves
    $1600 for a nice new DH frame is pretty reasonable. Please tell me who is selling them cheaper right now?
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  7. #7
    WMK
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    I never said anything about cheaper frames, the guy asked opinions on the cost of the Pathogen. I feel it's a bit much for a frame from a company that is known for selling cheap bikes. Don't get your panties in a bunch cause somebody has a different opinion than you.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by WMK View Post
    I never said anything about cheaper frames, the guy asked opinions on the cost of the Pathogen. I feel it's a bit much for a frame from a company that is known for selling cheap bikes. Don't get your panties in a bunch cause somebody has a different opinion than you.
    These are not cheap bikes - you should really do your research before inserting such a negative opinion regarding Airborne in general. If you had, you would have come to the conclusion they are no longer using the business model of the parent company. If you are going to troll, be sure to do it elswhere. Since you only have two posts, I am probably safe in saying that is the only reason why you are here.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WMK View Post
    $1600 would be a great price for a complete bike, even $2000-$2500 wouldn't be terrible, but $1600 for frame only, I think somebody is a little full of themselves
    I agree, for example you can get a Glory frameset for about $100 more, which has had more input from more riders and designers, plus comes with after sale service and a lifetime warranty, something I don't think Airborne can touch. Not knocking the company any, I almost bought one, but the crux of their strengths has been price, and they are slowly but surely giving up the one area they were succeeding with.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by musikron View Post
    I agree, for example you can get a Glory frameset for about $100 more, which has had more input from more riders and designers, plus comes with after sale service and a lifetime warranty, something I don't think Airborne can touch. Not knocking the company any, I almost bought one, but the crux of their strengths has been price, and they are slowly but surely giving up the one area they were succeeding with.
    Exactly what I was thinking. To me airborne was known for having reasonably priced bikes because they sell direct. If they are trying to change marketing direction then it will not work for me because I always thought of Airborne as a way to cut out the middleman and save money. Now, they seem to want to sell bikes and also take the middle mans cut also.

    With the price of the Pathogen, I would buy another downhill bike with a better name.

    They do not even offer completely built downhill bikes. You are forced to go out and buy all the expensive bike components at retail price.

    Don't forget, the Glory costs $100 more, but I believe that it can only be bought at a bike store. The bike store must take at least 50% profit. This just shows how much Airborne is trying to pocket as they are selling direct and do not have to pay a bike store.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speeder500 View Post
    Don't forget, the Glory costs $100 more, but I believe that it can only be bought at a bike store. The bike store must take at least 50% profit. This just shows how much Airborne is trying to pocket as they are selling direct and do not have to pay a bike store.
    The normal price on a Glory frame is $2100. If a bike shop is selling it at $1700, it is giving it away.

    But that doesn't surprise me that much. I've seen Sun Ringle Black Flag Pro wheelsets going for $350 (my bike shop said their cost was $550), Manitou Tower Pros selling for $250, finished HT frames going for $150, etc. Bike companies are hurting and are selling stuff off at a loss right now. It's a good deal for us consumers but to draw conclusions about what pricing should be from this doesn't make sense to me.

    Maybe Airborne needs to lower the price on the Pathogen. But if they are selling out at their current price, I doubt they will. We'll just have to see what the market says. If it agrees with you guys, we'll be seeing some discounts.

  12. #12
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    How do you feel about the cost of the Pathogen?

    I feel the Pathogen is a good value. Even you guys said the Giant Glory Frameset is $2,100 compared to he Pathogen Frameset which is $1,600. That, to me, is a good value and I, for one, will take the $600 I just saved and put it towards parts.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by musikron View Post
    I agree, for example you can get a Glory frameset for about $100 more, which has had more input from more riders and designers, plus comes with after sale service and a lifetime warranty, something I don't think Airborne can touch. Not knocking the company any, I almost bought one, but the crux of their strengths has been price, and they are slowly but surely giving up the one area they were succeeding with.
    Glory frameset retails for $2100. Glory Frameset (2014) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States

    That you can "obtain" one for less is moot. The manufacturer lists it at $2100, Airborne lists the Pathogen at $1600.


    As for slowly "giving up"? Really? I see them consistently one-upping the competition by offering very similar (or better) spec for significantly less. They are still doing great on price.

    Somehow it's their fault that the industry charges exorbitant amounts for product? A $9,000 msrp on a complete is ok, but $1600 for a frame that other companies would charge 30% more for is somehow unreasonable... Airborne's prices are not a problem - they are a solution.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WMK View Post
    $1600 would be a great price for a complete bike, even $2000-$2500 wouldn't be terrible, but $1600 for frame only, I think somebody is a little full of themselves
    *edited out*
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  15. #15
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    No one ever pays MSRP for ANYTHING. I'm just using this as an example. I can buy a Glory frame new with lifetime warranty, crash replacement discount, and get to throw a leg over it in person first to check geometry and fit for $1725 out the door from 2 local-ish LBS. I still haven't even seen an airborne in the flesh so I can't comment on the quality, but the super low prices that they used to build the brand are slowly diminishing. Not saying they are bad bikes, but the value just isn't there when you look at all you are NOT getting by buying an Airborne direct vs. another manufacturer at a LBS with lots of after sale service.

  16. #16
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    As an owner of an Airborne bike I can tell you that their customer service is amazing. Other owners will tell you the same. Before I bought my Goblin I went to multiple LBS looking at what they had in my price range. I ended up with easily twice the bike I would have gotten locally for my money.

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  17. #17
    Airborne Product Dude
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    I've been resisting posting to this thread since it was resurrected yesterday, but at this point I feel a response is in order.

    Airborne focuses on making bikes and frames that offer value when compared to other IDB brands in the market. Notice that I said "VALUE" and not "CHEAP".

    It's true that when Airborne started a few years back the first 5 or 6 models introduced were fairly inexpensive but frankly we didn't sell many of them; our growth and our volume has come from current bikes like the Goblin, Guardian, Seeker, etc that offer value while not being cheap and full of corner-cutting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speeder500 View Post
    Exactly what I was thinking. To me airborne was known for having reasonably priced bikes because they sell direct.
    Exactly. The difference in price when you compare our bikes to other similar bikes at IBD's is usually around 30-40 percent or so. There's no secret in how we do it; we don't have shops and distibutors that need that mark-up and we also work smart in regards to production, sourcing, warehousing, etc. We also don't make a huge profit margin on every bike/frame we sell. We feel we charge a fair and honest price for what we sell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speeder500 View Post
    If they are trying to change marketing direction then it will not work for me because I always thought of Airborne as a way to cut out the middleman and save money. Now, they seem to want to sell bikes and also take the middle mans cut also.
    We aren't really changing anything. Granted we made a decision a couple of years back to not make bikes like the Zeppelin, Marauder, etc that were "inexpensive", but our core values and mission statement have not changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speeder500 View Post
    With the price of the Pathogen, I would buy another downhill bike with a better name.
    That's completely your perogative and I respect that. For many, the cycling world is about brand names and brand recognition. We'll never be a Trek or Specialized, which are brands that I completely respect and actually own myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speeder500 View Post
    They do not even offer completely built downhill bikes. You are forced to go out and buy all the expensive bike components at retail price.
    With all due respect, there are lots of companies that offer DH rigs in frame-only's. Frame-only's make up the lions share of the DH market. Completes are a small percentage. This is mainly due to the fact that its hard to build the perfect DH complete for everyone out there, and its expensive to have inventory of $4K+ bikes on hand that truly are part of a very small niche market.

    And you don't have to go out and pay retail for parts to build it up. We know that most of our customers already have existing parts on hand, are swapping over frames, or are shopping thrifty for deals on components.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speeder500 View Post
    Don't forget, the Glory costs $100 more, but I believe that it can only be bought at a bike store. The bike store must take at least 50% profit. This just shows how much Airborne is trying to pocket as they are selling direct and do not have to pay a bike store.
    The 2014 Glory frame retails for $2100. I've worked in shops and the industry for years and frankly if you can get a Glory frame for $1700 then the shop isn't making enough money on that frame to keep their doors open. A shop is NOT making 50% profit on selling a frame at retail price. Good for you if you can get that price; bad for the longevity of the shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speeder500 View Post
    This just shows how much Airborne is trying to pocket as they are selling direct and do not have to pay a bike store.
    How do you know how much we have in cost in a Pathogen frame? To be honest our profit margin on all bikes and frames is very small. Trust me when I say we aren't getting fat off of what we are charging for a Pathogen frame; its the same amount of mark-up percentage as on our Goblin and other models.

    Its not good to speculate on things that you don't have first-hand knowlege of.

    We're proud of the Pathogen frame and feel like we've done the right thing by not putting out a cheap DH rig.

    Thanks,

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  18. #18
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    I think Airborne is on the right track. They still offer value priced bikes on a entry level scale that still offer the best value for the dollar. They have started offering higher end specd out bikes that wouid be hard to get at a LBS for the price. They really seem to listen to their customers and their input. The new Goblin Evo seems to fall into that category. Many voiced their input on a more trail worthy type bike and they delivered.

    Downhill frames are expensive. Complete down hill bikes are really expensive. It is a segment of the market that is task specific. I like their approach to it. If i was building another DH bike i would want to build it up with the compnents i wanted. Like BD stated not everyone may want a Fox fork or a Boxxer etc. When you are dropping that much money on equipment you want your bike built the way you want with the stuff that works for you.

    Their custoner service is top notch. Industry leading as far as I know. At least they are here on the forums communicating with their customers. Listening to input. They have answered every email and phone call i have placed with them.

    Maybe mail order is not for everyone. When i bought my Goblin i knew what size bike i needed. I knew what geo would work and had a good idea how it woukd fit. I checked around and a comparable bike would have run me much more. The bike has been flawless. I work on my own stuff so getting a bike and putting it together and making some adjustments on it was no big deal. Maybe not for everyone.

    Airborne is a business trying to make a profit. In the process they provide some well thought out value packed products that give a lot of potential bike owners a viable option to consider. Maybe the Pathogen bike price seems steep but down hill bikes are expensive across the board. Apparently they have a lot of happy customers and are gaining a loyal following in the process. Can not please everyone. But when you start pleasing the majority. I say your doing sonething right.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by musikron View Post
    No one ever pays MSRP for ANYTHING. I'm just using this as an example. I can buy a Glory frame new with lifetime warranty, crash replacement discount, and get to throw a leg over it in person first to check geometry and fit for $1725 out the door from 2 local-ish LBS.
    Now that's plain absurd. Plenty of LBSs sell at suggested retail all year long except for around this time of year when they dump excess inventory. And plenty more sell at just under retail even now. Isn't that one of the main gripes people have about them? There are long threads on MTBR with people debating the merits of LBS pricing. Someone must be buying at MSRP...in fact tens of thousands of someones.

    $1725 is a great price for a frame that you can see and touch assuming it is the right size (many shops have a hard time moving certain sizes) and not a left-over from 2012 or before. Tossing a leg over means that the LBS would also have to have your size in one that's built up with the same component geometry you would use...but still, maybe they do.

    Like I said before, the only conclusion you can draw from this is that perhaps you should take advantage of the LBS's fire sale pricing right now....so long as you value the service more than the $230 (125+130 @7.5% sales tax minus Airborne's $25 shipping unless you live in a place where there is no sales tax or in OH in which case there would be tax).

    But since this is an opinion thread (ostensibly), I would probably still go with the Pathogen even over a heavily discounted Glory. I don't have concerns about Airborne quality and their customer service is excellent. The Glory is a nice frame but the variables are too many to garner much useful info without actually using it as designed. The Pathogen has been winning races too.

    Also, since this opinion thread relates to Airborne pricing in general, I think it is flat out amazing that they are able to do what they do for the prices they charge. The charge that has been leveled is that with each release Airborne's pricing gets less compelling. Their most recent release was the Goblin Evolution; just another in a long line of amazing spec for $1600. It has a beefy frame with a slacker HT and shorter stays, Pressfit GXP BB, the RockShox Revelation, the x9 type 2 RD, x7 elsewhere, Hayes Prime Comp brakes, Stylo T30 bars, Maxxis Ardent tires and Sun Ringle Charger Comp wheels. That is another crazy-good deal. Lost their mojo? No way.

  20. #20
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    A few thoughts on this topic:

    $1600 for a DH frame is reasonable by todays standards. Whether or not an individual feels that $1600 for a frame is a good deal or not is moot point. If it cost to much or you feel its not a good value, dont buy it. Problem solved.

    The Taka was a entry level DH bike that was speced poorly. Offerings from other companies with similar specs sell for MSRP of 2500+. Even though it was speced poorly for a DH bike, it was priced so low that it was the only option for people who wanted something new rather than a solid used (and speced better) bike.

    DH MTB is a very small market. By the time the few riders that ride DH get to the point where they want to buy DH bike, they most likely are very picky and know that a poorly speced DH bike is going to make there riding regress rather than progress. This makes the Taka(or similar) appeal to newer riders who want a DH bike before knowing much about what they are buying or getting into. This make the take appeal only to a very small percentage of an already very small pool of potential buyers. I think Airborne realized this and decided to give the good deal to the larger pool of potential buyers by making a high end frame/ shock combo that will appeal to riders that understand the value they are receiving. It leaves the small pool of riders with no where to go but a used bike, but that is actually a good thing as a used bike will likely be a better bike than the taka was. (sorry airborne, the taka was awful)

    Mid level bike sales make up more sales than low end. Most people that want to buy low end bikes end up buying a bike from walmart. That is why the better airborne bikes sell better than the low end models, and why there probably wont be any low end models when the current versions sell out.

    Look at all of airbornes bikes, there is no other bikes that are speced better for the price. Period. As a rider who just decided to stop riding DH, im disappointed that the Pathogen frame didnt come out 3-4 years. I would have loved to try one out. I also wish they would make a 650B or 26'' AM bike. My complaints with airborne have nothing to so with price, just that they dont make a single bike that I want to buy from them (yet)

  21. #21
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    I hope Airborne keeps some of the low end models in their line up. It gives riders who are getting into the sport a great entry level bike at a great price to start out I think most of us that have been doing this for awhile see something and know right away

    1. A great value
    2 What we are going to change to suit our needs and riding style before we ever get the bike
    3. We have shoveled money into the industry and have grown to a point where value and quality trumps big name anything.
    4. We work on our own stuff and are used to things breaking and fixing them. So mail order anything is not a concern.

    Getting my 29er Goblin was one of the best things I did last year as a rider. It made me realize I had come to rely on FS bikes as the tool for everything. I had forgot how fun and fast a HT can be. My 26 HT was a beat down. The rough stuff beat me up. The 29er HT was smoother and more fun ride. I do more cross stuff now but when I hit the trails I always grab the Goblin. The HT has made me a better rider. I threw a rigid fork on it for a while and the thing was crazy light and fast. Climbed like a goat stuck to the side of the mountains.

    Looking at Airbornes current line up it seems they have a little of something for everyone. Entry level stuff up to the X0 stuff at very affordable prices compared to other offerings. Right now I trying to justify the EVO as my Goblin does about everything I ask of it.

    If they where still making a disc cross bike when I decided to go to discs I would have gotten one in a heartbeat from them based on my experience with them and the company. If and when they ever make a steel frame bike or frame I am in all over it. If they ever do a all mountain rig it will be up there on the list as well.

    Kind of with some of the other responses. Not digging their stuff just go get what you dig. And if you get a great deal on it. Great. You made out. My last DH bike was a great bike. Only problem it set in the garage the majority of its time with me. Not a lot of places around here to DH. So it was used when I took the trips to ride it. 4 or 5 times a year. Just the reality of my situation. DH frames and most everything that goes on them is expensive. That's just how that part of the market is. It is one use specific and if you are gonna play in that part of the game your gonna pony up. Yeah the Pathogen is a high dollar item when compared to some of their other stuff. But in that part of the market it is a great deal for someone looking to build up a quality DH rig.

    And though it does cost more in most cases to build up a bike from the frame up I am beginning to lean that way on bikes. I end up getting exactly what I want on the bike. It takes some time and searching but value can be found on components and parts. I dig that Airborne offers complete bikes as well as frame sets. I think they are really in touch with the majority of riders out here. We want good stuff. Some options. And do not want to bleed green to have it.

    Just waiting for something in steel.

  22. #22
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    Considering the price of other manufacturers, the Pathogen is a decent deal. I do understand about offering more of an "entry level" DH bike, but since people will pay upwards of $5k and more on what is basically a motorcycle with no engine and different geometry, that only goes downhill, then it certainly prices many people right out of the sport.

    I'm pretty much as anti-consumer as they come, and the Airborne I bought is the first "new" bike I've owned since 1995. I bought it because of the price and components. In fact I purposely bought the low end Guardian because I was hesitant to shell out more than $1k on a bike off the internet. So, for me, price is absolutely an issue, but just as important as value.

    Personally, I don't really have any interest in a DH bike, since I'd use it about twice a year. An all mountain or enduro would be nice. Something like the Diamondback Mason FS Pro 29er or a 650b. I've found I'm not a fan of the XC geometry anymore, even for XC.

    Or something like Mongoose's Teocali comp:

    Mongoose | Teocali Comp

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTx View Post
    I hope Airborne keeps some of the low end models in their line up. It gives riders who are getting into the sport a great entry level bike at a great price to start out I think most of us that have been doing this for awhile see something and know right away
    The lowest priced model in our line-up is the Guardian and we definitely have no plans on dropping it. IMHO the Guardian is at a level of spec that I feel comfortable about selling all day long to folks and not worrying about anything being trail-worthy.

    I also wish they would make a 650B or 26'' AM bike. My complaints with airborne have nothing to so with price, just that they dont make a single bike that I want to buy from them (yet)
    Working on it!

    Jeremy
    Airborne Dude.

  24. #24
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    How do you feel about the cost of the Pathogen?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    The lowest priced model in our line-up is the Guardian and we definitely have no plans on dropping it. IMHO the Guardian is at a level of spec that I feel comfortable about selling all day long to folks and not worrying about anything being trail-worthy.
    I've recommended the Guardian to more people than I can count. It's a great value.

  25. #25
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    I think it's cool what airborne does. It's just another option for cyclist to get into the sport. Especially because its hard to stomach spending 5-10k on a bicycle. I would say cost is the #1 reason more of my buddies haven't committed themselves to the sport.

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