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  1. #1
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    Calling all Mountain Bikers and Bike Enthusiastis!!

    Hello all!

    My name is Louis and I am part of a university research team working alongside a Whistler, BC based aviation company!

    We are conducting market research on the feasibility of a new product offering called Heli-biking.

    We are looking for your thoughts, advice, and ideas surrounding the feasibility of this experiment.

    We are coming to you, because this will be offered to people LIKE you; those looking for a new way to enjoy mountain biking or looking for a new sport to try!
    This product is exactly as it sounds; a helicopter will take you thousands of feet into the beautiful BC wilderness and mountainside, dropping you off at the top of a mountain at the start of a custom built downhill mountain track.

    Bikes will be transported via a custom built helicopter bike rack (first in Canada to be approved by the federal governments transport authority)

    Available are:

    • Single ride ($135 each per “drop” / 5 person trip $675)
    • 3 run half-day ($695 per person, 3 trails each + lunch break + chartered helicopter ride back down)
    • Unguided tours (guided to come in future)

    We are looking for your feedback, potential customers, as well as opinions of such a service.

    Please, feel free to chime in with anything you have to say or add!
    Attached is a quick survey we would LOVE for you to fill out, followed by a video depicting the experience in the beautiful British Columbia mountainside.
    __________________________________________________ ___

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XJ87Q9H

    __________________________________________________ ___

    Thank you in advance, and we look forward to hear back from you all!

    We will be active in this thread and will be engaging you all, so let’s start the discussion!



    Here is the company's link if you guys are interested!
    https://blackcombhelicopters.com/heli-biking/
    Last edited by UniversityHeliBikers; 3 Days Ago at 10:37 AM.

  2. #2
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    Is this $125cad?
    That's a sweet deal really.

    What is your policy on dropping solos 25 to 50 miles out?

  3. #3
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    I like it.

  4. #4
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    I've heli skied a fair amount and have a few observations.

    1. $125 isn't going to be even close to covering your costs. Try 3x.
    I'd use a minimum of $3000/hour hobbs.
    2. Where you putting the bikes? Skis go in the basket fairly easily, with the ship running.
    Bikes going into a ship, means your shutting down, taking valuable time and space.


    I don't see it, except super high end trips including lodging.

  5. #5
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    Is the OP saying the heli will reach beyond where the lifts reach, AND have trails? How much farther can you go? Who's building these trails?
    (I've never seen it without snow on it)

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdxmark View Post
    Is this $125cad?
    That's a sweet deal really.

    What is your policy on dropping solos 25 to 50 miles out?
    Custom / chartered lifts are available but will have to be negotiated with the company.
    Before offering heli-biking, they operated on a chartered basis until demand increased.

    And my apologies, the company had agreed to increased the price to $675 per helicopter load, equating to $135 per person (based on 5 passengers)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    Is the OP saying the heli will reach beyond where the lifts reach, AND have trails? How much farther can you go? Who's building these trails?
    (I've never seen it without snow on it)

    -F
    The helicopter will reach beyond the lifts and will take you to custom built trails that are built by both the heli-bike company (Largest aviation company in the region) as well as a company called Joyride that builds trails and obstacles and ramps.

    This will be a spring / summer (seasonal) option for consumers.
    These are tenured trails that no other company can use and are custom designed BY mountain bikers FOR mountain bikers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Low Pressure View Post
    I've heli skied a fair amount and have a few observations.

    1. $125 isn't going to be even close to covering your costs. Try 3x.
    I'd use a minimum of $3000/hour hobbs.
    2. Where you putting the bikes? Skis go in the basket fairly easily, with the ship running.
    Bikes going into a ship, means your shutting down, taking valuable time and space.


    I don't see it, except super high end trips including lodging.
    $125 is based on a 5 person occupancy, so really the price is $625 for one helicopter load. Less than 5 will cost more per person. The ride sort of combines a helicopter tour of the mountains and Whistler Village as well as a lift to the trails.

    The bikes will be placed on a customer built bike rack.
    This is one of the (if not) the first bike racks in the world designed specifically for helicopter use that took 1 year to develop, and is the only one in Canada approved by Canada's Transport Authority.

    Calling all Mountain Bikers and Bike Enthusiastis!!-aero-design-bike-as350-355-2.jpg

  7. #7
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    My advice when asking for feedback on mtbr is to understand that the nitwit on the other side of the screen might just be someone you drank beer with last night. The internet brings out some peoples inner a-hole. So be resilient.

    For real advice I would suggest just getting the word out to everyone on Earth on a mountain bike and simply going for it and see how things Stack Up.

  8. #8
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    $135 CAD per drop sounds pretty good depending on how far out you get dropped and what the trails are like coming down. How many miles of trail, and how much vert per fun are we talking here?

    And what is the max capacity of the heli for bikes/riders? Photo looks like 6 maybe.

    $695 per person for 3 runs in a half-day and a lunch not so much. To put that in perspective, a season pass at Whistler Bike Park is $639. So, if I'm gonna spend more than that, those three runs better be pretty dang long and world class. Oh, and preferably not the same run 3x.

  9. #9
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    Is it safe to assume any damage to the bikes while in transit will be covered by the helicopter company?

  10. #10
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    The photo..that's a nice rack
    ...

  11. #11
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    So like an E-bike?
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  12. #12
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    First up, heli biking is not new, it's just been on a very small scale with nothing really organised with a proper option to transport bikes, usually transported in a sling. So the new part to this would be having it as something not needing loads of advanced planning, i.e. flights paths files and given to run on a daily basis and the rack system for safe, secure transport of the bikes and at a reasonable cost. The company I worked with offered island tours which were about 50 miles/30 minutes for $182 US or 30 miles/20 minutes for $142 US, so the pricing on this is very good.

    As someone who made a living working using A-Stars I've a few thoughts. First being that safety is a huge factor, one fool lifting a bike just a smidge too high out of the rack and things could get real nasty, real quick, which leads into the amount of passengers that can be carried. A normal A-Star can take a total of 6 people (1 pilot, 5 pass), however, the pilot cannot exit the helicopter without shutting it down (this adds lots to the operating cost), so if they also need an attendant to deal with the passengers and bikes safely, that reduces it to 4, unless they fly that person(s) up to the drop site(s) on the first drop of the day and they spend the entire day there.

    To me this would be an awesome experience, not something I would spend the day doing unless I was rich, but definitely worth it once in a while as long as there were good trails to get me back down and not over my skill set - most heli biking I've seen has been to get to some seriously technical and steep stuff, not for the avg rider.
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  13. #13
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    There's always someone who can justify doing this. The local heli-tour company charges a bit more than this and they are constantly running.

    I think you'll need to have some great advertising/media in order to get the average Joe to pony up for a run. Show how awesome the trail they get exclusive access to and they'll line up. If the trail is unknown or average, no one will take that gamble.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  14. #14
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    I'd be in for this and I filled the survey.

    I've done a few trails (e.g., Comfortably Numb) from the Village and XC in Whistler Blackcomb is a LOT of work. Getting dropped off way out at the top of a big mountain and riding back seems idea to me, especially if we're riding in the park as well. I'm almost certain they have this in Revelstoke.

    Quote Originally Posted by UniversityHeliBikers View Post
    Hello all!

    We are conducting market research on the feasibility of a new product offering called Heli-biking.

    • Single ride ($135 each per “drop” / 5 person trip $675)

  15. #15
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    Bike rack fits tires of 3/4/5 inches?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by UniversityHeliBikers View Post
    Custom / chartered lifts are available but will have to be negotiated with the company.
    Before offering heli-biking, they operated on a chartered basis until demand increased.

    And my apologies, the company had agreed to increased the price to $675 per helicopter load, equating to $135 per person (based on 5 passengers)



    The helicopter will reach beyond the lifts and will take you to custom built trails that are built by both the heli-bike company (Largest aviation company in the region) as well as a company called Joyride that builds trails and obstacles and ramps.

    This will be a spring / summer (seasonal) option for consumers.
    These are tenured trails that no other company can use and are custom designed BY mountain bikers FOR mountain bikers!



    $125 is based on a 5 person occupancy, so really the price is $625 for one helicopter load. Less than 5 will cost more per person. The ride sort of combines a helicopter tour of the mountains and Whistler Village as well as a lift to the trails.

    The bikes will be placed on a customer built bike rack.
    This is one of the (if not) the first bike racks in the world designed specifically for helicopter use that took 1 year to develop, and is the only one in Canada approved by Canada's Transport Authority.

    Click image for larger version. 

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Size:	144.7 KB 
ID:	1127594
    Thanks! This sounds awesome.

    If I felt I was riding well, I'd probably do it one time while I was there. If it blew my mind, I'd pony up for a day pass, but that would be an exceptional expense for me.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbowho View Post
    My advice when asking for feedback on mtbr is to understand that the nitwit on the other side of the screen might just be someone you drank beer with last night. The internet brings out some peoples inner a-hole. So be resilient.

    For real advice I would suggest just getting the word out to everyone on Earth on a mountain bike and simply going for it and see how things Stack Up.
    Thanks! We were hoping that since this subject might be super interesting for some, that honest responses will pour in!

    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    $135 CAD per drop sounds pretty good depending on how far out you get dropped and what the trails are like coming down. How many miles of trail, and how much vert per fun are we talking here?

    And what is the max capacity of the heli for bikes/riders? Photo looks like 6 maybe.

    $695 per person for 3 runs in a half-day and a lunch not so much. To put that in perspective, a season pass at Whistler Bike Park is $639. So, if I'm gonna spend more than that, those three runs better be pretty dang long and world class. Oh, and preferably not the same run 3x.
    Thanks for your reply, it's insightful to have a perspective from a season pass holder.
    The single drop will be at the top of Rainbow Mountain + Mount Barbour and the trail is 1,500 meters (5,000 feet drop). When a staff from the trail builder and the offering company did the ride (all are mountain bikers) it took them just over an hour. They are experienced riders.

    The max capacity is 5 riders / bikes for each helicopter. They are planning 7 trails in the future but for the present 3 run offering, all are different trails.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shotgun Jeremy View Post
    Is it safe to assume any damage to the bikes while in transit will be covered by the helicopter company?
    Yes the company is insured for that which had a lot to do with Transport Canada approving the rack.

    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    First up, heli biking is not new, it's just been on a very small scale with nothing really organised with a proper option to transport bikes, usually transported in a sling. So the new part to this would be having it as something not needing loads of advanced planning, i.e. flights paths files and given to run on a daily basis and the rack system for safe, secure transport of the bikes and at a reasonable cost. The company I worked with offered island tours which were about 50 miles/30 minutes for $182 US or 30 miles/20 minutes for $142 US, so the pricing on this is very good.

    As someone who made a living working using A-Stars I've a few thoughts. First being that safety is a huge factor, one fool lifting a bike just a smidge too high out of the rack and things could get real nasty, real quick, which leads into the amount of passengers that can be carried. A normal A-Star can take a total of 6 people (1 pilot, 5 pass), however, the pilot cannot exit the helicopter without shutting it down (this adds lots to the operating cost), so if they also need an attendant to deal with the passengers and bikes safely, that reduces it to 4, unless they fly that person(s) up to the drop site(s) on the first drop of the day and they spend the entire day there.

    To me this would be an awesome experience, not something I would spend the day doing unless I was rich, but definitely worth it once in a while as long as there were good trails to get me back down and not over my skill set - most heli biking I've seen has been to get to some seriously technical and steep stuff, not for the avg rider.
    Absolutely agree, it's not a world's first. The bike rack is a revolutionary product that although may not be the first in the world, has definitely revolutionized how bikes are transported. As for the single ride option, it is definitely a good price point. The 3 run package prides itsself on the selling feature of being in the Beautiful British Columbia mountainside and near Whistler, one of the most beautiful resorts in the world and home to the 2010 Winter Games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    There's always someone who can justify doing this. The local heli-tour company charges a bit more than this and they are constantly running.

    I think you'll need to have some great advertising/media in order to get the average Joe to pony up for a run. Show how awesome the trail they get exclusive access to and they'll line up. If the trail is unknown or average, no one will take that gamble.
    Advertising is definitely a must for the company and they have plans for that soon!
    The company will soon be offering guided tours with local mountain biking tour guides! Guided and non-guided tours will be available.

    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Bike rack fits tires of 3/4/5 inches?
    All sizes were tried and tested when making the rack!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    Thanks! This sounds awesome.

    If I felt I was riding well, I'd probably do it one time while I was there. If it blew my mind, I'd pony up for a day pass, but that would be an exceptional expense for me.

    -F
    Thanks, if we told someone new about this great idea, we've done our job!

  18. #18
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    Seems a bit too decadent to me.

  19. #19
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    I would definitely make a point to do this if i were in the BC area. Probably would not make a trip just for it, though, because i am well over 2,000 miles away. Looks like an experience i would never forget
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Seems a bit too decadent to me.

    It's not a dark chocolate cheesecake.
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    So then, I'm not a sock or am I?.. Doggonnit

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Seems a bit too decadent to me.
    When you get dropped off at a trail, you can always make your own path down. The path they make isn't the one you have to follow!

    Quote Originally Posted by the_joe View Post
    I would definitely make a point to do this if i were in the BC area. Probably would not make a trip just for it, though, because i am well over 2,000 miles away. Looks like an experience i would never forget
    Great to hear! At the end of the day, we are spreading the word and getting people interested. What better way to see BC mountainside / the resort and its surroundings than in a helicopter and a ride down the mountain! $135 (per person for 5 passenger occupancy) for that is pretty decent considering a tour around the mountain costs around the same!

    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    It's not a dark chocolate cheesecake.
    They can also do custom charter lifts to whatever drop point you so desire

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