Flyte bicycles out of business?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Flyte bicycles out of business?

    I have been watching the Airborne to Flyte transition with a little interest over the last year. I noticed the last couple of days the Flyte site is down (www.flyte1.com). Does anyone know if Flyte has bitten the bullet?
    Last edited by emptybeer; 12-02-2006 at 11:44 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Your link has extra info in it: %29 - a ")" if I'm not mistaken... I was able to get to http://www.flyte1.com without any problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSD303
    Your link has extra info in it: %29 - a ")" if I'm not mistaken... I was able to get to http://www.flyte1.com without any problems.
    The link I put in the post was not the URL I was using to access the site (MTBR's forum automatically parsed the text into a hyperlink with the right parenthesis). I clicked on your link and still can't get there. I have tried different browsers, computers, ISPs, and locations.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

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    weird. i can get to it just fine.

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    Very strange...

    Quote Originally Posted by scone
    weird. i can get to it just fine.
    Either there is a mass conspiracy to make me look foolish (which isn't that hard to do and certainly doesn't take a conspiracy ) or there is an odd problem with accessing the site from the Seattle area. You don't happen to be from the Seattle area, do you (taking a bit of a leap given your username)?
    Last edited by emptybeer; 12-02-2006 at 12:23 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Possibly a DNS issue... When I dig the domain I get 206.220.211.194 as the address.

    Can you try this link: http://206.220.211.194 and get there? If you get there, then your DNS is jacked up maybe...

  7. #7
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    The URL is working now...don't know what was up.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

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    Not working again...

    Haven't been able to get to it for the last 48 hours. Has anyone else had this problem? I haven't been able to get to the site from any computer around Seattle (three different ISPs, five different computers). Strange.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

  9. #9
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    I log on just fine from Toronto. I'm running firefox and the Sites Java doesn't work properly for me

  10. #10

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    The link works for me.


    OK, someone fill me in, as I've been out of the loop off and on over the last few years.

    I didn't even realize until today that Airborne had gone out of business.
    What's up with that?

    And what about this Van Nicholas company? They talk about honoring warranties for Airborne, so that'd lead me to believe that THEY took over Airborne, and not this "Flyte" company.

    Some catch me up

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by toydeluxe
    The link works for me.


    OK, someone fill me in, as I've been out of the loop off and on over the last few years.

    I didn't even realize until today that Airborne had gone out of business.
    What's up with that?

    And what about this Van Nicholas company? They talk about honoring warranties for Airborne, so that'd lead me to believe that THEY took over Airborne, and not this "Flyte" company.

    Some catch me up
    Airborne Europe and Airborne USA were different companies. Huffy purchased Airborne USA. Huffy decided to no longer offer Airborne bike so the old Airborne USA owner, Jamie Raddin, decided to keep producing Airborne bikes and license the name from Huffy. Huffy then decided to not renew that agreement so Jamie started Flyte. As to the status Flyte (take note that the link wasn't working in December, recently it has been fine), you'll have to contact Flyte. I believe Van Nicholas is what has become of Airborne Europe.

    That is the story as I know it. I may be wrong on some of the details, but that is more or less it. Definitely a bummer to see Airborne go down like it did, I loved that company, their products and their customer service were all top notch. C'est la vie!
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

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    So, would it be safe to assume that Flyte is pretty much the same as Airborne now?

    I've kinda been looking at those Airborne Lancaster frames on Ebay, but I don't think they're TRUE Airborne leftovers. Even then, I'm a little skeptical dealing with that guy.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by toydeluxe
    So, would it be safe to assume that Flyte is pretty much the same as Airborne now?

    I've kinda been looking at those Airborne Lancaster frames on Ebay, but I don't think they're TRUE Airborne leftovers. Even then, I'm a little skeptical dealing with that guy.
    Hmm...not really. I believe the only person still working for Flyte that was working for Airborne is Jamie Raddin. Also, the paradigm for the company has changed quite a bit. Airborne supplied complete bikes. Flyte started that way but has become a frame only business.

    Airborne had top notch customer service. When you called, a person answered the phone, warranty support was fantastic, and they would help you fix any problem. They also had a forum where employees and customers could interact. I'll let you form your own opinion of Flyte.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

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    I've been trying with no avail, to get a working number for flyte. I've sent 3 emails and I can't remember whether I've gotten 1 response.

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    That sucks.


    If this one guy on here will ever answer my frickin message, I'm thinking about buying his old Lucky Strike.

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    I've called any emailed Flyte/Echelon sports anumber or times the last couple of weeks. All numbers are out of service.

    Has anybody been able to reach them over the last 2 weeks?

    I'm in Canada and I tried this number ((937) 550-2000) and It said that It couldn't be reached from my location, could someone in the US give it a try.

    Thanks

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by timms
    I've called any emailed Flyte/Echelon sports anumber or times the last couple of weeks. All numbers are out of service.

    Has anybody been able to reach them over the last 2 weeks?

    I'm in Canada and I tried this number ((937) 550-2000) and It said that It couldn't be reached from my location, could someone in the US give it a try.

    Thanks
    Already tried that #. I tried Jamie Raddin's home # as well and I get recorded message telling me that the line is being worked on.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

  18. #18
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    Are you implying what I think your are?

    I've also emailed van nicholas, asking for a flyte phone #, with no response.
    I E-mailed site member "Flytebicycles" to no avail.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by timms
    Are you implying what I think your are?

    I've also emailed van nicholas, asking for a flyte phone #, with no response.
    I E-mailed site member "Flytebicycles" to no avail.
    I'm not implying anything...just stating fact and allowing you to make form your own conclusion.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

  20. #20
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    so what do you think is going on?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by timms
    so what do you think is going on?
    Well, for many reasons I'm not going to speculate. I don't have any more information that I've already shared.

    Something you might try...go to eBay and do a search for previous Airborne/Flyte products that have sold. Get in touch with the people who bought them and find out how they contacted Flyte. You might also want to see if Flyte has anything for sale on eBay and ask a question directly through eBay. Just some ideas.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

  22. #22
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    Has anyone been able to reach them in the last 2 weeks?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by emptybeer
    Already tried that #. I tried Jamie Raddin's home # as well and I get recorded message telling me that the line is being worked on.

    Hey, have you made any progress?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by timms
    Hey, have you made any progress?
    No...I wasn't trying to reach them until you asked. I sent Jamie an email, but no response, yet. I'm not looking to buy anything from Flyte. I'm just curious.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

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    Quote Originally Posted by emptybeer
    No...I wasn't trying to reach them until you asked. I sent Jamie an email, but no response, yet. I'm not looking to buy anything from Flyte. I'm just curious.

    Hey, Thanks for your time, I'm in the final stages of purchasing a 2004 lancaster with receipt, one of of my main attractions to this bike is its lifetime warranty.

    Would you mind giving those two aforementioned phone numbers a shot, after the holidays?

    It would be much appreciated.

    -Kyle

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by timms

    Would you mind giving those two aforementioned phone numbers a shot, after the holidays?


    -Kyle
    Sure.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

  27. #27
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    Thanks a lot.

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    Guys, I think They have Tanked. I've got a Flyte Arsenal Ti Road bike. I never would have been able to afford such a bike if it weren't for them but alas, I think I bought just as they were starting to go down. about a month after I got my bike they started to sever communication. Last I saw on the Flyte forums, they had for sale signs on they property they had. there was talk that they were paring down, no longer selling complete bikes but would focus on the frames and forks (headsets and SOME smaller components). Now when I try to get to flyte1.com it won't come up. I think they've gone tits-up.

  29. #29
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    wow, what a relief, It's a good thing that I didn't buy that airborne, I went for the litespeed instead.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by meatball1974
    Guys, I think They have Tanked.
    Let's not get too carried away. This whole thread started when I couldn't access the Flyte site. The same thing might be going on now. As far as the sale of the property, I believe Flyte moved to California and is/was selling frames only from an importation/distribution point...but where there's smoke, there's fire.

    I sent emails to some people at Flyte and they didn't get kicked back by the server so they went to someone's inbox.

    I'll try to find out some more info.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

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    Is there any news about Flyte? I had high hopes for those guys, if they are gone its
    a sad day. I purchased a 06 XLS3 and I was very impressed with Dan Tillie. I too tried
    all of my contact info from my purchase to no avail. Thanks for listening to me snivel.

  32. #32
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    Broken Airborne

    Curious to know if anyone has managed to contact Jamie Raddin/Flyte/Airborne. I broke my "Doesn't Paka Wallup" at the chainstay connection to the dropout. The titanium folks and LBS have told me the problem was due to bad weld penetration. Anyway I would like to contact these guys regarding the problem and the "lifetime" warranty (or lack there of).

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    No good Flyte has FLOWN

    I placed an order with them on 3-21-07. I called the next day to add to the list. That's when I found, 3 phone lines down. Then I tried e-mail 3 times but with no answer back.I first researched this company, and found it to be a good one. They charged my VISA $944.00 right away, their site works great! Their e-mail also worked at the time because, it never bounced back. I asked for my money back but obviously no reply. I had a police officer stop by there shop @ 240 Hiawatha Trail Springboro, OH 45066
    and found they moved in Feb. of 07.

    Then I called BBB and had them investigated. That's when they stoped collecting everyones money, and started closing down their site.

    Flyte has FLOWN

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by krikstrebor
    Curious to know if anyone has managed to contact Jamie Raddin/Flyte/Airborne. I broke my "Doesn't Paka Wallup" at the chainstay connection to the dropout. The titanium folks and LBS have told me the problem was due to bad weld penetration. Anyway I would like to contact these guys regarding the problem and the "lifetime" warranty (or lack there of).
    I broke my first PW at the chainstays and had it replaced under warranty. I sold the second soon after Airborne became Flyte.

    I was a bit hesitant to throw my opinion out there but I think Flyte has finally died. Sad to see. I know Jamie worked his fingers to the bone (not to mention his wallet) trying to make the company viable. I tried a home number I had for him from back in '98 but I get a recorded message telling me that the number is being checked for trouble.

    I did find this thread: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=289723.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

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    Hi emptybeer,
    I gave Flyte a week before I called in the dogs. I too, was looking foward to their frame.

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    duplicate
    Last edited by Wes Speed; 04-30-2007 at 11:40 AM. Reason: duplicate

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wes Speed
    They charged my VISA $944.00 right away, their site works great!
    Did you get your $ back?
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

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    I disputed the charge w/Visa. Visa paid me back just last week. FLYTE responded to BBB with [our site is inoperable,dispute the charge]. The three week ordeal was definitely an aggravation. Picked up a Litespeed instead.

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    Definitive Word on Flyte OOB

    I tried something new today. I called a business located next door to Flyte. The owner said that Flyte had filed for bankruptcy about six months ago and was OOB. He was disappointed, as well, because he owned a Flyte.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

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    I talked to the new renters of the shop bay that (Flyte/ Airborne/ Echelon Sports Products, LLC "whatever you want to call them") was in. It's a machine shop that opened up in February. He knows little about them, other then Airborne stickers all-over, and what looks like bills, keep coming to the door.

    If Flyte has been OOB for 6 months, then why, "I wonder" did their site take my money? I believe they got my e-mail also, Hmmmmmm, Crooks maybe????????

    Anyway, it looks like the end of this story.....

    -----Good Luck to those Flyte bike owners!-----

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wes Speed
    If Flyte has been OOB for 6 months, then why, "I wonder" did their site take my money? I believe they got my e-mail also, Hmmmmmm, Crooks maybe????????
    I suppose Flyte was trying to clear their inventory as part of compliance w/ the court after filing. The real question is why, knowing they had filed for bankruptcy, they continued to have the warranty on their web site claiming a lifetime warranty?
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by emptybeer
    I suppose Flyte was trying to clear their inventory as part of compliance w/ the court after filing. The real question is why, knowing they had filed for bankruptcy, they continued to have the warranty on their web site claiming a lifetime warranty?
    Lifetime Warranty is some what of a misleading term. What lifetime are we talking about life time of the product, of the business, of the name? They could define it as an Airborne frame has a lifetime warranty however when they changed the name to Flyte then they could claim Airborne is no more and warranty is no longer valid even if they still sold the exact same model with different stickers on it.

    My guess is that they were just lazy in taking down the site.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by crux
    Lifetime Warranty is some what of a misleading term. What lifetime are we talking about life time of the product, of the business, of the name? They could define it as an Airborne frame has a lifetime warranty however when they changed the name to Flyte then they could claim Airborne is no more and warranty is no longer valid even if they still sold the exact same model with different stickers on it.

    My guess is that they were just lazy in taking down the site.
    Originally, the Airborne warranty was for the life of the original owner. It was a complex situation after Huffy bought Airborne and then subsequently no longer wanted to use the name. Echelon Sports licensed the Airborne name after that and still produced Airbornes. Huffy then decided to not allow Echelon to license the name so they switched to Flyte. At that time, Flyte decided to not carry the financial liability of the frames sold while Huffy operated Airborne (pre licensing time - I believe circa 2004). After that, Flyte again offered the lifetime of the original owner warranty.

    Also, it wasn't solely laziness. I know frames were still purchased after the supposed bankruptcy filing date.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

  44. #44
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    Sorry to see the demise of Flyte

    As the owner of a pre-Huffy (I think) 99 Lucky Strike, I was sorry to see Airborne disapear, and now sorry to see Flyte go as well. Maybe our old Airbornes will gain some sort of collector value?

  45. #45
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    Sad to hear about Flyte. Good guys and had a great product.

    RIP

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    "Good Guys?"

    I agree that Flyte and Airborne were good products but "good guys". Good guys don't continue collecting money at their website even though they are out of business. Good guys tell their customers that the "lifetime" warranty is not a lifetime warranty. Good guys make a public announcement saying they are out of business.

  47. #47
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    ... and if we just ... Good Cheap Ti -- Habanero

    If anyone here is looking for a really good cheap Ti frame from an excellent guy try Mark Hickey at Habanero. I have been riding a Team Road frame for two seasons and it is great. Good handling, nice welds, great customer service, beefy chain stays, curvy seat stays, excellent ride.

    Habcycles.com

  48. #48
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    No good Paka Wallup Breakage

    Hey, that happened to me TODAY!!!! I was on a slow descent over some mixed rocky terrain, when SNAP... the weld at the rear left dropout separated... It looked to me like the weld was really lightweight... In hindsight I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner. I've been riding my Paka only for a few months, and I LOVE it... But I just never fathomed that it would break so @#%! easily...?

    The BAD NEWS is my Flyte warranty now appears to be worth squat...

    Anyone know where I can get a Ti frame re-welded?

    WELL GEE... THIS KINDA STINKS...!

  49. #49

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    Check with Titus for repairing Ti.

  50. #50
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    I just sold my Airborne a few months ago. I loved that frame but decided to go 29er and steel and it just wasn't that. Sorry to see Airborne go but not so sad after hearing some of the stories already posted.

    Has anyone checked with Van Nichols? That's the European Airborne guys. I haven't checked them out but for you fellas that still have Airbornes, I'd at least e-mail them for some info.

    http://www.vannicholas.com/

    Of course, they could be the same with a site that's still up n running but the shop is toast. Who knows. Always sad to see a bike company go caput.
    Why would I need more than one gear?
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  51. #51
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    Good job! Repairing PakaWallup Titanium

    Thanks for the idea, JC...

    I contacted Gene Spicer at Spicer Cycles (in Indiana)... Have read good things about Spicer, and Gene is going to take a look at it.

    MBB

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by krikstrebor
    I agree that Flyte and Airborne were good products but "good guys". Good guys don't continue collecting money at their website even though they are out of business. Good guys tell their customers that the "lifetime" warranty is not a lifetime warranty. Good guys make a public announcement saying they are out of business.
    Agree with all points except for the lifetime warranty. Many lifetime warranties are dependent on the manufacturer staying in business. Sometimes, as in Flyte, things go bad they close up shop so ends the lifetime warranty.

    Poo on them though for still collecting people's money on their website. No excuse for that. I had a bad feeling about their fate when I noticed them listing loads of inventory on eBay.
    Inbred. Steel is Real.

  53. #53
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    Hate to poke my nose in here. Just wanted to touch on a few points.

    1) The term on average for a lifetime warranty is 7 years. I'm not sure how that timeframe is arrived at, but in general 7 years is seen as a reasonable lifetime for a product. And generally courts support this.

    2) A fellow I know through another forum worked for Airborne and when he left, he was diplomatic enough to not totally trash them but did comment on how bad the decission making process was there and how poorly manage the place was. Hmmm?

    3) There was at least one individual who commented on their frame breaking near the dropout at the chainstay. As somebody who used to sell and service Ti bikes many years ago, let me tell you this is not that uncommon and certainly not isolated to Airborne/Flyte. The two places we saw the most failures on Ti frames was at that spot (no idea why), and on the driveside chainstay if there had been chainsuck. Ti doesn't like being gouged, and chainsuck that might not cause a failure in a steel frame may cause a Ti frame to develope a tear and *pop*.
    Quote Originally Posted by banks
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  54. #54

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    Good day to you... any word on Airborne - Flyte - Echelon?

    I own a lancaster (airborne) and I wanted to upgrade, however, the company is apparently out of business

    what can you tell me about?

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    hI, ANY WORD FROM AIRBORNE -FLYTE- ECHELON?

    i AM TRYING TO GET THEM ON LINE,,, ANY SUGGESTION?

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricc
    Good day to you... any word on Airborne - Flyte - Echelon?

    I own a lancaster (airborne) and I wanted to upgrade, however, the company is apparently out of business

    what can you tell me about?
    Sorry to say you are going to have to upgrade through a different company. Flyte is dead. Have you thought about Haro? Established company and they also offer a lifetime warranty on their frames. They bend over backwards to make the customer happy.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

  57. #57

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    hI, I own a lancaster and trying to get in touch with airborne-flyte-echelon...
    were you able to contact them?

    I am trying to either get an upgrade or a new Ti bike.... any comment?

  58. #58

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    Airborne Europe

    Sad story indeed....

    I bought my lancaster from a Netherlander store three years ago, soon after I moved to Mexico where I am living now, a year and a half ago my lancaster presented some material (Ti) defficiency and I communicated with the seller who told me to send the frame for evaluation. However, being in Mexico it was easier for me to send it to the US, which it was ok with the store.... the frame was replaced by Airborne US.

    just recently while trying to contact Airborne I found that they are no longer in business and by accident I found Van Nicholas. I was naive enough to explain them my frame situation and interest in getting one of their frames in exchange for my lancaster, thus, extending the lifetime warranty.

    Surprised I was when I received their answer... They are not willing to honour the warranty because I sent my original frame to the US. The frame is in perfect condition I just wanted to secure the warranty under their terms.

    Any comment or suggestion to get what I want?

  59. #59
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    A comment about them "being out of business" but "taking money from the website" as a judgement of character....

    Seems to me the claim they were out of business was second or third hand knowledge, perhaps they were in trouble financially but the owner, despite ineptitude at business matters, was intent on making it work until the last hours. I've worked for a business as it went down, and even though the boss had to stiff a couple of vendors in the end I know it was the last thing he intended to do and he was no crook.
    He did not "take the money and run" in fact his personal credit was ruined for years and he had nothing to show for it.
    Sometimes your dreams and the weariness from the long hours you put in cloud your vision towards the end of these things.
    I know this is small consolation to those of you out in the cold, but please realize this stuff happens to the best of folks in any industry so competetive.
    All bikes weigh 50 lbs. a 50lb. bike doesn't need a lock. a 40lb bike needs a 10lb. lock. a 30 lb. bike needs a 20lb. lock.

  60. #60

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    Airborne / Flyte Bikes

    How sad this is. I started working for Airborne in October of 2001, while they were still owned by Huffy. Those were the glory days. Jamie Raddin ran Airborne at the time, and we had plenty of money because of Huffy's recent success with scooter sales... seriously.
    Customer service was incredibly important to Jamie. Every bike heading out the door had to be perfect. I eventually became the production manager. I built over two thousand bicycles between 2001 and June of 2004. I received only one legit complaint from a customer during that time.
    Huffy sold the company back to Jamie at some point in 2003, I think. There was no real change for a while. We remained in the Huffy building in Springboro, Ohio until April of 2004. We moved about a mile away to the Hiawatha address and were known as Flyte. The quality and mission remained the same. The deep Huffy money was no longer with us, unfortunately. In June of 2004, a few of us were permanently laid off. I left on very good terms and was very, very sad to go. It was a dream job for a bicycle mechanic.
    I went back to visit my former coworkers about a year later, and things were the same. I stopped there again in the spring of 2007, and everything was gone. I tried to get in touch with Jamie and the former VP of the company, but had no success. I heard that Jamie moved back to Texas.
    For those who think he is a crook, please let me tell you about him. Jamie Raddin is a family man (wife and three kids, last time I checked) who has a deep faith in God and his fellow man. He would NEVER knowingly rip off a customer. He had an incredible commitment to customer satisfaction during my time with his company. If his website continued to accept credit card payments after he went out of business, it was certainly an oversight. He is a man of integrity and passion.
    -Craig

  61. #61
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    so is Flyte dead? can I achieve their bikes now?

  62. #62
    I'm a dog person
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicAdam
    so is Flyte dead? can I achieve their bikes now?
    You mean archive? Probabaly...don't see why not. I don't think the bikes are even available on eBay any longer.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by emptybeer
    You mean archive? Probabaly...don't see why not. I don't think the bikes are even available on eBay any longer.

    Yeah - that is what I meant. Stupid firefox will only underline misspelled words, not words I don't actually mean to say.

    Thanks,
    -adam

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicAdam
    Yeah - that is what I meant. Stupid firefox will only underline misspelled words, not words I don't actually mean to say.

    Thanks,
    -adam
    I've never made a mister like that...
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

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