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Discussion Starter #1
I'm posting this here in order to reach the largest audience for clarification. I've also posted over on Flyte's boards as well...

So, what's the deal?

From Paul Smith over at C+

http://www.cyclingplus.co.uk/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=92510&whichpage=1

Airborne Europe have now been relaunched as VanNicholas

***

He uses the VanNicholas name as essentially he got stopped using the Airborne name as result of someones elses argument, which was between Airborne USA the owners Huffy. Airborne Europe have always been seperate, that simply got caught up in that conflict.

To avoid that ever happening again he decided to use his own name, or at least some of it, his name being Sintnicolaas, which he couldn't use as exactly as it is because apparently it is rather similar to some bloke who is well know around December time


http://www.vannicholas.com/WbmHome.aspx?UN=2
http://www.airbornecycles.com//WbmHome.aspx?UN=2
 

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You know, I really love my Blackbird. It's got the eye candy appeal, lots of people always gawk at the damn thing... but I have to say that I'm very uncertain of the longevity of this company over the last few months.

My favorite was one of the guys on the Flyte forum (a Flyte employee) trying to tell me that the Flyte version of the Blackbird was a totally different bike. PUHLEAASE... same material, same geometry, same fork, same freaking everything. In one instance, they were trying to get a bunch of old timer Airborne owners to "trade in" their perfectly good Airborne frame for a Flyte (same model). The trade in value was a joke. That's not how you build customer loyalty when you switch your name around like that.
 

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Is a "blow-out" sale coming

This is a company (companies) that has been known for some good deals on bikes and/or frames in the past. Do we foresee another round of close-out deals in the near future?
 

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Something I gotta say

I bought my Airborne at the height (I think) of their popularity. They had gone mainstream, were no longer this shadowy company that was perceived as selling chinese junk frames made of junk chinese titanium, the welds appeared very clean, crash replacement policy, etc....My LBS was also very excited about the brand also after Trek pulled out of their shop when they said no to a strong arm tactic of opening a Trek Superstore. Where are they going? Teets up out of biz? The bike rides great and everything, just don't know why I feel like they are completely untrustworthy from a biz standpoint. Perhaps I am just being naive.........
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Lone Gunman said:
I bought my Airborne at the height (I think) of their popularity. They had gone mainstream, were no longer this shadowy company that was perceived as selling chinese junk frames made of junk chinese titanium, the welds appeared very clean, crash replacement policy, etc....My LBS was also very excited about the brand also after Trek pulled out of their shop when they said no to a strong arm tactic of opening a Trek Superstore. Where are they going? Teets up out of biz? The bike rides great and everything, just don't know why I feel like they are completely untrustworthy from a biz standpoint. Perhaps I am just being naive.........
I share some of the same feelings.

I live not far from Airborne's NA HQ and as such, we see a few in these parts and I own three versions myself. I've always been happy with my products and have followed the history of the company (albeit loosely) over the years... having been to the HQ and ridden with a few of the folks down there... so I was just a tad "shocked" by the demise of the "Airborne" brand name from North America.

Here is a snippet of a respones I got over at the Flyte forum.

Not really sure how to answer that other than I would suggest you contact Airborne Europe about what happened.

Anything that Huffy did concerning the Airborne Europe brand name had 100% nothing to with Echelon Sports Products (us).

I would say that whoever posted that most likely is making thing up or really doesn't know what they are talking about because there was no argument between Huffy and us. We mutually decided to end our licensing agreement for the brand name Airborne. Anything concerning Huffy and Airborne Europe is dealt with between Huffy and Airborne Europe. We have nothing to do with it.

Hope that helps clear things up from our end as we had nothing to do with Airborne Europe ending their licensing agreement with Huffy.


http://forum.flyte1.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=304&PN=1

I too can see where, without knowing some of the business details... in detail, you can come out seeming a bit naive... because as consumers, we general have a very strong association with a brand name... and in this case, the name (as well as some specific models) seems "disposable". Certainly to a point, I can understand differences in Airborne North America and Airborne Europe. There are prolly enuff differences in the markets to justify differing product lines (I think there was at least one road frame and one MTB frame that was for the Euro market but not available in the US). Indeed, we see this in the auto industry... or in major household appliances... so it's not completely unprecedented. It just seems rare in the bicycle industry.

Alas, this is the business world we live in... where it's not out of the question that Cannondale might someday be made in Taiwan and owned by a conglomerate out of Dubai. I guess there's no more "age of innocence" for cycling.

At any rate, maybe some of my Airborne branded components and apparel might become "valuable" some day:D After all, it's fairly common to see Colnagos bedeck'd with Shimano DA gruppos right?
 

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KonaMan said:
You know, I really love my Blackbird. It's got the eye candy appeal, lots of people always gawk at the damn thing... but I have to say that I'm very uncertain of the longevity of this company over the last few months.

My favorite was one of the guys on the Flyte forum (a Flyte employee) trying to tell me that the Flyte version of the Blackbird was a totally different bike. PUHLEAASE... same material, same geometry, same fork, same freaking everything. In one instance, they were trying to get a bunch of old timer Airborne owners to "trade in" their perfectly good Airborne frame for a Flyte (same model). The trade in value was a joke. That's not how you build customer loyalty when you switch your name around like that.
That was me that said that and I will still stand by what I said. The SRS-2 is a totally different bike than the Blackbird. Here are the differences...

-Different Geometry. I am not really sure why you don't believe me but it IS different geometry
-Different Carbon Fiber mold and Different type of Carbon Fiber in the back end of the bike.
-100% different fork. All you have to do is look at a picture and you can see the differences.
-Due to the changes the ride of the bicycle is different. All you have to do is ask anyone that has ridden a Blackbird and a SRS-2 and they will tell you that.

As far as the trade in thing is concerned we have NEVER had a trade-in program (I am not really sure of where you got the trade in value thing from since we never had one). You can look at that post here http://forum.flyte1.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=121&PN=1&FID=22&PR=3. Jamie was just asking to see if there was any interest with a program like that.

We would like to think that we build customer loyalty by producing a great product and providing incredible customer service for every customer and potential customer we come across.

What happened with the name Airborne was an unfortunate event that believe me has been difficult to get over from a brand recognition/customer understanding standpoint. It was not a decision that we made lightly. Airborne was started in 1997 and was getting to be a "mainstream" name. Ending our relationship with that brand name and starting another brand is not easy.

I really don't know if I can put a post up on a message board that is really going to explain the situation and convey how we feel about it. However as Akirasho put it, it was a business decision and we are doing the best we can with that decision.

Our company has been around since 2002 and we are not going anywhere so I really wouldn't be worried about us going out of business. We are introducing 5 new models by summer time so I would hardly say that we are going to have a "blow out" sale.

If anyone has questions about our company feel free to email me or post them and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

Dan
 

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I know this isn't constructive or to the point of the thread, but I have to comment on the truly embarassing prose in the post from Flyte Bicycles.

I'm not sure who Dan is, but if he's the official voice of Flyte, he might want to buy a copy of Strunk & White's Elements of Style, as well as a basic handbook of punctuation and grammar. And soon.

I've never jumped someone for spelling and syntax on the internet before, but you're representing a major company, man, and you're doing it in way that not only suggests a lack of sophistication and/or education, but that also fails to clearly and coherently deliver the message you want to get across.
 

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Don't seat it.

Flyte Bicycles said:
That was me that said that and I will still stand by what I said. The SRS-2 is a totally different bike than the Blackbird. Here are the differences...

-Different Geometry. I am not really sure why you don't believe me but it IS different geometry
-Different Carbon Fiber mold and Different type of Carbon Fiber in the back end of the bike.
-100% different fork. All you have to do is look at a picture and you can see the differences.
-Due to the changes the ride of the bicycle is different. All you have to do is ask anyone that has ridden a Blackbird and a SRS-2 and they will tell you that.

As far as the trade in thing is concerned we have NEVER had a trade-in program (I am not really sure of where you got the trade in value thing from since we never had one). You can look at that post here http://forum.flyte1.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=121&PN=1&FID=22&PR=3. Jamie was just asking to see if there was any interest with a program like that.

We would like to think that we build customer loyalty by producing a great product and providing incredible customer service for every customer and potential customer we come across.

What happened with the name Airborne was an unfortunate event that believe me has been difficult to get over from a brand recognition/customer understanding standpoint. It was not a decision that we made lightly. Airborne was started in 1997 and was getting to be a "mainstream" name. Ending our relationship with that brand name and starting another brand is not easy.

I really don't know if I can put a post up on a message board that is really going to explain the situation and convey how we feel about it. However as Akirasho put it, it was a business decision and we are doing the best we can with that decision.

Our company has been around since 2002 and we are not going anywhere so I really wouldn't be worried about us going out of business. We are introducing 5 new models by summer time so I would hardly say that we are going to have a "blow out" sale.

If anyone has questions about our company feel free to email me or post them and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

Dan
Always remember that some people will find a reason to B!tch and Whine no matter what you do with you buisness. Just keep making quaility products and the sales will follow.

Good Luck.

P.S After you are done with that grammer coach send him my way because I didn't notice any of the problems mentioned by Mrs. Garou.
 

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Val_Garou said:
I know this isn't constructive or to the point of the thread, but I have to comment on the truly embarassing prose in the post from Flyte Bicycles.

I'm not sure who Dan is, but if he's the official voice of Flyte, he might want to buy a copy of Strunk & White's Elements of Style, as well as a basic handbook of punctuation and grammar. And soon.

I've never jumped someone for spelling and syntax on the internet before, but you're representing a major company, man, and you're doing it in way that not only suggests a lack of sophistication and/or education, but that also fails to clearly and coherently deliver the message you want to get across.
Well since RBR is a BBS and as such an informal setting, spelling and grammar aren't really paramount. Dan's post was easily readable and understandable.

You need to take that second Ativan, Val, because you're entirely too uptight. FWIW, Val, "And soon." is not a complete sentence. Maybe you should pick up a book that helps you learn all about complete sentences.
 

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Val_Garou said:
I know this isn't constructive or to the point of the thread, but I have to comment on the truly embarassing prose in the post from Flyte Bicycles.

I'm not sure who Dan is, but if he's the official voice of Flyte, he might want to buy a copy of Strunk & White's Elements of Style, as well as a basic handbook of punctuation and grammar. And soon.

I've never jumped someone for spelling and syntax on the internet before, but you're representing a major company, man, and you're doing it in way that not only suggests a lack of sophistication and/or education, but that also fails to clearly and coherently deliver the message you want to get across.
Somebody is missing an R.
How embarrassing.
 

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Tough transition

Good post from Flyte. All along, I'v thought it was unfortunate that the company had to go through the whole name change thing. I've never owned an Airborne/Flyte frame and have not dealt with the company, but everyting I've read and heard suggest it's a good outfit. Reviews of their products, customer service and overall value mostly have been very positive. They started with an innovative marketing strategy and endured some initial skepticism over the quality of titanium frames built in Asia and costing half that of the better-known names. Over time they built a good reputation and the Airborne name was getting to be well recognized among cyclists. Then all of a sudden they need to change the name. Rebuilding that name recognition will be tough, but I wish them luck. As a consumer, I like to see plenty of competition in the marketplace.
 
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