Home > Feature Stories

SOC17: Airborne prototypes and new ownership aim to take brand to new heights

24
Support us! Bikerumor may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

Airborne is a brand that has been through a lot in the past number of years. From consumer direct titanium frames, to consumer direct affordable mountain bikes sold under the Huffy umbrella, Airborne is now back under private ownership as of January, 1 2017.

It’s not just any ownership either – the son of DK’s original founder, Bill Danishek recently bought the DK brand back from Huffy and ended up acquiring Airborne as well. Now with both brands under private ownership, their design team is free to move forward with improved bikes, and new categories as well…

Just about everything shown at Sea Otter is still very much a prototype, but it hints towards the future of the brand. Moving forward, bikes will be named after birds or planes which is fitting of the name Airborne. They will also feature all new color palettes, likely with subdued graphics and matching decals on parts like shocks and forks.

Airborne’s Brand Manager Michael Gamstetter says they are still finalizing the bike range, but it will likely include 130mm and 150mm travel 27.5″ full suspension bikes, as well as a 120mm travel full suspension 29er – for sure in aluminum, and possibly in carbon fiber as the bike above.

The 27.5″ 150mm travel aluminum Thrush is likely to see production and brings an all new suspension platform to the brand. Spec and colors may change, but this ‘Forestry Service’ green with brown accents was looking great in person.

Airborne is also likely to get back into the road market, though the Harrier will likely be carbon fiber rather than the brand’s original titanium.

The aluminum Skyhawk dirt jumper prototype had a great Sea Otter debut after Barry Nobles loaned the one and only Skyhawk to DK racer Collin Hudson. Collin would go on to win the Pump Track Invitational at Sea Otter – it’s hard to have a better debut than that. Gamstetter says that the frame will see a few tweaks for production, but it should be an exciting bike for Airborne.

Airborne is also making changes to the Pathogen DH bike which have been well received by team members. That includes more tire clearance, a lower BB, 12 x 157mm rear spacing, and almost a pound taken out of the frame.

airbornebicycles.com

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

24 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
ELEVEN_g
5 years ago

Very tidy looking bikes. While I have no feelings either way with the Airborne bran, remembering it for what it started out as, I look at these bikes and wonder what’s the USP?

Marty Jacobsen
Marty Jacobsen
5 years ago

Still have my Airborne Ti Hag SS and love it, even rode it in this years Single Speed World Champs 🙂

Mike D
Mike D
5 years ago

Step 1, ditch the name “Airborne”. It’s not the 1980s anymore, and we don’t have SR-71 Blackbird posters hanging on our bedroom walls; by today’s standard, it’s a cheesy name.

Aside from that, congrats on getting DK back.

SK
SK
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike D

by today’s standard? Trek and Specialized aren’t cheesy names? Trek: a long arduous journey. Specialized: Trek specialized in road bikes. Both cheesy (by today’s standards).

Mr Pink
Mr Pink
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike D

May want to study your history Mike D, Airborne was started in the 90s FYI buddy. And look around at all the other brands. Like “Pivot” or “Salsa” or “Guerrilla Gravity” or “Spot” or countless others aren’t a bit cheesy. It’s bikes not cars.

JNH
JNH
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike D

Airborne is a nice name, it’s better than The Evil Bike Company or Nukeproof, or Nox (and there are TWO companies named Nox!).

ELEVEN_g
5 years ago
Reply to  JNH

Nukeproof… steeped in exotic karma. You can’t even think about touching that name.

JNH
JNH
5 years ago
Reply to  ELEVEN_g

15 years ago maybe. Now Nukeproof is a sticker applied to Taiwanese frames drawn up in an office in Ireland, it’s not even a very nice office and they share it with Vitus. Nice enough bikes, but the exotic image of old is long shed, rather like Airborne actually.

Zaff
Zaff
5 years ago

@Mike D : looollll

Sick looking bikes ! The road Harrier looks cool. Yeah,except for the name..

yard dog
yard dog
5 years ago

I don’t like the name either. But worst is it doesn’t look front der compatible. But good job getting it away from Huffy.

Luiggi
5 years ago
Reply to  yard dog

They all have front derailleur mounts. You have to look more carefully.

yard dog
yard dog
5 years ago
Reply to  Luiggi

That braze on thing way up there is a front der mount? Seems awfully high to attach a front der to and actually reach the chainrings.

i
i
5 years ago
Reply to  yard dog

have you ever seen a frame without parts on it? That’s where FD mounts are on all frames that still have them.

the_contrarian
the_contrarian
5 years ago

I can’t believe it is the Brand name that is getting all of the attention when they have a model called the ‘Thrush’. Yes, I know it is the name of a bird and that is all fine-and-well, except why choose that one when there are sooo many others that wouldn’t imply that it should come with a tub of yoghurt…

Bmx
Bmx
5 years ago
Reply to  the_contrarian

Think the Trush has an optional pad set included

Andy
Andy
5 years ago
Reply to  the_contrarian

Thrust would have made a lot more sense. Maybe it was a typo.

Tim
Tim
5 years ago
Reply to  Andy

A thrush is a bird….

whobikes
whobikes
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Thrush is also an agricultural airplane https://www.thrushaircraft.com/en

JasonK
JasonK
5 years ago

I love the Gulf blue/orange combo on the road bike. I also like the single decal on the bottom of the down tube. It’s branded, yes, but in a clever and understated way.

Rick
Rick
5 years ago

I think they should change the name. Being associated with Huffy says enough.

Raymond Epstein
Raymond Epstein
5 years ago

Evil bike company is a great name. Polarizing? You bet. Always has been and I applaud them for having the balls to keep it after they divided from their “components division” in e13. I and other friends of mine that ride Evil’s have gotten static from other riders about Evil. I live in the deep South bible belt so that is to be expected. Fortunately, we don’t care as their bikes are unreal though and they (and us) are not trying to be everything to everyone. Regarding Airborne, I say keep the name, put out killer stuff, get it out there and go from there.

Brent Coe
Brent Coe
5 years ago

Maybe change the name to Flyte.

I mean it sorta worked last time…

MBR
MBR
5 years ago

Bring back affordable Ti bikes. Something better than what Motobecane offers…

Austin Tressel
Austin Tressel
4 years ago

Wow. I like the name Airborne. Y’all need to deal with it and talk about important things like build quality and options and such.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.