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Airstream Partners with Fiamma to Develop Bike Carrier

A new lightweight Airstream bike carrier, which debuted Jan. 1, was developed through an international collaboration between Airstream and Fiamma Inc. The prototype for the bike rack, called the Airstream Carry-Bike, was developed in the U.S. by Fiamma and designed and tested in Italy.

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Airstream Carry-Bike, Airstream, bike rack, Airstream bike rack, carry-bike

The Airstream Carry-Bike attaches to the International (above), Flying Cloud, Safari, and Eddie Bauer models.

“As far as development is concerned, we started talking to Fiamma about 12 months ago, having been greatly impressed by the bike racks they market very successfully in the European RV market,” Bruce Bannister, vice president of product development and engineering, told RV PRO.” The racks are sturdy, precision engineered and lightweight. This was a great team effort with Airstream engineering collaborating with local Fiamma engineers in the U.S., and also their core development team in Italy.  

Adam Farnum, who performs sales, technical support, and purchasing for Fiamma, prototyped the bike rack with help from Bates RV in Dover, Fla.

“They gave me full access to their RV dealership to go over there and do all my prototyping there on-site,” he said. “They were very accommodating.”

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Airstream's Carry-Bike mounts to its Eddie Bauer models from the interior.

Several versions of the bike racks were developed to fit Airstream’s International, Flying Cloud, and Safari models, as well as another for the Eddie Bauer line. The racks, built using anodized aluminum with stainless steel components, can carry up to two bikes with a 77-pound weight capacity. The carrier designed for the Eddie Bauer line mounts on the interior of the coach, while the other bike racks attach to the lower steel frame of the coaches.

One goal of the design was to ensure the bike carrier didn’t distract from the Airstream trailer.

“The challenge was to customize the Fiamma design to match the very unique Airstream shell with a configuration that could be adapted across multiple travel trailer product lines, widths and lengths, from one core design concept,” Bannister said.

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Airstream's Carry-Bike attaches to the lower steel frame on the International, Flying Cloud and Safari models. 

Designers also made sure to allow access to rear bumper storage on the trailers.

“We are delighted with the result – it has a great look and offers very convenient and secure loading and unloading of the bikes for our customers,” Bannister said.

The Fiamma-designed bike rack is exclusive to Airstream for one year, Farnum said. The companies are negotiating exclusivity terms beyond 2012. 

“We’re still in discussions with Airstream,” he said. “As of right now nothing has been confirmed.”

Fiamma bike carriers are also used on Volkswagen’s VW T4 Camper Vans and its T3 vans, according to the company.

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