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First Flight buys Hi-E assets

Published June 10, 2013

STATESVILLE, NC (BRAIN) — First Flight Bicycles — a bike retailer that also manufactures Mountain Goat Cycles and operates an online and brick-and-mortar mountain bike history museum — has added the legendary Hi-E component brand to its offerings.

First Flight has purchased the remaining Hi-E inventory and other assets from the son of Hi-E founder Harlan Meyer, who died last year at 89. Hi-E was a pioneer in selling super lightweight, U.S.-made road bike components, primarily in the 1970s but extending into the 1990s.

John Meyer, the son of Harlan, drove a vanload of stuff from Tennessee to North Carolina last week, and First Flight owner Jeff Archer was still sorting through the piles when he spoke with BRAIN on Monday.

"There is a 5-foot-tall pile of nothing but hub parts," Archer marveled, somewhat wearily. "There is all sorts of crazy stuff, I'm not sure what to do with it all."

Archer expects he'll be able to assemble and sell many of the hubs, as well as Hi-E "slow-release" skewers and water bottle cages.

Other parts of the purchase will go on display. That includes three of Hi-E's aluminum Cosmopolitan frames, pedal parts, a wheel-truing stand attached to an office chair, a collection of bike magazines and correspondence, and plans for a pedal-powered monorail system that Meyer apparently hoped to sell to the city of Nashville.

Hi-E had not sold parts for several years, although Meyer continued to help customers with replacement parts until not long before his death, Archer said.

Archer said he hopes to construct a timeline of Hi-E's history to post on his shop's website.

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