Looking to check out a Companion Bike Seat before you buy one, and you live in the Bay Area? Head on over to Warm Planet Bikes on Market St. in downtown San Francisco!
Warm Planet Bikes is a full service bike shop, offering sales of new bikes, tune-ups, and bike repairs. They specialize in folding bikes and electric-assist cargo bicycles, and share in the mission of getting people to ride their bicycles for everyday commuting instead of driving.
We're proud to have Companion Bike Seat included in their shop!
A recent customer of ours created a customized security device for his Companion Bike Seat, installing it into the storage compartment. It's a vibration sensitive audio alarm to try and scare away potential thieves, and also includes a GPS tracking device just in case they're undeterred by the alarm and are able to successfully steal the bicycle and bike seat.
Here's the description he provided of his crafty alarm and tracking device:
Hi again! An update on our previous conversation.
Since you were interested on a security measure for the backseat. I installed a magnet held: battery pack/vibration sensitive alarm/GPS tracker into the box. They all use those small light STRONG magnet name-tags (from employees at stores like Target, Best Buy, etc.) to stay connected to the walls of the storage box. After all 3 items were installed, they really didn't take up much space, as you can see, the U-lock still has plenty of space to hold more chains or other locks.
Btw, those small holes drilled into the sides of the box were to allow the sound to come out louder. After much testing, there was a huge difference when the box was completely open to when it's locked close. Those holes helped a bit. My friends thought I went a little overboard with the GPS locator, but I think it's worth it to protect my investment.
Love the ingenuity, and don't think he went overboard at all. Maybe we'll turn this into a product some day!
Sondors recently released some additional customization options and upgrades for their fat bike ebikes, one of which is even larger tires (4.9 inches). Unfortunately this causes the tire to rub (very lightly) up against the bottom of the storage compartment of the bike seat. But not to worry, I figured out a way to cheaply make some heavy rubber shims from stuff at the hardware store to lift the bike seat frame up off the peg a couple millimeters, giving the bike seat enough clearance for the tires. This will of course also work for non motorized fat bikes as well as some 29'ers.
At the hardware store, you'll need to pick up a piece of 2 inch outer diameter / 1.5 inch inner diameter braided vinyl tubing, and 4 socket cap screws (M6x1.0, 30mm long). With a utility knife, cut a strip approximately 15mm wide from one end of the tubing.
Slice the tubing down the sides to make the shims. Each shim should be about an inch long. We want it to provide the clearance, but not interfere with the screws at all when installing them. You'll ultimately need two of these shims, one for each peg.
Once the shims are done, it's time to install it onto the pegs. Install the pegs onto the bike, and as you set the bike seat frame onto the pegs, position one shim under each "leg" of the bike seat. Make sure the shim is positioned directly on top of the peg. Use the longer screws that you purchased with the tubing to tighten the peg clamps down. The screws included with your bike seat are just a bit too short. Make sure the frame is seated cleanly on the shim (the shim isn't crooked or anything), and tighten the screws very tight. Note in the pictures below, I purposefully left it a little loose for exhibition of assembly.
I actually came up with this fix while on the road trip in Reno, while installing a bike seat onto a customers Sondors before he headed out to the playa. Unfortunately we forgot to take pictures after getting the bike seat installed, so I shot the pictures above in the hotel room.
Alternatively, another customer with the same issue decided to use one of some extra rubber shims he had gotten with his Sondors, shims originally intended for mounting the screen onto the handlebar.
Very soon I'm going to start working on designing a custom shim specifically for Companion Bike Seat, and will make this available on our website once it's ready.
We had several orders from people planning to take their bike seat out onto the playa this year. Unfortunately the bike seats were scheduled to arrive at the fulfillment center without enough time for shipping before people left. So I decided to take matters into my own hands. I already had plans to meet the new shipment when it arrived at the fulfillment center in Phoenix, since this is a new partner and it's always great to meet business partners face-to-face. In order to get bike seat orders out to folks heading to the playa, I filled up a minivan in Phoenix and road tripped north to meet them in Reno to give them their bike seats.
The new inventory arrived safely at the new distribution center on Friday of last week and I was able to review it all on Monday after arriving in Phoenix late Sunday night. The shipment looked great and all back-orders have been shipped out this week. I met with the team managing fulfillment now and they're good people and will take care of Companion Bike Seat well. It was pretty exciting to see the rows and rows of new bike seats (and backrests and ebike pegs) ready to ship out!
All in all it's been a pretty exhausting road trip after covering over 1500 miles of a 1700+ mile road trip, but well worth it at the end of the day. Most of our bike seat sales occur online today, so I get very few opportunities to meet with customers face to face, and this road trip has been awesome for that. Plus, bike seat orders are flowing again!
The first batch of sound cloths for Companion Bike Seat finally arrived from the manufacturer this weekend, and they look great! These sound cloths are now available for purchase on our website. We prototyped the sound cloth back in the Spring of this year and made them available for pre-order, but now they're finally available and can ship out immediately.
The sound cloth helps to dampen the sound that objects make bouncing around in the storage compartment of Companion Bike Seat while riding around. It's a piece of neoprene cloth that's designed to fit snugly down into the storage compartment, helping to eliminate any sound from objects clanking around inside the plastic stash-box of the bike seat.
Individual sound cloth back-orders will ship out immediately. Orders that also include a back-ordered bike seat will ship together next month once the next batch of bike seats arrive.
Great news! I received word from the factory this weekend that manufacturing was completed on Saturday! The new bike seats, backrests, and ebike pegs are going through final inspection at the factory now, and if everything looks good, they'll be in a shipping container on a boat heading towards California by the end of this month.
This latest shipment contains more bike seats, backrests, and the newly updated ebike pegs. This new design for the ebike pegs makes it easier than ever to tighten them down onto the rear axle of your ebike.
Tentative arrival of the shipment in LA Harbor is scheduled for August 15. From there it'll take a couple days to clear customs and get trucked to our new distribution partner's facility in Phoenix AZ. As soon as it arrives in Phoenix all back-orders will be shipped out immediately. I'll be traveling down from San Francisco to greet the shipment personally and make sure all back-orders are shipped asap. If everything goes according to plan, back-ordered bike seats should arrive by or before the end of August!
Stay tuned for more updates as I receive them from the factory and our shipping partner.
Companion Bike Seat was out at Pedalfest 2016 yesterday in Jack London Square, Oakland, CA. This was our first year attending Pedalfest, and it was quite a sight to behold. In my opinion it is probably one of the best bicycling events in the bay area, lasting all day long, and some of the coolest, craziest custom bikes you've ever seen. Plus, tons of great food, grog, and music ... nothing but good, clean fun.
Towards the main entrance of Pedalfest was Whymcycles, some really cool, functional bicycle-art pieces. I'd be really surprised if one or more of these didn't make it out to the playa later this summer. Not pictured below, but they had a bicycle with a ping-pong table strapped to the top (it folded up to ride the bike), so you could take your ping pong tournament with you wherever you go! And all over Jack London Square there were bicycles "parked" on the light-posts. It must have been a heck of job getting those up, and then taking them down afterward!
We were out offering free test-rides to anyone who wanted to take the bike seat out for a ride. Unfortunately we're still temporarily out of bike seat inventory, but it was still a great opportunity for people who hadn't heard of us give our bike seats a try.
And of course, what type of bicycle event would it be without at least a penny-farthing or two, or what I decided to call "the Pedalfest double penny-farthing!"
Pedalfest is a lot of fun, whether your a hardcore cyclist or simply a leisurely rider, there's something for everyone. We're planning on attending for many years to come. So come on out next year and check out all the fun!
We ran out of bike seats back in April and more are being made as we speak. We're also having more backrests made, as well as mass-producing the ebike pegs for the first time. Prior to this, all of the ebike pegs have been regular pegs, customized by a local machine shop.
The first set of backrests were made by a different factory from the one that makes the bike seats. However, for this order, the bike seat factory decided they wanted to make the backrests as well. So they needed to put together prototype samples of the backrest as well as the ebike pegs. These samples just arrived today, and everything looks great.
Now that we've had a chance to review the samples in person and they meet the spec requirements, the factory can move forward with mass production of both the backrests and the ebike pegs.
A gentleman in Santa Monica CA reached out to me a couple weeks ago inquiring on whether or not I thought it possible to rig one of our bike seats onto his tricycle. After trading emails for a week or two digging into the measurements of the trike rear end, there didn't seem to be any visible challenges with installation. The pegs weren't necessary as the seat mounts directly to the frame of the trike. The peg clamps required some custom shims once the bike seat arrived, but otherwise it was a perfect fit!
Here's what Giorgio said after taking the bike seat for a ride on the beach in Santa Monica with his girlfriend:
Will type something long later and explain everything but I did 12 miles yesterday with her on my back so big success. Truthfully just between you and I, I never saw her smile and laugh so much in the years that I have known her. I rode from 7pm to 9pm ... and people on the beach said, "wow I never saw that before ... that is the best one I have ever seen ... oh, that looks soooo fun."
Actually kind of funny ... because she is so small, people could not see her behind me until I passed them and everyone thought I was loony tunes and got out of my way because they thought I was talking to myself.
PS: I had some random teen take the pictures and I asked him "dude is this kinda d*%^$#y " and he said " no f*#%ing way ... it is killer".
So there you have it.
PS: Part deux ... met some guy that is the national Firestone distributor and showed some pictures on his phone of your seat and this guy is actually bidding on doing the suspension on the Hyper Loop for Elon Musk and said something to the effect of "you know ... I know they are having problems sorting out the seating on the hyper loop and what this guy (you) has is sort of interesting."
Ya never now...Companion Seat on the Hyper Loop?
I plan on reaching out to Elon next week to start talking hyper loop seats ...
Giorgio also noticed something pretty cool with the bike seat and his red tail light. The way the tail light was positioned on his tricycle cast a bright, red glow off the bottom of the stash box, which made for a great effect riding at night.
Hyper loop seats should definitely glow red, right?! Such futuristic technology deserves nothing less.
Coachella is always about sensory overload - great music and lots of cool, larger-than-life art - and this year's festival delivered all that and more. I wasn't as familiar with the lineup as I have been in previous years, but I found this actually might be a better way to experience the festival. It doesn't get any better than being introduced to new music at such an awesome setting as Coachella. The artwork lit up all around, gorgeous sunsets, everyone having a good time.
As we always do, we rented a house close to the venue and rode our bikes in and out everyday. And of course we brought the bike seats so that we didn't need as many bicycles to carry everyone. Riding a bike is by far the best way to get in and out of the shows. Walking will take you at least an hour (if not longer depending on the crowds) whereas riding a bike cuts the trip down to 20 minutes or less. Plus, you don't have to deal with nearly as much dust in your face, whizzing past everyone on a bike.
Here are a couple photos of some of the artwork that was at Coachella this year. The "Katrina Chairs" (on the left) were great for catching some shade from the hot sun during the day. At night time, they were lit up in bright orange and green, lighting the way towards the main stage of the festival. In the photo on the right you can see "Besame Mucho" as well as "Tower of Twelve Stories" lit up against the sunset, with the Ferris Wheel in the background.
Great music, great art, good clean fun!
Remember, ALWAYS wear a HELMET!