We launched an Indiegogo campaign today to help cover the cost of prototyping and product development of a new backrest for our bike seats! We're aiming to raise $2000 to go towards backrest development, including the cost to start manufacturing with our factory. In addition to offering our bike seats and pre-orders for the backrests, the Indiegogo campaign also introduces several new Companion Bike Seat branded swag, including t-shirts and cycling hats, which we'll make available on our website once the campaign on Indiegogo is complete. The designs for the backrest are predominantly complete at this point, and we'll start engaging with our factory on design refinement for manufacturing with our factory while the campaign is running. The Indiegogo campaign is a 60-day campaign, so we hope to have a tentative delivery date for the backrests by the time the campaign wraps up. Stay tuned for more updates!
Here are some computer renderings of the backrest cushion, using the same waterproof vinyl as our bike seat cushions. We're considering adding a Companion Bike Seat logo to the backrest mounting plate on the back, but need to talk to our factory first to see what is possible.
We should have more updates within the next couple of weeks once we've started the conversation with our factory and have their initial feedback!
It's that time of year again, when we all get to put on costumes and get as debaucherous as possible, after taking the little ones out to trick-or-treat and collect candy of course. I realized something this year - if I go trick-or-treating on my bicycle, I can still bring a friend along, I can put all of my candy in the stash-box, and I can collect two to three times as much candy since I can move faster and hit up more houses! Happy Halloween!
Development continues on the new backrest for Companion Bike Seat. We started working with designer Blake Johnson to take our bike seat backrest from proof-of-concept to ready-to-manufacture status and we're well on our way! Here are some drawings of the direction we're headed with the backrest.
We're now working on solid works models of the design, and will be sending these off to our factory very soon for prototyping. Hopefully prototyping our new backrests will take no longer than a couple months, and we'll have our backrests available for purchase in early 2015!
Innovation continues here at Companion Bike Seat with the introduction of an accessory many folks have been asking for: pannier hooks! Most panniers are designed to hang onto the tube-steel used with most bike racks. Short panniers can hang onto the side-rail of the bike seat frame that's midway down, though this is pretty limiting. So we decided to create some hooks that hang over the lip of the stash-box so that virtually any and every pannier is compatible with a Companion Bike Seat!
I went down to the hardware store and bought some strips of steel, then set to work. All of this initial prototyping was done by hand, using a hacksaw, a power drill, and a rubber mallet for shaping. Ahh the joys of working with your hands. And after couple hours ... success!
This solution is very much only a proof-of-concept, but the fact that it works is exciting! Next step is to research all the different sizes of pannier hooks on the market to ensure that the holes we provide will make it compatible for all. Once that's complete, we'll finalize the design and then start working with our factory on production! They'll be available soon for pre-order on our website, join our email list if you'd like to be notified when they're ready!
"So it's time that I write a review for this passenger bike seat that I got. First off, I've had the seat since May and paid $149.00 for it and it was a wonderful investment. I ride my bike about 6 hours a day which measures out to about 50 to 60 miles a day which amounts to 42 hours a week or 350 to 420 miles a week and you can multiply that by 30 to get the amount that I bike per month and so on. I ride around my girlfriend on a regular basis, and a few friends of mine every now and then. Bike with a companion even though that person is not pedaling is a wonderful experience and workout especially up hill and long distances like going from New Haven to Woodbridge or to Hamden or even the West Haven beach, all of which my girlfriend and I have traveled together.
I would recommend this seat to all cyclists. I have gone grocery shopping, moved things from my parents' house to my apartment 20 blocks away, gone to the beach, the movies, out to dinner, dropped off and picked up my girlfriend from class, road to and from work, and have road around recreationally with the trunk loaded with my iPad as a GPS and a refreshment or snack in the trunk.
Thanks again and please keep me posted on upgrade and updates for the seat. I love it!"
Every once in a while, we'll get a local bike seat purchase (local to the Bay Area) needing help with an axle-swap to install their bike seat, and I get the chance to personally meet them and help them with the installation of their bike seat.
This weekend I had the pleasure of helping to install a bike seat on a bicycle that's heading out to Burning Man later this week! The bicycle was already complete with furry decorations and LED light strings, but it wasn't equipped for another passenger until now. The bike had a quick-release rear hub, so the owner bought the proper replacement solid axle a week prior, and once it arrived, I came over to do the install.
First I pulled the rear wheel off and removed the quick-release axle from the hub. I pulled all of the existing lock nuts, spacers, and bearing cones off the hollow (quick-release) axle and assembled them onto the new replacement solid axle. After greasing it up with some axle grease, the new axle was then inserted back into the hub of the rear wheel and everything was tightened down. Making sure the ball bearings are seated properly while inserting the replacement axle can be a little tricky, but after doing this three or four times, I've found an easy trick: just hold the wheel horizontal and use your finger to hold the ball bearings in place while the axle is inserted back into the hub. The entire process of swapping the axle from quick-release to a solid axle took no more than 30 - 45 minutes.
Once the solid axle was installed and the wheel was back on the bike I had the bike seat installed onto the bicycle in no time. First the pegs were tightened down onto the new solid axle, then the bike seat clamped onto the pegs and the seat post. We took this picture once the installation was complete and then took the bike out for a test ride ... success!
Next stop: Black Rock City to gift rides to fellow wayfarers!
We concluded our Bike Seats on the Playa bike seat giveaway at the end of last month and are shipping out free bike seats to all the winners first thing tomorrow morning. Due to Burning Man's policy against photos from Black Rock being used for commercial purposes, I can only publish a handful of the pictures submitted, though I've included several of the comments that folks sent in to us.