After a couple of weeks negotiating with our factory on pricing and going back and forth on the design, we're finally ready to move forward with prototyping our bike seat backrest! According to our latest quote, it will take the factory about 15 days to complete the first prototype, and we'll post some pictures of it as soon as we receive them. Hopefully we won't have to go through too many prototype iterations, and we'll begin manufacturing before the end of January next year. Once manufacturing begins, it will take about a month to complete, then another couple of weeks shipping across the Pacific to get here to California.
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!