We're excited to introduce a new accessory for your Companion Bike Seat: a sound cloth for the storage compartment! If you've put anything small and metal inside your storage compartment while you're out riding, you'll have definitely noticed how much noise it can make bouncing around. We've designed a custom neoprene mat for the walls and the bottom of the storage compartment to help block out all the noise. It's easy to put in or remove, and since it's neoprene, you can wash it if anything ever spills inside the storage compartment.
We're still working out the details on manufacturing (this is one of two prototypes sent for us to test out), but they'll be made in Southern California, so turn-around time should be very quick. We hope to have them available for sale within the next couple months. Stay tuned for more info soon!
I met Doug at ELV Motors in Sunnyvale CA a couple of months ago after he found us online and emailed me about more info on our bike seats. I went down and visited him at the bike shop, and after talking for an hour, decided to dive head first into creating a foot peg solution for ebikes where the throttle plugs into the rear axle.
We decided to use the Sondors eBike as our base model to prototype with (based on their success on Kickstarter last year). After some testing and some modifications, we were able to successfully install Companion Bike Seat onto a Sondors eBike with a modified peg, specifically for ebikes. Included below are pictures of the bike seat installed on the Sondors, including close-ups of the modified pegs used for the installation.
Now that we've proven out the concept, we're working on scaling out manufacturing for these pegs so that we can start offering them on the website. We should have ebike pegs available for ebikes with both 12mm and 14mm diameter axles within the next couple of weeks.
The first shipment of backrests for the bike seat arrived safely today, and pre-orders of the backrests will start shipping out first thing tomorrow.
As soon as the shipment arrived this morning, I broke down the pallets and filled up my car with the hundred or so backrests that have been pre-ordered so far. I put the rest of the backrests into storage, then drove my car full of backrests home to prep them for shipping.
Once the shipment was received and the backrests were all safely in storage or at home, I had to run back to the office for a couple afternoon meetings. I of course brought a couple of them with me to the office to show off, and made sure I had some time to pose for some photos outside as well.
One of my co-workers (on the right above) had supported us during the Indiegogo campaign and purchased a bike seat and backrest, so I was able to deliver his backrest to him in person. We tested it out on the bike seat, confirming everything was delivered as expected with the shipment of backrests. That's him on the right giving the thumbs up sign.
I'll dig through the backrests to make sure we don't have any quality issues tomorrow and if looks good, all pre-orders domestic and international will boxed up and shipped out by this weekend!
If you've had metal objects (bike lock, tools, etc.) in the storage compartment of your bike seat while riding around on your bicycle, then you know it makes for a pretty loud riding experience. Depending on how well-paved the road is that you're riding on, people can you hear you coming from a pretty long ways away.
Now that the backrest is almost ready for sale and manufacturing has started with the pannier hooks, I decided to start focusing on a solution for this "sound problem" with the storage compartment of the bike seat. I ordered a variety of different materials of varying thicknesses to test out, and once they arrived, started prototyping (with the help of Blake Johnson of course).
We tested shelf-liner, polyurethane foam, and neoprene to see what the effect on sound-deadening each material had. All of them interestingly enough had a similar effect, and the thickness of the material did not seem to be important at all, which was interesting. During the process of testing each of the materials out, it became apparent that the sound cloth needed to be removable so that it and the storage compartment could be cleaned out in case any liquid was spilled or leaked into it while riding.
Based on this realization of the need for the sound cushion to be removable (and washable), we've pretty much settled on neoprene for the material. We're going to do some further testing with thinner neoprene to make sure we minimize the impact on storage capacity . Once that's concluded, we'll start working with our factory on manufacturing!
The first shipment of backrests for Companion Bike Seat arrived safely at the Port of Oakland and was cleared through customs yesterday! I'll receive them early next week, and pre-orders will ship out as soon as I'm able to break down the pallets and box up all the orders. There's almost a hundred of them, so it may take me a day or two to get them all ready, but I'll be 100% focused on backrests until they're all shipped out.
Based on this, we're still on schedule to ship out orders by the end of next week, which means the backrests should arrive just in time to take out trick-or-treating over the Halloween weekend!
The second prototype pannier hooks arrived from the factory last week and they fit perfectly onto the side of the bike seat storage compartment, so I gave the factory the go-ahead to start manufacturing. The factory got started this week and should be all finished up with the pannier hooks by mid-November, which means that pre-orders will ship out in early December, just in time for the holidays.
It's official, the first manufacturing run of bike seat backrests is complete, and they shipped out from the factory this afternoon! This is a picture of one of the many pallets of backrests at the factory just outside of Shenzhen, just before they were loaded onto trucks to take to the port. It'll take another 3 to 4 weeks to get here to SF, but we're still on track to have the first backrests ship out to folks before the end of October. I'll provide an arrival date as soon as I receive one from our shipper.
We ran into a couple snags with the backrest manufacturing in early August that resulted in a delay of more than a month to resolve. Apologies for the delay with the backrests, but these things do happen with the first mfg run of a new product, as we've learned from the bike seat already. We've been working extra close with the factory over the last month to make the necessary changes, and the backrests are now expected to be finished by the end of next week, Sep 18!
From the factory, it will take three to four weeks for freight shipping to arrive here in San Francisco. Pre-orders will ship out as soon as the shipment arrives, and are expected to be sent out during the week starting Oct 19. As long as everything goes according to schedule now, backrest orders will be received before the end of October, just in time for Halloween and trick-or-treating.
The prototype modified peg for ebikes is finished and ready to test out and verify it works. There are two modifications to tour standard bike seat peg with this prototype.
The first is a slot cut out of the side of the peg, to allow the power/throttle wire to feed through and back into the wheel. The second is the hole for the peg was tapped to M12x1.25 (12mm diameter by 1.25 mm thread pitch). This peg can screw directly onto 12mm diameter axles and does not require axle nuts to tighten down onto the frame.
To install this peg, you'll disconnect the power/throttle wire from the axle, unscrew the existing axle nut, then screw on the ebike peg, feed the wire back through the slot in the peg, and connect it back up to the wheel.
I'll provide more pictures of the peg once I've been able to install it on an appropriate ebike and make sure it works. Once it's proven out, I'll make these pegs available on the website!
Remember, ALWAYS wear a HELMET!