The first batch of pannier hooks finally arrived this week, and after reviewing them, everything looks great. Orders start shipping out immediately! They turned out really clean, fitting snugly onto the rim of the bike seat storage compartment. Two pannier hooks are included with every set, and they feature small padding on the inside edge so that it doesn't scratch the outside rim of your bike seat.
The photos here feature the pannier hooks here on a red leather Companion Bike Seat, with a Green Guru pannier (made entirely from recycled materials).
Order your pannier hooks for your bike seat today!
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.
The first prototype pannier hooks arrived this week from the factory for review and they're very close to being ready for manufacturing. There are a couple of details to work out with the specs, and we're requesting a second prototype from the factory to iron them out. But based on the turn-around with the first prototype, we should be able to start manufacturing within the next month!
Photos of the first prototypes of the pannier hooks for Companion Bike Seat arrived today from the factory! The edges are a little rough and the paint job needs some cleaning up before it's ready for manufacturing, but overall they look good ... definitely headed in the right direction.
A little cleaning up of the rough edges with a file, then the prototype pannier hooks will be shipped here for physical review and testing.
I heard back from the factory this week on manufacturing progress for the backrests, and we now have a delivery date for completion! They'll be finished and ready to ship on August 10th. From there, it will take another three to four weeks for freight shipping across the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco. Once I receive them, I'll prep all of the pre-orders and will ship them out immediately after!
If all goes according to plan, the backrests will be shipping out right around Labor Day, just in time for back-to-school!
I also have some great news about the pannier hooks. Now that the backrests are almost complete, I've started working with the factory on prototyping the new pannier hooks for the bike seat! Initial prototyping will take about 7 to 10 days, and I'll share pictures of the progress made as soon as I have them back from the factory.
More updates to come soon!
Earlier this week Blake finished up the designs for our bike seat pannier hooks! We spent a couple of weeks trying to figure out a way to make the pannier hooks compatible with the backrest. Then we decided no need ... we'll just make the backrest capable of hanging panniers onto the side rails of the backrest, and avoid the compatibility issue altogether!
As soon as Blake Johnson (the new designer I started working with) was done completing the design specs for our backrests, I had him start working on designs and specs for the pannier hooks I had prototyped back in October of last year. Besides a backrest, the number one thing our customers have asked us for to date is the ability to hang their panniers on their bike seat.
The design is relatively simple: "hooks" that hang on the side of the stash-box that pannier hooks can hang onto. My first prototype pannier hooks ultimately left scratches on the side of the bike seat, so we decided to add a small, thin piece of foam material to protect against this scratching.
Here is the latest iteration of the design that Blake is working on. The challenge we're facing is making the pannier hooks compatible with the backrest, such that both can be installed on a bike seat at the same time. This latest version seems to have overcome this challenge, with the pannier hooks extended enough past the support arm of the backrest to provide enough clearance for the pannier clip to hang onto without bumping into the backrest frame.
Next steps for Blake and I are to come up with a way to make a quick mock-up of this new design, and make sure that the pannier hooks don't extend too far off the side of the stash-box such that it's awkward or cumbersome. More news to come as we make more progress!
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!
Remember, ALWAYS wear a HELMET!