Thursday, August 04, 2011

For Your Consideration 

This illustrates the idea for some kind of comprehensive bike lock system

Recently I saw Public Bikes had a call for customers to submit ideas for products they should carry. Ideas for things they would sell don't seem limited to bike accessories but in my mind, that is what they do best.

In North America, unlike what I imagine it's like in Europe or Asia, bike shops cater to their local tribe so you'll find a bike shop that carries family-friendly bikes, bike racks and helmets or one that caters to bike couriers or hard core enthusiasts and racers but few one-stop shops with a broad selection of accessories. That might be changing here in Toronto, where the owner of Curbside Bikes has created Fourth Floor Distribution (importing all manner of bikes and cycling accessories).

Only recently has the commuter been considered. As someone who rides everywhere and depends on his bike, I've learned to lock both wheels and the frame to something permanent. I've been fortunate to never have had a bike stolen. I've had bags, panniers, even components stolen, but never a bike. The simplest way to lock both wheels and the frame is with two locks (one lock plus cable may also be acceptable). The easiest way I've found is with a rear wheel frame lock and have a smaller Kryptonite style U-lock for the front wheel and frame. Unfortunately, those ring locks are hard to come by and are cheaply made. I'd love for Kryptonite to make one, improving on the original, classic design and pair the keys with a second lock but if they haven't yet, they probably won't. That means someone else has to do it. Hopefully Public Bikes will see my logic, and you know, if they could work with Fabrichorse to make a holder that could either be on your person or the bike frame, that would be great too.

So that was my pitch. I probably misread what they are asking for. Maybe they wanted someone to point out better cup holders, or ponchos that have birds on them or a fun little seat light that signals your turning direction rather than a category of security that requires research and development, not to mention the stink of liability if your product fails. But that's what I want. A better, simpler way to secure my bike(s). If they can't do it, maybe there's a business opportunity here?

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