When Kickstarter became popular shortly after its 2009 launch, I and many of you were amazed and thrilled with the awesomely creative crowd-funded bicycle projects available. Before long, however, we began to see funded projects that failed to deliver, and I cringe at some projects from folks with little to no obvious background in bicycles who sell product with possible safety issues.
These days, I try to limit Kickstarter product mentions for ideas that are truly innovative, or that come from people with a proven background in product design and delivery and provide value for the cyclist. The perfect suspension saddle, airless tires, Bluetooth handlebars, and supposedly theft-proof locks are a dime a dozen, as are people crowdsource funding for a container of cheap singlespeeds and space at the Port of Los Angeles to assemble and ship these discount bikes, assuming they haven’t been seized by U.S. Customs for failing CPSC safety requirements.
Hence, I’m happy to mention Mission Bicycle Company’s current Kickstarter for the Lyra, a basic bicycle with built-in lights with one-touch on-off, and a real GPS tracking unit.
If you haven’t seen the zillions of posts about the LIFT cargo bike Kickstarter yet, here’s the gist: for $725 (early bird pricing), you get the front end of a bakfiets style cargo bike that hooks to the front of your existing bike in about a minute. Compare against $3,000 and up for low-end box bikes, and this looks like a pretty good deal.
I try to only mention Kickstarter projects that I think are truly useful, innovative and have a legitimate chance to deliver, especially when more than a few hundred dollars are involved. LIFT bike designer Scott Taylor is a small-business owner who’s well known to the cyclist community in Denver, Colorado.
This is so crazy I’m surprised to see it on Kickstarter: Yannick Read has rigged up a ceremonial blank cartridge to explode when his bike or motorcycle is moved. This gizmo can be yours for about US$71, plus shipping.
Look closely at this new seatpost clamp from Fortified Bicycle. Like other security clamps, the Payback clamp uses a keyed bolthead to help protect your saddle from theft, but there’s more.
I gotta say, that’s one nice looking clipless pedal.
Kickstarter project. I like, but haven’t I seen something like this before?
After only a couple of weeks they’re over halfway to their $8000 goal.