(Don't miss out on the behind-the-scenes look at the making of GBS in the updates starting HERE!)
KICKSTARTER: "Staff Pick"
My name is David and I am a product designer. I love my road bike. Even when I'm not riding it, it's next to my work desk just so I would remember to ride it. One day I thought: my bike should be just as graceful indoors as it is on the road. And so, with this in mind, I set out to design a bike stand that would allow a road bike to "live" comfortably in the home and office environments.
A CULTURALLY INSPIRED BIKE STAND
For this project I drew inspiration from Chinese culture and art. Since ancient times, Chinese people have regarded nature as their true home and many have paid tribute to its beauty and majesty through their art. One of the most symbolic of Chinese art forms is shan shui paintings, or paintings of "mountains and rivers". Chinese folklore often depicted mountains and rivers as living beings, serving as the dwelling places of revered spirits and deities. The city of Guilin in southeast China was particularly famous for the masses of mountains that poke out from the earth amid low-lying clouds.
This magnificent scenery is the inspiration for the Guilin Bike Stand, which also seeks to be "natural" with its environment, bringing to the space a sense of tranquility and restfulness.
A QUIET BIKE STAND
The Guilin Bike Stand is unlike any other bike stand. There are plenty of great stands for fixing/tuning a bike or storing it--in a garage, in a corner of the room, or even up on a wall. The Guilin Bike Stand is designed to bring a beautiful road bike quietly and subtly into your work and living environment.
A RESPONSIBLE BIKE STAND
The Guilin Bike Stand is entirely cut, bent, welded, powder-coated, and chromed within 20 miles of New York City by licensed and reputable shops, some of which are family-run and all of which are small-scale. I personally drive out to these shops and inspect the prototype pieces to make sure the quality of the finish is spot-on.
Of course, as designer, it’s always very satisfying to be able to work with and support my local manufacturers. I spent 6 months sourcing the right shops to put this particular stand together, always keeping responsible manufacturing as priority. This means good wages and safe working environments for the shops’ workers.
A CAREFULLY CONSIDERED BIKE STAND
The road bicycle is beautiful because it balances engineering sophistication and aesthetic purity; the Guilin Bike Stand seeks to do the same.
Materials that best complement a standard road bike were used: stainless steel arms for support and an aluminum base to keep weight low.
The bike is in the best position for viewing: close to the floor, upright, and level.
No lateral pressure is put on the spokes.
No portion of the bike's fork or frame is blocked.
No sharp edges on frame to scratch or cut the wheel or tire.
Base is powder-coated for easy cleaning.
The frame can be easily assembled and taken apart in seconds.
Pre-cut, adhesive, anti-slip cork strips are included with the stand.
Because the bike stand doesn't hold the bike by its top tube, those bikes with a slanted or curved top tube can use the bike stand too.
The Guilin Bike Stand is designed to be compatible with most road bikes (including most track bikes and "fixies") with the following tire sizes: 700-23C, 700-25C, and 700-25C. Other tire sizes are not guaranteed to be compatible with the Guilin Bike Stand. Basically, you need around 70mm~100mm of spacing between your front fork and nothing like a disc brake or a front hub-mounted fender to block the stand from holding up the front wheel. Please refer to the diagram below to check if your bike is compatible.
The Guilin Bike Stand is available at several colors that each correspond to different reward levels. "Monkey King Cloud White" is the unlimited base color, with other colors available at limited quantities, as detailed below:
*UPDATE* A photo of some of the color samples hot off the press (or is it out of the paint shop?)!
A BIKE STAND IN NEED OF YOUR SUPPORT
Only you, fellow Kickstarters, can help make the Guilin Bike Stand a reality. The current prototypes look great, but there are still a ways to go. The funds will go toward:
Final prototypes to ensure fitment, consistency, and correct colors
Initial, minimum order required for production
Preparations for retail, including branding, custom packaging, website building--all key for success after the campaign
It is truly special and humbling to have the Kickstarter community contribute to making my design a reality, so I thank you for your support!
Glad you asked! Kickstarter is an awesome online crowd-funding platform that basically helps creative people realize their dream projects. Funding is all-or-nothing. That means if I don't meet my funding goal, then no one gets charged a single penny and I receive no money at all. The project is ONLY FUNDED if the funding goal is met or exceeded when deadline arrives. And only then will backers's credit cards be charged for their pledges. For lots more information, please visit Kickstarter's basics help page here:
By design, the Guilin Bike Stand supports the bike at the front hub and secures the bottom of the tire. A tire that is too large or too small will not be supported and the bike will tilt and likely fall. I do NOT recommend using the bike stand for tires other than the ones that are listed in #1.
Maybe, maybe not. It is possible that your 27-inch tire may work just fine, but as I've learned the hard way (1/5 way through my campaign), there are simply too many different tire sizes--even at 27 inches--in the world for the bike stand to accommodate all of them. As a result, it was simpler to say what WOULD definitely work, and that's the sizes that are listed in #1.
The Guilin Bike Stand is sized only for the following road bike tire sizes: 700-23c, 700-25c, and 700-28c. Please check your current bike tires: there should be an inscription somewhere indicating those sizes. Other requirements: 100mm front fork spacing (measured between the interior sides of the fork where it holds the wheel), no front disc brakes, and no wheel fenders that are secured to the front hub. Quick-release wheels are OK. This tire size is found on most modern road bikes and track bikes/fixies. Tire labels are very confusing, so in order to be sure that your bike fits the Guilin Bike Stand, please double-check your tire size.
As it is with your furniture and your bike, it's a good idea to regularly clean your tires beforehand and be gentle when you place the bike onto the stand. This will minimize any scratches on the base. The powder-coat that is used on the stand is applied professionally and is quite durable. But as with almost any industrial finish, hard impacts will damage it, so please use appropriate care.
The stand was also designed not to put a scratch on your bike or puncture your tire. The wireform frame has circular profiles and no open ends that would scratch the bike, and the base has no sharp interior edges where the tires rest that will pierce or slice them. The outermost edges of the bike stand are dulled in production and then power-coated so they pose no danger to the tires, either.
Yes, anodizing was considered early on but I scratched the idea for two main reasons. One, the main purpose of the bike stand was to "fit in" with a bike and beautiful furniture. Anodized finishes are found much less often on road bikes and furniture (with the exception of some unique bike parts), and so an anodized bike stand would simply not be complementary from an aesthetic perspective. The second reason is durability. Anodized surfaces are prone to getting hairline scratches on the surface. A "brushed" look can be applied as a post-production process to lessen scratches but then it'd make the surface harder to wipe clean, it's too unnecessarily labor-intensive, and it still wouldn't be as durable as a good, solid layer of powder-coat.
My main goal is to tighten up some of the dimensioning for the bike stand while being as accommodating as possible to the range of 700c and 27-inch bike tires available on the market. Other than that, no other changes are anticipated.
Short answer: yes, you really are. And no, I won't. Long answer: the shops that make the Guilin Bike Stands are all located within 20 miles of New York City and are licensed, reputable, and safe. All future bike stands will continue to be made by these same local shops and will not be sourced elsewhere. That's a PROMISE. Why? The Guilin Bike Stand wouldn't have been possible without the collaboration and the skills of dedicated craftsmen who take great pride in their work and--more important--who are paid competitive wages and work in safe environments. This keeps the shops happy, me happy, and hopefully all of you bike owners happy, too.
The pricing is actually extremely competitive with other bike stands and racks that are made in limited quantities, with similar materials and processes, and by local manufacturers. If you take into account the time-consuming process of bending the flowing, wing-like base (versus the two- or three-fold designs most commonly seen), the same level of finish as those used by some of the best furniture pieces, and, of course, a design that's intuitive, easy to use, beautiful, and functional, then you'll see that there is, in fact, no other bike stand that comes close to delivering all of this at this price.
I'm glad you think so! The low prices you see are ONLY available during this campaign as a big thank-you for your support. *UPDATED* The retail price for the white version will be around $180 each at retail, with all other versions pricing around 20% more than what is listed here on Kickstarter. I don't anticipate that I will EVER attain the economy of scale that large companies enjoy, but that's okay: I just relish the fact that someone out there will enjoy my design. Another part of the lower-than-expected price comes from not designing--and thus making--any frivolous features. The Guilin Bike Stand is focused on one thing: displaying your bike in beautifully natural way.
Pocket-sized stands rarely hold your bike upright. Plus, these pocket stands are usually very gadget-like in their looks, whereas the Guilin Bike Stand is a delicate balance between making a subtle design statement and being a great complement to everything else in the room. Despite its size, there is very little waste in its design; every component achieves a specific, necessary function. In other words: if your bike is Goldilocks, the Guilin Bike Stand would be "just right" for your home or office.
And that's pretty cool! I like kickstands, but the GBS displays your bike in a different way. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a kickstand. But for those who like to have their bikes upright and looking straight ahead AND have the bike look like it's really a part of the interior decor: the GBS is for you.
Trust me, I do, too. Unfortunately, it's a matter of cost. To keep these prices, I have to meet a minimum number of pieces to produce. If I offered another color, I'd have to meet the minimum for BOTH colors to keep the price the same. That increases the funding goal.
The other way would be to increase the unit price of the stands, but I really wanted to hit the $150 price point to keep it affordable. I chose white because it is a universal favorite in home and office interiors. This is also why the special colors cost so much more than the base: they are made at much lower quantities. Ordering hundreds of gold and chrome stands would have been unrealistic, not to mention it would defeat the whole purpose of them being special editions. That being said, I will actively look into other colors down the road.
In keeping with the spirit of finding inspiration in Chinese culture for the overall bike stand design, I wanted to add just a little bit more specialness to the way these colors are named. For example, in the quintessential Chinese folk tale, Journey to the West, the Monkey King rode a cloud that could travel 108,000km in a single somersault and he fought and later befriended Monk Sha, who dwelled in the murky waters of the Flowing-Sand River. Together with another warrior called Pigsy, they fought demons of all kinds--including some from the Fire Mountain--to safely accompany their master to the West. In another Chinese folklore, there once existed 10 sun gods that took turns in lighting the sky and the earth. In a fit of mischievousness, the 10 suns decided to appear together, tormenting people the world over. Houyi (hou-yee), a local hero of unparalleled archery skills, traveled over 99 mountains, across 99 rivers, and through 99 valleys to reach the most eastern sea (considered the edge of the world at the time) and one by one, shot down 9 of the suns and saved the world. In one version of the story, a disciple of Houyi, who had been made a god for his good deeds, wanted to steal the Elixir of Long Life in the dark of the night and threatened Houyi's wife Chang'e (chahn-uh). In attempting to keep the elixir away from the evil disciple and save herself, Chang'e drank the elixir and rose up to the moon hanging in the sky, becoming the Goddess of the Moon.
Of course, colors are just colors, but I picked these specific shades according to how I imagined these characters and their stories to be. Sure, there's a bit of romanticism on my part, and, really, who knows what the Monkey King's cloud looked like? But I think it makes for a more special story to tell--for both you backers AND those who are admiring your stands! I highly recommend reading up on these fascinating tales.
The exact shade of each of the colors will appear differently on your computer monitor/tablet or smartphone screen from someone else's. That means a red may appear to be purplish on one screen and orange-y on another. Basically, even if I had photos, they likely wouldn't reflect the colors accurately. The color chart above is really just a reference. That said, I'm hoping to get some paint samples made during the funding process if it looks like the fundraising will be successful. Of course, I'll take photos to share with everyone.
As mentioned in the intro video, the funds go toward final prototyping, ensuring the first production run (which, again, is a necessity so that the shops will dedicate the resources to making the stands), and setting up for retail. A portion of the funds generated--because of the way Kickstarter is set up--goes towards a http://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/creators#Fees (5% of the total funding) and an Amazon fee (3%~5% of the total funding in credit card fees). I don't have control over these. That means if I meet my $75,000 funding goal, Kickstarter receives $3,750 and Amazon receives $2,250~$3,750, leaving the total that I receive anywhere between $67,500 and $69,000.
The majority of the amount I receive will go toward manufacturing, with the rest of that going toward setting up a future retail website and all of the associated costs, including payment systems, and marketing (both in brick-and-mortar bike shops and online), which, as many of you can guess, are quite pricey. I hope this project will have decent long-term success, but that requires having a good foundation and not just a quick, one-time offering on Kickstarter.
Hu Yuwen Design is my personal design studio. I alone run it with occasional collaborations with fellow designers, but 99% of the time I'm on my own. I personally make those trips to manufacturers, negotiate with suppliers, and meet super-talented people of all kinds. The studio's focus is on developing a modern design language that is inspired by Chinese culture and philosophy but is also digestible by people of all cultures and backgrounds.
The Guilin Bike Stand is the first of the studio's designs to be produced under its own label. You can learn more about the studio here: http://www.huyuwen.com/.
IT ALL STARTS WITH AN ANT HILL...Get these BACKER-ONLY goodies: regular updates and behind-the-scene looks into the project, including concept sketches, production photos, and the chance to chime in on final design tweaks. Of course, a big Thank You for helping make this project a reality!
ARRIVAL AT THE BASE CAMP! All of the backer-only goodies above PLUS a personalized, 100% cotton thank-you card with an exclusive photo of the production Guilin Bike Stand! Canada and international backers please add USD$2.
KING OF THE FIRE MOUNTAIN! Claim what's yours and let the world know. You will receive one (1) Guilin Bike Stand with a base finished in a limited-edition, campaign-only "Bull Demon King Black". This is going to be the darkest, angriest black I can get my hands on. If the Bull Demon King had a bike, he would have wanted it this way. But he rides a cloud and you don't. Enjoy sitting atop your Fire Mountain with all the backer-only goodies. (This will follow the first production so please allow an additional 3~4 weeks for production.) Shipping: Canada +$15, international +$30.
FIRE MOUNTAIN! You wouldn't climb on this mountain, per se, but you can still OWN it. You will receive one (1) Guilin Bike Stand with a base finished in limited-edition, campaign-only Fire Mountain Red, along with all the backer-only goodies. (This will follow the first production so please allow an additional 3~4 weeks for production.) Shipping: Canada +$15, international +$30.
MOON GODDESS. Because your bike is not just beautiful; it's HEAVENLY like Chang'e, the Chinese moon goddess. You will receive one (1) SUPER RARE Guilin Bike Stand completely finished in chrome. Need I mention that this comes with all the backer-only goodies? (This will follow the first production so please allow an additional 3~4 weeks for production.) Shipping: Canada +$15, international +$30.
THE POWER OF TEN SUNS. You will receive one (1) SUPER RARE Guilin Bike Stand completely finished in eye-burning gold, a tribute to the Chinese folklore of Houyi and the Ten Suns. This is not for the faint of heart...nor a place with REALLY bright lights. Of course, this comes with all the backer-only goodies. (This will follow the first production so please allow an additional 3~4 weeks for production.) Shipping: Canada +$15, international +$30. (Disclosure: just in case anyone asks...this is NOT coated in actual gold the metal).
TWIN PEAKS! Because one mountain conquered is simply not enough. You will receive two (2) Guilin Bike Stands finished in Monkey King Cloud White, along with all the backer-only goodies. Shipping: Canada +$25, international +$50.
SPIRIT OF THE MOUNTAIN. You are becoming ONE with your bike (or you run a nice bike shop or office with a need for many bike stands), and that kind of dedication deserves a special place in history. You will receive ten (10) Guilin Bike Stands finished in Monkey King Cloud White and one (1) Guilin Bike Stand finished in a complementary (that is, a nice match to the white version) Flowing-Sand River Gray, EXCLUSIVE to this reward level. (This will follow the first production so please allow an additional 3~4 weeks for production.) Shipping: Canada +$150, International +$300.