This project's funding goal was not reached on August 16, 2012.
About this project
HI EVERYONE! And thanks so much for checking out the BARBASKET!
The Barbasket is a unique bike handlebar with an integrated soft basket available in different colors. You have personality and style, why shouldn’t your bike?
Whether carrying a lock, your lunch, or a six-pack, the Barbasket is a chic and functional way to take your stuff with you when you’re out on your bike. The Barbasket holds items more securely than conventional baskets. Better still, it looks fantastic while doing it.
The Barbasket is a one-piece handlebar and basket rim that supports a fabric basket. The fabric basket holds your stuff snugly, and has a clever bungeed flap on the top that keeps your goods secure. But the best part is that it does all that without looking like a janky add-on. It’s a basket that becomes part of your bike.
“The typical bike basket is attached to the bike via bars, fork eyelets or axle bolts, but the Barbasket looks to eliminate all the extras and create an integrated piece that is both functional and stylish.” --Urban Velo
The Barbasket is the first product from NRML, a design driven bicycle accessory company. Our mission is to make regular bicycles and everyday rides more awesome. Follow us out on Facebook and Twitter.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE BASKETS WE HAVE NOW?
Lets start with what's right; your stuff is in front of you, where you can see it and access it easily. But the low cost, one-size-fits-all solution comes with a lot of aesthetic and functional compromises. The cheap looking mounting brackets are ugly and ill fitting. And wire baskets get bent and ratty looking pretty quickly. All this is fine if you are just looking for a cheap way to bring your lock and a jacket on a ride.
But for many people, bikes are more than appliances. They are a form of self expression like the clothes you wear or the music you listen to. And for others its just about appreciating the sublime elegance of the bicycle. The Barbasket is about unlocking your bike's aesthetic pothential. It makes your bike as unique and hip as you are.
HOW DOES THE BARBASKET FIX THOSE PROBLEMS?
Well, first we made it beautiful. Simplicity and elegance are hard things to add. Usually they come from taking something away. So we got rid of the clamps and the stays.
Our approach was to add just enough structure to support a soft basket, and then let fabric do what it wants to to; cradle your stuff. Although fabric keeps your contents from bouncing around as much, we also added a simple, bungeed flap on the top as insurance. It looks simple, but the Barbasket is the result of a lot of prototypes, exploring a huge range of options. It works.
WHO ARE YOU AGAIN?
I'm Chris Luomanen. I'm the principal of Thing Tank, a research and design consultancy in San Francisco. I also teach design at Stanford and California College of the Arts. And I like to ride my bike. Not in a fancy way, just around.
My engineering and manufacturing development partner on this project is Mark Zeh. In addition to being a top notch design strategist, engineer and a mentor of mine at IDEO, he used to build some pretty nice bicycle frames. He knows from bikes.
HOW FAR ALONG ARE YOU?
The handlebar is ready for production. We've received beautiful, fully finished samples from our vendor. They've got logos and everything. And we have a quote for handlebar tooling. We are working with our soft goods vendor now to perfect the fit of the basket and and a few other details. After dozens and dozens of fabric prototypes to date, we have a winning solution that is smart and sexy!
WHAT COLORS WILL BE AVAILABLE?
We are working up a range of 2-3 color options for the first run. And, of course, we're looking to expand the range of colors we offer in the future. Everyone who backs us for $5 or more will get to weigh in on color. Help us pick the right ones!
The first round of fabric baskets will be nylon. We're using it for the same reason most outdoor soft goods are made of it; it's super durable and reasonably priced. But in the future they could be almost any textile; waxed canvas, leather, neoprene, you name it. What would you like to see?
IS THE FABRIC PART GOING TO GET STOLEN?
It's not possible to make anything on a bike theft proof. A thief with an allen wrench, can take the whole bar, basket and all. But to thwart casual thieves who want to steal the fabric basket, we've included a D ring inside the basket so that you can use to zip tie the zipper shut. Of course we'll offer replacement fabric inserts in case the worst happens, or you want to change up the color.
WAIT, DO I HAVE TO REPLACE MY HANDLEBAR?
Yes. The Barbasket replaces your current handlebar. If you already use a riser style bar, and you have open face stem, it should be a snap. Yes, you may have to change your stem and/or re-cable your bike, which can be easily done at your neighborhood bike shop. We'll include all of the specs to make it easy to figure out.
The Barbasket is for people who want their bike to be as stylish as they are. Its all about a clean, elegant look with a pop of color. But the Barbasket is also more practical than a conventional basket. The fabric basket doesn't rattle when you ride. And the bungeed flap keeps precious things just a little safer.
The Barbasket handlebars are based on a classic riser style. They measure 25.5" wide to accommodate popular shifter/brake lever combinations. But for you fixie types, you can cut (or have them cut at your bike shop) as narrow as you like. The basket opening measures 10" wide x 6.5" long, but the fabric basket measures about 12" wide x 8.5" long x 7" deep. It holds 12 cans of your favorite beverage upright, with room to put a few more on their side on the top.
For now we just have one size. But future Barbaskets will come in a variety of styles and sizes.
No, the Barbasket is not insulated. But there's nothing keeping you from throwing some ice in there! It won't be damaged by water, whether its rain or ice. Production versions will have a grommet in the base so that they drain.
The Barbasket will have a MSRP of $120 when it reaches stores. And that doesn't include tax or shipping!
The first run of Barbaskets are going to come in 2-3 color combinations. But the whole magic of the Barbasket is that the fabric basket can be any color or color combination you want. We hope to offer a lot more choices in the future. As far as DIY, the Barbasket loves patches, pins, embroidery or any other fabric-friendly means of customization.
Nothing is theft proof, but we added a D-ring inside so that you can secure the zipper with a zip tie or a luggage lock to discourage casual theft. Replacement baskets will also be available.
- (30 days)