FIRST THE PROBLEM: Biking is a pain in the neck. Literally.
Almost all bicycles put the rider in an unnatural position, leaning forward with the head craning upwards. After even a short amount of time, this leads to terrible neck, shoulder and back pain. In order to relieve that pain and strain, it would be great to be able to put your head down even if for a few moments. But as you know, looking down while riding can lead to terrible things.
That's why I created the Pedi-Scope. Simply put, it's a periscope dashboard for your bike. It allows you to safely look down while seeing what is directly in front of you. This provides your neck and back with that relief that it aches for and needs. By giving your neck and back this relief, even for a few moments, it enables you to ride longer, stronger and more comfortably than ever before.
I came up with the idea because I like to ride my bike a lot (although you probably can't tell by my beer belly in the video) and after every ride my neck and shoulders would always ache. I noticed that if I could put my head down even for a couple of seconds it would relieve the pain without having to stop riding.
I had come across some 90 degree prism eyeglasses online that let you read something in your lap while keeping your head straight. As goofy as these glasses looked, I wondered if it this concept would work for a bicycle. I ordered a few pairs, tore them apart, glued the prisms together and made a very crude prototype of the Pedi-Scope...and it worked! I could safely ride and see what was ahead of me while looking down!
Here's the hilarious box that the prism glasses came in from China. "Strange new health TV glasses":
For the next step, I had a 3D printer prototype case made to protect and hold the prisms. I incorporated this casing with some existing bicycle hardware designed to attach to the handlebar, which is what you see pictured here and in the video:
I'm coming to the Kickstarter community for help bringing the prototype into production.
First, I have sourced a prism manufacturer in China that can make a single three-inch prism (versus three one-inch prisms that I have used for the prototype). The new prism is both lightweight and durable.
Next, I've contacted a few industrial designers whom I've worked with in the past to help create designs where the case and handlebar fasteners would be integrated.
***CHANGES TO BE MADE ON THE PROTOTYPE***
(Learned in the prototype phase) In order to position the Pedi-Scope in the sweet-spot when the head is looking down, the "arms" that attach the prism case will have to be lengthened anywhere from .5 to 1.5 inches for optimal head-down riding positioning.
Lastly, molds would be created for the new integrated casing/fastener design making it ready for production.
Because the Pedi-Scope is a simple design with only a few pieces, I hope to be able to turn this around super quickly and have actual units to the Kickstarter community by prime biking season this summer (July 15, 2015) or potentially even sooner than that.
I appreciate the support! Even if you don't support financially, a share on Facebook is just as much appreciated. Thanks!
Risks and challenges
Although the Pedi-Scope is pretty simple in design, there could be a few challenges. I have had plastic molds made in the past for other products and sometimes the first production sample is not exactly what you are hoping for. The back and forth with mold makers in China can be tedious and take time. With that said, I feel that even if this happens, there is enough time built in to get them out and on handlebars this summer.
Also, I want to shift from a glass prism used in the prototype to acrylic. There may be some back and forth regarding quality of acrylic. If you are like me you crash often.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)