- Our Tail
My brother and I spent over two years designing and perfecting the structure of Reptire. We are both hardcore cyclists and our toughest critics when it came to design and functionality. We wanted a bike stand that would be portable and universal regardless of the type of bicycle. We wanted a stand that would overcome the challenges of the other stands on the market. Most of all we wanted a stand that was simple in design and artistic in appearance.
This philosophy is the basis for the Reptire bicycle parking stand.
Frank Lloyd Wright once quoted "Utility may go hand in hand with beauty".
Reptire has been referred to as a piece of artwork.
I have my Lemond Fillmore fixed gear bike proudly displayed in my family room (sometimes against my wife's wishes). Reptire works great supporting the rear or front tire of the fixed steed. As fixed gear riders know, without any shifter or brake cables, your handlebars have a tendency to rotate and smash into your top-tube. Not with Reptire. Simply roll your wheel right into the parking stand, easy in, easy out.
We have tested Reptire with road, mountain, cargo, tandem and children's bikes.... it supported all. Reptire is designed so that NO adjustments are needed when parking various size tires. Reptire will be ready to use right out of the box and it does NOT rely on the bicycle spokes for support. You can feel confident that your wheel set will not become damaged while using this stand.
- Kickstarter Support and Plan
With the support of Kickstarter we will be able to get Reptire into full production. I've already done an initial small 100 lot run and was amazed with the customer response. I sold these in six weeks at local biking events. Mountain Bike Action says "The Reptire Bicycle Stand comes at the bike-protection-and-organization task from a fresh approach that is simple and simply elegant at the same time".
Production - If we are able to reach our goal amount I can take Reptire to the next level. As you know manufacturers rely on large quantities to get the overall unit cost down. Funding from Kickstarter will allow us to place this next large order. i already have my manufacturer on deck and they are ready to go. This manufacturer is a leader in the wire forming arena. They have full 3D CNC controlled wire forming, metal stamping, die building and engineering support. They are also able to provide powder coating services and deliver Reptire to me in individual boxes.
Reptire Label - With our manufacturer we will be able to incorporate a label onto the stand so that the Reptire brand can be shown clearly. Our vision of this label will be one that is stamped from aluminum and attaches between the body and foldable head portion of the stand. I will be working closely with the engineering team to come up with a solution.
Design Patent -Funding will also allow us to enhance the existing provisional patent to a full-blown design patent. This can be a costly process, as attorneys are typically required to make it happen.
- Product Specifications
- Proudly made and designed in the USA
- Made from 3/8" 1008 steel wire
- Powder coated for durability in a variety of colors
- 24"L X 18"W X 17"H
- Prototyping, Testing and more Prototyping
I wish I could count the number of prototypes I've manufactured. Overall appearance, design and functionality improved with each prototype.
Here is a photo of the first attempt at the bicycle stand. This one was made from 1/8" steel wire that I hand bent in my garage vise (not easy to do). Each section was it's own piece that I welded together to get the complete unit. It was very lightweight and flimsy but look, it held the bike!
This is a photo of a later prototype when I wanted to start bringing in some artistic features to the stand so that it looked better. It looks like a dog... with a short tail. This version also held my road and mountain bike very well.
I knew I was on to something but I needed a way to color the stands and prevent the steel from rusting. Why not try powder coating? Powder coating is a very durable finish that is near impossible to make the finish run. I hand built a powder coating oven from supplies I picked up at the local hardware and appliance store. I made it large enough that I could stock it full of bike stands and get the job done quicker. My electrical wiring capabilities are sub-par so my wife was worried I would burn the house down. Ha ha, this oven works great and I still use it to this day!
Now that I have the ability to powder coat, my color options are endless. My next prototype version I upgraded from 1/8" steel to 3/8" steel for the main components of the stand. The 90-degree bends that hold the tire points were still the 1/8" material because I could not find a way to bend 3/8" at such a tight point with the tools I had available. I picked up a Ring Roller/Wire Roller on eBay for a few bucks so I was able to roll bend the 3/8" wire. Lastly I welded 5/8" steel balls to each of the legs to give it a completed look. Sexy huh?!
Here is another version where I attempted to make a detachable neckpiece. I wanted the stand to be more compact and be able to take it with you. The detached neckpiece proved to be very flimsy when not attached to the stand. Scrap this idea....
The next photo is of the very first stand produced by a manufacturer. I found a builder not to far from the home that I visited and met with their engineering team and explained what I was trying to do. They had the equipment to also bend the 3/8" steel into a 90-degree angle. Now it's getting simpler using all the same gauge material! Most importantly they were able come up with an idea to have the neck part fold down onto the body of the stand. This is what I was looking for! They unfortunately declined to produce these for me due to the complexity of fabricating this prototype.
After many phone calls I finally found a fabricator that would work with me and had the capability to form what I was looking for. This was tough to do because I did not have any CAD renderings to provide, only a few prototypes and a lot of ambition. This fabricator put me in touch with their design team and we went to work. They were able to 3D form the wire to eliminate several of the weld points as well as eliminate the 5/8" balls on the legs by just wrapping the wire underneath. Now we've really simplified the design! Look, it's artwork!
Thank you for reading our story and watching our video. We hope to have your support to make Reptire the parking stand of choice for cyclists across the world.
How do you park your bike?
Risks and challenges
Challenges for my initial production run could include delays with fabrication as well as not being able to identify a simple and efficient manner to display the Reptire logo on the bike stand. Through collaboration with the manufacturer's engineering and production team, I'm open to partnering with them through any challenges I could face. I've always been one to muddle through any obstacle by keeping the end goal in mind. My relationship with my fabricator is of the utmost importance to me. I realize the results of this initial production run will pave the future of Reptire.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)