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Optimal Cycling = Keeping it Simple. The Townie Syndicate Lever+ bike tool has only the tools that you need while riding. Beautifully. Read more

443
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$9,712
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on November 12, 2013.

Optimal Cycling = Keeping it Simple. The Townie Syndicate Lever+ bike tool has only the tools that you need while riding. Beautifully.

About this project

Simplicity is our goal. Build an easy to use, minimalist bike tool, that addresses the most common repair needs cyclists have when they are out on the road. Lever+

What it is:
- Ergonomic bike lever
- 4 mm hex
- 5 mm hex
- Phillips head driver
- T-25 Torx head driver
- Die cut Velcro (tm) wrap
- Designed to fit in your back pocket
- Pretty

What it is not:
- Big
- Hard to use
- Heavy
- 8 tools that you will never use
- Something that requires a saddlebag

Like a lightsaber through a dead Tauntaun. No more bloody knuckles or creased thumbs (this is one of our prototypes in action).
Like a lightsaber through a dead Tauntaun. No more bloody knuckles or creased thumbs (this is one of our prototypes in action).

How did we get here?
As with most great ideas, this one started out with a beer inspired conversation. As we sipped our brews, we were thinking of ways we could expand our prototyping skills (for our day jobs). This started out with laser cut bottle carriers. This was fun, but it wasn't solving a particularly big problem.

Fun, but...meh (DoMStiques is our MS team)
Fun, but...meh (DoMStiques is our MS team)

We're cyclists, so what were our pain points? We came up with a long list of issues and, through a sophisticated ranking process, chose bike clutter as an area of focus. We like clean lines and a nice balance between form and function. In short, saddle bags break all the rules of form and function. They look crappy, they inevitably contain tools that you will never use. And if you do attempt to use the tools inside, they rarely work well.

Many hours and many prototypes.
Many hours and many prototypes.

We decided to design and build a bike tool that helps you accomplish the most common roadside bike maintenance tasks. It had to work well, fit in your back pocket and look good. Through field tests and feedback from fellow cyclists and bike mechanics, we tweaked, modified, stretched, and adjusted most aspects of the tool. After about 20 prototypes made on 3 different types of 3D printers and a 4-axis mill, we arrived at this beauty. We think you'll like it.

Final design. This is so well engineered, that we were able to remove nasty old tires with our MakerBot prototypes.
Final design. This is so well engineered, that we were able to remove nasty old tires with our MakerBot prototypes.

You have some options:

If you were going to personalize a Lever+ for a buddy who pulled you across the finish line, it would look like this.
If you were going to personalize a Lever+ for a buddy who pulled you across the finish line, it would look like this.
Test and retest. We figured if our disign worked with non-engineered materials (like makerbot plastic or wood), then it'll work great with the structural material in our final design (reinforced nylon).
Test and retest. We figured if our disign worked with non-engineered materials (like makerbot plastic or wood), then it'll work great with the structural material in our final design (reinforced nylon).

Production Schedule
All of our production and fulfillment partners have been identified. Those key partners are:
- Injection molder
- Hex Tool Manufacturer
- Velcro supplier
- Fulfillment Partner (packaging, fulfillment and shipping)

Upon successful funding of this project, we will release our order to the injection molder to machine our 2 piece mold for the nylon lever. Simultaneously, we will place our orders for the hex tools and Velcro straps. Our first run of sample parts from the injection molder will take approximately 3 weeks. We anticipate 2 weeks to finalize the mold and part dimensions. Then we'll go into full production, which will take 6 weeks (from overseas plant to our fulfillment partner's door). After we laser etch the custom orders, our fulfillment partner will assemble, package and ship all of the orders within 10 days of receiving the levers. You'll be updated every step of the way.

Risks and challenges

DESIGN
From a product design perspective, we have embraced a core tenet from our professional design lives. Test, Adjust, Repeat. We have crafted many physical prototypes (at least 20 different versions) and tested them all. We've also interviewed bike shop owners, pro-level mechanics and riders about what they like and what they don't like in the current competitive landscape. The result is a product that's been informed by experts in the field. It also happens to work very well.

MANUFACTURING
We are experienced product developers. We are a mechanical engineer and an industrial designer, with 25+ years collective relevant work experience (and personal cycling experience). We have worked with manufacturers all over the world and have found partners to help with each stage of this project. We have production and timing estimates for each stage of the project (all from partners that we have worked with in the past). We've also found a local Kansas City partner to help with fulfillment (packaging, labeling and shipping), so we can get these out the door as quickly as possible.

POTENTIAL RISKS:
Manufacturing delays. The production quotes we received estimated 8 weeks for lead time and delivery of final product. Our official delivery estimates to you (March 2014) include a 50% factor of safety on top of what our manufacturing partners estimate. We believe we have added sufficient time for manufacturing iterations, shipping delays and potential holiday business interruption.

PLEASE CHECK OUR UPDATES FOR INFO ON STRETCH GOALS/REWARDS.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Unfortunately, the Kickstarter rules for projects in the 'Product' category do not permit the sale of multiple items (trust us, we would LOVE to be able to offer a multi-lever set). If we do achieve successful funding for this project, we will produce additional tools that will be for sale on our own website (towniesyndicate.com). So, we would be grateful if you were able to back us at one of our proposed backer levels. Then, if we reach our minimum funding requirement, we'll be able to offer you additional tools via our dedicated site.

    Last updated:
  • We received a few questions about how much you can actually hold with the included die-cut Velcro strap. We posted a couple pictures of the Lever+ with a CO2 setup and a Minipump setup, check out our 'Update #2.' Also, we have detailed instructions for use at towniesyndicate.com. Use the link below to get to a downloadable PDF of our instructions (with witty copy). You might have to copy/paste the url into your browser.

    http://towniesyndicate.com/pages/how-to-wrap-it-up-instructions

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    4 backers

    TOWNIE SYNDICATE TIFOSI. For those TS fans out there who aren't quite ready for the big $15 commitment, but want to stay connected and show some support. We'll keep you up to date on our progress and you'll get a heartfelt "Thank You" from the Townie Syndicate crew.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $12 or more

    25 backers All gone!

    Lever+ EARLY BIRD. For the first 50 domestic backers. You'll get the freshest Lever+ kit off the production line (Lever+, our special hex wrenches, die cut Velcro wrap). You rock too.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $12 or more

    25 backers All gone!

    INTERNATIONAL BACKERS.
    Lever+ EARLY BIRD for the first 50 international backers. You'll get the freshest Lever+ kit off the production line (Lever+, our special hex wrenches, die cut Velcro wrap). You rock.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    235 backers

    Lever+ for the people; come and get it. Get rid of that unsightly 'satchel' hanging off your ride; it's just disrespectful to your bike. $15 gets you the Lever+, our special hex wrenches (4mm, 5mm, Phillips and a size 25 Torx) and the die cut Velcro strap to keep it all together.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    83 backers

    INTERNATIONAL BACKERS.

    Lever+ for the people; come and get it. Get rid of that unsightly 'satchel' hanging off your ride; it's just disrespectful to your bike. $15 gets you the Lever+, our special hex wrenches (4mm, 5mm, Phillips and a size 25 Torx) and the die cut Velcro strap to keep it all together.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    37 backers

    PERSONALIZED Lever+ kit. YES, WE'RE STILL YELLING. You get the Lever+, our special hex wrenches (4mm, 5mm, Phillips and a size 25 Torx), and the die cut Velcro strap. We will laser etch the top of your Lever+ with up to two lines of copy. We'll send out a survey to get your personalized copy once we're funded. Trust us, your name will look awesome immortalized in high quality reinforced nylon.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    6 backers

    INTERNATIONAL BACKERS.
    PERSONALIZED Lever+ kit. YES, WE'RE YELLING. You get the Lever+, our special hex wrenches (4mm, 5mm, Phillips and a size 25 Torx), the die cut Velcro strap. We will laser etch the top of your Lever+ with up to two lines of copy. We'll send out a survey to get your personalized copy once we're funded. Trust us, your name will look awesome immortalized in high quality reinforced nylon.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $80 or more

    9 backers Limited (1 left of 10)

    INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: LIMITED EDITION. Custom milled WOOD Lever+ prototype. We'll send you a Lever+ tool milled out of white oak AND we'll laser etch a personalized message onto the top surface. It's literally a piece of art. We'll also send you a standard Lever+ kit, which includes the Lever+, our special hex wrenches (4mm, 5mm, Philips, size 25 Torx) and the Velcro Strap. We'll send out a survey to get your personalized copy once we're funded. You're not dreaming

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $80 or more

    8 backers Limited (2 left of 10)

    LIMITED EDITION. Custom milled WOOD Lever+ prototype. We'll send you a Lever+ tool milled out of white oak AND we'll laser etch a personalized message onto the top surface. It's literally a piece of art. We'll also send you a standard Lever+ kit, which includes the Lever+, our special hex wrenches (4mm, 5mm, Philips, size 25 Torx) and the Velcro Strap. We'll send out a survey to get your personalized copy once we're funded. You're not dreaming.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (26 days)