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Amphibian Bike Series: The "Salamander"  Bicycle Stroller project video thumbnail
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CA$ 14,858 pledged of CA$ 108,000 goal
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By Bob Bell
CA$ 14,858 pledged of CA$ 108,000 goal
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About this project

The bicycle loves you so much, it's sent you this card on Valentine's Day.  

Happy Valentines Day Cart
Happy Valentines Day Cart

The Urban Transportation Problem

Residents of cities suffer from the lack of a modern transportation system that allows them to move about their streets in a healthy, safe and efficient manner.  Big cities have become more dense and mobility issues are restraining the quality of everyone's life. Roads can not be widened so more cars can not be the solution. Effective transit in marginal densities is not possible because of the "Last Mile" problems. Consider the family minivan routine: loading and unloading car seats and strollers, finding a place to park and parking lot navigation with small children. This is not an efficient use of your time or our public space. Why not eliminate the child transfers, parking, loading and unloading? Why not use a vehicle you do not need to park! Why not use a vehicle that does not pollute? Why not use less road so more people can use the same road?

The Product Solution

A bicycle that can carry two kids and/or groceries and convert instantly into a stroller that you can push into the store, doctors office, or daycare center. A stroller/shopping-cart that you can take on the subway, LRT, or bus and then convert instantly to a bicycle to get to your final destination. The ability to convert back and forth between bicycle and cart enables the unification of the two active modes of transportation. It eliminates the need to transfer goods or children and never requires parking.

The Prototype Process

The production prototype is the fourth prototype in the process and the second patent piece. Our first concept was abandoned two years ago because we came up with this better idea just before completing the previous development exercise. We learned a lot from that first failure!

First Stroll'n Bike
First Stroll'n Bike

We changed direction and visualized a folding cargo bike based on the Dutch design that would transform into a stroller instantly. We immediately got into the cargo bike business and set to the new exercise. One of the issues we realized with the first prototype was that people were cautious of radical new bicycle concepts that were outside the design norm. We thought that if we could mimic the style of the Dutch cargo bike that people would be more inclined to accept the evolution.

Dutch Style frame
Dutch Style frame

So we modified the frames of existing cargo bikes to accommodate 20" wheels and rebuilt the bike to check the handling dynamics.

New mid frame
New mid frame

As you can see here in this photo, a glimpse of the articulation of the stroller fold. It was a big event in the shop!

Front Frame
Front Frame

Matt built the front frame member first

final set up
final set up

Then set about the other frame members

Final frame set
Final frame set

The final frame set functioned perfectly and we were on the the next design exercise.

Clic and go
Clic and go

We wanted a mechanism that would lock the frame in place instantly and without bending over. We spent about a week on cardboard and wooden mock-ups before we got it.

Clic and Go!
Clic and Go!

We used the brake pedal part from our line of bicycle strollers and a laser cut rotating disc. Bingo! We started to paint all the parts.

Paint everything
Paint everything

It was now November and we needed to get cracking because we needed to get product photos before the snow set in.

Shipping fist tadpole
Shipping fist tadpole

It was about that time we shipped our first "Tadpole" cargo bike, and there were lots of  "Eggs" available.

First Ride
First Ride

Matt assembled the painted frame, bolted on a Pod, and took the Salamander for its first walk/ride on December 12th. Since then we have been putting together the marketing assets, shooting videos,

Laser cutting for first three products
Laser cutting for first three products

 and we have been fabricating the components for the first three frames. Within one mile of our small shop there are a dozen machine shops that do production work. Cardinal Laser is next door to us. Unlike many communities in North America, manufacturing is the center of our economy. There are thousands of machinists and tool and die makers in the City of Guelph. We can make anything here in this town.

Photo taken Feb 13th, 2016. Three frame sets
Photo taken Feb 13th, 2016. Three frame sets

 So here we wait... ready to start making Salamander Cycle Strollers, Frogs and Newts! We are confident that the costs of these products will fall over time and will be within the reach of everyone. But we can't sell them at a loss right now. We are at the limit of our resources. So we are sending through Kickstarter a Valentines Day Card, to tell you that the bicycle loves humanity. We hope that you will send us a Valentine's Reward in return. 

Show the world that humanity loves the bicycle and send us a Valentine's Card 

The Provider

Wike, the "Walk and Bike" company, is a Canadian manufacturer of bicycle trailers and cargo bicycles. The company has seven employees but does not have the resources to launch this invention without Kickstarter support. The production will be done in Guelph, Canada. Additional equipment will need to be purchased in order to execute the first run of 20 pieces. The production sample will be available for inspection at the Wike display booth during the Toronto Bike Show, March 4, 5,& 6.

Product Detail: "Salamander" (child version)

The "Salamander" cycle stroller transforms instantly from walking to cycling. It carries 100 lbs. of payload: either children or with the removal of the padded seating, groceries and pets. The canopy retracts easily for loading and unloading. This product is the world's second bicycle stroller (Wike also made the first one but the second is 1000% better). The production prototype is available for viewing at the Toronto Bike Show.

Bicycle and Stroller
Bicycle and Stroller

Specifications

  • 4130 alloy TIG welded frame, powder coated gray
  • Shimano Nexus 7 with roller brake, drum on front
  • 20" double wall alloy rims, stainless steel spokes
  • Chain guard, fenders, bell, lights, wheel lock
  • Sliding drop-outs, Folding pedals
  • Retracting waterproof canopy with rain screen
  • 32" door pass
  • Total weight including all included accessories; 78 lbs
  • Suitable for riders 5'6" to 6'6", adjustable bars and seat
  • Parking brakes

Work began on a Bicycle Stroller in 2010 and after several concepts, patents, and 5 years of development, Wike is ready to launch production of a product that will help change the urban landscape into one dominated by walking, cycling and transit. The bicycle can convert instantly to a stroller without stopping and passes through commercial doors. 

You can take the stroller/shopping cart on transit and then cycle home. You do not need to stop moving to make the conversion. Transform on the fly with our "Click and Go" technology

Inside view
Inside view

Inside the carrier there is a comfortable space for two children. The padded bench is 23" wide with two five point harnesses. The body is fiberglass and a waterproof canopy retracts instantly for easy access. Flow through ventilation and rain screen are provided.

Salamander Side View
Salamander Side View

 We are very excited about our new Cycle Stroller and we hope to make many more over the next decades. We need your help!

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Regular shipping is in two separate boxes, the pod will need to be attached to the bicycle frame with six bolts. The handlebar stem and seat-post will need insertion and adjustment.  Wheels and cables are all attached. Fully assembled shipping is delivered on a skid and is an option specified later.

Please visit the Salamander page at the Wike website for more information. 

Product Detail: "Frog" (courier version)

The "Frog" is the courier version in the Amphibian Series. 

Courier Model
Courier Model

The Frog can travel anywhere which is commercially accessible! 

Courier Cart
Courier Cart

...Doctors' offices, malls, apartment buildings etc. It will pass through any commercial door and converts instantly to a bicycle. Couriers can carry more and decrease their delivery times. 

Carrier Loaded
Carrier Loaded

Not only can the Frog increase the efficiency of existing walkers but can expand the areas where active delivery becomes profitable. Times will vary with urban form but a 10% increase in employee efficiency can be expected. 

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Please visit the Frog webpage at the Wike website for more information.

Product Detail: "Newt" (special needs version)

The "Newt" is the special needs version in the Amphibian Series. The frame and box are 7" longer to accommodate larger occupants and the carrier has a side opening door to allow for ease of access and transfer. Occupant limit of 125 lbs. and 64". This product will not be available until the end of 2016. 

Please visit the Newt web page at the Wike website for more information.

Product Detail: Egg (child trailer/stroller)

The Salamander Cycle evolved originally from the "Egg" Trailer

Egg Stroller/Bicycle Trailer
Egg Stroller/Bicycle Trailer

The "Egg" is the inception of the Amphibian Series. It is easily converted from a Stroller to a Bicycle Trailer.  The Egg is offered as a reward in our product launch. If you already have an Egg, you can purchase a Salamander or Tadpole  at a future date without the Egg at a $700 discount.

Product Detail: Tadpole (cargo bike only)

The "Tadpole" cargo bike has the "Egg" mounted in our cargo bike. 

Tadpole
Tadpole

The Tadpole has the same carrier as the "Egg" and the "Salamander". The bicycle portion can not convert to a stroller. 

"Salamander City"

Access the artwork through rewards, Download the hi-res file or get a signed copy from the artist, "Robin Baird Lewis". The 10 Meg file prints well to over 48" wide.

Salamander City Art
Salamander City Art

The Salamander Cycle Scale Model

3-D Print File
3-D Print File

 A 1/10 scale print file for the Salamander Cycle is offered as a reward. The file can be printed on a 3D Printer. Many public libraries and print shops have 3D printers. The scale model does not convert to a stroller

"Salamander City" T Shirt

"Salamander City" T shirts, available in long or short sleeves, various colors and sizes. 

Risks and challenges

We believe we have eliminated most risks by limiting the first production run. Salamanders will be hand built at the Wike factory in Guelph, Canada. The first off unit shown in the video works beautifully. The frame is all 4130, tig welded in fixtures, powder coated, and uses standard bicycle components. Maintenance requirements will be the same as any bike and shouldn't be an issue at your local bike shop.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 5 or more About $4

    The "Valentine's Day card" to let you know that the bicycle loves everyone. We appreciate your generosity. We will send you a thank you note.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 20 or more About $14

    3-D Print file for Maker-Bot to make your own Salamander/Toad in 1/10 scale
    The Toad is patent pending and unauthorized reproduction can give you warts!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 29 or more About $21

    The "Box of Candies" reward.
    We will send you updates and a small box of the candies with the bicycle stroller patent cover page signed by the inventor when it issues.

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    Pledge CA$ 35 or more About $25

    The "Bouquet of Flowers" reward. We will send you updates and an illustration of a beautiful floral bouquet in Salamander City

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    Pledge CA$ 39 or more About $28

    "Salamander City" T shirt
    Support and promote the idea that cities should be built to provide safe cycling and walking. A few colors and most sizes available

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 40 or more About $29

    Hi-Res scan of "Salamander City" street-scape illustration by Guelph artist Robin Baird Lewis. Prints well up to 48"wide.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 59 or more About $43

    The "Works"... candies, floral illustration, signed patent. We will send you updates.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 90 or more About $65

    Signed print by the artist of "Salamander City" streetscape.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 800 or more About $577

    The "Egg" Bicycle Trailer
    Carries two kids up to 100lbs in a trailer behind your bicycle. Includes conversion to a stroller and can be mounted on the "Tadpole Bicycle"

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 2,900 or more About $2,092

    The Tadpole Cargo Bike
    Complete 7 speed cargo bike with canopy.
    Does not convert to stroller, is not up-gradable to a cycle stroller but can be converted to an "Egg" bicycle trailer by removing the carrier.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 3,600 or more About $2,597

    The Frog:
    Cycle Courier /Walker Hybrid
    Converts instantly from a cargo bicycle to a three wheeled delivery cart without stopping. Ideal for parcel delivery companies in urban environments. The Frog has a 100 lb. capacity and will carry 6.5 cubic feet of cargo. Waterproof canopy and a 32" door pass. Will increase employee efficiency by over 10 pct. and reduce carbon footprint. No need to park delivery vehicle. Push into office elevators and commercial malls.

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    Pledge CA$ 3,900 or more About $2,814

    The Salamander Cycle Stroller (Half made in Canada)
    Converts instantly from a bicycle to a stroller without stopping. The bike is a huge improvement over classic European Box Bikes

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    Pledge CA$ 6,000 or more About $4,329

    The Salamander Cycle Stroller
    Converts instantly from a bicycle to a stroller without stopping. The bike is a huge improvement over classic European Box Bikes

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    Pledge CA$ 6,000 or more About $4,329

    The Newt (Toad) Cycle Wheelchair
    Has a side opening door for easy access to passenger compartment and is suitable for one larger occupant, up to 125lbs. and up to 64" tall. Door pass of 32". All weather protection with retracting canopy.

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 7,999 or more About $5,771

    Each amphibian bicycle cart produced by Wike will have a label that contains an identifier. The identifier will contain text that acknowledges the funding's support.

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Funding period

- (29 days)