About this project
Kickstarter has been amazing to us. Thank you all so much for your support. We are incredibly excited to say that for a limited time, we will be taking pre-orders through our website, which will be opening soon.
What is Plume?
Plume is a streamlined, recoiling mudguard which complements the look of your bike. Plume looks as good when it's protecting your back from muddy street water as it does when it’s coiled away.
What's so special about Plume?
Plume extends out into a sleek fender or recoils back into a tight circle under your seat with the gentle press of a finger, even if you’re in motion. To top it off, Plume uses resilient, street-tough materials (stainless steel and a flexible polymer) so you can trust it to stand up to some nasty conditions.
Well that's pretty fantastic. But what's wrong with normal mudguards?
For some reason, there are a lot of unattractive, poorly made, easy to break or steal fenders out there. In fact, some people have taken to fashioning home-made mudguards from plastic bottles or cardboard in protest.
When you’re riding on a wet street, Plume acts as a barrier
between the muddy, chemical-laden water and your clothing. It
also looks damn fine while doing so. When the sun comes out, simply reach back with one hand and press down on the Plume to make it recoil into a minimal circle under your seat.
I'm sold, but if you had to provide two more details about Plume that would make me extra happy, what would they be?
Plume was designed to be difficult to steal. Its stainless-steel spine wraps around your bicycle's seat post. Plume also attaches to a wide variety of seat post sizes, which makes installation easy, and removes the need for extra clumsy shims or spacers.
Plume is a project that has been in the works for a long time, since Patrick and Dan met in London four years ago. Both designers ride their bikes everywhere.
London's reputation for rain is dead on – it's not an exaggeration. If anything, it rains more than Hollywood would have us believe. Naturally, Plume was born out of a desire for a better mudguard.
As we worked on it, the demand for a product like this became more and more apparent. Ultimately, we realized that Plume could be big, and that the best way for two idealistic designers to get the word out was Kickstarter.
We have produced several prototypes of Plume and have a chain of manufacturers who are feeling just as good about this project as we are. If we raise $18,000 we will be able to pay for tooling and production costs for the very first production run of Plume. If things go bananas, we will be able to afford fancier tooling which will cost more initially, but will allow us to produce Plume much more efficiently, potentially getting us geared up for distribution to bike shops around the world!
We're super excited by the prospect of getting to share this process with the Kickstarter community. We feel like children on Christmas morning when we get the opportunity to hang out with our manufacturers and play with their machines. So throughout the production process, we’ll be taking all of our supporters on a virtual field trip. Factory visits, insight into our design process (it can be very messy) and frequent updates, all in an effort to honor Kickstarter's gap-bridging manifesto, and to ignite conversation with like-minded people around the world.
We've got a bunch of exciting rewards for you guys. We've done our best to keep them as affordable as possible. For the benefit of everyone, we will ask you to pay for your individual shipping costs based on your address at the time of fulfillment. Allow us to break it down for you.
We've been there. You like an idea and want to show it some love, but maybe can't afford to shell out right now. Don't worry, if you scratch our back, Karma will scratch yours.
If it were up to us, everything would be reflective. Let's take one step at a time though. The pack consists of six circular reflective stickers. This is the same high quality reflective material used on the Plume Mudguards, as well as police cars and ambulances around the world.
Turbo boost is a nitroglycerin-powered accelerator which can be easily mounted to the rear of your bicycle. The Turbo Boost pack includes two canisters of our secret nitro formula, a base plate, and a mounting strap constructed from an elastomeric polymer band. Illustrated instructions are also included. (Written irony is tricky. In case it wasn't obvious, the Turbo Boost is basically two confetti poppers and a laser-cut base plate, and a rubber band. But it works surprisingly well.)
$35 gets you your very own Plume mudguard. You'll be the talk of the town. Your Plume will have been made by British factories, it will probably have been raining outside while they were made, and there's a certain irresistible poetry there. If funding is successful, we should be able to get Plume into your hands for Autumn.
We are going to be throwing a major fiesta if we successfully fund this project. Actually, we'll be throwing two. One will be held in London, the other in New York City. As a backer at this tier, you will not only have helped make our dreams come true, you also get TWO tickets to our celebration. Of course, you will also get a Plume when they are ready. We're pulling out all the stops on this because A) we love parties, and B) we love you. We're talking open bar and carnival games kind-of love.
MEGA PARTY TIME PACK:
Woah- this one is mega. At this level, you get a ticket for you and a friend to our party (again, we're throwing one in London and another in NYC, so it's up to you which you attend). You also get a Plume as soon as they come off the production line. But as a backer at the Mega Party Time Pack level, you also get the Turbo Boost, the Reflective Sticker Pack, AND a hand screen printed Tee Shirt!
You're going to look really good in our hand printed tee. Then you're going to get it covered in bike grease. But before long, you'll notice everyone else smearing their t-shirts in bike grease too. Soon, high-street shops are selling pre-greased t-shirts for hundreds of dollars. Have you always been such a trend setter?
This one's for people who really like the idea of Plume, have a taste for extravagance, really want to help us, but maybe don't have a need for 30 mudguards. For $1,000 you get a very special edition GOLD PLATED PLUME! We can't promise it will work, and riding around in the elements will most likely ruin the gold plating. But who uses their silver cutlery anyway?
Risks and challenges
Producing a physical product is always a challenge. Obstacles can crop up from anywhere. Between the highly accurate tooling required, choices in material composition, finding just the right balance of heat, time, and pressure for bonding to occur, shipping between multiple factories, and human error, it is a miracle that anything gets produced on time. To add to this, Plume is made from material combinations and unique components which haven't been executed in many other products before. We have spent a lot of time finding manufacturers willing to take on a job which is somewhat risky when compared to every-day run of the mill type work. Plume may look simple, but there is a lot going on under the hood.
That said, we are working very closely with manufacturers and material suppliers based in the United Kingdom. This gives us a level of communication and flexibility which we would not have if we were producing Plume overseas. We have already successfully locked down an effective and proven flow of production, and have been investigating processes which could produce the same product even more efficiently.
We are experienced and well versed in the manufacturing and production of physical products. Having spent years working through the kinks and potential hiccups which Plume could throw our way, we are now at a stage where we are confident that Plume will deliver.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We are working hard to make Plume fit all circular seat post sizes. Currently, our prototypes can fit seat post diameters which range from 25.5mm up to 32mm in diameter.
Once we can sit down with our injection moulder and begin investigating various material compositions, we should be able to open this range up to stretch to larger diameters, and keep tight on smaller diameters as well.
Come on people, lets keep the questions about Plume.
Yes! We couldn't resist offering Plume to the world. To make things fair, we will be contacting you directly with your individual shipping cost which you will be responsible for paying once Plume has been manufactured. American orders will be shipped from NYC, the rest of the orders will be sent from London. We'll do our best to make your shipping costs as low as possible.
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