Fyxation Bicycles: Cogly is a simple tool that let's clean your chainrings and cassette without having to use multiple brushes or rags to get into those hard to reach spaces. ... It's a very simple design but it looks extremely effective.
BikeRumor.com: "Inspired by the replaceable blade system found on your common hacksaw, the Cogly is a cleaning tool that allows you to easily slip a rag between your cogs."
IBikeDaily.com: "The Cogly Bike Tool will remove any unwanted grit and grime, keeping your drivetrain cleaner and increasing the life of your components."
Why do I need Cogly?
Keeping your bike's drivetrain cleaned and lubed will improve the longevity and ride quality of your bike more than anything else. You need to remove debris from the gears (especially the cassette, the rear set of gears). The problem is that existing methods are tedious, which is why it often simply doesn't get done.
Cogly allows you to use one hand to slip a cleaning rag between the gears, clear of the grimy parts, while the other hand rotates the pedals.
Who are you?
Gear Gear: a venture by three people that are passionate about cycling and want to build bicycle accessories to keep the activity simple and enjoyable.
Bob Schultz: The chief member, currently trying to avoid an official title. Several thousand dollars into this little project, he has learned a ton (among other things, that he has a very accommodating spouse).
Thom Dieterich: Chief marketing-type guy, and something of a passionate nerd in the bicycle and internet computing flavors.
Karen Schultz: Well, she puts up with the chief guy, and her next occupation (if all goes well with our campaign) is to handle logistics and keep Bob's head from getting too big. For now, let's call her Director of Operations.
How did you come up with the idea?
What follows is a brief history of grime. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, or at least until we have permission to reveal their true identity.
It was a warm summer day (No, really! It's not cold in Minnesota year round) and Bob felt the need to clean the gears on his road bike, specifically the cassette (the rear set of gears). A common way of doing this is to run a strip of rag between all the gears to remove the grime that has built up. Having done this many times, Bob was reminded what a pain it can be. Sure someone must have a tool that could hold a rag taut so that one hand could be used to clean the cogs and the other to rotate the pedals, Bob searched for an existing tool, but nothing. An idea was born.
Bob collaborates with a friend (we'll call him "Pat") to get his ideas into drawings. "Pat" does a nice job. In fact, he solves the problem of attaching the strip of rag to the tool with a simple and effective idea: use a wing-nut.
Bob meets with CAD engineer ("Tim") at a local coffee shop and a design emerges in the form of a CAD model:
Bob finds a manufacturer in the Twin Cities area that specializes in prototypes to create the first ever Cogly in ABS plastic cut using CNC.
Note the orientation of the bolts on the first prototype. Fine tuning the design, Bob requests another CAD drawing that turns the bolts 90 degrees so that a strip of rag secured flat against the pads will now have an edge that can go straight between the gears when the tool is held naturally.
After a patent search and subsequent provisional patent application by a patent firm (we'll refer to it as The Firm), the latest design is 3D printed.
This prototype provided a learning opportunity. Note the rough curve. It turns out you need to be careful when exporting a 3D model from one CAD file format to another.
The first in a series of quotes from manufacturers Cogly is collected.
The Firm completes the filing of the provisional patent application. Cogly is now "patent pending."
There are a number of manufacturers near the Twin Cities, so second and third quotes to manufacture Cogly are collected. With reasonable quotes from nearby manufacturers, the costs of making Cogly a reality become clear.
Between quotes, the design of Cogly continues to evolve.
We form a new company, Twin Cities Cycling Products LLC. The name is a mouthful, so we intend to conduct business as a DBA.
Another very good CAD engineer ("Rocky") helps Bob evolve the design even further, and the final prototype is produced in the actual plastic and color we expect Cogly to be manufactured with.
We decide on a DBA for the business, "Gear Gear."
We submit our campaign to Kickstarter. And here you are. Thank you for your support. We truly appreciate it.
Where do you plan on manufacturing it?
We've collected multiple quotes from manufactures around the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota), and we plan on having it manufactured right here in the U.S., most likely in the Twin Cities.
We've already put in some of our own money, but we need help funding initial efforts to manufacture the Cogly tool and evaluate the consumer response to the product.
To make Cogly a real product, we need your help to have a mold built for the initial runs of the product, and to have packaging professionally designed and sourced.
When can I get my own Cogly?
If our Kickstarter project is successful, we'll be able to start the process of getting to production right away.
The first step will be getting the injection mold created and packaging sourced. This will take approximately two months to complete, but once it's created production will start right away.
Once we have product, packaging and shipping should only take another 2 weeks. Kickstarter backers who opt for the Earlybird levels will get their Cogly from from the initial production runs. Later, late May or early June, we'll then be able to take delivery of the rest of our order and get them shipped out to the rest of our backers.
Thank you for your support.
Risks and challenges
One risk is domestic production capacity. While we were getting manufacturing quotes, there was one company already so booked they didn't even want to talk to new potential clients. To mitigate this problem, we've gathered quotes from multiple manufacturers, and, if need be, we can utilize more than one of these companies. Should this turn into a production delay, we'll make sure to notify all our backers immediately and provide new realistic delivery dates.
Yep! You may want to experiment with rags you have lying around your shop. We like to recycle a strip of rag, about 1 ½ inches (4 cm) wide, folded in half. We’ve found that tighter weaves (bed sheets, cotton t-shirts) work better than loose weaves (knit shirts, terry cloth).
If you simply rip a rag you may have some nagging threads to deal with. We find it best to cut the cloth somewhat against the grain to prevent this from happening.
Of course you can cobble something together! That is exactly the spirit that created Cogly -- after lots of iterations of tweaking designs.
For those of you who wish to simply use the right tool for the job, Cogly is designed to hold the cloth the right way under the right tension to make cleaning your cassette easy. You don't need to disassemble your bike, your don't need a workstand, you don't need any other tools.
All help is appreciated. Get mentioned on the Cogly website as a backer, be kept abreast of updates as they happen, and receive one random unit of cycling karma routed to you through the cosmic ether when you least expect it.