About this project
Tailfin is an advanced carbon fiber rack with companion pannier bags. They have been designed around the core belief that every journey is not just about the destination, it’s about enjoying the ride.
During this campaign we invited riders from a local cycling club and from Facebook to come and try out Tailfin. We filmed them comparing Tailfin to other viable options for carrying gear on your road bike. This was the result:
The Tailfin rack is adaptable to the majority of road bikes, and is both is ultra-light and quick release. Both the rack and bag are designed to complement your road bike beautifully. It weighs 275grams and can take a load of up to 18kg's/40lbs.
The Tailfin panniers contain a rigid backbone to keep items stable in transit and reduce any sway or swing whilst cycling. Each pannier has a sizeable capacity of 24 Litres, with the ability to accommodate even the largest 17” laptop, if used for commuting.
The Tailfin rack & panniers blend perfectly together and the rack can accomodate other pannier brands thanks to our innovative design.
The humble bicycle rack has remained unchanged for nearly half a century. It is unsightly when compared alongside modern road bikes and they can be heavy and difficult to fit to bikes that don’t come with rack mounts. A redesign was long overdue, and Tailfin is the solution.
To enable the Tailfin rack to fit the majority of road bikes, including carbon and those lacking rack mounts, it ships with a custom made quick release skewer, with built-in mounting features. The rack is mounted to the bike, by forming a stable triangle between the ends of the skewer and the seatpost.
See below for the stretch goal giving a new additional way to attach Tailfin to your bike!
The rack is quick release, allowing it to be added, or removed, without tools, in seconds.
The majority of road bicycles have two different skewer lengths. Bicycles with rim brakes are narrower at the rear (130mm hub width). Those with disc brakes are wider at the rear (135mm hub width). Often these require different skewer lengths. The Tailfin skewer and lower rack connection is awesome because it is designed to accommodate both widths...
The seatpost connector is carbon friendly and designed to fit almost any size from 25mm - 34mm whether it is round or an aero shape. We hope to support deep aero seatposts during the campaign - watch this space or message us.
Tailfin is compatible with almost all road, hybrid and cyclocross bikes with tyre sizes up to 700Cx35. If your tyre is wider then please message us.
STRETCH GOAL #1 - £75K - Rack mount adapter - ACHIEVED!!! STRETCH GOAL #2 - £100K - Mudguard/Fender & Deep aero seat post compatible - ACHIEVED!!! These stretch goals made Tailfin even more adaptable and useful! We are very close to being able to say Tailfin fits EVERY road, hybrid, touring & cyclocross bicycle out there! More details below!
We have developed an additional method to mount Tailfin to your bikes. Because we hit the stretch goal of £75,000 / $109,000 / €96,000 we will give you, for no extra cost, RACK MOUNT ADAPTERS. Rack mount adapters can be used instead of the Tailfin Quick Release skewer to mount the Tailfin rack to your bike frame:
Rack mount adapters are small parts that give BIG benefits:
- 1) If you don’t have a bicycle with a Quick Release skewer – i.e. Thru axle or a solid axle, but you do have lower rack/mudguard mounts (small screw holes next to your skewer/axle) – Tailfin can now fit your bike! A great example of this is the Specialized Diverge.
- 2) Tailfin is designed to be sleek and low profile therefore the maximum tyre size is a Cyclocross 700x35C tyre. Now, if you use the rack mount adapters it will lift up the Tailfin rack providing more clearance to accommodate a 700x42C tyre. This is perfect for a street cruiser or larger hybrid bicycle.
- 3) You can have the Tailfin skewer attached to one bike, the rack mount adapters to another, then easily swap the Tailfin rack between them.
Because we hit £100,000 / $144,000 / €127,000 we are giving you, for no extra cost, a CLIP ON MUDGUARD and the option to choose a seatpost connector that will work with DEEP AERO SEATPOSTS.
The mudguard will require no tools to attach and protect yourself from spray. The weight will be around 30grams / 1 ounce.
The aero seatpost connector is still in development. We have recently been testing the concept below. This is just one of the concepts we have developed.
For security purposes the Tailfin rack can be locked with a small screw when needed.
The pannier fabric is a high performance, advanced sailcloth laminate, making it exceptionally waterproof, durable and lightweight. Inside is a rigid backbone to keep items stable whilst riding.
There are three different colours available at launch. You will be able to select your colour when we send out a survey after the campaign ends.
The first 250 backers will receive their Tailfin rack with a unique limited addition sequential number imprinted on the side.
Before creating the carbon part we first worked with 3D printed and metal prototypes to iterate and improve the design.
Creating a light and elegant product was important to us, but it was also critical that Tailfin's function was as good or better than existing racks & panniers. By utilizing carbon fiber as the main material, Tailfin is ultra rigid. We created both a static and a dynamic test rig to ensure the rack was tested beyond industry standards (EN 14872-2006).
The founder, Nick Broadbent, a passionate cyclist, is a mechanical engineer and has been designing and engineering products for over a decade, having worked for various international product development consultancies and startups. Over the last year he has worked with a network of designers and manufacturing specialists to make Tailfin a reality.
- James Bayliss-Smith - www.jamesbaylisssmith.com
- Bryan Roberts - https://kitradar.com/
- Molly Lewis Smith - http://www.mishimay.com/
- Gareth Davies - http://www.g2d2design.com
- Bronwen Rolls - http://www.thedoingcollective.com/
- Steve Goodge - http://www.retrac-composites.com/
- Simon Astwood - http://nccuk.com/
- Felicia Severns - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Front Edge Design - http://www.frontedgedesign.com/
- Frances Broadbent - for being understanding, supportive and full of good Bligh'deas
- Paul Skinner - for riding endlessly around on frosty mornings
- Paul Newman - for all the help
- http://www.kinneirdufort.com/ - for being flexible
- Duncan McDougall - for the music
- http://www.barry-wilkinson.com/ - for the after effects
- http://www.lukeflemingdop.co.uk/ - for the testing video
- Dave Roberts - for studio photography
- James Torbett & Ian Packer - for street photography
- http://rupertmarlow.com/ - for more photography
- Julian Bailey - for last minute random meetings
- Joe Perry - for animation
- http://www.peelsmotorkraft.co.uk/ - for an incredible finish
- http://www.solidworks.com/ - for SolidWorks for entrepreneurs
- http://boxcutpictures.com/ - for being responsive
- http://www.reallyusefulbikes.co.uk/ - for the awesome box bike
- http://www.rollquick.co.uk/ - for a LOT of old racks
- Merle Hall - for the awesome shooting location
- Tom Dennis - for the PR advice and help
- Russ Farn - for the mudguard help
To make the Tailfin rack & panniers a reality we need your help to back us and then spread the word. Journeys should not just be about the destination, it’s about enjoying the ride by being light, agile & quick. Ride fast, with more.
Front Edge Design can help you convert brilliant ideas and fledgling technology into viable, practical & commercial products. Get in touch!
After the Kickstarter campaign ends, we will be using the BackerKit software for our Pledge Management System.
Kit Radar Academy Start-up; a sports specific start-up accelerator program providing tailored product development, marketing, distribution and retail strategy advice. Contact Kit Radar before you launch your crowdfunding campaign.
This project is promoted by Jellop , a direct response online advertising agency specializing in Kickstarter campaigns on Facebook Ads and Google AdWords.
Risks and challenges
We have designed, engineered and manufactured dozens of products before. Some of the products we've worked on include: Ultra-high volume drug delivery devices, lab robotics, MRI equipment, remote controlled electro-mechanical products, high volume polymer & paper packaging, SatNav products, robotic pharmaceutical automation, frozen food & beverage equipment, optical measuring equipment. Many of these products are significantly more complex (but not as cool) as Tailfin but thankfully it has put us in to a strong position to be able to delivery the project on time and quality.
We have worked on Tailfin for over a year and have spent much of that year iterating the design to ensure Tailfin meets our rigorous standards and ensure the project is delivered on time and budget. We have worked with partners to confirm the supply chain and carrying out in house tests to ensure it will be a robust, quality product that you will love as much as we do.
Finally, our manufacturing partners are competent at dealing with high volume production so if we are fortunate enough to smash our target, this won't cause undue problems.
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