Press Release (ePRNews.com) - Aug 23, 2016 - Only 1% of all Kickstarter campaigns get funded for over $100,000. Bike Friday, http://BikeFriday.com, a 24-year old Eugene OR based manufacturer of custom folding bikes hit it out of the park last year when they introduced their Haul-a-Day utility bike. The bike had the huge distinction of being super light weight at 33 pounds in a bike category that typically sees vehicles tipping the scales at 45 pounds or even more. Combined with other fantastic features and benefits, the bike earned membership in that 1% success on Kickstarter club.
The company went on to ship the Haul-a-Days as promised, and the product is now a solid winner for the company, producing $600,000 in sales to date. That huge success motivated Bike Friday’s co-founder, chief inventor, and iconic frame builder, Alan Scholz, to finish a design he had been thinking about for years. He saw a revolution building in urban and suburban transportation. He noticed that even Los Angeles, the car culture poster child, was being forced to start building up instead of out. With density came the need for public transit, mixed-use buildings, and new approaches for getting around.
“People need a great bike for going to the local store, taking a nice drive around town on the weekend, and they need a bike for getting from home to the train or bus, and from public transportation to the office. With small urban apartments, condos and townhomes, you don’t have space for three bikes for three purposes. I had in mind a fantastic, lightweight, city bike that just happens to fold up really small. So small it would fit into a back pack.”
Scholz saw the issue this way: “People need a great bike for going to the local store, taking a nice drive around town on the weekend, and they need a bike for getting from home to the train or bus, and from public transportation to the office. With small urban apartments, condos and townhomes, you don’t have space for three bikes for three purposes. I had in mind a fantastic, lightweight, city bike that just happens to fold up really small. So small it would fit into a back pack.”
After a year-long effort and thousands of dollars of tooling, testing, and refining, the Pakit was born. Prototypes were built and used for more extensive testing. The company employs an employee whose job is to “break” new bikes. He worked on the Pakit to make sure it would stand up under conditions no one will actually need the bike to withstand.
Alan Scholz recently handed over day-to-day operations of the factory to daughter, Hana Scholz. Hana pulled together a team of marketers within the company along with outside marketing consultant, Randy Kirk, to bring additional tools to the Kickstarter campaign for the Pakit. Kirk explains: “The company was able to raise $135k with no PR and a very limited social media effort. They relied heavily on their mailing list and the Kickstarter community who represented almost 30% of the eventual sales total.
“This year Bike Friday has a massive outreach through PR, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to augment the number of folks who hear the story of the Pakit compared to the Haul-a-Day,” Kirk continued. “The results are astonishing with the initial goal accomplished within seven hours.”
The lightest version of the packiT weighs only 15 pounds. Less expensive versions still keep you under 22 pounds. Finding ways to reduce the weight was paramount in making the bike easy to carry a few hundred feet or to and from other transportation up the stairs at home or office, or for longer distances in the optional backpack.
Of course, as with any other bike, the low weight contributes to better performance, when accelerating, going uphill, or needing a burst of power. This bike performs as well as any city bike and better than most. Everyone who rides this bike will be astonished by how quick it is and how well it handles.
As with all Bike Friday bicycles, there are many choices to customize the bike to really fit you, your size and your needs. The bike is custom built from the ground up to the customer’s order. The customer chooses the drive chain from a vast array of options including belt drive, single speed, hub gearing, 10-speed chain ring drives. The customer also chooses from a wide variety of pedals, tires, seats, and other components and accessories
Normal bikes come in a couple of colors. The pakiT has 4 standard colors and 15 upgrade colors.
Now what about those 16-inch wheels? “16” inches was great for my kid’s bike, but won’t I give up power or speed or something on an adult sized bike?” The clear answer is in fact, just the opposite. You will gain agility and acceleration compared to 26 and 27-inch wheeled bikes. The smaller wheels are stronger and will stay in true longer.
Hanna Scholz exclaims: “An amazing city bike! That was the goal. That is what has been delivered. It is amazing because of performance, weight, and customization to insure a perfect fit with its rider. Cyclists who commute or just love to ride 25 miles on a regular basis will love this bike. But building a top-of-the-line, custom city bike was only half of the task. This bike also had to fold. The pakiT does this with the same excellence as the rest of its features. The pakiT folds down to the smallest size of any popular folding bike, and in just 30 seconds.“
How small does the pakiT fold? Small enough to go on public transportation as a carry on. Small enough to fit easily next to your desk or tucked away in a cabinet. Small and light enough to be easily carried by a 5’ tall woman. Small enough to fit 4 on your 16-foot sailboat. Small enough for commercial pilots to store in their personal storage area. Small enough to … well, you get the point. And small enough to fit in a backpack. Bike Friday has even created a backpack for the pakit that is designed to fit and create good balance and comfort.
Bike Friday was so successful on Kickstarter with the launch of the Haul-a-day utility bike last year that they have decided to go back to the public with the pakiT. You can find videos and more details about the bike, along with multiple ways that you can help Bike Friday bring the pakiT to market by clicking over to http://bit.ly/pakiT1. The company has already spent almost $100,000 in designing, building prototypes, and testing the new bike. Now they need another $50,000 to finish the tooling, finish development of the backpack, and bring in materials to manufacture the first batch.
Bike Friday met all of their ship dates on the last Kickstarter campaign, and expect to start shipping pakiTs in January, 2017. You can participate in the Kickstarter campaign by taking advantage of a number of award choices starting at $10. Of course, you can purchase a custom built pakiT by choosing that award on Kickstarter.