Develop - what's new from the Alpkit Design Team
Bike Packing Luggage Developments
02, Jul, 2013
The guys take a time out from the daily grind of sitting behind the computers and sewing machines to work on some exciting new bike packing luggage for production in our workshop later this year.
It has been busy a few days in the workshop recently as we downed tools from production and turned our minds to product development. We have been playing about with bike packing luggage for the last 3 years or so but only the Stingray framebag has been developed into full production. Over that time we have had some pretty wacky ideas, some maybe a little too niche, and we have sent prototypes all of over the world to be tested in some of the most extreme environments. These development sessions are a great opportunity to check back on our ideas, see how stuff has performed and review where stuff has failed before looking at ways products can be successfully commercialised.
In the coming month we will be selling off “Rough Cut” prototypes of the products we hope release into full production later this summer. “Rough Cut” prototype production runs let us tweak the production steps, finalise material usage and check production times allowing to price the final production accurately.
So what products are we planning to roll out later this summer?
Y-Front Handle Bar Harness - We see our drybags adorning the handle bars of bikes across the land but we know fixing them with just a strap can be a hazardous experience as we have found ourselves when things slip and your tyre exposes your kit to the elements. We have developed a solid harness with removable carbon stays that fixes to the handlebar and the fork crown creating an amazing stable platform to which you can securely fix your luggage to. Arriving mid July 2013 will be our dual airloks. Based on the most popular sizes for bike packing these drybags open at both ends making it easier fully stuff them and balance the load inside. They will come with straps ready to be attached to your handlebars or onto a Y-Front harness.
Koala Seat Packs - You have been pestering for years to produce a seat pack and to be honest we have held off because we couldn’t really offer anything radically different. However we know from feedback you guys love to customise your gear, whether it is to match the colour of your bike or just to be different from your mates and a seat pack has to be part of this system. Our seat pack hugs your saddle and seat pin like just a cute antipodean teddy bear it is named after. We have also developed a seat pack shaped Airlok Xtra which will fit inside most seat packs eliminated voids and reducing wobble.
Having access to all the small things in life makes the time on the trail some much easier. Whether it is grabbing a quick gel bar, a handful of trail mix, your wallet or your camera having them to hand saves time. We have looked at all the nooks and crannys of a bike and tried to fill them with a storage solution. For the stem we have a Holster, perfect for trail mix, water bottles, camera’s and phones. The top tube gets a zippered Fuel Pod which can be fitted to either the stem or the seat pin perfect for a tools, tubes and gels. As finally we have a document pouch which fixes neatly into the strapping system of the Y-Front harness.
Our Stingray Framebag has really caught your imagination, and we’re chuffed to bits so many of you are trusting us to make your framebag. We are being asked more and more for a bespoke Fat Bike version so we plan to launch this together with a ‘lite’ version of the Stingray. The Fat Bike version will be available in fatter widths with options for a head tube taper. We’ve got a pimp new machine as well that will allow us to employ a slightly different way of securing the velcro to the framebag allowing a super tight fit to the frame to eliminate wobble on wider designs. The lite version will be made from cheaper, basic fabrics as well employing simpler production techniques. For many it won’t look as polished as the VX21 Stingrays or as durable but it will be significantly lighter and cheaper.
The “Rough Cuts” will be rolling out throughout July as the new materials and parts arrive, keep your eyes on the website, facebook and twitter for news of the release. There’ll be no customisation during the rough cut process but we plan on being able to offer all the new bike packing luggage products with the same customisable options as the Stingray in the coming months.
The reaction to the new bike packing luggage components here, at some preview events and in our showroom has been amazing so we hope you’ll share our excitement as they become reality.