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Local bicycle product to go into production

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On Wednesday, a Sacramento company received the last bit of funding needed to launch production of a unique bicycle storage rack called The Bike Valet.

The powder-coated steel bicycle hanger was designed by local carpenter and owner of Reclamation Art + Furniture Steve Tiller.

“We (in the urban core) live in small apartments, and we need places to store our bikes,” he said Thursday. “This keeps the tires off the floor and keeps the kickstands from scratching hardwood.”

Financing for the first production run of the product came from the website Kickstarter.com. On the site, consumers bought the product at a reduced wholesale rate of $75 plus shipping, which is a discount from the final retail price, which will likely top $160, Tiller said.

Through The Bike Valet’s Etsy.com store, the lower price is being offered through Feb. 24.

After thieves broke into Tiller’s shop in Mansion Flats, he launched his Kickstarter.com fundraising drive, with a goal of $10,000. The story was originally covered by Isaac Gonzales, a community contributor for The Sacramento Press and owner of ranSACkedmedia.com, where he continued to follow the story.

The fundraising drive was partly to replace more than $6,000 in tools that were stolen from his shop, which is not open to the public.

“It’s a great way for startups to get funding for new products,” he said Thursday. “Our drive ended yesterday, and we raised $12,900.”

The kit comes with The Bike Valet in one of six colors with either leather or neoprene padding to protect the bicycle’s frame, lag bolts to mount the rack to a single stud and a template to drill the holes in the wall upon which it will be mounted.

Hanging a bicycle on The Bike Valet works by having the bottom piece support the frame, which serves as a fulcrum point. The top piece keeps the bicycle from tipping out of it, and it can be used either on the top bar of the frame or on the seat post to hang the bicycle vertically.

“It will work with almost any type of frame,” Tiller said. “It holds the bicycle securely, and it lets you keep it off the floor.”

When the production run is complete – expected to be sometime toward the end of March – Tiller said he will set up an online shopping site as well as partner with local bicycle shops.

“I’d most definitely like to carry them,” said John Boyer, owner of Edible Pedal, located at 1712 L St. “I think it’s a great design, and it can be used for just about any bike.”

Boyer said that with the rampant bicycle theft problem in Sacramento, storing bicycles inside is the only way to truly keep them safe from thieves, with even the most expensive locks being more deterrent than security.

“You’re kind of forced to bring your bike inside, and the design of (The Bike Valet) fits the minimalist style of design that’s very popular right now,” Boyer said.

In addition to practicality, Tiller said he thinks The Bike Valet can be used to show off a bicycle that is as much a work of art as a mode of transportation.

“If you’ve got a really nice fixie you’ve spent months working on, that might be something you want to show off in your home,” he said.

Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Darnell.

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