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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Looking for opinions on a cycling related project (saddlebag update)

Hi everyone! I'm new to this community and would like to introduce myself. Before you stop reading, NO, this is not a sales pitch. I'd simply like to hear your thoughts and opinions on a project my team and I have been working on. Hope I'm not breaking any rules, like I said, this is not an advertisement.


My name is Ziga and I'm from Slovenia (EU). My friends and I are all cycling enthusiasts and we came up with the idea of recycling discarded bicycle inner tubes by using them to make bicycle bags. As my name suggests, we call it the Ziggie Bag. Design-wise, we went for the type of bag that attaches to the handlebars, so you have it right in front of you at all times. We also added a spot to attach your smart phone and added a powerbank which you can use to recharge your phone or other electronic devices. I don't want to get to technical at this point, since the pictures and video tell most of the story.


What I would kindly like to ask you for are some opinions on our product, our landing page and our video. I'd like to hear your thoughts - the good, the bad, the ugly, we want to hear it all! Any suggestions on how to make our project better would also be much appreciated and I will gladly answer any questions you might have.


With the video we went for the first-person narrative approach – Ziggie Bag tells it's story. The video was shot in Ljubljana (capital city of Slovenia).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFUY2IttcAo


We wanted the landing page to be very simple and explain everything in as few words as possible. The layout is straightforward and there's a newsletter application form at the bottom.
Ziggie Bag - Home
We also have a Facebook page and a Pinterest page if you want to check out photos of the prototypes. We will be uploading more ASAP.
https://www.facebook.com/Ziggie-Bag-712741505515955/
https://www.pinterest.com/ziggiebag/our-product/


We plan to launch a crowdfunding campaingn next month (that's the plan anyway, we'll see how that goes) with a fairly modest goal. On a personal note I'd like to add that as much as we are all cycling enthusiasts, we also share a passion for promoting the importance of recycling and that is just as important to us as the business side of the project. I guess that mentality comes from our upbringing since Slovenia is a small country and therefore has limited natural resources. Either way, we'd like to make our project as appealing as possible. Oh, and a fun fact: Ljubljana is the European Green Capital 2016! Yay for us!
I hope to hear back from as many of you as possible! Thank you in advance!

Ziga


P.S.: Feel free to move this post if this is the wrong board, but I would appreciate one of the mods contacting me if I broke any rules by posting this.
 

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That cool and all but from a business perspective my first question/concern would be where would you get all these discarded inner tubes? Up side for the business would be limited to your ability to meet demand and I don't see ability to meet demand being that great here unless you compromise your recycling objective. Maybe you could partner with bike shops who do a lot of flat tire repair?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the comment Jay! I have been in contact with various local bike shops who said they would be glad to give the tubes away. At this point, they're simply throwing them in the trash.

I'm not considering compromising the recycling objective. Yes, the supply of used tubes would be limited (as you said) but making these out of new tubes would defeat our recycling objective. I'm not even sure how big the demand would be, I'd have to conduct further market research. However, our team and I have talked about giving discounts to people who give us discarded tubes when they purchase our bag. That way, we could encourage others to recycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you're ever in Ljubljana, message us on Facebook. We'll meet up and show you around :)
 

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If you're ever in Ljubljana, message us on Facebook. We'll meet up and show you around :)
hey, thanks. that would be great. I'm thinking once I learn to spell it correctly I'll reward myself with a trip there.....so it'll probably be a few years but I definitely intend to go there some day.
 

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Attractive design. Not bulky like other handlebar bags. Is the rubber melted down and formed into seamless plates stitched together?

There's a plate that unfolds from the bag and rests on the stem of the bike. Could rider stuff his i phone in there, or a wireless computer? That would be a plus.

You might contact Performance Bikes in the USA. They have a program separating out rubber and sending it off for recycling. They might be interested in a product like this, as a follow up to their ecological awareness. They would also be a big supplier of old inner tubes.

Good luck with this product. It's time has come, and it would address a very friendly market! I know riders who would buy one just because its made from recycled inner tubes. Performance Bikes, the WalMart of bike shops with over a hundred stores in the US, could brag about how their recycling program produces a useful product for cyclists.

The only caveat I would find is shops in US probably sell mostly little bags that mount under the saddle big enough for inner tube, wallet, and keys. Handlebar bags aren't used all that much by US cyclists. Others may correct me on this. There does seem to be a growing market for "grand fondo" and "gravel bikes." Riders would be more likely to carry handlebar bags on those bikes, going out with a camera and lunch exploring the countryside, "touring."

The US market is full of competitive types who ride exclusively for fitness on "racing" bikes. They would carry under the saddle bags, or use their jersey pockets. So you should design a little under the saddle bag, too! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for the comments! The tube is actually only sliced into strips and then stitched together, but the inside is lined with a thicker fabric to give it some structural rigidity. On the outside, various manufacturer marks can still be seen.

The two straps on the plate the rests on the stem are there specifically to hold your phone or other small electronic devices.

At the moment hooking up with other US based companies would not be productive in regards to the used tube supply, as the cost of shipping them over the pond would simply be too high.

We have been told a few times that handlebar bags are not that common in the US. Nevertheless, we have designed the bag with the urban cyclist in mind. We feel that in an urban setting it's good to always have your valuables in plain sight, that's why we went for the handlebar design. Also, attaching the phone to the bag and having it right in front of you seemed very appealing to our friend and families.

There are other desings already in the works, including a saddle bag - we have gotten quite a few requests for those :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't think I would ever have a need for one of those but they are very cool and a great video.
Thank you! Just out of curiosity, what type of bike bags do you normally use (if at all)? We've been told that handlebar bags are not that popular in the US.
 

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Thank you! Just out of curiosity, what type of bike bags do you normally use (if at all)? We've been told that handlebar bags are not that popular in the US.
Keep in mind this is a road cycling site. Not as in cycling on the road but as in not touring and not utilitarian. Road cyclists, anywhere, don't use handlebar bags. We don't carry that much and are generally concerned with aerodynamics so a small bag under the saddle, if that, is what road cyclists use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, I understand. I was simply asking because those aren't road bikes in ParadigmDawg's profile pic :)
 

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Pretty cool concept. Not something I'd personally use but I could see a market for commuters. There are a LOT of other people/businesses out there making wallets, bags, purses from old tubes. So there's definitely a demand for them.

All my used tubes go to Performance Bike. They have bin's at the front door for collecting them. I'd imagine getting a network of bike shops to collect them wouldn't be too difficult.

Keep in mind this is a road cycling site. Not as in cycling on the road but as in not touring and not utilitarian. Road cyclists, anywhere, don't use handlebar bags.
But aren't commuters road cyclists? The commuting forum here is very active.
 

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Your product appears to be well designed, functional, and recycling materials is appealing. Targeting the Urban Cyclist is your clear audience. This site is predominantly a road bike forum w/ some commuters but you would likely gain more feedback in other forums. I'd recommend posting this at:
Commuting
Urban/DJ/Park - Mtbr.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the comments guys! Yes, urban cyclists are our primary targets and we have posted on other forums in order to get their feedback, but as a target group, they're much harder to reach, since commuting isn't exactly a hobby or a passion. Still, we feel that even many more serious cyclists could make use of our bag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Someone beat you to it and he went further with the functionality. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nrKSPARRh8
Sorry, I missed this post somehow. That's a very cool design as well, but I certainly wouldn't say that we're targeting the same market. Urban cyclists aren't exactly about speed. More importantly, we're about recycling a necessary cycling by-product, that usually ends up in the landfill - old tubes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes, we realize that the idea isn't new, however, we think that more options for the consumer can only be a good thing. We're simply showing you our take on the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Since many have been asking us about saddlebags, here is our take on the design. Introducing the Ziggie Saddlebag... ok, maybe that won't be the official name, but that's what we're calling it for the time being. What do you guys think? We've been told many times, that a handlebar bag is of little use for a pro cyclist, and since we had the saddle design in the works, we thought we should show you the prototype ASAP. Obviously it has a retro vibe going on, the leather is artificial of course.

More info and pictures on our FB page:


https://www.facebook.com/Ziggie-Bag-712741505515955/




 

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