Product Design and Manufacture: This week, a Seat Post Tool Roll
Posted on July 04 2017
When we design a new product, the original idea is born when we're riding. When we create new products we consider firstly will it improve the life of a cyclist, secondly how will it perform and thirdly where will it perform. Over the last couple of weeks we're been working on a new bicycle seat post tool roll in our workshop.
So with the seat post tool roll we believe it will improve the riding experience of riders by taking some of the weight from Jersey pockets. This is ideal for longer rides, touring and adventure riding or when the weather is very hot. For example a day in July in the French Alps riding and watching the Tour de France.
In terms of performance we look to technical fabrics that are hard wearing, waterproof and bright in colour. The machining needs to be strong to ensure longevity and ability to absorb the punishment of long distance riding. It needs to have pockets that are not only designed to carry inner tubes, tyre levers and so on but also fold in a way that allows compact fitting on the bike.
Lastly, we consider the environment where it needs to perform. The underside of bicycle seats. Saddle rails and designs vary so we need a design flexible enough to allow the design to work on different bicycles. In this instance, carefully positioned velcro straps provide the answer.
When fitted on the bike it needs to fit securely to the saddle rails. The front area nearest the rider needs to be narrow enough not to rub on the inside leg of the rider.
Lastly, what else can we add to the design? It needs a rear light fitting for safety. Perhaps a hook or loop so you can hang it up after riding.
Once we know all this, then we look to our pattern maker to come up with the best plan and sequence to make the product. Something like the Seat Post Bag needs approximately 25 different sewing actions to take place in the correct sequence. Get one of these wrong and the job starts again!
Once we have a signed off pattern we make up 5 samples, refine the production plan and then commit to a production run. Being a small company, we normally make 25 to 50 products in a run.