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This project will fund the creation of a line of reflective bicycles specifically designed to destroy planned obsolescence with style.
Reflective material in any form sends light back to its source. Our Reflective bicycles are coated in a special reflective material that does just that. The effect seen depends on the light conditions, so to pedestrians or cyclists, your frame will not be distracting, it simply ensures visibility from car drivers and safety for everybody.
One of the best benefits; no batteries required. Your bicycle will stay reflective for seven years guaranteed, but with proper care, can stay reflective indefinitely. The bike will reflect the quality and intensity of light projected which is perfect for car headlights.
The images below show a comparison of indirect and direct light in a well-lit room represented here by our camera flash off (left) and on (right). The pictures on the right are an example of how reflective coating bounces back camera flash, which would simulate a car driver's perspective in daylight;
A driver's perspective;
When driving, you are aligned with the headlight angle, when car headlights illuminate the bike frame, rims and spokes, your bike will be the most visible thing on the street. The illustration below demonstrates how the car driver (A) would see the reflection at it's most intense. The rider and pedestrian (B&C) will see a lesser amount of reflection, so you'll stand out to drivers without being distracting on the road.
The photo below was taken from the driver's perspective inside a car. Notice how the road sign in the background shows a similar type of reflection.
In May 2013 we got in touch with one of the major suppliers of reflective material for industrial use in Germany. The material we got our hands on is perfect to adapt to bikes because it is built to resist all weather conditions, it is anti-corrosion, coated with a strong layer of varnish and comes with a warranty of 7 years of consistent light reflection. This is exactly what you need for a bike coating, it will also protect the coated frame from rust and is scratch-resistant.
The first frames were built as soon as we had the material so we could test it under all conditions. Over the past 10 months, all aspects of the process and the materials have successfully endured heavy daily testing, surviving direct sunlight, high humidity, winter snow, mud etc...
Safer bike riding;
Being seen on the road makes the difference between cruising and ghost riding. This project aims to improve bike safety through our reflective coating while looking stylish. The added incentive here is that it's a passive form of lighting; it requires no batteries, making it a reliable alternative with less waste. Anyone who depends on a bicycle for transport will know how many bike light batteries you go through in a year, and other bike lighting systems are extremely heavy on battery-use.
We want to help people to be safe on the street in a environmentally-friendly way and to continue experimenting with what we love. Cycling is already the green way, so let's add more colours to that spectrum.
The Dream Team - About Us;
MECHANICS: Three passionate bike riders looking for the best ride. This crew have extensive experience in international bike trips and have
the handy skills needed to build from scratch, to tweak and troubleshoot the perfect bike.
Antoine-John Capeyron - Our Tour de Force mechanic, graphic whizz, screen-printing, up-cycling illustrator and founder of Happarel.
Michael McInerney - Irish photographer and multimedia kiddo, self-taught bike mechanic.
Ebi Schilling - Born in Germany, studied politics, self-taught bike mechanic with the political know-how.
BIG BRAIN KREW: These two Berliners contribute Creative and Design to our projects.
Brian Smith - Born in Ireland, studied Music, English and Psychology, music producer, programmer, builder and broadcaster, this is the pretty face and calming voice of Happarel.
Fay Smith - Born in Germany, studied fashion design at the University of Westminster, London. Designer, crafter, personal yoga instructor to the team helping us achieve balance on and off the saddle.
Let's get deep into the Tech Specs:
This bike is made to be loved by all type of bike riders, and for all the bad roads that you'll cross, the ride is light, sturdy, and efficient.
- Modified Racing frame that gives enough space to fit large back tires for better comfort and grip. The Berlin streets have plenty of cobblestone paving and riding skinny tires may look good and is speedy, but you'll sacrifice comfort and can easily damage those pretty rims. This is a hybrid for the inner city, speedy and comfortable with custom built front and back wheels on Ambrosso rims.
- Sturmey Archer drumbrake front hub.
- Single-Speed back hub - Shimano Nexus with coaster brake.
- Airless tires by Airfree. Warranty of 3-6,000 Miles with NO punctures!
- Brook's Saddle (B17 Narrow / B17 Imperial).
- Shimano Square Taper bottom braket.
- Sturmey Archer crank.
- USB-Rechargeable lights front and back.
- Each bike will have a unique digitally-engraved nameplate
We're working on an embedded GPS tracker which can locate the bike in case it gets lost. Depending on funding and the practicalities of a personal GPS tracker, we can add more layers of functionality.
What will we do with the funds
- 7.000 € : Bicycle parts
- 3.000 € : Bicycle tools
- 2.000 € : Advertisement / trade show fees
- 2.000 € : New office computers
- 2.000 € : Mechanics' frame building workshop
- 2.000 € : bicycle tubing
- 2.000 € : Workshop renovations
The aim is to make this a reference in style and safety, to motivate creators and brands to build bicycles and tools that resist obsolescence, smartly designed, safer, less wasteful and greener than ever.
Bike riders should stay seen and can be even more green. The only tool for maintenance you will need for this bicycle is a bottle of natural oil to be used every month to keep her running smooth (we'll even ship you one for free). Your bike will be the smoothest, safest, reflectivest, sexiest, most comfortable piece of hardware on the street.
We love our green bikes and we appreciate the support from contributors helping to keep cycling green and keeping us doing what we do best.
Remember, keep the fun between your legs.
Wishing you a good ride from the Happarel Team.