It’s been a long time since our last post. Despite this, it has been a joy to see a constant flow of new subscribers – sorry we’ve kept you waiting.
So what’s happen while we’ve been a little less active on the blog..
New product launch on Kickstarter – Bike Hanger Copenhagen series.
Most important stuff first – we’ve recently launched our latest Bike Hanger on Kickstarter! See and support it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/820118192/the-bike-hanger-copenhagen-series/
It’s been in the works for a while, and we finally got the result we were aiming for. The change goes hand-in-hand with our switch in suppliers, and don’t worry, we’re still producing in Northern Europe 🙂 Now the quality is even higher and instead of chromed metal we use Aisi 304 grade tubing.
The new Bike Hanger is inspired by white-walled flats of Copenhagen with the light colour pallette, as is the shape ,to go with the taste of bike lovers who are more into modern looks than our original vintage looking Bike Hanger.
Some special work We’ve had a couple of cool projects where we’ve made some bike trailers and special sidecars. We can’t talk about the latter too much yet due to the status of the customer’s project. But the hint here is to look our for some green bikes and sidecars in Amsterdam. We’ll share some pictures on our instagram soon. The other custom project we just finished are bike trailer for bike rental company called Donkey Republic. Check them out if you haven’t already – they have an excellent platform for renting bikes when travelling, we’ve used them with my wife in different cities.
Extra project Another one you might be interested to hear about is a personal project where I cut up an old frame I had lying around. So I’m using the rear triangle from it and the fork. The fork has been shortened and disc break mounts have been added. The frame so far still lacks some tubes and disc brake mounts of its own, as paid jobs need to come first – but I’ll get there one day.
The bike will feature disc brakes, alfine 8-gear hub, 750W motor and 52V 14,6 Ah battey. So it will be fast and able to carry a lot..
Thanks for tuning in! Hopefully you won’t have to wait so long for the next one.
After last year’s Berlin bike show, we already signed up for 2017 in June. 2016 had been deeply positive, we got some good resellers, a lot of interest, a steady stream of sales throughout the year that followed and some genuine fans. Obviously we had some expectations going into 2017’s edition – and Berlin did not disappoint.
How was it for KP Cyclery?
As mentioned, 2017 was similarly positive, we had a ton of interest in the Sidecar and nice Bike Hanger sales. I must admit, I thought that since our Sidecar is so different from all other cargo bike variations, there would be some that would say ‘that doesn’t make any sense’. But the notoriously engineering-minded Berliners and Germans seemed really impressed by our ingenuity. The Sidecar turned heads at our booth and even more so when out for a test ride. The tilting function amazed people with a constant crowd of cameras pointed at it. Surely there ought to be a few of them riding around Berlin soon.
Our friendly neighbours
One might expect that all of the exhibitors at the fair would be competitors and thus not overly friendly towards each other. However in the bike industry, it is the complete opposite. We we’re lucky enough to be neighbours with other remarkable visionaires – Halbrad (half-bike in English) and Brix / Sandwich bikes.
At first sight, we thought Halbrad we’re exhibiting a type of a foldable bike. After close inspection, it turned out to be what I called an unfoldable foldable bike. Designed to be allowed on trains without bike ticket, this nifty little thing is quite fun indeed.
Across from our booth, were the Dutch geniuses from Brik and Sandwich bikes. Brix bikes stood out with their crankshaft technology and Sandwich is a bike, with a frame made from planar surfaces – you can have the fun of assembling the whole thing.
Our two favourites
Other than our own stuff turning heads, there were some real gems to look at. Our own personal favourites were the PonyJohn bike by Retrovelo’s founder Frank. The bike features hydraulic steering, electric motor, and electric gear. As the man himself said – ‘that’s the maximum you can get out of a bike.’ The hydraulic steering really blew my mind.
The 2nd favourite of the two was KleinLaster. This bike just stood out from the rest by the sheer passion that is seen in the craftman-ship. The whole frame is beautifully brazed and later filed down for an outstanding finish. What we loved is that the frame is kept without paint, only a clear coat goes on top of the raw frame, displaying the welds in their natural beauty. And of course the chain that connects the handlebars to the front fork is just cool to look at.
As said, 2017 edition of BFS was once again a hit. We will certainly be present again in 2018. Aside from that, the life in a small and young company is always a rollercoaster and turbulent. We are hoping to do at least a few more shows this year – let’s see how things play out in the near future. Keep following the blog, Instagram and Facebook and we will surely pass on a message of other shows where you can find us.
Talking as a physical product company – crowdfunding is an excellent tool from companies to present an idea and turn it into a product fast. It is a platform that puts smaller and larger companies on a relatively plane playing field – so that all of us can pitch an idea to a large crowd like Tim Cook on Apple’s annual iPhone release. Whilst there are countless niche platforms, some regional, some area specific, there are only 2 truly global names when it comes to reward based crowdfunding – Indiegogo and Kickstarter. As we have used both, we would like to share what we have learnt so that you can make the best choice with a shortest possible learning curve.
The volume – First of all, let’s look into some general, non-project specific, numbers and comparisons between the two platforms. Firstly you should know that whilst Indiegogo is available for creators around the globe, Kickstarter isn’t (supported countries can be found here). While this can be an issue, there are many creators opting to favor the latter platform, going the extra mile to register a company in one of the supported countries. Why so? Perhaps the most obvious reason in sheer traffic – according to SimilarWeb extension, Kickstarter gets 54,7 million visits every month vs Indiegogo’s 26,9 million. Further more, the success rate on Kickstarter globally is currently 34,5% versus 9,8% on Indiegogo (up to some debate as unsuccessful project often get deleted). You can check out all stats on Kickstarter yourself by using advanced search and excel.
Marketing budget – On the other hand if you have deep pockets, and know your way around using Google and Facebook ads, then you might look towards Indiegogo as they have implemented those tools directly into the platform. With a few steps, you can connect your project pages to tracking pixels and retarget visitors so that you have a larger chance of sealing the deal with your project visitors. On top of that, Indiegogo is moving towards being a marketplace for projects that have already been funded throught their In Demand section, which is essentially a marketplace where you can keep selling your project even after the project has ended.
Funding type and currency – Other basics we would like to mention here, but not in great detail are that Indiegogo allows you to create a project with both flexible funding and fixed funding. Flexible funding meaning that even if you don’t hit your goal, you still get the money you raised. Fixed funding means that you only get to use the funds once you exceeded the funding goal. All Kickstarter project run on fixed funding platform. Another factor is that Indiegogo lets you choose the currency for your project, Kickstarter will run on a currency of creator’s country. As we took part of an event for Kickstarter creators in Copenhagen, a crowdfunding agency showed us how badly the success rate of project had dropped once Kickstarter expanded to Denmark. Part of the reasoning being that it took so much commitment to register a foreign company to even launch a project, but one reason could simply be psychological. If you sell a product which cost 750 DKK or 99€ then it will be much easier for people to go for the 99€ price mark, it simply seems smaller, this applies especially for US based supporters, only used to dealing in one currency. This may well be a solid factor as 76,9% of all project are launched in US, thus creating a US based community of supporters.
Alright – time to talk about our specific experiences. By now, we have run 4 campaigns on Kickstarter, and we started 1 on Indiegogo. Here are the projects in chronological order –
The two projects we want to focus on are the two last ones. They are virtually the same project, launched on different platforms. Why did we launch on 2 different platforms at the same time? Well we didn’t. First we launched on Indiegogo. For the first time since launching our company, we had some funds, not much, but some funds for marketing of the campaign, and like mentioned above, Indiegogo has some things going for it that Kickstarter doesn’t. So based on our experience, we thought it would go at least as good as one of our project in the past. But this is where it all gets interesting.
Just like with other projects, we had prepared our media list, organized our contact etc. More tips on this here. We went ahead with the Indiegogo launch and got pretty decent traffic for the first couple of days. Only a few backers, but decent traffic, so we were not giving up. After the first days, the traffic slowed down, only generating between 30 and 6 visitors a day. We had set up our retargeting ads, so that gave us a little bit more visibility, but as a strong start is the most important part of a crowdfunding project, then is simply didn’t have any meaning continuing as we failed to get much funding and media coverage. Thus we wrote to Indiegogo explaining our situation and they luckily agreed to take down the project.
About a week after this, we launched the same project on Kickstarter. We had of course wasted some good leads as we couldn’t approach all of our contacts again, but even so, the internal traffic was about double that of Indiegogo within the first days and continued to be so throughout the project. More importantly, we got a steady stream of backers and went 5x over the initial funding goal.
Easy decision making – Although 50 000 DKK is not something you will read about on the cover of New York Times, it goes to show how different these platforms are. What’s really clear is that Kickstarter generates far more traffic for a ‘non-viral’ project – which most projects are. Beyond traffic, Kickstarter payments work differently – Indiegogo charges your card right at the time of your pledge, but Kickstarter only charges your card in the end of the campaign. This means you can decide whether you like the product or the idea today, and figure out the money part during the next 30 days (or whatever the amount of days left). And if you didn’t you’ll get a notice and 14 days to fix your payment. Now this will create a few ‘bad payments’, but it makes decision making much easier which translates into numbers.
Further more, the last graph goes to show jsut how powerful the internal community of Kickstarter is. With 16 on Indiegogo, we only received a couple of internal backers, on Kickstarter, 73% of the total of 82 backers were internal. An while we didn’t show up on any charts on Indiegogo, Kickstarter quickly upgraded us to a ‘project we love’ status directly further traffic our way.
So which one should you choose? Kickstarter or Indiegogo? If there would be only one answer, then there would probably only exist one platform. If you have a large marketing budget and a lot of online marketing experience or Kickstarter simply isn’t supported in your country, you might opt for Indiegogo. Plus one might argue that the truly viral projects get their millions on either of the platforms anyway. But for small companies just breaking into the world like us, Kickstarter simply makes far more sense. The size of the community they have built directly translates into numbers, both in internal traffic and in backers.
As an extra tip for creators – especially those hoping to start a full-time business through crowdfunding – crowdfunding alone will, in most cases, not finance your whole project. There will be all sorts of unexpected problems – for example the Coolest Cooler, which at one point was the most funded project on Kickstarter, raised 13 million USD, had to sell on Amazon to be able to ship Kickstarter products. Instead of only relying on crowdfunding, either work out a flexible deal at your current workplace or make a deal with someone who will back you financially. Crowdfunding can be seen as a platform where you prove a concept in real world. You might only raise funding for 20% of the cost of the initial setup for the production, but you prove that there are people willing to pay for this product. This gives you an option to say for example – we need 100 000€ this year, if we get 200 customers, and 40 000€ in sales from crowdfunding, will you come in with 60 000€ as a partner?
Write or call if you have any further questions or comments.
The first month of 2017 has passed. Many of you probably have set some personal goals for the new year. How are you keeping up so far? If you’re not satisfied – here are some additional motivation boosters:
2017 – let’s ride.
As you already read in one of our earlier blog posts cycling keeps that heart of yours healthy and happy. It has proven to be the perfect cure for depression, obesity, stress and ailments in health. It is the best way to start your week, gearing you up to battle the days with renewed energy and vigor.
However, despite the numerous benefits, cycling isn’t always fun. Below are a few tips and tricks to help you retain motivation and keep paddling!
You may begin to ask yourself why you should even bother getting on your bike. To avoid such an event, it is recommended to set challenging but realistic goals to follow, like setting up deadlines to complete set distances or having a sportive race.
Everything is better with friends! Some people prefer alone-time but others seem to be happier with company. If you’re one of the latter, you’ll be better motivated if you arrange to meet up or cycle with friends.
Sharing the joy!
Follow a preset plan
Believe it or not, sometimes monotonous routines can be good for you! Sit down and plan a cycling routine. Go out for a ride on the same day and time every week, so that you get accustomed to cycling on that particular day and time and soon enough, cycling will be an unavoidable part of your day.
Buy a new bike
Maybe your old bike just isn’t doing the trick for you. Sometimes all you need is a shiny new one to reign in your heart and get you excited to break it in.
Stressed out? Feeling overwhelmed? Time to head over to the KP Cyclery in Copenhagen, Denmark and pick out your new cycle or stop by in our Online Shop 🙂
Get a new bike?
Join a cycling club
If you don’t have friends that share your interest in cycling, join a cycling club! You will make new friends, learn new tricks, have better confidence and have a consistent social circle.
Go on different tracks
You are less likely to get bored if you deviate from your usual track – take a wrong turn once in a while and explore new terrains.
Go on different tracks!
Tell your friends, family, co-workers and anyone else you know about your cycling plans. Once you have spread the word, it will be hard to back out. Constant inquiries about your cycling plans will force you to keep consistent; after all, no one likes a quitter.
Whether it’s to get to a friend’s house or school in the morning opting to go on a bicycle could perhaps be the best decision you make all day. Apart from the perk of having a good looking bicycle, riding on it can help you in ways that you didn’t think possible; especially in terms of your health.
When you ride a bicycle you’ll be surprised to know that your body is actually hard to work, and cycling involves a lot of muscle movement both in your arms and legs. Cycling regularly can increase the strength and flexibility of these muscles. With a constant stimulus your muscles not only grow in size but also strengthen up. After only a few months of cycling you’ll find extra strength in your legs that you didn’t have before. This can help you in sports other than cycling as well, for example soccer.
Cycling is also very good for your heart, not only does it strengthen your heart rather it keeps it young and healthy. The heart is the most vital organ in the human body responsible for pushing blood to each and every single muscle in the body. When you ride a bicycle, your heart rate increases and your muscles demand more blood. In this way the heart receives its daily exercise that is incumbent for a long and healthy life.
People who want to lose weight and want to do it fast can also opt for cycling for it is one of the surest ways in which you can lose weight within days. The amount of exercise the body goes through during cycling helps your body break down fats which automatically results in low fat levels in your body. It also helps maintain those of us who want to maintain our bodies and works as a perfect tool for fitness as it increases you stamina.
Cycling is also optimal if you want to increase your brain power. It lightens up your grey matter and helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus (the region responsible for memory). It also boosts blood flow and oxygen to the brain which fires and regenerates receptors which adds to the basic health of your brain.
You can also expect to live a lot longer if you decide to take up cycling as a habit. King’s College London compared over 2,400 identical twins and found those who did just three 45-minute rides a week were nine years “biologically younger” than their counter parts. What we take from this is the fact that those who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from a cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, all types of cancer and obesity.
With cycling, you can do no wrong and there is absolutely no reason for you not to take up this habit for it can lead to a better and healthy life that ensures a bright future for you and your kids when you grow up.
So much has been going on during the last week or two that our ambition of writing an update has fallen flat on its ass, sitting in the back of our minds. Luckily, last day of this week happens to be a bit more relaxed to take a few minutes to give a quick update on what’s been going on.
New product photos & new frame colours – Last week was largely spent on something that had been long over-due, product photos of all our bikes. So we took a couple of days, built all the different combinations of bikes and took nice clean photos of them. You can see the results when looking at the product page of our bikes and designing your bike. PS! Life as a KP Cyclist just got a lot more colourful – many new frame colours! Check it out HERE.
We have some bikes for sale for a bargain – Over the years we’ve accumulated some frames with small scratches or defects by the paint shop. We took some time to look through them and uploaded them to our website as a separate product. It is a full spec bicycle, with very small paint defects, but a huge discount of 200€. Check it out, you might score a bargain! KP Cyclery Bicycle – Scratched Frame Sale This Laguna Blue frame in any components configuration is one of the bicycles available.
Moving a head with prototypes – All the buzz around our Kickstarter (more on that coming below) has not been able to keep our hand off our prototype products, we’ve meen making steady progress with both the Sidecar Bike, which is now also available for purchasing separately from a bicycle and our front rack.
The biggest news last – our KICKSTARTER IS BLASTING THROUGH THE ROOF – After launching the Bike Hanger 2.0 firstly on Indiegogo where it really didn’t pick up, we were feeling a bit beaten down, especially given the past experience with Kickstarter. We took a few deep breaths, and decided to try again on the latter platform. We’re really glad to say it has taken off like no other project we’ve launched in the past. With the first 5 days, it’s already over 300% funded with more than 50 backers! We couldn’t be more thankful for all our backers, it’s a nice ray of sunshine during the years of hard labour, labour of love, but none the less a lot of it. Here’s the Kickstarter video if you haven’t already seen it:
Thank you all for keeping an eye on us, and wishing you a fabulous weekend!
Some of you might have already heard about “Critical Mass” events. However, for those not in the know, they are an excellent way to join in with the cycling community in your town or city, and take back the roads from the backlog of cars that often prevents people from getting on their bikes more often.
Held on the last Friday of each month, Critical Mass now takes place in hundreds of cities all over the world. However, the event has humble beginnings- it started off in San Francisco in 1992, when a small group of cyclists sought to take back the streets from cars. Just a few dozen people showed up to what was then called “Commute Clot”, as it was intended to make a stand by reclaiming rush hour roads. Afterwards, they all retired to a local bike shop, where a documentary about how Chinese road users worked together, queueing up at intersections until one side had reached “critical mass”, when they would then move forward. From this inspiration, a whole new movement was born.
Just how big each Critical Mass event is depends on where it is held, and who turns up. Sometimes there isn’t really any organizational structure to things and it is more of a spontaneous event, and whoever takes part simply goes with the flow. But in other cases there are highly dedicated people who put a lot of work into organizing it. Some groups choose to plan a route beforehand, and pass out flyers to show riders where to go while others even put up a live GPS to track the current position of the mass. These more regular rides tend to be a lot smaller, with a dedicated group who frequently get together, but in major cities like Berlin (June 2016: 2800 riders) or London (May 2016: 1000+ riders) they are massive. In some places, such as Budapest, Hungary, there are just two Critical Masses per year- on Earth Day and International Car Free Day (April 22 and September 22 respectively) tens of thousands of people join in, making for quite a spectacle. These are great opportunities for people to join together, make new friends, and show the world just how powerful the cycling community can be.
Kicking things off on a +1 personal note, our founder Kaspar got married in the end of August. The wedding day went really-really well and some other ‘all-familiar-KP-Cyclery-faces’ were represented like our filming mastermind Birk and hustler Gedi.
At the same time, we’ve been designing our new logo and planned the slight re-branding to go hand-in-hand with our growing popularity outside of Denmark. Madis from Uus Stuudio is the person to blame over the revamped logo. From now on we will be called KP Cyclery. For some time we will run the two names side by side to make the transition smoothly. Soon the main domain will be kpcyclery.com.
Over the last 2 weekends you might have noticed us out on 2 design markets. Firstly Designerspace market conveniently located on the same premises as our studio. It went pleasingly well with many new Bike Hanger owners, and even some custom orders. The next weekend we were at Finders Keepers in Valby. A nice venue with a lot of space was equally greeted by strong interest – resulting in Bike Hangers now being out of stock. Which leads to our next and biggest piece of news..
..We are ready to start producing The Bike Hanger 2.0! The 2nd generation will be even better looking, easier to mount on the wall, and really stable. We’ve been shooting the video over the past 2 weeks. It’s been a tiring work, but it’s now being edited. As we value your input in this the most, and feel like you deserve the first look, then here is the preview link: https://www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/2eb02e98
The campaign is not yet finished, but if there is anything you’d like to see, that we have not covered, or any ‘excess fat’ on it then we would like to hear from you. The campaign will launch around the 10th of October – so arm your sharing guns – you, spreading the word will make all the difference in the World 🙂
Freight bikes started out, unsurprisingly, as a way for tradesmen to easily transport their goods around without the need for a horse, or to pull the carts themselves. Originally, they would simply be ordinary bikes with large carriers attached at either the front or the back. It wasn’t long, though, before bicycle manufacturers began to manufacture specially designed freight bikes that were just the thing that businesses needed.
Freight bikes were particularly popular in Copenhagen during World War II, when King Christian X would ride through the streets without a guard of soldiers, to provide some much-needed morale to citizens. However, he did have an unofficial guard, in the form of freight bike messengers from the Achilleus company. (Source: Copenhagenize)
As the twentieth century rolled on, and motorised transport became more accessible to the average consumer, freight bikes fell out of fashion in Europe and America. However, elsewhere in the world, and particularly in Asian countries, they remained a popular choice for people who needed to get goods from A to B cheaply. In recent years, though, they have started to make a comeback, as people in the West start to adopt more eco-friendly lifestyles. They are a fantastic way of getting the job done in a more environmentally friendly way, and you’ll now find that plenty of people have adopted this greener method of transport.
Our take on the cargo bike is of course the Sidecar Bike. And we are happy to tell you that the first one-off project has reached our friend Jeremy in the UK:
Leather saddles have a ton of advantages over synthetic materials – they form to your anatomy, they get more comfortable with time, and if maintained well, they last forever and only look better as time passes. At the same time, if not looked after at all they might start cracking and loose their colour and character. Looking around Copenhagen shows you both ends of this line, the beauties and the beasts. No-one does leather better than Brooks, so we will share 4 easy ways of making your saddlle last a lifetime.
Give it some grease – Even if you keep your bike indoors, never ride in the rain and only wear velvet pants, leather will have its natural wear. The saddle on the picture is a year old B17 that I’ve ridden in all sorts of weather almost daily. As you see, it is starting to look like someone rubbed sandpaper over the edges, this is to be expected. Easy medication against it is to take a piece of (clean) cloth and some leather fat. Brooks tells you to only use their saddle polish, but anything will do as long as it is natural and doesn’t have chemicals in it. Personally I would suggest bee’s wax, you can use it for saddle, grips, shoes, handbags etc.
Cover from rain – Leather is not a huge fan of water. Just have a plastic bag in your backbag or under the seat for when it rains, pull it over the seat and keep your saddle in order and your rear end dry.
Keep your bike indoors – This one is not a must, but a rule of thumb is that your bike will last longer the less sun and rain it seems. If you don’t want to keep it indoors then cover the seat with a plastic bag during the night so it won’t soak in the rain.
Tighten your seat every once in a while – In most cases, it will be needed only once a year, but still, it is a good idea to do it. All Brooks saddles come with a special key to tighten them as leather stretches. If you’re not sure when to do it then jump into the closest bike shop and they should give you a good idea and probably do it for you. NB! Don’t tighten a wet saddle!
And that’s as easy as it is. It is probably less than an hour of work a year that will keep your Brooks leather saddle looking good for ages, and who knows, maybe one day you’ll sell it on eBay for a nice dime.
*We’re happy to do the above steps for you for free in our Copenhagen shop 😉