Fortified Bicycle is launching Invincible, a bike ‘uniquely designed to solve the specific problems that pain city-cyclists.’ In addition to featuring puncture-resistant tyres and a rust-resistant chain and frame, Invincible comes backed by a pioneering Theft Protection Guarantee that replaces the bike and any of its individual components in the event of theft.
The new bike is currently available via a Kickstarter campaign; and, at the time of writing Fortified had already hit over US$50,000 towards its US$100,000 funding target.
In order to eliminate the risk of theft, Fortified has established a team of Bike Security Experts whose sole responsibility is to keep Invincible safe at all times. The team approves new buyers, manages ownership, monitors secondary markets to identify stolen bicycles for sale, and – in the unlikely event that the bike is stolen – works with local law enforcement to recover the bike and apprehend the thieves.
“It’s no secret that most stolen goods are sold in online marketplaces like Craigslist or Ebay,” explained cofounder Tivan Amour. “So part of our solution is to keep our bikes out of secondary markets. By restricting secondary sales, we ensure that thieves no longer have an incentive to steal our bikes.
“In reality, all of this happens behind the scenes. When you buy Invincible, you get a tough, simple U-lock that allows you to lock up anywhere around town without fear of theft.”
Should Invincible or any of its components be stolen, replacements will ship out within 24-hours.
When designing Invincible, co-founders Amour and Slava Menn interviewed over 350 city commuters. “It was crazy,” said Menn. “Every one of them was riding a bike designed for anything but the city: road bikes, mountain bikes, ‘Craiglist beater bikes.’ Because these bikes weren’t designed to overcome thieves, weather damage or flat tires, they die in the city. We built Invincible to love the city.”
Fortified spent 14-months designing its bike that aims to solve one of the biggest challenges facing city cyclists. The result, Invincible, is a ‘city-proof’ bike that is:
- Theft-proof: Outfitted with Fortified’s proprietary anti-theft hardware, each of the bike’s components – handlebars, seat, wheels and front and rear lights – are guaranteed against theft. If the bike, or any of its components, is ever stolen, Fortified’s Protection Policy will ship replacements within 24-hours.
- Rust-proof: Constructed with a 6061 Aluminium rust-proof frame and zinc-coated, corrosion-resistant chain, Invincible is built to endure the harshest winter conditions.
- Flat-proof: Equipped with puncture-resistant tires, Invincible is designed to ‘float over potholes and climb curbs’.
In designing Invincible, Fortified prioritized one focus over all else: eliminating theft. “51% of city cyclists have been victims of bike theft and, according to the FBI and National Bike Registry, US$350m worth of bikes are stolen each year,” explained Amour. “We’re putting a stop to that.”
Fortified built two versions of the bike – a single-speed and an eight-speed. “Cyclists in flat cities like Chicago and New York wanted a single-speed and riders in hillier cities like San Francisco needed gears, so we opted for 8 speeds that could cover the full range,” said Menn.
The single-speed version of the bicycle features Promax brakes, while the eight-speed offers Shimano Altus derailleurs and Tektra disc brakes.
Both versions have light-tread tyres that are 700x32c. “Beefy enough to swallow curbs without the unnecessary knobbiness of mountain bike tyres,” said Menn. “We found many experienced city cyclists use cyclocross bikes. Their disc brakes and beefier tires are ideal for foul-weather city-riding, but no one needs 27 speeds if they’re not racing, so the 8-speed was designed like a cyclocross bike with simpler maintenance.”
Both bikes, which are expected to ship by June 2016 or sooner, are available on Kickstarter. The single speed Fortified Invincible bikes starts at US$399, and US$449 including Theft Protection coverage.