Market Survey

Best 3 ideas from Blog 4 that I believe fit the NVF test

Helmet Lock: Helmet that doubles as a bike lock — not a helmet that locks to the bike
N- There have been a lot of designs for a product like this, but the market only provides products that secure your helmet to your bike, not helmets that also secure the bike.
V- It’s a 2-in-1. Not only would this encourage safety, but you can also secure the bike itself. 
F- It could be as simple as attaching something to the helmet or replacing the straps for a more durable material. The helmet structure would stay the same and could just be reinforced with another/different material.
Security Tape: Permanent tape that wraps around vital areas of the bike and senses tampering
N- Definitely nothing on the market like this specifically for bikes. The only product offered is tape for the handle bars. Nothing for GPS tracking either. 
V- It would be easy to incorporate onto the bike and would be hassle free, but could be an investment for users. This would give users insight and updates on the location and condition of their bikes when they’re away from it, which would increase the value of this product.
F- Incorporating motion sense and GPS technology would be very expensive in this day in age, especially with consideration of the length that would be needed for this idea.
Locking Bike Racks: Public racks that have locks built in
N- There is one state of the art product that’s out on the market and geared more on a commercial level so there is space in the market for more products like this for bike racks. 
V- This item would eliminate the need for bringing a lock around all together and could decrease the cost on investing in a bike lock, which is where the value lies in a product like this. 
F- Given the current investments in products like Nice ride or Line/Birds, a product like this could very easily be incorporated into the landscape. It doesn’t have to be expensive to produce if it can be designed in a fluid, one-piece mold.

Results from the Survey:

What do you use (or have used) to lock your bike?

Helmet Lock

Would you ever use this Helmet Lock?
  • How much would you be willing to pay for this product? $40–100
  • Why wouldn’t you use this? What would you add to make it better?
    don’t use a helmet 
    all in one
    messes up hair
    if the design didn’t sacrifice the comfort

Security Tape

Would you ever use this Security Tape?
  • How much would you be willing to pay for this? $0–45
  • Why wouldn’t you use this? What would you add to make it better?
    Completely unnecessary
    Can be tracked through app

Self Locking Bike Rack

Would you ever use this self locking bike rack?
  • How much would you be willing to pay for this? $5–10/mo. or $20
  • Why wouldn’t you use this? What would you add to make it better?
    Limited number of racks around
    Wide spread and accessible
    Not secure
    Expensive compared to alternative
    Option for multiple bikes at once

Benchmarking 2x2s and Patent Search


*Created 2x2’s in Google Docs, which didn’t allow me to cross over the lines so I placed images as closest to the side that it applies to.

Patent Search

Helmet Lock: “Locking device for a helmet” T-shaped bars attached to the ventilation holes of a helmet secured with a padlock which can be attached to the bicycle frame

Security Tape: “Sensor device, monitoring system, and method for using a monitoring system for monitoring merchandise” A sensor device that monitors movement of merchandise when properly mounted on items. Has at lease one motion sensor that detects attempts to steal merchandise improving conventional methods by providing added flexibility and easier handling.

Self Locking Bike Rack: “Coin operated bicycle locking rack” The rack has individualized bike stalls with arms that swing out and secure the front and back tires. Once coins are received, the latch will release the bike from the stall. Each locking mechanism has a guard cap protecting the associated lock.

Feasibility Concerns

Helmet Lock: This lock serves two major purposes. One is to secure both your bike and helmet to a grounded object to keep from theft. Two is to encourage safety by wearing a helmet. My major concern is how willing consumers would be to buy a helmet in the first place? Many bikers don’t even wear helmets, so would that prevent them from purchasing this product all together? How would this be better than a U Lock if my user doesn’t wear helmets.

Security Tape: This is a really high tech tape. My biggest concern would be the feasibility of production. The benchmarked product (SFSR) was affordable, but the sensor covered such a small surface area. If I were to carry this through, I’d have to extend the sensor to at least 50 feet which would indefinitely increase the price point.

Locking Bike Racks: The major concern with this idea would be how willing the community and businesses would be to invest in a product like this. It may only apply to cities where biking is abundant, but if this product turns commercial, the consumer becomes business owners. Would this product be able to provide a high enough return in investment that would satisfy buyers?

Pugh Chart

Pugh Chart: 3 ideas with 7 major criteria and the idea I decided to pursue further highlighted in green.

Sketch Model + Feedback

Sketch Model: Brown dots represent hinged points, while arrow shows the area where the attachment will insert into the existing bike rack. *NOT TO SCALE
Image of user interaction and showing how the attachment would attach into existing racks.

Tate: Sophomore at the U of M, Undecided major but is considering product design.

- Make it key accessible for people who are using it all over multiple times a day. Rent the key to the lock. 
- for college: $20/50 a semester
- for employees: a place of employment monthly free like a parking spot
- for companies: per set a few thousand for a set of 10 or 12
Marketing: ensuring security more than a bike lock increases value.
- make it a gasket so it can fit around all types of wheel sizes 
- separate the frame and wheel 
- use tube steel same as bike rack material because its proven effective.
Concerns: makes existing bike rack obsolete because you can screw it right into the ground