2012-04-11

Co.Exist

The Companion Seat Turns Your Bike For One Into A Bike For Two

Riding with your friend on your handlebars isn’t safe. But there is a new way to increase the capacity of your bike: The Companion, an add-on seat so you can pedal around your friends.

Motorcycles have room for two. Why not bikes? A San Francisco-based bike seat company, Companion, has created a universal bike seat that can fit on the back of almost any cruiser or geared bicycle. Inspired by a trip to Thailand where two (or many more) people on a bike is an everyday occurrence, Companion co-founders Paul O’Leary and Michael Babb thought there was a way to bring that to the U.S., but with a version that was a bit safer than riding on handle bars or a jury-rigged platform.

Building the prototype with custom bike frame makers, the firm has produced their first run, and jumped on Kickstarter to scale their manufacturing, hopefully in the U.S. The padded seat is capable of supporting 200 pounds. It attaches to the back axle atop a set of foot rests. The seat also features an optional locking stash box with enough room, we are assured, to accommodate a six-pack with ice and more.

There are some other options out there to make your bike passenger friendly, although most are either expensive—like the $300 Xtracycle cargo-bike conversion kit—or DIY, such as an Instructables option. "Our solution is much more economical for the average biker and easier to install," says Gerard Roy, a project manager at Companion. Their first two models—Alice and Cindy—are selling for between $70 and $150.

Companion’s first attempts to use custom bike framers to build their product were not economical, but they’re now exploring options here and abroad, as well as setting up their own factory. "We are extremely interested in manufacturing within the U.S.," says Roy. "We need to complete our first manufacturing run so that we can start approaching bike shops and distributors with the seat."

Companion is now entering the final stretch of their $35,000 Kickstarter campaign to jumpstart manufacturing. A bicycle built for two may come to have a whole new meaning.

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