What’s occasionally forgotten in the conversation about Boston’s cycling community is that riding around the city on a bike is a unique challenge not merely for the cyclist, but also for the machine being ridden on. Unlike roads in suburban or rural areas, city streets present an escalated series of pitfalls. Flat tires are a constant worry, as is theft. At Fortified Bicycle, the first ever bike in the company’s history will be designed to cope with these challenges.
And the “Invincible” bike, which BostInno had the first photos of in October, will have several built-in components to handle the inherent problems of day-to-day city cycling. Fortified co-founder and CRO Tivan Amour recently answered a few more questions about “Invincible,” which is now slated for an unspecified December release.
One of the notable aspects of “Invincible” is its anti-theft capability. Given that Fortified’s original products centered on security (the company name itself alludes to this), having the bike be able to withstand the threat of being stolen is a central aim for Amour.
The bike, he says, is “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.”
Fortified’s lifetime guarantee against theft is a major aspect of its existing product models, explained in more detail here.
Still, most common challenge for commuting cyclists is one that is nearly impossible to avoid: flat tires. Broken glass, stray nails and dozens of other possibilities are an inevitably on city streets, where the sheer volume of traffic increases the odds of sharp objects appearing on the ground. The effect is predictable. And Amour has learned this from personal experience.
“I’ve had bikes with cheap tires and wheels that get a flat tire every week,” he recalled. “Until I spent about $100 and got puncture resistant tires, it really was a headache. So when we were designing this bike, we knew we had to eliminate this problem of constant flats.
With that in mind, he explained that Fortified’s bike will be ready for this foreseeable hurdle.
“Equipped with puncture-resistant tires, ‘Invincible’ is designed to float over potholes and climb curbs with ease.”
Amour also addressed a concern expressed from those who saw the bike’s initial photos in October.
“For riding in the rain, we have a set of full fenders available for upgrade,” said Amour. “We also have a rear rack available.”
For now, Fortified is easing its way into production of “Invincible.” Amour explained his thought process:
We visited factories in seven cities between Taiwan and China. We went to factories with low prices and horrible working conditions, and ones with high prices and pristine working conditions. We opted for the latter because we know our customers value both quality and ethical practices above all. Since we are just getting started with this factory, we are only making 300 bikes for the first run. I think they will sell out pretty quickly.
Fortified has been testing its bike around Boston in secrecy for months. Now that the test process is all but over and the release date approaches, Amour noted the process has been (and continues to be) unexpectedly exciting for the company.
“While we try to use back roads as much as possible, Boston is a small place,” he said. “Naturally people have noticed us riding around, and there have been some heads turning. More than we expected, actually!”
Additional details about the bike are expected to emerge as the undisclosed release date draws nearer. Until then, here’s Fortified’s page with info about “Invincible.” And, one more image of the “ultimate urban bike,” showing the center of the handlebars:
Image via Fortified Bicycle.