Civia Kickstand Plate
In case you have missed the last few posts here at the Civia blog, I'm Burton Avery, an industrial designer at Civia, and I'm doing some posts about the design process for the Civia Bryant.
Question for you, what do these sketches remind you of?
An updated TIE fighter from the Galactic Empire? Maybe the TIE advanced x1 (Darth Vader’s TIE fighter) for double geek points? I do sometimes wonder on long rides if it all comes back to Star Wars, but this concept sketch for Civia really has nothing in common with the Rebel Alliance and the Force. This is a case where form follows function and the Star Wars similarity is only a coincidence. Honest. But before we get to the solution, let’s step back in the design process.
Part of riding your bike for transportation is what to do with your bike once you get where you are going. In urban environments you can usually find something to lean your bike up against. The old slanted U-lock trick, park you bike next to a bike rack, lock it to the rack with your U-lock and slant the bike outward so the paint doesn't get scratched. That works okay. Is that purpose driven design? Not really. But once you start riding loaded, that is with groceries, work clothes, maybe a laptop computer leaning your bike gets more tricky. If you start riding with weight in the front leaning isn't going to cut it anymore, and you start doing that awkward dance of loading and unloading the bike without it falling over. With front loaded bikes centerstand kickstands are almost a necessity. At Civia, we knew we needed a kickstand plate on our bikes. We didn't want to lay the responsibility on our customers to cobble something together or suggest they get better at finding places to leaning them up against. We have used off-the-shelf kickstand plates and found them a bit lacking in function. So why not design our own? Any time we can make our bike better suited for the bicycle-as-transportation experience we jump at it.
This is the top and bottom view of a CNC sample of our first prototype kickstand plate.
Its simplicity is very alluring. It looked great on a steel bike. The problem with it was brake cables would rub on the attachment plate of a kickstand, decreasing brake power and brake cable longevity. This wasn’t a solution we were happy with, so we redesigned it with some new criteria in mind.
The next image is a sample casting of the redesigned piece. Two of the criteria for the kickstand plate was that it needed to be compatible with a chain stay mounted disk brakes, and it also needed to serve as a fender mounting position. The solution for the brake cables was a U-shaped channel, allowing brake cables to pass over the kickstand instead of interfering with it. See figure 6 below.
Here is another view. (Cue The Imperial March )
This is what it looks like on the bike. Cool stuff, huh? Makes me want to call my patent lawyer! You don't see purpose driven design detail like that everyday, especially in the increasing off-the-shelf world of cookie cutter transportation bikes. I get excited about this stuff because it solves a problem in a simple, functional way.
This shows fender mount. The overall form of the piece was driven by those two criteria (chainstay mounted disk brakes and fender mounting position) and then optimizing the part for weight.
This kickstand plate will be standard equipment on all steel Civias.
Stay on target.
Thanks for reading.
Like this article? Share it with others.