Proud to Introduce the Bike Box
We started renting electric bikes in Victoria, BC late spring 2017 with a unique premise. Free delivery and pick up. But not just in the downtown area. We deliver, for free, anywhere from Sooke to Sidney.
When we decided, in late 2016, that we would start offering e-bike rentals the following year we had to figure out how we were going to do it. With the downtown area already being saturated with bike and e-bike rental locations the answer became obvious. Offer our customer something no one else was for the same price as the competition. But how? The easy answer of course is a trailer, however there are a number of logistical issues with that, chief among them being how difficult it is to navigate even a small trailer in the tight spaces most deliveries would be in. So we thought outside the box, which eventually lead to an actual box.
We did some brainstorming and the idea of using a hydraulic deck came up. It made sense, we already had a Ford F 350 truck that we could put it on, and it would make deliveries so simple. No hassle of towing a trailer, finding parking for it or turning it around in tight places. The only thing we had to do from there is figure out a way to carry the bikes with it. But we knew it could be done so we started looking for a hydraulic deck.
We quickly found Tufflift, a company based in Post Falls Idaho that has been making aluminum hydraulic decks for ATV’s and snowmobiles for years. The high quality of the workmanship had us sold and we ordered a deck for June 2017.
In the Mean Time…
While we waited for the TuffLift deck to be ready we tried just simply packing bikes in the bed of the truck, sleeved into boxes to protect them. However this proved to be a huge pain, as expected, to lift the bikes (at 50-60 lbs each) into and out of the truck. So we looked into getting a bike rack that would be easy to use and accommodate our fat tire e-bikes. The Thule T2 Classic became an invaluable tool of our first season while we awaited the completion of the bike box.
Near the end of June we were able to pick up our new TuffLift deck. Mike and Corinne drove down to Idaho to meet Tim, owner of TuffLift, who was kind enough to meet them part way to install the deck on the truck. It works flawlessly and with the simple push of a button. It was great pre bike box for delivering 3-4 bikes at a time.
The Making of the Bike Box
To make the idea of the Bike Box a reality we needed a metal fabricator who could take our idea and design and build something that would function in the way we needed it to. And we were lucky enough for one to fall right in our lap. We met John in May as a potential customer looking to buy an e-bike. In talking with him we found out that he has a metal fabrication shop, AccuFab. John was instantly intrigued with our idea for the bike box, his obvious passion for his work made him an obvious choice to bring our project to life. And John did not disappoint! The bike box was completed and installed in early September, it fit like a glove and worked even better. We couldn’t be more happy with how it turned out and we can’t wait for next years rental season to show it off more.
So? Where will we see you?