Industry Ticker: Portland Design Works will crowdfund new fat bike pump

PDW’s Kickstarter video for the new pump.

There are many reasons we love Portland Design Works. They’re based right here in Portland, they give back to the community through sponsorship of events like trail work parties and Rider Appreciation Day on Williams Avenue, they make our Ride Alongs possible, and they happen to make very functional and well-designed products for cycling.

Now they are once again doing something interesting. They’ve turned to Kickstarter for “market confirmation and funding” for their new “Fat Stevens™” — a high volume pump made specifically for fat bikers. Read the press release below for more info:

Portland Design Works launches industry-first portable fat bike specific pump on Kickstarter

May 19, 2015, Portland, OR – Portland Design Works (PDW) – recognized innovators of cycling inflation tools – has launched its newest leading-edge pump, the Fat Stevens™, on Kickstarter Tuesday May 19, 2015. The handy Fat Stevens™ pump expands the riding landscapes accessible on fat bikes by offering an efficient and dependable high-volume pump in a portable size.

“Due to the overwhelming popularity of our Dave’s Mud Shovel™ fat bike fenders, we hear from fat bike riders all over the world. The one piece of gear they kept asking us to make was a fat bike specific mini pump. It took us a long time to develop, but we’re confident that the Fat Stevens™ is going to set the standard for portable fat bike pumps,” said PDW co-founder Erik Olson.

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The ultimate inflation tool for fat tire riders, the Fat Stevens™ weighs less than a pound and is only 14” long, allowing it to easily fit in a backpack or frame bag. The Fat Stevens™ barrel is 39mm in diameter, larger than most floor pump barrels, and fills fat bike tires in half the strokes it takes using a standard mountain bike mini pump. The Fat Stevens™ also offers users a sturdy flip-down steel foot peg which keeps the pump stable, even when wearing bulky winter boots.

Designed with additional smart features including a composite pommel handle and oversized knurled nozzle, the Fat Stevens™ pump is comfortable to use in any conditions. Like every PDW product, the fully rebuildable Fat Stevens™ pump is covered by a lifetime warranty against any defects in workmanship or materials.

Portland Design Works is seeking market confirmation and funding of $30,000 through this Kickstarter campaign to defray the high-volume tooling costs for the Fat Stevens™ pump by half. Backers of the campaign will have access to purchase the pump at pre-production prices and exclusive Kickstarter edition carry-cases made by local Portland manufacturers BlaqPaks, among other rewards.

For additional information, please contact Jocelyn Gaudi or 503-234-7257 or visit the PDW website.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Cervelo
Cervelo
8 years ago

What pressure do you typically pump fat tires up to?
At 39mm diameter, that’s 1.53″ diameter or an area of 1.85 square inches.
So, for each PSI tire pressure you have to push down with 1.85 pounds force. For 30 psi that’s 55.5 pounds. Doable I guess for most folks.

Why only for one type of valve?

The tricky part with my pumps is getting them to make a good seal – the screw on design should work.

I loved the old Zefal metal pumps. Durable and lasted forever. Maybe they still make them:
http://www.bikewagon.com/zefal-pump-frame-hpx-4-sl-black-classic?CAWELAID=400006350000065101&CAGPSPN=pla&catargetid=400006350000423660&cadevice=c&gclid=CLT5q5_uzsUCFRSUfgodlGoA3A

TonyT
Tony T
8 years ago
Reply to  Cervelo

Fat tires run MUCH lower than 30psi. You’re usually talking about just under 10psi, sometimes around 5.

Marlboro Man
Marlboro Man
8 years ago
Reply to  Tony T

Thanks.

Val A Lindsay II
Val A Lindsay II
8 years ago
Reply to  Cervelo

On 5 inch tires I’m running 7.6 psi, 4 inch about 11. What you get out of a fat tire versus even a 2.4 inch is very different in regards to pliability and floatation…

Buzz
Buzz
8 years ago

I pump my car tires up with a standard bicycle floor pump, so I’ve got to wonder if this is really necessary?

Zimmerman
Zimmerman
8 years ago
Reply to  Buzz

Do you normally carry a full size floor pump with you into the backcountry when you ride?

Buzz
Buzz
8 years ago
Reply to  Zimmerman

What difference would that make? If I can pump up a car tire in my driveway with a standard bicycle floor pump, I’m sure you can pump up a fat bike tire in the back country with a standard minipump, some of the newer ones pump on both the push and pull stroke.

Val A Lindsay II
Val A Lindsay II
8 years ago
Reply to  Buzz

Fat bike riders tune their pressure a LOT more than typical mountain bikes, so being able to do it a little more quickly is logical…

Zimmerman
Zimmerman
8 years ago

Go give it a try and then tell me how you feel about using a mini pump to inflate a fat bike tire. I’ll wait until you’re done with the physical therapy for tennis elbow.

davemess
davemess
8 years ago

I’m not a huge fan of established companies like PDW using kickstarter to fund new products.

SilkySlim
SilkySlim
8 years ago
Reply to  davemess

Why not? I really don’t see anybody losing in this scenario. Pledge like $30-40 to give them the money to make it happen, and you get a pump. I suppose I could wait and wait and wait until they sell enough blinky lights to fund the development and then buy one for $30-40, but that would take much longer.

(Sorry to turn this into yet another Kickstarter debate…)

davemess
davemess
8 years ago
Reply to  SilkySlim

Well the people that for some reason donate below the value that gets you a pump would be losing. I just don’t think a sticker is decent compensation in funding a for-profit company.

I mean I know PDW is not the biggest company in the industry, but I find it hard to believe they can’t scrape together $30k, esp. if this product has as high demand as they think.

SilkySlim
SilkySlim
8 years ago
Reply to  davemess

Are you referring to the ZERO backers that have pledged at that amount (as of 8pm Tuesday)?

davemess
davemess
8 years ago
Reply to  SilkySlim

Good. Makes me not lose as much faith in society.

Tomas LaPallela
Tomas LaPallela
8 years ago
Reply to  davemess

Kinda wondering about the whole fat bike thing– at best it’s a “fun” second or third or seventeenth bike. How many people are riding a fat bike on a weekly basis? Even a monthly basis?

MNBikeLuv
MNBikeLuv
8 years ago

Depends on where you live. Here in upper Midwest, a lot of people are riding fat all the time.

The Winter Cycling Conference is in MSP this year and a think a lot of the out of state/nation attendees are going to wonder where all these fat bikes came from.

Val A Lindsay II
Val A Lindsay II
8 years ago

It’s my main mountain bike and I’m seeing a lot more on the trail over the past year or so.

Steve
Steve
8 years ago

Ride one, you’ll learn real quick why their popularity is skyrocketing. I commute on mine and is now my sole off-road bike.

davemess
davemess
8 years ago

There was a guy rocking on at cross crusade races the last couple of years. That really didn’t look very fun (a lot of weight to lug over barriers or shoulder).

scott
scott
8 years ago
Reply to  davemess

I’m with you. This is a PR stunt and it bums me out.

This is an established company that has been working with banks and investors for a long time and now decides to risk the 99%’s money on a new product.

Bogus.

Jocelyn Gaudi
8 years ago
Reply to  scott

Hi Scott, Jocey from PDW here. The only 1% PDW is a member of is 1% For The Planet. We’re a small (6 employee), locally-grown company all of six years old that works very hard to produce products that work and look good, all of which is covered by our lifetime warranty.

I can assure you this is not a PR stunt. It’s a response to the changing dynamics that is the bike accessories market and we’re pleased it’s been well received thus far. As of this morning, we’re over 25% to our funding goal, which would cover half the costs to begin high-production tooling for the pump.

Thanks.

scott
scott
8 years ago
Reply to  Jocelyn Gaudi

Hi Jocey, Thanks for the response. I am very familiar with PDW, your product line, and your employees, would never consider you the 1%, and this still bums me out.

Crowdfunding was a place for unique ideas where you could root for the underdog, now it is a place for drug induced dream products, medical expenses (good job USA), and established companies to test the waters with a lowered risk.

It’s the bike industry. Margins are and have always been razor thin. Your customers aren’t there to dull that edge and make it easier on you.

davemess
davemess
8 years ago

That said sounds like there is a niche and this looks like a good product

Granpa
Granpa
8 years ago

What pressure will the pump be capable of inflating a tire? On motorcycles the mini pumps take forever. If these pumps can deliver 30-40 PSI there might be a market with the motorized 2 wheel crowd.

TonyT
Tony T
8 years ago
Reply to  Granpa

The main point of this is to pump up a high volume tire quickly yet accurately at low pressure. Given that they’re aiming for about 10psi, at most, it’s likely not the pump for moto needs.

Jocely Gaudi
8 years ago
Reply to  Tony T

Hey Tony, Jocelyn here from PDW. We’ve tested the pump’s max and were able to hit 45 psi before it become too difficult to continue. So, possible to use this pump on motos.

GlowBoy
GlowBoy
8 years ago

I’m all for crowdfunding to help innovators launch new companies, but I too am scratching my head over established companies using crowdfunding to pay for their product development. If they want to, fine I guess; but I’m not chipping in unless I get a good enough deal out of it to cover the risk of the product not panning out.

And as a new fatbike rider, I can attest that using most mini-pumps to pump up fatbike tires (despite their low pressure) is no picnic, and we do fine-tune the pressure more often. I finally bought one of the highest-volume mini-pumps I could find, and it has helped, but I can see the desire for a fatbike-specific one.

Also, as MNBikeLuv pointed out, a lot of people here in MN are running fat year-round. I’m surprised how many fatbikes I see on the street even though snow is a distant memory. Not a majority by any means, but a pretty significant number.

Psyfalcon
Psyfalcon
8 years ago
Reply to  GlowBoy

I’ve seen a few on Portland streets, but it does not look fun. How is the drag compared to running a normal mountain bike while on road?

Jocelyn Gaudi
8 years ago
Reply to  GlowBoy

Jocelyn from PDW here. Just to clarify on the established companies point – what we’re seeking through this crowdfunder is support to cover half the costs of the high-production heavily to get it to this point. Our Kickstarter campaign is more a test of market confirmation that this product is indeed needed (we heard from fat bike riders that it is). We’re allowing individuals to pre-purchase the product below it’s future MSRP as a means to confirm their demand.

For investors – there’s no risk. If we don’t reach our goal, everyone gets their money back. Plus, we’ll still be investing significantly to get this pump to market, so we have considerable skin in the game if this is successful.

Finally, we’re a 1% For The Planet company – so as our company grows, so does our return to the community. Win/win.

Eric
Eric
8 years ago

Who is this Steven guy and why are they calling him fat?

Jocelyn Gaudi
8 years ago

Whoops – I typo’ed the most important sentence above. It should read:

“…what we’re seeking through this crowdfunder is support to cover half the costs of the high-production tooling. The product is fully developed and we’ve already invested heavily to get it to this point.”

Drew
Drew
8 years ago

Kudos to PDW for addressing the fatbike pump issue!
I would comment that if I had a choice between a pump that would get the tire to 20lbs and one that maxes at 45, I would opt for the 20lb pump with a bigger bore. My fatbike tire (a Husker Du 4″) does not need to go over 15, and is rated for 30 max. Such a pump would be more fatbike specific, and pumping time would be even shorter. Maybe 2 versions?

TJ
TJ
8 years ago

Rather than notions of an establish company, let’s consider such companies service providers. Essentially, PDW has the product development, established logistics channels, and operations to bring new innovative products to market quickly. A Kickstarter campaign can only generate cash; not knowledge and network.

I see zero harm in both driving awareness and partially averting a reliance on the 1%’s institutions*. Just because a company has the know-how to develop, source, manage manufacturing, and global logistics doesn’t mean they’re rolling in liquid dough.

*Operationally, Kickstarter campaigns are cheaper than working with a bank. Nationwide, the cycling industry can be brutal: high margins and every sale is earned.

If crowd sourcing equates to more intimate small business / consumer relationships, I see a win over the disconnect most consumers have with development and the supply chain. Ultimately, it puts consumers in a better place to leverage accountability.

David Lewis
8 years ago

The company’s name says it all.

If it were called Portland Manufacturing Works, I may be inclined to invest though a Kickstarter campaign for a product I may be interested in, but as for being asked to help a local company outsource, no thanks.

Despite its limited scope of underinflating enormous tires in the field, since I am against blinking lights (which are illegal in many places for good reason) I think this is probably one of their better products. If I had a fat bike I’d probably want this pump. How well does it do on volleyballs?

Roy
Roy
8 years ago

“High production” for PDW, like all of their products, means Made In China. Finance their delusion of 1% for the Earth and supporting Portland cyclists..