About James Buckroyd (Contributor)
James Buckroyd (Contributor) Posts
Q: What do you get when a cyclist, an engineer and a businessman walk into a bar?
A: A stolen bike.
At least that’s how the joke used to go before the OttoLock came along.
Designed and engineered in Wilsonville by Otto Designworks, the company got started in 2015 after a successful Kickstarter campaign for their first product: an app and tool that helped people adjust derailleurs. With the OttoLock, the company seems to have found its stride.
Word-of-mouth for the product ignited early on in large part because one of the idea generators and spokesmen is professional cyclist Jacob Rathe (whom you might recall from our story on him when he made the U.S. National Team in 2008). We first covered the OttoLock nearly a year ago when it was still in the prototype and design phase. Now that it’s starting to show up in bike shops around the country, it’s time for a closer look.
Here are my impressions after using it for several months…
By our newest contributor, James Buckroyd.
In the world of product development, this is how it usually goes: You have a great idea, you make contact with an agent in Hong Kong or Mainland China and you start in a series of negotiations. After many long e-mail chains and late-night phone calls you begin to develop a product.
Unfortunately, what gets lost in the back-and-forths with the factory are the fine details that are essential to make the product shine in an ever-demanding consumer market. As you view sample after sample from your offshore agent, you realize things aren’t as perfect as you’d like them to be.
Rewind the tape. Enter Brian Anthony of Portland-based Anthm Collective.
“Basically we wanted gear to ride in that represented the values we believe in,” he shared with us recently. “So we went out and made it.”