I love a product that solves a real problem which is why many years ago I was incredibly impressed by the range of Defender theft proof lights from Fortified Bicycles. If you've ever had an expensive bicycle light stolen then you know that being able to leave your bicycle parked anywhere in full confidence that when you return your lights would still be attached is a big deal. The team at Fortified identified a real problem and developed an effective solution and now they've done it again with the release of the Fortified Invincible bicycle which I am very excited about.
Major bicycle manufacturers have completely ignored the urban bicycle market. They may say they have bicycles suitable for the city, but in reality they've never taken the time to really understand the needs of city cyclists and bicycle commuters.
As city cyclists we need a bicycle that is tough, one that can take a few knocks, yet still be fast and light. We need to be able to cycle in confidence that we're not going to get a flat tire every time the road surface turns rough. We need to be able to park our bicycles out in the elements without fear of rust or the saddle absorbing water. But above all we seek security, we're tired of having to strip our bicycles pf parts when we park lest a bicycle thief strip them for us. We're tired of the extreme measures we have to take to ensure our rides are safe.
Fortified Bicycles is made up of a team of city cyclists, they know what is important to city cyclists, and they surveyed hundreds of cyclists listening to what they really want in a bicycle. Taking this information on board Fortified developed the "Invincible" to meet the needs of city cyclists and to end bicycle theft forever.
The Invincible comes in two models, the Invincible 1 Speed for flat cities, and the Invincible 8 Speed for hilly cities (Because lets face it who really needs 27 gears for cycling in the city?) Both models are constructed with a 6061 Aluminium rust-proof frame and zinc-coated, corrosion-resistant chain, ensuring that the Invincible is built to endure the harshest winter conditions. In addition to this the Invincible is equipped with light tread 700x32c puncture-resistant tires, allowing riders to float over potholes and to climb curbs without fear of flatting out. On close inspection its a beautifully built bicycle but from a distance its inconspicuous, not drawing any unwarranted attention from possible bicycle thieves.
But by far the biggest feature of the Invincible is that it is theft proof. Each bicycle is shipped with a Best In Class Fortified Ulock and is outfitted with Fortified’s proprietary anti-theft hardware, meaning that each of the bike’s components - handlebars, seat, wheels and front and rear lights - are guaranteed against theft. So confident is Fortified in the security of their product if the bike or any of its components, is ever stolen, Fortified’s Protection Policy will ship replacements within 24-hours. That's right, all components, in fact the entire bicycle are covered by a replacement guarantee in the case of theft.
In addition Fortified take the security of your Invincible bicycle one step further. Each Invincible bike is registered to a single owner at the time of purchase and the FortifiedProtect team manage ownership records to ensure that no Invincible bicycles are resold without permission. The team also monitors sites and forums across the Internet ensuring that if an Invincible bicycle is ever put up for unauthorised sale local authorities will be notified immediately. Fortified are taking both a proactive and reactive approach to cycling that has all bases covered.
The Invincible 1 Speed has a starting price of $399 for Kickstarter backers while the 8 Speed starts at $649. Backers can choose to customise their ride by adding Fortified's theft proof front and rear lights the Aviator and Afterburner, fenders or an always convenient rear rack.
For all the details of this amazing urban bicycle please visit the Fortified Invincible Kickstarter Page.
So that was my review, here is my personal opinion.
Recently I've been experiencing "Kickstarter Fatigue". With so many products competing for my attention and backing I've put a filter on my mailbox that forwards these emails to my almost never read "read later" folder. Its physically impossible for me to review every cycling related Kickstarter that comes my way which is why I choose to write about just those that I believe solve a real problem or add significant value to cycling and the Invincible is one of those, its a product I believe in, developed and supported by an inspiring team who I am most happy to support in whatever capacity I can.
For cycling around Tokyo I use a modified mountain bike because on the surface it shares many values of the Invincible. Its light enough but still tough and with narrow, almost slick, puncture proof tires I can cycle in confidence. I even ditched the padded seat for a plastic one so I don't get a wet ass after parking out in the rain. But it still has a whole slew of unnecessary gears, any of its parts can be easily stolen by anyone with a few tools, and beyond that its taken me considerable time, money and experience to configure it just the way I like.
The Invincible has everything I want and more in a commuter bicycle right out of the box.
If I were in the market for a new bike for the city this would be it, actually even though I'm not in the market it's still a very tempting purchase. I'd love to get a single speed Invincible on the ground in Tokyo and put it through its paces in the worlds biggest metropolis where I believe it would just eat up the streets!
December 05, 2015
INVINCIBLE: End Bike Theft. Once and For All.
Father of two, husband of one, lover of family, bicycles and running.
Urban Cycling Consultant, Tokyo By Bike.
Byron Kidd is the founder of the Tokyo By Bike website, writer, experienced urban cyclist, and expert on cycling in the staggering metropolis of Tokyo.
Working with NPO's and cycling activists to improve cycling infrastructure in Japan, Byron also operates internationally via a vast network of renowned urban mobility experts to promote Japanese cycling culture, and demonstrate how everyday cycling can work in megacities around the world. No city is too big for the bicycle.
Day Job, Software Developer.
Writing code and stuff, for games and things.