FenderBag offers mountain bikers new options for carrying gear
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Doug Demusz was riding his bike in 2011 along the Grizzly Helena Trail in Northern Routt County when it began to rain and the idea for FenderBag hit him.
“I looked at my bike and noticed that there was a space that’s just underutilized on a full-suspension mountain bike,” Demusz said. “I had some more rain gear at home, but I didn’t have anywhere to carry it.”
The experience led to the first FenderBag — a compact, zippered bag which fits under the seat above the fender — that Demusz built for his own bike. His plan was to improve the mountain biking experience by taking gear off the rider’s back.
It didn’t take long for the FenderBag to grab the attention of members of the Steamboat Springs biking community.
“The late Chris Johns stopped me on the street one day and said that it was a great idea,” Demusz said. “I had other people out on the trail who stopped me and asked me what it was. They liked the idea of getting stuff off their back.”
Demusz started to wonder if there might be a market for his idea and joined forces with another Steamboat mountain biker, Kathleen Fitzsimmons.
“The difference between having a good idea and a good product is a long steep hill,” Demusz said. “I am used to riding up those. It’s my paradigm for life, I suppose.”
The creators plan to showcase the latest version of the FenderBag at Orange Peel bike shop from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Fitzsimmons said Orange Peel, Steamboat Ski and Bike Kare and Ski Haus have prototypes of the bags.
“If anyone is curious, they can go to any three of those places and see it and ask questions about it,” Fitzsimmons said.
Her hope is to raise interest in the product, which was introduced on Kickstarter in May. The website allows people to contribute money, which is used in the development of the product in exchange for the chance to be one of the first to own it.
“Bikes have gotten much more expensive,” Fitzsimmons said. “They have placed more emphasis on performance, and they are much more comfortable and fun to ride, but yet, people having to wear backpacks,” Fitzsimmons said. “That takes away from the performance experience because your weight is on your back. They (backpacks) are hot, and you can’t sweat. “
To contribute to the Kickstarter campaign go to kickstarter.com/projects/fenderbag/the-bicycle-fenderbag-0?ref=discovery&term=fenderBag. Those pledging $10 or more will receive a FenderBag frame strap, which can be used to attach items to the frame posts on the bike, and those pledging $55 or more will receive one of the first FenderBags when they become available sometime in late July or August.
Fitzsimmons expects to start selling the FenderBag online and at local retailers sometime this fall.
The FenderBag will come in two sizes including one to fit small- to medium-frame bikes that will hold about 1.6 liters and is attached to a 15-inch custom-molded fender that protects the bag from mud. There will also be FenderBag that fits larger frames, which holds 2.9 liters and includes an 18.5-inch fender.
The two bags fit on most full-suspension, double-triangle mountain bike designs but may not fit some downhill mountain bikes and very small frame designs that are more women specific. However, FenderBag is already working on a third model specifically suited for smaller-framed bikes.
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