Stanford University, 1998 - $8,100
Recipient of two NCIIA grants, the Xtracycle E-Team developed a cargo bicycle conversion kit that transforms a standard bike into a "sport utility bicycle," or SUB. The kit stretches out the rear wheel behind the seat, creates a big, stable platform on top of the rear wheel for a load or a passenger, and places expandable saddlebags on either side. The bike is still lightweight and fast because the load is centered between the wheels, helping fill the void between large, cumbersome utility tricycles and small, ineffective racks and bags. Its versatility and performance make it ideal for hauling loads that were previously considered too long, too heavy, or too fragile to be transported by bicycle, from surfboards to passengers to groceries.
The team evolved from a group of students at Stanford into Xtracycle LLC (xtracycle.com), a manufacturer, educator, and vehicle for social change. The company promotes their proprietary designs as boundary-pushing bicycles and soul-satisfying alternatives to automobile dependence. Profits from Xtracycle support Worldbike (worldbike.org), a non-profit organization that seeks to make their technology available to people in developing countries.
Both companies are targeting sustainable transportation as their ultimate goal.
Xtracycle is going strong! Employing eight people and with sales over $1million/year.
- Startup Nation.com article: Xtracycle shifts cycling thinking (May 2011)
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