If you’re searching for the perfect gift for the city cyclist in your life, Fortified Bicycle has you covered. The Boston startup just launched “Invincible,” a new weather-proof bike that thieves can’t steal—and if they do, Fortified will replace it.
“Like every product, it started with us asking our customers what they would want in a bike,” says Fortified cofounder Tivan Amour. “I think the overall sentiment was, ‘I don’t want to have to worry about it. I don’t want to be an expert on my bike, just make something that works.’”
And so that’s what Fortified set out to accomplish, creating single- and eight-speed bikes starting at $399 on Kickstarter.
For the last 14 months, the team has been building a bike with puncture-resistant tires, so cyclists can climb curbs gracefully. The rust-proof frame is made with a 6061 Aluminum and is accompanied by a zinc-coated, corrosion-resistant chain, designed to withstand even the most recording-breaking Boston winter.
If that wasn’t enough, Amour and fellow cofounder Slava Menn outfitted the bike with Fortified’s proprietary anti-theft hardware, and assembled a team of “Bike Security Experts,” whose main function, according to Amour, is “to always have their eyes on our bicycles.”
The Experts will be responsible for monitoring where Fortified’s bikes are and, in cases of theft, working with law enforcement officials to recover the bike and apprehend the thief. The bike, as well as each of its individual components, can be replaced for a “small fee” and shipped within 24 hours.
“We’re making a seamless experience of bike ownership,” Amour says. “It’s not a small feat.”
But Fortified is up to the challenge. The startup is no stranger to crowdfunding, having launched two versions of indestructible, anti-theft bike lights on Kickstarter—each surpassing their Kickstarter goal in 25 hours or less.
“With every new Kickstarter we launch, there are increasingly more people who believe in what we’re doing and our mission of giving people who bike in the city confidence,” Amour says. “We’re really intent on being even more explicit about serving people’s needs.”
To better help serve the community, Fortified won a $150,000 grant in January from Chase Bank as part of its Mission Main Street Grants program. The promise was to build a bike community center in Boston’s Leather District, where Fortified held its first event this week.
Now the team is determined to raise $100,000 to get their bikes on the streets of Boston by June.
“We’re trying to get every last detail right,” Amour says, “for the people who are biking in the city every day who don’t have someone standing up for them.”
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