The recent developments in ultra-lightweight designs, boutique customization, and even electric bikes leave many bicycle purists on the defensive. After all, the modern bicycle design was a feat in itself, and there has been little need for change in the last 50 years. A bike’s design is almost never changed in an upgrade, and the interchangeability of components leads to a market full of competitors–all boasting the highest quality, the lightest design, or cheapest price. Along with its huge number of cyclist’s, Southern California hosts an industry to match, with retailers, private manufacturers, and a number of industry world headquarters. This article is for any person who owns a bike.
Although Brian Riley’s innovative brake system is currently only available on certain retail bikes and Guardian Bicycle Company (his brand) kid’s bikes, the SureStop system is nevertheless a game-changer in a market where newly engineered bike parts contribute passively to general performance. Why? Because the safety, ease, and simplicity of the system make it n effective addition to any bicycle with a hand brake. On its’ own, the SureStop part doesn’t look like much, but it makes a significant alteration to the way your bike brakes. Installed on many typical V-brake systems, the SureStop brake addition uses its own braking force to control the level of the front brake. This allows the bike to instantly adjust to any changes in surface, speed, or even weight distribution of the rider. What does all this mean? The SureStop system significantly prevents the chance of a rider flipping over the handlebars during an urgent stop (‘endo’).
A Cal Poly SLO graduate, Brian was happy to walk us through the physics principles involved in the system’s design! Notably, the friction of the rear tire and the rider’s weight distribution determine the magnitude of the front braking; which is essentially what we all do when we brake using a 2-lever system. With only one brake lever, SureStop automates this process, allowing the rider to focus on steering while still achieving a very efficient (and safer!) brake procedure. Currently, adults can only find SureStop on certain retail brands, but Brian’s new project, Guardian Bikes, will begin selling high-quality kid’s bikes with the innovative system included on every model–the only children’s bicycle brand to do so at the time of this writing.
We’ll be keeping an eye on the Orange-County-based Guardian Bikes, as well as all the other innovators that cross our path. The mission? Sharing products that create the most safe and efficient bicycle system with the only two rules that really matter: human-powered, two wheels.
What else will your soon-to-be-cyclist kid/grandkid/sibling be getting for your $399? Turns out, some great features and high quality parts:
The bikes’ Easy Ride Geometry improve their balance and steering, making it harder for the bike to tip over and injure the child, and making it easier for them to get through the learning process. The average 20 inch kids’ bike weighs around 30 lbs, but the Guardians weigh in at a mere 21 lbs, additionally improving control. Also included are Shimano shifting systems, Kenda Kontact tires, and double wall rims to prevent tire damage from collisions like curb contact. You can visit their launch this year at Interbike: booth 18200.