The bicycle industry is entering a new age of bike design. Changing culture and rising costs of resources are getting more people onto bikes, many of which are used for commuting, hauling groceries, or good old off-road fun. Xtracycle has been building the Free Radical kit for almost 15 years, with other manufacturers such as Surly jumping on the bandwagon to create one-piece frames. Sun has recently released the Atlas Cargo, an affordable full frame LongTail that is partially compatible with the LongTail Standard. Smaller fabricators are making their own bikes, and the demand for a shared standard is increasing.
What is Shared Standard?
Shared Standard programs allow individuals and organizations to access Xtracycle's LongTail Standard info for reference (e.g. when developing complementary systems), for review from a compatibility perspective (e.g. home prototyping, small scale fabricators, OEMs, and companies building bikes to meet the LT Standard).
1. It is in the best interest of the user/customer.
Shared standards are rare in the bike world, but becoming commonplace in other industries. Consider Xtracycle the iOS or Android operating system for your bike. Having the Xtracycle installed, and the new expansion ports availble extends the capability of your bike many fold. Atop the basic operating system (i.e. the Xtracycle platform) can run various App's or in our case, Acc's (i.e. Xtracycle Accessories). While Xtracycle intends to be the dominant provider of the operating system or platforms (leveraging our production at scale, our growing distribution network, our extensive testing and user base), we acknowledge that we cannot create all the possible Acc's that all customers will want. That's where you come in. Access our shared source to develop your own Acc's (that's short for Accessories) for our platform. Sell those Acc's on your own website, or sell them on ours - we'll help you turn your passion for cycling into a revenue stream while connecting you to the most vibrant bicycle community on earth.
2. It serves the cargo bike retailer.
Cargo bike retailers have limited time, and full plates. Retailers need synchronization across product lines so they can buy more of fewer accessories at better margins to meet more customer needs. Cargo bikes beget accessories - whether they are to help carry stuff, passengers, perform in different weather conditions, or just for fun, all cargo bikes need accessories. We believe that Xtracycle's design mentality and history of success position our products to be the dominant solution within the affordable cargo bike space. As other manufacturers join in, making Acc's (that's short for accessories) or LT compatible bikes, retailers will benefit as they can sell many brands and solutions that all play nice together. Retailers are at the forefront of growing the reach of the bike industry - it's our job to make their job easier and more profitable, so they can reinvest in marketing, outreach and advocacy.
3. It serves the industry.
Other manufacturers will jump on the LongTail Standard bandwagon - many already have. Major manufacturers will too, it is simply just a matter of time. In the interest of extending the reach of our products and our vision for bikes, growing the market for Xtracycle Acc's, Xtracycle may choose to license our intellectual property to the right industry partner to scale our impact. Our original vision was to change the bike industry by introducing a new class of bicycle that could surpass the appeal of recent major trends in cycling (think the Mountain Bike). We now are seeing the industry embrace LongTail bicycles, and we are turning our attention to a new challenge. Before us stands the task of leveraging great products and service to catalyze individuals to conserve money and global resources by using bikes for more of their transportation needs. We cannot do this alone. To this end, we look to share our wisdom and benefit from the collective momentum around LongTail Standard compatible bikes, accessories, and solutions.