GREENDALE – When you learn to ride a bicycle you eventually remove the training wheels.
A new bicycle concept pioneered by Eric Lenz of Greendale and Jeff Gaudynski of West Allis removes them entirely, even for training, by adding a dual rear tire. According to the entrepreneurs, the new design eliminates the need for training wheels to learn to ride.
Not only for training, both Lenz and Gaudynski said the bicycle also offers better stability and traction for seasoned riders to use on trails or possibly for tricks. Gaudynski said the intent was to give more balance, however, he discovered while doing so it also rode like a regular bicycle.
A new design
Gaudynski, who designed the bicycle, said he came up with the idea when his 6-year-old grandson was learning to ride.
“Training wheels are useless,” he said. “Your brain doesn’t learn anything from training wheels.”
With their new design, Gaudynski said he had his grandson riding within 20 minutes.
For parents nervous about their child on the bicycle, a handle is included which attaches to the rear of the bicycle seat, eliminating the need for parents to hunch over a small-frame bicycle to aid in balance assistance early on.
Gaudynski, a self-proclaimed “tinkerer,” said he started by picking up a few bicycles from Goodwill and working on them, eventually coming up with the idea to weld a rim to both sides of the existing rim and putting tires on the two outer rims. He said the prototypes are put together with parts that already existed.
When asked why the extra tire was added to the back where the gearing might have made things more complicated, Gaudynski said a wheel up front, while possibly easier to build, adds weight and creates some stability issues.
Lenz got involved through a mutual friend who paints the bikes to help get the word out about the new design.
“It looks cooler than training wheels,” Lenz said.
Kickstarter so it doesn't stay on the kickstand
The project is currently on Kickstarter with a $95,000 goal and an end date of March 7. Currently, the project sits just shy of $2,000 raised.
If the Kickstarter is successful, Lenz said he expects the first shipments to be available by the end of April with a suggested retail price of $149.99 for a 12-inch bicycle. Bicycles will be available through their website, www.duallybikes.com, as well as Amazon and eBay.
Other bicycle sizes will be made available in the future, Lenz said. One future model being designed for 24 and 26-inch tires is for older riders to give them more balance.
Eventually, the duo hopes to offer bicycles in multiple styles including road and BMX styles.
Initially, the bicycles will be made in China, Lenz said. He added that he wants to produce them in the United States, eventually.