Updated: Mar 4, 2019
Richard Hartger, CEO of CycleSafe talks about what it means for cyclists and the bike locker industry as a whole to have electronic access for bike lockers. Hartger feels that offering electronic access to bike lockers is inline with the innovation within the transportation industry being powered by the convergence of data, powerful computing, and smartphones.
1). Can you tell me about CycleSafe and what it means for CycleSafe to be a leader in the bike locker industry?
Cycle Safe is the market leader for the bike locker industry due to our nearly 40 years of innovation including being the first to market with an enclosed, highly secure bicycle locker. Our lockers are manufactured to a standard that is the highest in the industry. This isn’t just a marketing statement, rather our SMC (Sheet Molding Compound or Composite) is formulated to offer extreme strength and durability. The process utilizes high pressure (over 1000 tons) and high heat to produce the walls for our lockers, which also allows for ribs and bosses thereby increasing the strength even further.
So, in layman's terms?
So it’s a unique construction! We’ve invested dramatically more than anybody in the industry. Most competitors are making products out of simple office shelf tooling, but our’s is all custom made for us since the early 80s and it’s withstood the test of time.
2). What should everyone know about your bike lockers and the benefits they provide?
We call ourselves CycleSafe since our lockers are strong enough to withstand attempted entry with bats, clubs and crow bars. Although, no locker is theft proof, our lockers serve as a worthy deterrent to the theft of a bicycle. And we really haven’t had any bike theft logged over the thirty plus years that we’ve had lockers installed.
Wow, that’s great news for cyclists.
Right, it basically stops bicycle theft in it’s tracks. You know, they go and find an easier target or opportunity.
However, theft prevention is not the only advantage of a Cycle Safe locker. Our lockers also offer protection from the elements including rain, snow, hail and even heat. It has been proven that our lockers have a temperature that is lower than a typical steel locker, which actually acts like an oven and multiplies the external ambient heat.
Why does that matter?
This is critical since the high temperatures have a negative impact on the rubber and plastic components of a bicycle, along with affecting the performance of the various lubricants.
I see. What about cost?
We also have the opportunity to generate significant cost savings through exploring the use of advanced composite materials to develop our innovative solution for bike storage. Composites are extremely low maintenance and have drastically reduced the whole life cost of components, also being extremely light, they are significantly cheaper to install.
I can see why you call yourself the leaders.
3). What does it mean for CycleSafe bike lockers to now offer electronic access to users through their smartphone?
Our new capability of smartphone bluetooth electronic access will now allow users an enhanced experience, when needing a bicycle locker. For locker owners, this means a “hands off” management of locker usage. No more managing keys, cash payments, lost keys or security issues relating to who actually uses the locker. With this new system, a locker owner has better visibility as to who is using a locker and the frequency of its use.
Is this the first time CycleSafe has offered electronic access to bike lockers?
No, our company has offered several other electronic access versions, but with the booking and billing in the bluetooth makes [the Movatic-powered lockers] the most advanced system for electronic access for a bike locker at this point.
4) What has been the response so far when you introduce the bike lockers with electronic access to customers?
In a recent conference in Vancouver, this new feature received many accolades. In fact, a couple of potential customers were ready to purchase a [competitor’s product, but] now prefer our lockers with the electronic access capability.
That’s great news for CycleSafe.
In addition, a fairly large property management company is looking at establishing a program for their leased properties that use our lockers with the electronic locking capability. So you can see there are multiple market applications.
5) What pain points do the bike lockers with electronic access eliminate for the bike locker users?
The hassle of interacting with the locker owner for access to a locker. No need to carry cash to pay for a locker. The elimination of losing a key to a locker. The ability to reserve a locker prior to arriving at its location. The ability to leave equipment with a bike secured within our lockers.
It’s also much better than a bike rack. Bicycles lockers by definition are the highest form of security for bicycle parking. There are things out there like bike rooms, but they normally have some form of access control on the front door and then they have to lock the bike to the racks inside somehow, so you’re then tasked with carrying multiple IDS and a heavy lack and this removes that cumbersome activity. So it’s a distinct advantage for the users and there’s barriers to the cyclists choosing to ride a bike instead of taking a car. What we’re doing is to help remove those barriers by making it more convenient.
6). How does offering electronic access to bike lockers give CycleSafe a competitive advantage/ eliminate any points for CycleSafe?
Well, being first to market with this capability will allow for faster growth in this sector. In addition, locker sales may increase due primarily to this capability. Again, it is new so we can’t make any assumptions, but we see people responding intuitively that it’s a good thing moving in the right direction.
7) How has it been working with Movatic?
Movatic has been an excellent partner in developing this capability. Although there are many aspects to developing this product, they have worked well with us to ensure we can launch an effective bike locking solution. We look forward to a continued relationship with Movatic as we improve the user experience of this capability.
8) Anything else, you’d like to add?
Sure. There are four major benefits of cycling and participating in alternative transportation and those are congestion reduction, pollution reduction, active transportation for a healthier lifestyle and parking lot savings. Less cars will also mean less parking spaces, which will allow people to live in the urban center and helps to contribute to local economies. So there are a lot of benefits just beyond the equipment decision for the community. This is such an exciting time for CycleSafe to be a part of an active, healthy and sustainable living movement.
“We like to invest in entrepreneurs who have the vision and the drive to create long term market changing business. We like to invest in to build great teams. And invest in entrepreneurs unbounded by convention or trend. We’re certainly on that cutting edge there with Movatic.”