April 14, 2017

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Kickstarter update: THANK YOU - THANK YOU and what's next.

Thank you for bringing Dan to life.

The Kickstarter platform is processing the payments and we should get our funding within the next two weeks. The first batch of Dan's is being packed right now and will be used to fulfill the US, Canada and rest of the World orders. European orders will follow ASAP. I will send out a survey next week were you can pick the color and confirm your shipping address. This will allow me to figure out how many European orders for Dan we've received and I will place the order with our German manufacturer shortly after analyzing the survey data. 

Here is a little update video and a tour of where DaHÄNGERs and Dan come from.

Thank you for being a backer,

Jurgen

April 04, 2017

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Kickstarter DaHÄNGER Dan update #4

Look who showed up two weeks early.

Only a couple of days left in the campaign and we got some great news from our US manufacturer. Our first batch of Dan's just arrived in New York and are ready to be packed.

Pop quiz - How many Dan's fit in an Uber?
Pop quiz - How many Dan's fit in an Uber?

These guys are going to be used to fulfill the US, Canada and rest of the World Kickstarter pledges. We are still waiting to figure out how many Dan's to order from our German manufacturer. As soon as the campaign is over we are going to send out a survey which will break down pledges by country and this will allow us to order the right amount for the European backers.

It is also time to start thinking about what color Dan's you would like to receive. The powder coat looks amazing and I really think all three colors look great.

What color do you want? - this will be one of the survey questions
What color do you want? - this will be one of the survey questions

Here is another thing that happened. I made the "How to install Dan" video. It's the two bike unedited install version that is just over twelve minutes long, a perfect bedtime story. 

Please keep spreading the news about the end of ugly and boring bike hook era.

thank you,

Jurgen

March 28, 2017

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Kickstarter #2 DaHANGER Dan

Please check out our second campaign "Dan" which was born 100% from customer feedback. http://kck.st/2lS1Ku8

March 07, 2017

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Hang your bike or make it pay rent.

I can think of more than one reason (well, actually five reasons) why your bike deserves to sleep on a wall inside your home or garage.

 So many ways to hang a bike.

1. The floor space is for living.

Life is expensive and your bike is not paying any rent. Consider instead of building an addition on your house or a second garage, you could be hanging your bikes up on the wall. Saving yourself thousands of dollars, which could be used to buy more bikes :)

2. Shit happens.

Bikes fall over, shit happens. The problem is, when that nice carbon fiber frame hits the edge of the door frame, another bike (any sharp point) or whatever else lies in the way, the tears will be large and plentiful. Side impact is definitely carbon fibers achilles heal. 

3. The motivation factor.

Seeing your bike hang on the wall, ready to roll, begging you to take it out for a ride is highly motivating and sometimes that extra nudge you needed to turn that thought of an after work ride into an action.

4. Bike thieves suck.

Bikes are easy prey for thieves and vandals. Not sure why stealing a bike doesn't sound as much of a criminal act than stealing a car, but the fact is that some cyclists have more money invested in bikes than in their car. This and the ability to sell stolen goods on the internet makes bikes an easy target.

5. Some bikes are art.

Only cycling nerds like me will understand this last and final argument. The beauty of a hand crafted one of kind bicycle is 100% art and when not ridden needs to be properly displayed.

So many ways to hang a bike. 

What to do? There are three choices and no right or wrong way. What is the best way for you depends a lot on how many bikes, what kind of bikes and the layout of the space that is available for storage.

1.Front wheel hooks.  

front wheel hooks

Did you splurge and finally get those deep dish rims? Are you completely hooked on fat-biking? In both instances you would most likely not want to use a cheap front wheel hook. First of all they wouldn't fit (unless they are massively oversized hooks) and second, who wants to scratch and damage the rims on either bike. Front wheel hooks are very useful but awkward to use and are limited to certain wheel sizes and bikes. They can be space saving when used with a single bike in the corner. Multiple bikes hung on front wheel hooks take up a lot of space since they are oriented perpendicular to the wall and reach far into the living/garage space. 

2. Wall brackets or shelves.

wall brackets

Wall brackets and shelves store the bikes horizontally and are easy to use. There are many different versions and options available and some of them even have extra storage for all your cycling gear like helmets, shoes and gloves. Shelves are the most expensive solution and can range from $50.-  to $500.- depending on the finish and their functionality. They are considered furniture and are often used to display that one special bike that deserves to be the center of attention. Wall brackets look a lot more like your standard front wheel hook, they are mostly made out of bent metal with rubber coated arms to hold bikes by the top tube. 

3. Pedal Hooks.

pedal hooks

This is another horizontal storage option but unlike the shelves, there is no extra storage. They are easy to use and offer the display look of shelves and brackets at a lower cost. The newest version of pedal hooks from DaHÄNGER are called DAN which angles the bikes slightly from the wall allowing for a staggered installation. This is by far the most space saving solution when it comes to floor space and square footage.  

Now you know.

.....and by the way, it doesn't matter which option you choose.
What matters is that you are interested in living a healthy cycling lifestyle.
More riding and less driving is the secret to a happy life.

Thank you for reading this, please check out our newest Kickstarter campaign and share it with a friend.

Jurgen



December 15, 2016

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The lure of the bike that never has the right gear. Is racing single speed just stupid?

It seems to me that single speed racing is getting more and more popular these days, especially in cyclo cross events. I have been racing in this class for two years now and I think I know what's behind the lure of the bike that never has the right gear. 

First you have to choose your gear and you know it's going to be wrong 99% of the time.

 

What gear to run was something I cared about in the beginning. I thought changing my one gear to match the course every race could make a difference. Wrong!!! The reality is, nobody gets this right. Yes, of course there are catastrophic gear ratios like way too big, or way too small that will eliminate you from being a contender. But once you find that acceptable range where your rpm's aren't dizzying on the flats and your knee caps aren't blowing out their sockets when riding up a small incline, you are ready to never touch your bike again.

here is video explaining cross with a little single speed race action after 3:04min :

Single speed attacks can be so cute :)

If you are an experienced racer and used to eye popping attacks that tear the peloton into pieces within minutes, be ready for a new experience. Nobody can drop the hammer and sprint away. The difference in speeds between racers is limited and break aways look more like somebody trying to secretly sneak away. The key for being a successful single speed racer is to think and look further ahead. Momentum is your friend and exit speeds out of turns matters a whole lot more when the only gear you have is most likely a little too big out of every turn. All of this keeps the racers closer together for longer and makes the racing just more fun. Nobody enjoys being dropped after the first straightaway.

Looks matter. (and I mean the bike)

Face it, all those gears, derailleurs and sloppy dangling chains aren't sexy. A single speed bike offers a clean simplistic look, that also comes with a certain quietness caused by the lack of chain slapping against the frame. There is also the weight advantage when you don't have gears. This is big plus when you have to carry your bike up steep hills or lift it over barriers.

More fun for the money? 

Single speed bikes can be build up rather cheaply. You don't need to buy any derailleurs, shifters, cables and cassettes, which translates into pretty hefty savings. There are complete bikes starting under $ 1000.- that rock. (check out some bikes here) Entry-fees are also cheaper (at this point and hopefully it will stay this way) than the geared categories. Even so this might change with the growing popularity of this class, it's nice to have some extra dough for the after party. 

We are all the same. The "no classes" rule. 

This in my opinion is the biggest and main reason why the single speed class has grown in popularity for the last couple of years. It's one big class. No cat. 1,2,3 or 4 or age groups. All that matters is that you don't have gears. It's the same for everybody and the likelihood of somebody in a costume lining up along the side of you keeps the seriousness to an acceptable level. Oh, and there is nothing to win but bragging rights, which is always a good deterrent of professional recreational racers.

All in all I love it, and I will continue to spin out of control going down and mashing up those hills.

Ride on......

Jurgen Beneke  

 

December 01, 2016

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DaHÄNGERs are 100% MADE in USA

Not only is it made in the USA. It's actually made by me. :) After three manufacturers failed to finish the DaHANGER production, 1/2 of the manufacturing is done here in Kingston NY. This is our massive foam fixture that holds and keeps the part in place while the HD foam hardens and makes a solid part.
Making American manufacturing great again is going to be really difficult since most of them have already gone overseas and the few that are left only want the easy big money jobs. As soon as you have to touch parts and do manual labor you are on your own. This wouldn't be a problem if made in USA products could be sold for a premium, but that is a faulty statement. The conflict at heart is that Americans can't keep asking for cheaper products, buying things in Walmart that are made overseas and ask for jobs to come back. It will never happen unless money starts circulating on a local level. It would also help if small retailers would offer more locally made products since that might create local jobs and turn workers into customers. Nevertheless, I am extremely happy to be able to send our hangers around the world and continue to plan our next products. DaHANGERs will most likely be always made in the USA, but I am already looking overseas for our second Kickstarter manufacturer since price matters and making money would allow me to hire the first employee to help with fulfillment and manufacturing. If you want to be in the loop and first to find out what the next project will be, please sign up to our newsletter.
http://eepurl.com/bvO3Lj

Thanks
Jurgen Beneke

The company:
me, myself and I :)

 

October 20, 2016

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Custom vs. off the rack bikes

Is it going to be a keeper?

Your off the rack bike, it rides well, does everything other bikes do and was a great deal. So why would you ever want to get a custom bike? Gathering all the parts and putting it all together sounds like such a pain.
Well, here is my short and sweet answer to this:
I have both, custom and off the rack bikes and they all serve me well. But there is something about a custom bike that makes it very special. It's your own creation, a one of a kind master piece. Usually it starts by falling in love with a frame and then picking exactly the color that you always wanted. If you are buying from a smaller manufacturer who does all the work on site you will also have the option of fitting the frame to your body type. (this usually is not a issue for me since I am 5'9" with normal arm and leg length) Now comes the best part of custom builds, you get to choose all the goodies that will complete your cycling heirloom.
 
This is definitely going to cost you more than an off the rack bike in the beginning. Most shops will tell you that you should buy a complete bike and that you can always upgrade parts or wheels later. The only problem with that is, once you upgrade anything you have sell the left over parts for top dollars on ebay to justify buying a bike with the wrong parts in the first place. This could potentially be just as much work and expensive as building custom from the get go.

The choices are endless and if you are doing it right you will have a bike for a lifetime.

The moral of the story is:

If you can find a complete bike that has all the parts that you can live with in the color that you want in the right size and you are not planning on changing anything, then go ahead and buy off the rack. But if you are planning on upgrading individual parts later, you might want to consider starting from the frame up and go custom all the way. 

btw. "Only bicycle geeks like you and me will see the value in custom bikes, so don't bother making your case to the pedestrian non cyclist out there or they might lock you up. :)"

Enjoy the ride,

Jurgen

 

September 26, 2016

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Final Kickstarter update

Cheers, Hugs and High Fives!

‘THANK YOU” for helping me bring the product formerly known as “Shelfie” to life. All rewards have been sent out and we (I) are slowly transitioning into the real world of marketing online and selling thru retail stores.

 

The lessons learned: I always knew it was going to be hard running and completing a Kickstarter campaign. The business world is not a very kind place to be when you are a micro small startup (aka. One man band) Lessons were learned over the last two years that no MBA or business school can teach you, especially when it comes to trust, believing in contracts, the trademark legal system or the actual words that come out of other peoples mouths. Communication is key and when it breaks down you better see the writing on the wall that things are not going as well as planned. We went thru three different manufacturers (all based in the US) and a lot was promised and very little was delivered. I remember the time when I had to use my wives phone to call our manufacturer since they wouldn’t pick up anymore when they saw my number on the caller-ID. Also being a Kickstarter project with actual orders to fulfill can be a negative when you are starting to run late because of failed tooling and you need to find a new supplier. Prices all the sudden change, things are getting more expensive since they know you painted yourself into a corner and you have backers that want the product as promised. Thank god I am a stubborn bastard who is not afraid of a little well-mannered confrontation and problem solving is my strength.  

You don’t need to go to CHINA to get screwed: I hear a lot of comments about “don’t go to China, you’re going to get screwed, Made in US is better and there are companies ready to do the work here in this country” Ok, here is my five cents to this. Many companies in the US won’t even pick up the phone unless you’re writing a PO of $ 150,000.- or more. Almost all US tooling companies sub out the making of steel molds to China since they can’t compete with their pricing and they are actually pretty good at it. The engineering and tooling design is still made in the US most of the time. How about the actual production? Well, that depends a lot on how much physical labor is involved and what are the costs per hour for that person doing the tasks. After our injection molding effort had failed three times we switched to the much more labor-intensive roto mold method. We had finally figured out how to make the part, but it needed to be flame polished and foam filled which turned out to add an extra 45 minutes per part. (too much for any US company willing to take on) That was it, we had an almost finished product and it was now up to us to finish it off. After getting all the equipment and materials together we are now successfully producing the bike shelf and have shipped over 550 units into the world. Being made in the USA is something we are proud of, but most people in the real world don’t care where the stuff is made as long as it is cheap. Would we ever outsource the production? Maybe, it all depends on the demand, but for right now we are happy with the process and our manufacturing partner in the US.

Will I ever do it again? Not will I, but when? Definitely, I am a creative person at heart and had many ideas during the journey of our project, but didn’t allow myself to be distracted until I had completed this one. The lessons learned and the mistakes made cannot be wasted by never doing anything else again. I have watch, backed and followed many other Kickstarter campaigns, I see the struggles creators have when shit happens and wish they would communicate better with their backers who believed in them and use them as a resource when the going gets tough. We are all in this together and I will always do my best to move things forward. 

Feedback has been awesome: The feedback that I have received has been amazing and even so some of you have been surprised by the size of the DaHANGER the photos speak for themselves. 

Feedback photos

Chances that you are a cycling nut just like me are pretty high and if you want to follow our newsletter to get continued updates on what’s next and when the Kickstarter 2.0 will launch please sign up here: NEWSLETTER

Thank you again and keep in touch.

Jurgen

 

June 22, 2016

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The packing party continues

We are slowly getting to the end of our Kickstarter fulfillment journey. A big thank you to everybody who has been part of this and helped packing boxes and shipping DaHÄNGERs to all of our backers. There a roughly 130 units that still need to get finished and packed. We are going to work as fast as we can to complete these orders in the next couple of weeks. 

 

April 13, 2016

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Kickstarter update #40

Did you move? How to update your address.

Hi Kickstarters,

Since I had to take over 50% of manufacturing it's a little slower than expected, but I have sent close to 100 DaHANGERs so far and I am finishing  between 6 - 9 units per workday. Everybody will get their reward and I am slowly upgrading my equipment to speed things up. For example I have moved on from ordering foam in 5 gallon buckets and getting my first drum (55 gallons) delivery this week. This requires me to have tools and new equipment to get the foam out and into the part. I also decided that after running out of granite white parts, that it was good use of time to drive (700 miles) to our supplier last Sunday to pick up (90 granite white, 10 grey) DaHANGERs on Monday and discuss a couple of quality control issues that I had. This is all very exciting and I am so happy to finally be able to (slowly :) fulfill all of our Kickstarter rewards. 

 If you have moved during our lengthy campaign, please make sure to updated your address in your survey. Just go to our DaHANGER (Shelfie) Kickstarter campaign page, find your reward, click on survey response and edit your address. This will help me from making any shipping mistakes. I am using a shipping app called Shipping-Easy which sends out an e-mail with tracking when your reward is being send out.

All the black DaHANGERs have shipped and granite white is next. There are 10 grey DaHANGERs that we received to approve the color that will also ship in the next two weeks. 

Oh, and one more things, the order of fulfillment is kinda random since my backer report has all of your names in the order of when payment cleared and not when you backed our project. No matter what, everybody will get theirs sooner or later. 

Thank you for hanging in there,

Jurgen

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