Vanhawks Valour, Like a Moonshot Bike

I’ll make an exception to our Kickstarter rule to mention the Vanhawks Valour. Mathowie tipped me to it on Twitter and it’s so far-reaching, in what they’re trying to do, it deserves attention. When we’re inundating daily by mention requests to what amounts to pre-orders for honestly, not so ground-breaking products, cynicism and “meh” sets in. The rule is we have to see it, touch it, or ride it first before mentioning or posting on a Kickstarter.

Having not seen any PR on the Vanhawks, I was interested by Matt’s tweet. So they’re funded with Angel VC and the $100K ask is enough to cover production – an app with API is where margins start getting squeezed. They don’t say if they have a stateside engineering source or relying on the factory and what looks like a 43 in the photos makes it appear a bit goofy, with gigantic pedals. They’re offering 50cm, 53cm, and 56cm frames, and an impressive spec list

Giant pedals

My what giant pedals you have

  • Senors: Bluetooth 4.0, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Speed sensor, GPS Receiver, Mesh-network, Blindspot detection sensors, LEDs.
  • Supernova Infinity S Front Dynamo Hub
  • Carbon
  • Ergon kit
  • App and API.

Is this their bike moonshot? Well, on the eve of this post, the Washington State AG filed suit against a non-delivered Kickstarter. So buyer beware for such a complex city bike, packed with so much untested or proven spec.

For a rant or two from me on Kickstarter, see this G+ post. Also, see posts about the Kickstarted TiGr Lock, Mission Sutro, and Faraday that I saw at Sea Otter last month.

Despite my reservations over Kickstarters and all that things that could go wrong with this bike, I look forward to seeing a Valour. Maybe at a bike show this year, they’ll have a crowdfunded pavilion showcasing it, the Faraday, and Sutro. With more Angle VCs waiting in the wings to bring bikes like this to market.

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