TrunkMonkey is the Inflatable Solution to Your Bike Rack Woes
Necessity is the mother of invention, and for one college student, Tyler Nelson, necessity helped create this. Meet the TrunkMonkey, an inflatable bike carrier designed to fit on any vehicle and accommodate any traditional bike frame. Nelson thought of the idea after riding his bike home from campus during a thunderstorm. At one point he was offered a ride in a friend’s coupe, but with no space to rack or stow his bike in the two-door, he was left to pedal through wind and rain. After thinking “there’s got to be a better solution,” he sat down on his living room floor and sketched one–the TrunkMonkey. Today, Nelson has built finalized prototypes and has begun a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to support manufacturing costs, with plans to get the first TrunkMonkey bike carriers to buyers by late August. RELATED: New Ford e-Bikes Give City Commuters a Reason to Cheer
At its core, the TrunkMonkey features an inflatable polyvinyl air bladder, which is surrounded by a 1000mil Cordura Kevlar fabric shell. Simply plug in the included air pump into a car’s cigarette lighter, and the whole carrier can be inflated or deflated within two minutes, tackling the first shortfall of the traditional bike rack–its inconvenient storage size. When not in use, the TrunkMonkey can be mounted to a bike’s seat post or stashed in a car’s trunk.
The second woe of the traditional bike rack is its inability to mount universally to every make or model of car. The TrunkMonkey is said to fit to virtually any vehicle, whether it be an SUV, sedan, hatchback, or even a coupe. And instead of contacting the bike frame at hard or lightly padded points, the TrunkMonkey works by hugging the bike against its air cushion, creating as few friction points as possible.
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The Kickstarter initiative has already raised over $46,000 of the company’s $25,000 initial goal. When the TrunkMonkey does hit the retail market in August and September, it’s slated to sell for $150.
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