Customers like to know how a product is differentiated on the market and where the humble beginnings of some of their favourite brands started. This interview with Warren Key, owner of ByK Bikes, is taken from a full page business spotlight featured in the latest Little One Magazine.
Little One also featured a range of ByK bikes in their ‘We Love’ section of the magazine, knowing the fresh kids' bike design and range would resonate with their readers.
Here's the interview in full for those of you who also wanted to know the 'full story' on ByK's innovation and success:
What was your inspiration for the design foundation of ByK?
The real inspiration came out of my oldest son’s adversity. He was born with an impaired hip, and early on was restricted as to what he could do. Bike riding was one activity that was meant to be okay for him, but he struggled with it. I bought him a high-end race BMX bike with all the gear, full face helmet, the works, but still the rideability for him was too restricted. So, I pulled the bike apart and reshaped it, using a more workable ergonomic geometry. And there began our long journey to where we are now, with the initial test ride confirming that I had a better design. From that early breakthrough, we have invested a huge amount of energy into making the designs the very best they can be, with my kids the lucky ones trying out each new development.
What is different about ByK Bikes?
The key elements that make ByK Bikes so different is that we have lowered the balance weight of the bike and the rider deeper into the wheels. This makes the centre of gravity lower and the rider more stable. At the same time, we have reduced the rolling resistance and the overall weight to improve control. The frame design is unique in its length, and ByK Bikes are also safer than any other children’s bike we know. It is incredible to think we have been able to help other kids too, and may have changed the way kids bikes are designed forever.
Why do you think kids bikes have lacked the necessary investment and innovation for so long, until now?
Kids bikes are not the main focus of the bike industry. All the energy goes into adult bikes. It is only now that we are seeing a change. To lead the way in this regard has been an amazing thing, although a challenge. Our love of bikes and our commitment to creating a quality product for kids has kept us going.
You have expanded the range considerably since your initial three models in 2009. What have you got planned for ByK in the coming year?
We will keep growing, just like our kids! Last year we introduced a proper MTB range, as well as commuter models. This year, we have cyclocross bikes, and next year we will have an MR bike – a hybrid mountain/road bike. More new gadgets are in the pipeline too. We are working with a new internal gearing system that combines with external gears, plus we have a new skate style helmet and winter gloves arriving, and we are set to make our basket and mudguards available for aftermarket sales. We love coming up with new ideas and responding to requests from our customers.
What has been the most rewarding experience in developing the ByK brand?
When I started ByK Bikes, I really didn’t intend to be where we are now, but I have enjoyed the journey! Being part of making a positive difference to kids’ lives can only be a good thing.