Sue Knaup, executive director of bicycle advocacy organisation One Street of Arizona, is seeking crowdfunding support on Kickstarter.com for her robust, repairable shift lever. A former bike shop owner, Knaup said: "I designed this bicycle shift lever after countless complaints from our partner organisations in all parts of the world. Programs that provide bicycles to people who need them for transportation, hauling goods and carrying their children can no longer find shift levers that hold up to hard use. They can choose from ridiculously complex and expensive shifters that are usually integrated with the brake lever or cheap shifters made of plastic and pot metal. Both types wear out within months of daily use and cannot be repaired."
Four of the shifter’s six parts are standard items: a bolt, a nut, a hose clamp and a bottle cap. The other two parts will be cast from scrap aluminium. The shift lever works on both the left and right sides and is compatible with all gear ranges, front and rear.
Crowdfunding is needed for the casting molds and production expenses.
"I am a trained welder, stick, MIG and TIG, and have designed and built many varied items for my customers at the bike shop," said Knaup.
"I used this design and build experience to create the early prototypes, then worked with experts in aluminium casting and CAD design to produce the final prototype. The prototype lever and base were created with a CNC machine. However, the shifters funded by this Kickstarter campaign will be cast from scrap aluminum here in Prescott using a primitive casting method that anyone can set up in their backyard using a flower pot and household charcoal."
The first "collector" version of the lever costs $50 on Kickstarter.
Knaup founded One Street in 2007. For 13 years prior to this she owned a bike shop in Prescott, Arizona.