In our latest series, we’re getting to grips with the brands that you deal with every day. The ‘Five minutes with’ series will present a company with five short, sharp and to-the-point questions about who they are and what they do. This week we’re joined by InvisiFRAME founder Lee Regan.
Can you tell us the history of the company?
We founded invisiFRAME in 2011 as I wanted to protect my new bike and there just wasn't anything suitable. Before founding invisiFRAME, I worked in an industry where I had access to 3M automotive grade protection film; I used this to painstakingly cut out my first frame protection. This was closely followed by requests from my fellow riders who could also see the value in this, so I set about protecting as many frames as I could with the tools I had. I’m sure we all agree there is nothing quite like getting your new bike, but nothing worse than that little stone chip and transport damage when something goes wrong.
From here we teamed up with stockists, suppliers, bicycle industry boffins, race teams and riders to develop a product that allows the bike you’ve bought to shine through, whilst offering industry leading protection.
What are you ultimately trying to achieve?
We love seeing new bikes and the joy that people get from not only that initial purchase but the lifetime of their bike. However that joy can be short lived if your bike gets hit by rocks whilst out riding. As an industry there is a growing trend to change, change, change, but what we can offer with invisiFRAME kits is the ability for riders to keep their bikes and keep them looking prime for many years. And ultimately when they do come to sell them the bikes will hold more value as the frames will have been protected and thus in much better condition.
What gives you an edge over other brands in the industry?
As the first to produce custom cut frame protection where we cut kits specific not just to a model of frame but the size as well, we have many years experience and an extensive back catalogue of frame kits ready to go. Our product utilises the best available films from Xpel and 3M enabling us to offer our customers the best protection. However far from simply offering an off the shelf DIY kit or a service where you have to bring the bike to us, we now work with a growing number of retailers, who are trained to install the kits correctly. In essence we offer them a choice of installation options from DIY to DFY – Done For You – and we also help retailers add value to their business. Something else of interest is we have been told by a large cycle retail chain that applying the kits has led to them seeing a significant decrease in the amount of first ride paint warranty claims, so that has to be a significant advantage for the retailers installing invisiFRAME.
What innovations in the industry are exciting you at the moment?
For me it’s about the manufacturing quality. As you can imagine I see a lot of bikes when I’m planning out new kits and I get VERY close to the finish. The consistency in frame dimensions from frame to frame is significantly higher than it was three-to-four years ago, added to that the quality of paint finish and again the QC that must go on, and I can happily say that bikes these days seem to be manufactured to a much higher tolerance. The marketing buzz is all about new wheel sizes, boost this and plus that, but behind all this it is genuinely exciting to see that production quality is on the rise.
What does the future hold for the company?
That's a great question. We are in a really exciting phase for the business and we are currently seeing strong growth. We have a number of exciting plans in line for 2018, we will be looking to further develop our relationships with UK retailers and we are also beginning to grow our global operations and seeing some exciting growth outside of the UK. The other piece of the jigsaw is our decal business, where we offer custom decals for frames, shocks, forks and wheels and there will be continued investment in this arm of the business to help more people update their old bikes or pimp out their new rides!