City planners aren’t the only ones helping make bicycling easier for Capitol Hill residents these days —Henry Kellogg took a break from his UW Mechanical Engineering degree to start mobile bike business LionTail Cycles, which installs cargo bike and electric boost systems.
Kellogg, who is based in Capitol Hill and runs LionTail out of a custom built bike trailer, said his goal is to get as many people as possible to make the switch from cars to bicycles.
LionTail has two major products in its catalog: cargo bikes, which Kellogg sells as new bikes or as a conversion service for existing bikes, increase carrying capability. Kellogg said he usually sells the larger bucket-seat bikes to parents.
“I’ll get an email, from almost always a younger parent — usually near Greenlake,” he said. “They have young kids and they ask me how they can get their kids around.”
Kellogg brings his bike trailer to the customer, dropping off the new bike or giving them a test ride and performing the installation.
“I’m on a bike trailing a trailer, often trailing another bike,” he said.
Kellogg said the most common customers for his electric-assist systems are working professionals looking to make the commute easier.
“It’s important for people to show up without being sweaty,” he said.
Kellogg offers a range of systems (including systems from Seattle’s own Clean Republic), some of which can put a rider at the sprint speed of a professional cyclist, and some of which simply give a boost to the user’s pedal power.
Though Kellogg said “there’s a learning curve to riding one of the cargo bikes,” he said electric bikes are pretty intuitive when people take test rides.
“People just try them out and they have a huge grin after they’re done,” he said.
“My intuition is that the electric bike is going to become one of the most popular bikes in Seattle,” he added.