Jeri Rutherford is an avid bicyclist, and like many others, found conventional bicycle seats to be very uncomfortable after a few hours. In 2004, after enduring a cross-state bike ride, she purchased a welder and began the process of designing a revolutionary new seat that would mold to a rider’s anatomy. The result was the Carbon Comfort seat, which was significantly more comfortable than any design currently on the market. Jeri has invested her life savings toward the development of her product, including the related costs of patent protection (which took 2 ½ years), trademarks, websites, marketing, tradeshows and international travel to find the right manufacturer. She estimates that the final product cost the equivalent of a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house.
Jeri attended classes conducted by the SCORE office in Boise and worked with consultants at the Boise Idaho SBDC office. Marketing of the bike seat really began with an article in the Idaho Statesman written by Pete Zimowsky, a local outdoors reporter. Pete tested the seat and loved it, then wrote his story, which was reprinted in 20 newspapers. That resulted in the first month’s Web-based sales of over $10,000. Sales have held steady at around $8,000 a month. Eighty percent of internet sales are to private individuals and the remaining twenty percent to stores and distributors.
RideOut recently introduced two new products. The Storm Quest® is the first bicycle seat designed specifically for bicycle patrol and campus security officers, providing maximum comfort for those who spend all day every day in the saddle. The RideOut Urban Touring saddle bag offers storage capacity and a three position integrated rear riding LED light for maximum safety day or night.
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