Where British Specialbike creates unique bicycles by refurbishing old ones with custom components and a colourful flair, Florida-based Republic Bike achieves a similar end with new bikes by allowing customers to design their own in a rainbow of hues. Now, through a partnership with Republic Bike, global retailer Urban Outfitters is bringing design-your-own capabilities to its customers as well at the online Urban Outfitters Bike Shop.
Working with the Aristotle v.1.5, a single-speed bike with a flip-flop hub, Republic Bike begins by asking users to select from among three frame sizes for the bike they'd like built for them. They are then asked to choose the colours they'd like for nine separate components on the bike: frame, saddle, grips, chain, crank, and front and rear tires and rims. Five popular styles are available for those having difficulty choosing among the 500 or so possible colour combinations, as is a random option for alternative ideas. Once the selections are made, Republic Bike builds the bike in its South Florida facility within days of receiving the order. It's then packed for shipment, arriving at the consumer's door 90 percent assembled.
Given the recent renaissance in pedal power, the arrival of personalization capabilities comes not a moment too soon. Republic Bike ships only within North America, however, while Urban Outfitters limits its orders to the continental US. One to bring to two-wheeled enthusiasts on the bike lanes near you...? It's not just the customized rides that interest us here, though—it's the partnership between a large retailer and a smaller firm that focuses on letting customers design the products they want. We've covered dozens of "design-your-own" ventures, so retailers: dig into the archives and find out who you can partner with to add tailor-made products to your virtual shelves. To get you started, customizable lingerie, handbags, socks, duvets, chocolate bars and fabric.