A Zooz Bikes #skillsforthrills Entry

A spontaneous visit to revealed something unexpected; they were running a Build-off contest! All you needed to participate was a Zooz bike frame. I had that! I had a whole Zooz bike! But I wasn't (nor am I now) much of a builder. After some short-lived excitement, the build-off went on my mental back burner.

Person locking up their Zooz bike making a cool face
My awesome Zoozer friend ❤️

I met my friend (a fellow Zoozer!) to cowork about a week later; I asked if she had seen the build-off contest. She was like, yeah! I was gonna to ask you about that! Her reaction seemed to say, what are you gonna build for it? I buckled under the peer pressure; skilled builder or not, I had to submit something. But what?

Sketches of modified bike seat design
️The doodle on the right was my plan!

I traced a picture of my Zooz onto plain white paper. In hopes some inspiration would reach out and smack me in the face, I extended the bike's natural lines. Smack - the seat! I would extend the world-renowned, signature Zooz seat toward the rear with an exaggerated, fender-esque brush stroke. An understated, minimal morph that respects the bike's existing lines while still bringing a unique look. My entry was born!

Disassembled, gen0 Zooz seat in orange
️With a spare seat frame, I had a head start!

A while back I had purchased a spare (orange) seat, but never used it. That meant I had a seat frame I could take risks with and still ride to the train station! I removed the orange seat cover and foam, and stared at the seat frame for an embarassingly long time. How best to modify it? After some false starts, I ended up with this process and materials:

Custom Zooz seat work-in-progress
️Sleat; a work-in-progress.
  1. Mount the spare seat frame to the bike (seat cover and foam removed).
  2. Use posterboard and tape to design the seat extension, overlapping it onto the existing seat frame.
  3. Trace the posterboard panels onto 1/8" plywood and cut them out using a reciprocating saw.
  4. Pop-rivet the 1/8" plywood panels to the seat frame where they overlapped.
  5. Gorilla-glue the top and rear plywood panels to the side panels.
Custom Zooz seat frame
The Sleat seat frame was complete!

Sleat's extended seat frame was done and ready for an upholsterer! A few DuckDuckGo searches and calls to local-ish upholsterers led me to Alstar Seating in Moonachie, NJ. Not only were they willing take on this small project, but they turned it around in less than twenty-four hours!

side-by-side of stock Zooz seat and sleat
Welp, Sleat is indeed longer!

Sleat was complete! This was a fun project in support of a brand I love. The finished product is the result of many bike-shedding conversations with friends and family, even though it's just. A. Seat. But it's not just a seat. It's Sleat.