A spontaneous visit to zoozbikes.com 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.
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?
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!
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:
- Mount the spare seat frame to the bike (seat cover and foam removed).
- Use posterboard and tape to design the seat extension, overlapping it onto the existing seat frame.
- Trace the posterboard panels onto 1/8" plywood and cut them out using a reciprocating saw.
- Pop-rivet the 1/8" plywood panels to the seat frame where they overlapped.
- Gorilla-glue the top and rear plywood panels to the side panels.
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!
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.