Bicycles

TrunkMonkey bike rack inflates into shape

TrunkMonkey bike rack inflates...
Strap your bike on and you have a ride home
Strap your bike on and you have a ride home
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The TrunkMonkey secures to your seatpost
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The TrunkMonkey secures to your seatpost
When packed, the TrunkMonkey looks like a large saddle bag
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When packed, the TrunkMonkey looks like a large saddle bag
With the TrunkMonkey, you'll always be able to get your bike home via car
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With the TrunkMonkey, you'll always be able to get your bike home via car
The TrunkMonkey package weighs around 6 lb
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The TrunkMonkey package weighs around 6 lb
The TrunkMonkey was designed to fit virtually all vehicles and bike styles
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The TrunkMonkey was designed to fit virtually all vehicles and bike styles
TrunkMonkey inflatable bicycle carrier
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TrunkMonkey inflatable bicycle carrier
The TrunkMonkey's inflatable design protects your bike and vehicle
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The TrunkMonkey's inflatable design protects your bike and vehicle
The TrunkMonkey takes about two minutes to inflate with the included pump
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The TrunkMonkey takes about two minutes to inflate with the included pump
Strap your bike on and you have a ride home
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Strap your bike on and you have a ride home
The TrunkMonkey fits on the trunk lid or hatchback tailgate
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The TrunkMonkey fits on the trunk lid or hatchback tailgate
Kickstarter pledge levels start at $100
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Kickstarter pledge levels start at $100
TrunkMonkey inflatable bike carrier
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TrunkMonkey inflatable bike carrier
TrunkMonkey inflatable bike carrier
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TrunkMonkey inflatable bike carrier
TrunkMonkey inflatable bike carrier
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TrunkMonkey inflatable bike carrier
The TrunkMonkey keeps your bike secure for the ride
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The TrunkMonkey keeps your bike secure for the ride
The TrunkMonkey keeps your bike secure for the ride
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The TrunkMonkey keeps your bike secure for the ride
The TrunkMonkey fits easily on your bike, in your car, in a closet, etc.
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The TrunkMonkey fits easily on your bike, in your car, in a closet, etc.
View gallery - 17 images

Built for road-tripping cyclists, bicycle commuters and anyone that might be worried about having to hitchhike home with a broken chain, the TrunkMonkey represents an easier, more portable style of bicycle rack. Its designers call it the first portable, inflatable, universal bike carrier in the world. When not in use, it rolls up like a camping mattress, making it a ready travel companion.

The idea for the TrunkMonkey was born when company founder Tyler Nelson's regularly scheduled bicycle commute home from campus was interrupted by untimely storming. The raging wind and rain hammered Nelson before a sliver of light shined down from the heavens - or so it seemed. A friend pulled over to give Nelson a ride, and despite wanting desperately to jump inside the warm, dry shelter-on-wheels, he had to turn it down. There was no way of squeezing his bike into the small coupe. Misery bred innovation, and Nelson got to work on a better way that very evening.

Nelson's idea is an inflatable bicycle rack that leaps onto the back of virtually any vehicle like an over-friendly primate. The inflatable cushion transforms the simple set of nylon straps, which you might otherwise use to crudely lash your bike to the roof or trunk, into a fully functional bike carrier designed to protect both car and bike. A Cordura/Kevlar outer shell protects the polyvinyl inflatable core, helping the TrunkMonkey hold up to the abuse of road and man.

With the TrunkMonkey, you'll always be able to get your bike home via car
With the TrunkMonkey, you'll always be able to get your bike home via car

While not a solution for every cyclist out there, it's easy to see how the TrunkMonkey is much more versatile than traditional roof, trunk and hitch carrying racks. It has more to do with the deflation than the inflation. The TrunkMonkey packs down into a carry case that also holds the 12 V pump. The entire package is about the size of a 2-liter soda bottle and can mount right under the saddle of your bike. It weighs just over 6 lb (2.7 kg), and if you want to cut weight, you can leave the pump at home and inflate it manually.

The TrunkMonkey's lightweight, ultraportable design means that you can have an available bike rack every time you hit the road on your bike. So if you get caught in weather like Nelson did, or decide to pedal over to the bar to meet some friends and want to have a designated driver take you home, or get stuck late at work and don't want to bike home, or any number of other scenarios, you can easily take the generous offer of a car ride and bring your bike along.

Nelson and his team have designed the rack to fit all types of vehicles with trunks or hatchback tailgates. The TrunkMonkey is also made to work with various different bike frame styles, though given the types of oddball two-wheeled creations we see here at Gizmag, we're sure there are styles out there that might not fit, or at least require a little extra creativity. All you have to do is hook the pump up to the vehicle's 12 V outlet, spend about two minutes inflating the core, secure the rack straps to the vehicle and strap your bike in. When you arrive at your destination, the two-way pump makes deflation quick and simple.

The TrunkMonkey fits on the trunk lid or hatchback tailgate
The TrunkMonkey fits on the trunk lid or hatchback tailgate

The TrunkMonkey doesn't just have to be an emergency tool. It could prove useful for those who want a simple, affordable bicycle carrier for regular bike hauling. It could also be helpful for travel, packing into a suitcase or duffel bag and serving as a versatile carrier at your destination. Really, if you're a cyclist, you're probably thinking of many other ways such a light, portable bike rack could come in handy for your own cycling trips.

TrunkMonkey's team launched a Kickstarter campaign on Monday and is offering the full kit (carrier, pump and stuff sack) for pledge levels starting at US$100, a third off the estimated retail price of $150. If everything goes as anticipated, it will begin deliveries in August.

Source: TrunkMonkey

View gallery - 17 images
5 comments
habakak
Very rare to see a decent bike in these kinds of articles. That looks like a custom Ti Seven. And it seems to be a pretty good solution too!
jimmy790
I don't own a car but occasionally rent one to take my bike to a trail. this looks way easier to store in an apartment closet than a normal metal fold-up one.
MQ
why not use the car exhaust to inflate the bag (like an exhaust powered recovery jack), saves lugging the electric pump, you have to have an operational car for this carrier solution to make any sense...
It can also be used: as a picnic cushion (avoid damp pant-seat)? Or to protect your knees while fixing a flat on the side of the road (kevlar reinforced)? or useful as an impromptu traffic cone / safety airbag? Or just as an inflatable water toy, with-or-without a power-boat? lol,
jok
Unfortuanteley this will be illegal in most lands as it obscures the number plate as well as the lights. A powered lightboard would be required where the numberplate could be attached & the lights moved to a visible location. Apart from that I like the idea as my car's tailgate is considered too weak to attach a bike rack, I don't have a tow bar & my bike is too heavy to lift onto the roof bars : (
TrunkMonkeyFRAUDS
The makers of Trunkmonkey are frauds and have taken (stolen) money for orders for many kickstarter backers without replying to any queries or delivering any products.
They are probably very good at photoshop though, so if you choose to buy this product send them a photo of yourself. They can then photoshop you into a picture with the trunkmonkey, and you can show the photo to your friends and pretend it's a real, and good product.
Alternatively you can just donate the money to a charity of your choosing. You get more for it. Your money will actually do something useful, and you get that warm fuzzy feeling, that you personally have done just a little good in the world. :-)
Buy this product and you'll feel just the opposite.