I first got the idea for making a ChainMate for bicycles at the National Motorcycle Museum open day last October, where we had a table selling ChainMate to motorcycle owners. A customer came up to the table and asked about the ChainMate and then asked if we did them for bicycles. I had thought about it before, but being asked if we had some for sale made me think that oiling a chain with no mess is a problem for motorcycle and bicycle owners alike!
When I got back after the show, I started to research information on the different chain sizes and the spray lubricant used on bicycles. Luckily, my son Stephen has a keen interest in mountain biking so I got some of the information needed from him. The rest I checked out online, before buying a bicycle chain and aerosol chain spray from Halfords.
Then it was a case of sitting down with a pencil and paper and coming up with ideas. I wanted it to be universal so it would fit a wide range of bicycles, so I designed it with two grooves – the larger groove for more standard bikes and the smaller groove for race and mountain bikes. Once I had the idea on paper, I drew it up on the CAD system so I could send it to the machine shop to be made. I have had ten made initially as prototypes so I could give it to people to try out, in order to understand their experience of using it. That way I can hopefully improve on the design if needed.
At the moment I am still in the development stage, but I am hopeful that by the end of August I should have another ChainMate product to add to the website shop.