A few years ago, Tyler Nelson, a college student from Dallas, Texas, was commuting home when he got stuck in the rain. A friend stopped to offer him a ride, but didn’t have a bike rack. Nelson was out of luck. Determined to never let that happen again, Nelson got home and started sketching blueprints for a blow-up, portable bike rack that would be small enough to strap onto a seatpost when deflated.
His final idea, called TrunkMonkey, debuted on Kickstarter in June and raised over $71,000 this summer. Products are slated to ship in October.
The engineering is simple: inflate the rack via the included pump, secure the rack to the back of a car (it fits onto any vehicle with a trunk or rear hatch), then attach the frame of your bike to the rack using the nylon webbing straps. The rack’s inflatable polyvinyl interior is protected by a durable, tear-resistant Cordura Kevlar outer designed to keep your bike secure without scratching the paint. When not on use, the rack compresses into a carrying case the size of a football.
The only bummer? Right now the rack only carries one bike. But a two-bike version is supposedly on the way.