139 – Product Design & Innovation with Helmetor – The Helmet Holder
Co-Founder and Owner of Helmetor – Timothy McCrea
On episode #139 we are chatting with Tim McCrea co-founder of the helmet holder company called Helmetor. Tim loves to solve problems, and with a passion for mountain biking in the beautifully wet and cold climate of Ireland, there will be a few of those pop up every now and then. But the one that bugged Tim the most was where or how to store his helmet.
Now, we have all experienced it, you are getting changed in a wet car park and if you are like me, the last thing you put on is your helmet, so you set it on the roof of your car, but you don’t want to set it open side down because that will get the inner padding wet, so you set it on the crown and with a small guest of wind it ends up blowing off, crashing to the ground and landing in a puddle. Nice! Ok, so I will try hanging it on my handle bars, but the same thing happens. We are met with this seemly easy, but super annoying dilemma every time we go for a ride. So this got Tim thinking. He was feed up with chasing his helmet about the car park and wanted a simple and easy solution to hang and store his helmet before and after every ride. So out to the garden shed he went and Helmetor, the helmet holder was born.
We chat to Tim about how his idea was born, where the final design came from, or as Tim likes to call it his ‘eureka moment’, the testing phase, and why Tim has become a plastic professional and why he had to move production to China. We also get into new products that Tim is working on and producing locally and his idea’s for the future of Helmetor.
Enjoy the show!
- Why Helmetor was born
- The ‘eureka moment’, using a coat hanger
- The design process involved
- How the product was tested for repeated use, weight and even weather
- The hours spent perfecting the final design
- Why Tim is now a professional in plastic production
- How Tim sourced his manufacturer and why his only viable option was China
- The different countries Tim has sold product to
- Why Tim enjoys the problem solving process
- Why Tim has moved some of his manufacturing locally
- New products Tim has in the making
- Tim’s future vision for Helmetor
- How and where to buy your Helmetor
I have known about Helmetor and their products for some time, but I didn’t realise until recently that they were based in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. So I thought, I really need to reach out and get these guys on the show to have a chat about their pretty unique product range. But Helmetor do more than a helmet holder, they have brackets, gear holders and even pedal spanners. Tim has been adding to the product range since day one and the brand just gets stronger and stronger.
He has now teamed up with a couple of locals lads helping him produce the new range of laser cut galvanised and powder coated steel brackets which are available in a number of different forms and colours. Because of this local partnership Tim is now able to produce the Helmetor Hub range available to order, so effectively he doesn’t have to hold a large range of products and you can always get the products you love. It’s a win win!
When Tim came up with the idea for Helmetor there was nothing like it on the market, so he couldn’t simply look at other designs and improve on them, he had to spend many hours drawing designs, testing ideas and visiting bike stores looking at different helmet shapes to see what would work best (nobody likes going into bike stores and poking their fingers into every helmet available for hours on end), but Tim did it for the cause.
Not long after Tim had his ‘eureka moment’, and things quickly moved forward from there. He had a friend produce CAD designs and Tim was soon receiving samples from his manufacturers, but changes had to be made, materials had to be rethought, designs had to be modified, it was a learning process and it took time.
After many hours of trial and error Tim finally had a product that would not only work well for it’s purpose but it would withstand the pressures of repeated use, hold up in different weather conditions and would hold his weight without snapping…yes he did swing from it, and thus the Helmetor Helmet Holder was born. After a successful trade show weekend Tim had made new contacts and the product was soon being sent all over the planet to countries he had never imagined he would be selling his product to.
So join us as we find out what it is like to build a product from the garden shed up and how Helmetor can make your riding (or changing) experience better.
Thanks for tuning in, enjoy the show!
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Thanks to Tim for coming on the show and sharing his Helmetor story!
And thanks to you for being part of the show!
Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show.