Product Design

Tongue

Overview
Tongue is a bicycle saddle made from uni-directional carbon with a deployable fender that prevents rear-wheel bike spray from soaking the backs of its riders. The fender slides inside a track on the saddle's shell, underneath a thin layer of gel and wrapped in polyester—all designed to allow bike messengers to ride for long hours in comfort and with convenience.
My Responsibilities
User Experience
Product Design
Qualitative Research
Quantitative Research
Prototyping
Packaging Concept
Presentation narrative
Pitch
User Problem

No bicycle fender meets all the preferences of a bike messenger

Bike messengers are bike enthusiasts. They express themselves through the aesthetics of their bikes, which they carefully curate and no fender speaks the same physical or visual language as many of these aesthetic and mechanical expressions.

As a result, messengers would rather use a strictly functional fender because no fenders on the market fit all of their preferences.
Aggregate User Persona

NYC Bike Messenger

Name
Age
Location
Key Insight
Personality
Tyler Molt
32 years old
Lives in Brooklyn
Works in Manhattan
Uses 2 Saddles
Introverted, Competitive
I use two different saddles. A Selle San Marco Fusion Shot Race, Bianchi labeled
in celeste. The other is a San Marco ‘Rolls‘.
User Persona

NYC Bike Messenger

Name
Tyler Molt
Age
32 years old
Location
Lives in Brooklyn, NYC
Works in Manhattan
Personality
Introverted, Competitive
Insight
Uses 2 Saddles
I use two different saddles. A Selle San Marco Fusion Shot Race, Bianchi labeled in celeste. The other is a San Marco ‘Rolls‘.
Product PROBLEMs
Lack of Early Integration
1.  Bicycle fenders don't visually integrate with bikes.
2.  Bike messengers want fenders on their bikes only when it's raining and weather is hard to predict.
3.  Portable fenders on the market compromise structure through material and form.
Key INSIGHT

Swapping Saddles

Bike messengers each have multiple saddles used for different weather conditions. And they put their gear through enough duress to sometimes break their saddles. Their saddles can stand out from their bikes, although they often blend in visually and mechanically. And so a fender ought to do the same.
Project GOALS

Visual and Physical Integration

1.  Include the fender in the bicycle design process for visual and physical synonymity.
2.  Integrate the fender into the bike saddle to eliminate the decision to use a fender depending on the weather forecast.
3.  Empower the messenger with a satisfying user experience.
Why bike messengers?

Bike messengers are the pressure-testers of products in the urban bicycle market.

OPPORTUNITY

Build the Fender with the Bicycle

Build the saddle and fender together so that the fender looks good with the rest of the bike, is lightweight, functional and provides ample coverage to prevent wetness and ensuing discomfort. The fender is deployed only when needed and retracted as soon as it’s not.
How it works

Retractable and Deployable

Tongue is a bicycle saddle made from uni-directional carbon with a deployable fender that prevents rear-wheel bike spray from soaking the backs of its riders. The fender slides inside a track on the saddle's shell, underneath a thin layer of gel and wrapped in polyester—all designed to allow bike messengers to ride for long hours in comfort and with convenience.
Process