Open-source platform MIK accelerates even faster with cooperation between Basil, Massload, Spanninga and Tracefy

On Taipei Cycle Show 2018, it has become clear that the open platform for system carriers “MIK” has grown beyond the expectations from its founding father, Marthijn van Balveren (Owner Basil and MIK). Recently launched at Eurobike 2017, and now already available on top bicycle brands world-wide. In this very short time MIK has proven itself as the largest open platform for clicking accessories in the carrier. “We had a clear vision and dream when we started MIK, but we could not imagine that it would grow so big so fast. We are very proud and grateful for that. And we have lots of ideas more for MIK and new carriers”, Van Balveren says. One of those new ideas resulted in the design of the new “Basil Commuter Carrier”. Parties involved: Basil (design), Massload (production), Spanninga (MIK bicyclelight) and Tracefy (IoT/Smart). A unique cooperation in the bicycle industry.

Bike riding for commuting as a solution is becoming more popular. It’s the fastest growing target group for BASIL, which is why they developed a commuter backpack. With LED, USB-portal, made for all the needs a commuter has. Everything for the commute. But how to make sure the commuter can easily take this bag with him without breaking a sweat? Right, make a bike rack profile to which he or she can adjust the angle of the bag – and preferable make it universal. That’s what Marthijn Van Balveren must have thought when he invented the MIK concept. In conversation with Van Balveren, Rutger de Vries, International Account Manager at Spanninga and Jeroen van Kester, Marketing & Sales Director of Tracefy, Bicle talked about the MIK and its many applications.

MIK, an open source for the bicycle industry

It all began with an idea from the Basil team: an open platform for bike accessories and carriers. It started out as an adaptor with which one could fix every type of bag to a bike. From that concept the idea of an open platform rose. Competitors of Basil were contacted to inform them about the new concept. That resulted that besides the big number of accessories from Basil, also Giant, Fastrider and Ortlieb already decided to bring products for MIK. And more accessory brands were following.

The industry’s standard

A top carrier producer was needed for MIK. 1.5 years ago the cooperation between BASIL and Massload developed a prototype of a bike carrier with a universal system that should fit every bag type. The carrier should have a profile that could carry any type of bag with the right profile. Also, an After Market solution was created to enable consumer to switch accessories between carriers with or without MIK-integration. The MIK system was complete and a fact: several early-adopters in OEM integrated the MIK-system in their carriers.

The production of carriers with MIK is done by Massload. But it is also possible to order the MIK profiles at Massload and have them welded to another carrier producer or frame producer, though under the protection of a signed QC contract by the OEM brand and the producer. The OEM always has the freedom to choose the producer he wants for the carriers. 

Basil Commuter Carrier: Spanninga hooks up with MIK

The Basil Commuter Carrier is new and special carrier, of course with the integrated MIK. But it is more than a regular carrier. It is designed in such a way that it can carry all types of accessories and safety lights. In co-creation with Basil, Spanninga has designed a MIK rear light that is beautifuly integrated in the carrier. De Vries sees a big trend in light-customization by OEMs. Spanninga confirms that brands use lights as brand identifier, just as we see in the automotive industry.

That’s why the MIK-system appeared like a promising project also to Spanninga. They developed a rear light with integrated MIK profile. According to De Vries these lights can be ordered by any OEM that works with the MIK system, even their closest competitors. ‘’It really is becoming the market standard.’’

IoT applications

Moreover, the Basil Commuter Carrier is IoT friendly. That’s why Tracefy developed a GPS tracker for it. Tracefy focuses on three target markets: bike producers, bike sharing and rental, and delivery by bike. Especially for the last two it’s very important to be able to trace their bikes. Tracefy builds three products: the smart-hardware, the application for end-users and a fleet management dashboard to track and trace bikes and data. To track data they use a combination of sensors like GPS, Wi-Fi, BLE and a GSM/GPRS modem - making data tracking very accurate. That Tracefy hooked up with the MIK-system is no surprise. It is made in such a way that GPS can be implemented, always on the same place, lowering the threshold for these three groups to apply IoT.

All the inventions form the Basil Commuter Carrier can be modular chose, as long as they are combined with the MIK-system: rear light, or IoT applications for example. It’s like a menu with several ingredients you can choose from to make your meal. Everybody can add their product to the MIK, making it an open source platform everybody can use.

For the end-user this is also very convenient, especially when we look at upcoming trends as bike sharing and rental. The MIK enables the rider to easily click the bag on the bike but also connects with the smartphone every time one uses a bike that is equipped with a MIK-system.

Things are moving incredibly fast: the top five [of bicycling brands] has decided to implement them on their bikes - Giant e-bikes worldwide and Riese & Müller for example already implements the MIK-systems.

Time to Market

Currently the new Basil Commuter Carrier is in its late development phase, but in March 2019 at Taipei Cycle the MIK should be ready to order and during Eurobike 2019 the MIK should be delivered. Nonetheless, the MIK carriers in general are buzzing around in the bicycle industry, almost as if the market was waiting for this to happen.