When Brian Riley and Kyle Jansen launched Guardian Bikes in 2015, they had a lot of experience with the bicycle marketplace. Mr. Riley owns Surestop, a bike brake manufacturer that licenses its brake technology to major manufacturers like Schwinn. Surestop brakes insure that pressure to both the front and back hand brakes is applied evenly to reduce the risk of a wipeout. Gaurdian is the only non-tech business in episode 823, so they're sure to stand out.
Riley and Jansen knew major bike manufactures didn't make kids' bikes a priority – they market to adults – so they created Guardian specifically for kids and they employ the Surestop brakes on all their models. The bikes are 20 and 24 inch models and cost $300-$400.
The company wants to make it easy for parents, too. Guardian Bikes come partially assembled – they claim there are only four bolts to tighten and two pedals to attach; that means you need to put the wheels and pedals on! They also offer a 30 day money back guarantee and financing with four partial payments of $84 per bike. They only sell online, so they're keeping margins high – the Sharks will like that.
My Take on Guardian Bikes
I didn't own a bike with hand brakes until I was old enough to drive. I grew up in the seventies riding a one-speed Schwinn I pieced together out of spare parts. My buddies and I used to go to the dump looking for old bikes and we spent hours putting together bikes from spare parts.
After we made a machine, we'd race them down a steep hill near my house or we'd go over a home-made, plywood bike jump and pretend to be Evil Knievel. Safety was not on our minds. I went through the handlebars after taking a jump the day before fifth grade school pictures. I had cuts on my face and a fat lip; my mother – while relieved I wasn't seriously injured – was not exactly overjoyed.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want kids getting hurt on their bikes, but kids these days don't do crazy stuff like I did with their bikes. Everything has to be so fancy and flashy and safe. I don't think you've had a proper childhood until you've gone over a jump on your bike.
Now I know most parents don't feel that way and they'll like the safety features. I guess I do too. Therefore, I am in.
Are Sharks in Safe Mode?
Bikes fared well in the past on Shark Tank. Mark and Barbara had success with Villy Custom way back in season three. The biking Sharks also invested in KaZam bikes for toddlers in season 5. Maybe they'll go for Guardian to round out their biking portfolio? That's what I'm betting happens!