Lightfoot Cycles designs and builds custom bicycles and tricycles in Darby, Montana, USA. Their website has a large and diverse selection of very interesting bikes of all shapes and sizes, such as custom bikes for the “big & tall” (they can fit a person up to 7′ tall!). They also have recumbent bicycles, tricycles, quadracycles, two-rider recumbents, special-needs bikes, hand-cycles, power assist bikes, industrial work vehicles and all weather velomobiles.
What I thought was most interesting however was the history of the company, its founder, and their One World Design Project. Back in 1995, Earl Miner designed and built the PET handcycle, at the request of missionaries working in war-torn rural areas of Africa. Earl witnessed a large number of persons in their communities who sustained disabling injuries and who could not walk, many from land-mine encounters.
“These people were consigned to dragging themselves along in the dust, through a land that had no handicap-access laws, little pavement, and not nearly enough money to afford doctors, protheses or wheelchairs. The concept of a simplified hand-cycle was proven by Earl, and then the prototype was redesigned by Rod Miner. It was produced in increasing amounts for several years at what would become the Lightfoot Cycles shop. From there, Rod Miner began designing cycles for the domestic market. However, design for the less-developed nations continues still with the One World Design Project.” – http://lightfootcycles.com
Their goal is to create highly capable and affordable working vehicles for persons in any part of the world. Within this project, they even sell a cargo-adapter kit which can be attached to a regular mountain bike, turning it into a fully-functional cargo bike!
Marty Stomberg and Rod Miner together created a business model to underpin the production of Lightfoot cycles, starting as custom builders in a converted horse barn, and building slowly and tenaciously over a decade and a half toward the goal of larger-scale lean manufacture.
Check out their diverse array of products!