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Coffee Brake Mug
The Coffee Brake Mug combines bicycle stopping components with coffee delivery technology. (Via Ben Clark)

Not all innovation has to push the technological envelope. Sometimes a well-meaning individual with a good idea and an eye for detail just makes something simple that we want to put our hands on. If you like coffee, and bikes, there’s a Kickstarter campaign out there for you.

The Coffee Brake Mug not only scores points for the pun in its name, but the cleverly crafted travel mug should also win over anyone with an appreciation for design, especially as it relates to bicycles.

Certainly plenty of bike parts have been incorporated into everyday products and artistic endeavors by folks peddling (pedaling?) their inherent genius. Bike chain bottle opener, anyone? But a fun Kickstarter video goes a long way in an age of endless Kickstarter videos. Creators Ben and Lisa Clark are the brains behind the mug, after a bike wipeout and coffee spill by Ben provided the inspiration.

Clark says he fell off his bike during an icy Minneapolis commute in 2006 and shattered his travel mug in the process. (Where else but Seattle would commuters sympathize with a bike-riding coffee drinker?) He took the busted stainless steel and plastic mug to his bike shop where he improvised and attached a bicycle brake lever as a new handle. The Clarks produced 20 units and they sold out in a week.

In the spring of 2007, they created and sold out of 70 more Brake Mugs. By 2011, the Clarks were shipping version 3 worldwide and sold 1,500 units across 41 states and 26 countries.

The version 4 design is what’s available on a Kickstarter that got up and running a week or so ago. With a planned retail price of $30, the campaign has so far raised $17,000 from 356 backers — that’s a lot of coffee and brake levers.

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