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Reinventing The Wheel

Behind the scenes with Bike Engineers and Entrepreneurs. Fortified Bicycle Alliance.

Ever had your light die unexpectedly during a ride? We’re not OK with that.

We wanted to give you a quick status update on the manufacturing of the Aviator and Afterburner: within the next week, a package of 100 pre-production samples will be arriving at Fortified HQ from Shenzhen, China. We believe most of the bugs we’ve discussed in previous posts have been resolved but we’ll show you when they arrive.

We also wanted to give you an update on another feature we’re tweaking.

Have you ever been in the middle of a ride on a dark night only to have your light die unexpectedly? We have too, and we’re tired of it. Beyond being frustrating it’s frightening and dangerous.  That’s why we’re working to make sure this problem never occurs again, by perfecting the low-battery indicator in the world’s toughest bike lights. Enjoy!

We Want YOU…To Direct Our Next Kickstarter Campaigns!

Calling all visionary film directors – we want you to direct our next Kickstarter campaigns! If you’re passionate about what you do and think you’re up for the task, check out the job description below. All inquiries should be directed to Tivan Amour at


-Team Fortified


Position: Visionary Film Director

Do you dream in storyboards? Do you constantly scribble notes to yourself about skits that would be funny to bring to life? Have you managed successful film projects before?

We are a team of creative entrepreneurs and engineers dedicated to changing the way people bike in the city. 

Here is our most recent project, which is the highest pre-selling bike light of all time:

While we’ve been able to make our videos until now, we need someone to take our ideas and bring them to life better, quicker, and more efficiently than we can ourselves. We have 5 upcoming product launches, all at various stages of ideation, so there will always be work to do. This is a part time position that should range from 5-10 hours per week once we get rolling. 

Who you are:

-Creative: when everyone is looking straight ahead, you’re looking up 

-Highly motivated: you like to make everything happen and fast and as well as possible

-Proven success: You’ve managed successful film projects and have something to show

-Looking for exposure: Our product launches get 100s of thousands of views and our film guys get more work

Does this sound like you?  Please email

Why I Bike


Why I Bike (And How It Almost Killed Me) by Slava Menn as told to Tom Layman

Freedom. That’s why I got on a bike, and that’s why I’m never getting off.

I jumped on a bike 10 years ago, timid as all hell, sticking to the bike lanes, afraid to make moves in the busy, crowded streets of Boston. Then I got a helmet. Then I started riding with confidence and fell in love. And then my new love almost killed me.

My first week on a bike I was in the Back Bay of Boston during a rainy, bone chilling November commute home from work. I moved to the left lane on a busy three lane street and prepared to take a left turn when my front wheel got caught in an expansion joint and I somersaulted over the handlebars. Lying on the pavement I saw the my life flash before my eyes in the form of a black Lincoln Towncar approaching my face. Summoning my inner-ninja in a way that only life-endangering encounters can inspire, I rolled out of the way and onto the curb.

Rattled and road rashed, I took solace in a hotel reception to wash my cuts, compose myself. But something funny and magical happened as I assessed the damage: I realize that this wouldn’t be my downfall. Since that experience, I’ve been riding hard and haven’t looked back.

I occasionally take the subway or drive and around the city, but I’m most free when I’m on my bike. Instead of being underground like a rat or fighting other drivers in my car, I get to ride along the tree-lined Charles River. All it took was a little exercise and endorphins, and I was hooked.  So hooked, that I started making rugged urban bike lights.

We started Fortified Bike to make biking a safer and more convenient joy for everybody in an urban environment and hope that by sharing our stories, we could encourage you to share yours.

So what’s your story? Why do you ride and what has it taught you?

Leave a comment or email us at and we’ll interview you for our blog.

We think we solved it, let us show you

We think we solved the battery chamber problem. A video speaks a million words so check it out. Now we need to get our factory to make it so we can bring you the best bike lights in the world.

When Custom Bikes and Punk Rock Collide

photo 4DJ Farley builds custom bikes, organizes music festivals, surfs, skates and manages bands. A conversation with DJ is an exercise in keeping up, and his passion blazes through a discussion of SoCal skate/punk/bike culture. I caught up with DJ as he was organizing a ride with the Chopaderos, an extreme bike club he works and rides with, and prepping for a weekend music festival sponsored by Fat Tire bikes and New Belgium beer. Our conversation touched on building a tricked out ’70 punk inspired ride, his Cali upbringing in Venice and his love of music.

Fortified: How did you get into building custom bikes?

DJ: I’ve been a creative being from my youth, buying, fixing everything from bikes to skateboards to you name it. Mom was always working so I had to figure out a way to get what I needed. About two years ago I needed to get back into creative mode so I went to Craigslist, bought a unloved bike and that’s the beginning. Next the bands came a calling.

Fortified: What’s the craziest bike customization request you’ve ever had?

DJ: A bike for my daughter and son-in-law. They’re Oakland Raider Fans, we live in San Diego, so I put on the blinders and created two custom, black and silver Raider bikes. Damn that was a tough build, but we had them over for Christmas morning and they went crazy when they saw em.

Fortified: What’s the common connection among surf, skate and bike culture?

DJ: The link between the three cultures is California lifestyle ! Hey when you can grab a surfboard, skate or bike and head out anytime of the year that’s what we live for. Visit sometime you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Fortified: What is it about Fortified lights that fits into your design aesthetic?

DJ: As for the Fortified Lights, they’re a great design aesthetically and street-wise which makes the bikes look tough. Every bike I finish gets the light installed while I crank up the Metal and turn the screws.

Fortified: What music do you listen to when you’re working?

DJ: Music that helps me design and build is a mix from early punk, UKSubs, The Adicts, The Ramones, The Damned, Buzzcocks, The Clash to Pennywise, DI, Bad Religion, Black Flag, Circle Jerks and on and on. On the Metal side Motorhead, Slipknot, Mudvayne.

Fortified: What music do you listen to late at night when no-one’s around?

DJ: Same as above.

Fortified: If you could go out for a ride with anyone living or dead who would it be?

DJ: Evel Knievel

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