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Free Air Stations a Southern California Hit

Published October 3, 2011

REDONDO BEACH, CA (BRAIN)—Hermosa Cyclery’s Steve Collins is taking air to the next level.

“Like most shops, we had a couple air hoses hanging out our window for customers use,” said Collins, one of the partners of Hermosa Cyclery. “To improve on the hoses, I built three Free Air stations in my garage and installed them where our hoses used to be.”

As soon as these air stations went up in July, the shop went from fielding about 10 questions a day on tire inflation to none. “Instead we get lots of complements each day, some raving about how nice the air stations are,” Collins said. “My best guess is that much of the users’ enthusiasm comes from the sense of accomplishment of doing this formerly intimidating task themselves.”

These stations are very inviting, Collins said, with a large interface that’s designed to naturally draw attention to key aspects of the process while being explained in as few words as possible.

Collins took this concept to the next level in September when he founded Free Air Company, so that he could manufacture more stations. He introduced the company at Interbike.

“We had a few folks stop by our booth to say our product was probably the best new product at Interbike,” Collins said. “That sure felt good. We are glad the benefits for bike stores and customers were easy to demonstrate—essentially with one photo and a few words, and a demo unit. We had lots of bike shops share their enthusiasm for the stations and had us scan their badges to alert them when units are ready to ship.”

Collins said the first Free Air stations will be shipping in less than three months time, and will sell for less than $500 each.

For more info Collins can be reached at or (310) 318-1285.

—Jason Norman

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