In the beginning...
The Stique project started in Sep-13 when our founder, Greg McDonald, decided that a new plastic he had come across in his plastic injection-moulding businesses, could make a very strong tyre lever for cyclists. This plastic was and still is used in the automotive industry to replace parts previously made of metal. It's therefore known as a 'metal-replacement' plastic.
Greg's frustration with existing tyre levers breaking, however well-made or strong they were said to be, prompted him to try injection moulding some tyre levers in this metal-replacement plastic. He also felt that tyre levers took up a lot of space in return for very little return, so he combined the tyre lever with the essentials of a multi-tool and created the Multilever.
First trials proved a success. The material's strength meant it could be made thin where it needed to be, without compromising the efficiency with which it did the job - getting those tough, tight-fitting bicycle tyres off their wheels. It was this toughness that made Greg go on to add further functionality to the tyre lever in a way which no other tyre lever had done.
Working with a team of designers and engineers, he pushed for storage spaces on the levers to hold split chain-links, coins, batteries and all the other little things that he knew he had, but could never find when he needed them.
After many prototypes and extensive field trials, the design team (Greg, Dave & Tim) ended up with three levers, all made from the same metal-replacement, engineering-grade polymer.
In laboratory tests, these proved to be twice as strong as market-leading levers like Pedro's. And because Greg and his team didn't feel three tyre levers were necessary, they turned the top lever, which holds the standard 1/4" hex-drive tool-bits, into a bottle opener with a useful clip that would also hold a puncture pad...and a thermometer (Gen 1). The bottom lever is referred to as the ML1, the middle one is the ML2 and the top one is the ML3.
The Stique Multilever ML123, to give it its full name, was launched at the NEC Cycle Show in Sep-14, after a successful crown-funding round on Kickstarter in the summer of 2014.
At the London Bike Show in Feb-15, Stique launched its second product, a stripped-down version of the Multilever, still with the knick knack storage functionality, but without the multi-tool capability. This pair of levers was known as the ML 'Naked' during development, but its official name is the ML14, as it consists of an original lever with the chain-link storage, plus a modified ML1 lever to allow it to sit on top of the ML1, with two magnets on the underside and no magnets on the top.
The ML14 is sold either as a Stique-branded product or it can receive bespoke branding for corporate, charity or mass events (sportives etc.) or even independent or multiple retailer branding.
In 2015, Stique changed the top lever (ML3), getting rid of the thermometer and clip, replacing it with a chain breaker. This new design of top lever was named ML5, so the whole multi-tool/multilever became known as the ML125.
Of course we're not just going to be a tyre lever or multi-tool company. At 'Stique we're developing new ideas all the time. At the moment, these include urban safety lights, pedals for urban cycling and mountain biking, Garmin holder-type products, bottle holders, saddle bags and...watch this space!
But, of course, these won't be pedals, lights, bottles and cases like you're used to seeing and using. No, at Stique, we're all about reinventing...coming out with new ideas that challenge the way things work at the moment. There are plenty of other manufacturers and designers coming up with new versions of this, that and the other. But, like the ML125, we're about coming up with things that are completely different...not just better.
We're about Innovation on Two Wheels.
Why did we call the company Stique?
We're not glory boys; we're not trying to make the biggest splash. We leave that to others. We're about design, engineering, materials and we're about knowing what's really missing in the daily life of a cyclist, be they mountain-biker, commuter, sportiviste, road racer, charity angel or just your average out-and-about cyclist. We cover all the bases (well, apart from the road racer one, where we rely on feedback from the experts!).
That's why we called ourselves 'Stique, in honour of the domestiques who work tirelessly with and for the team, whose leader will take the glory. We think our customers should take the glory.
Special thanks go to our Kickstarter backers: Meshaal Al-Ghalib, Paul Farrer, Angus Neil, Mark Hadcock and Anna Grosman.