If you’re a cyclist, there’s a higher than average chance that you’re at least aware of the Boa System. The little round dials have been placed atop cycling shoes for years, offering a simple, one handed approach to tightening your shoes. Composed of three separate pieces, the Boa System consists of one of their dials, a light weight, but incredibly strong lace, and low friction guides to allow the laces to effortlessly cinch up the shoe.
In the past, Boa Technology has focused primarily on the business – to – business model, working directly with their brand partners to develop new products. However, as the company continues to grow, they’re now putting a bit more effort into getting the word out to the end consumer. As part of a major brand identity overhaul, Boa Technology has launched a new consumer focused website, and has a slew of new dials that are showing up on some expected, and some very unexpected products in a number of different categories…
Companies go through rebranding all the time, but Boa claims this is more than just a new corporate identity. Citing the need to be more business to consumer rather than business to business, Boa’s Director of Brand Marketing Danielle Hambleton states that they are now taking a more holistic approach to the new branding package. Boa makes fit systems for a huge range of products, so the company needed to create category specific branding and different product to suit each need. And while you or I might just look at the dial and see the word Boa, to Danielle, the old logo (on all the products above, minus the growler) spoke to just the dial itself, while the new logo focuses on legibility and the system as a whole.
Even though Boa is placing more emphasis on the end consumer, they’re also making it easier for their brand partners to create new products with services like the Boa Fit Lab. Introduced a few years ago, the Fit Lab is space where partners can come in and work on a design and trouble shoot unique configurations while collaborating with Boa engineers directly. Speaking to Silca’s Joshua Poertner about the development of their Seat Roll Premio, Joshua commended Boa for being a great company to work with to help bring their “crazy idea” to market. That “crazy idea” just happens to be a refreshing take on the saddle bag/tool roll, which is a genius use of the Boa System – so good that they can’t keep it in stock.
“They are very thorough and process driven, but gave us very high level access very quickly and were quick to make decisions, which is a unique (and very positive) combination from where I sit. I can honestly say I’ve never worked with a supplier as (pardon the pun) dialed in this regard. We went from cold calling them with this crazy idea to having a team of their people on video conference in a week (I call a lot of suppliers with crazy ideas and rarely get called back..). Then samples, prototypes, etc., all very organized and documented.
Our case is probably different from the show guys because we were looking to do something a bit different with the parts than would have been normal, so we could have had extra hand-holding (and we needed it!!). They even sent a team of people to our sewing factory to train them on all the aspects of sewing and final assembly of the Boa hardware and laces, and then we send them a random sample from each lot for continuing quality inspection. Very pro.” – Joshua Poertner on working with Boa to design their Seat Roll Premio
While the majority of the people reading this will probably be most interested in the cycling side of things, Boa has fit systems for golf, snowboard, run, utility, hike, hunt & fish, and a number of other odds an ends. Most interesting though, might be the use of Boa dials in medical devices – which is still pretty relevant to riders like us. Who here hasn’t had some kind of brace where the velcro was extremely uncomfortable? Throw in a Boa dial and all of a sudden you have a micro adjustable system that probably breathes better and can be adjusted with a single hand. That feature alone is pretty important when it comes to medical devices.
On the extreme end, the Boa System is even finding its way onto exoskeletons like the Indego Personal which is offering new mobility to individuals with with spinal cord injuries. The 26 lb device can be fit by the user thanks to its modular design, and the Boa dials allow precise adjustment which can be critical for those with limited mobility or sensation.
Like the other categories, the medical products will see new dials as well as they start to hit the market later this year.
A part of some 350 total brand partners, Boa currently has 25 brand partners in the world of cycling which Danielle says is one of their most successful markets.
Attendees of the 2017 Sea Otter Classic will have first crack at getting their hands on the new dials, along with special edition colors only available at the show. As is customary, the Boa crew will be on hand to repair any damaged lace systems, or upgrade your dials. Or if you can’t make it to Sea Otter, you can take advantage of the Boa Guarantee which includes replacement parts free of charge for the life of the product through their warranty page. Otherwise, look for the change over on product to occur late this year – something Boa says that they are working with their partners to make an easy transition.