Our Story

Searching for an easy ride. 

Like many startups, the inspiration to start Tiller began with a personal experience. It was back in 2010 when we first started considering the many little frustrations that come when you choose to ride a bike for everyday mobility: 

 

    • Where is the lock and where is its key?
    • Is the lock secure enough for where I am going? 
    • Will the bike get stolen? 
    • Will anything else get stolen off the bike? 
    • Where are the lights and are they charged? 
    • Can I carry what I need there or back?
    • Is it going to be difficult putting the kids on the back?
    • Is my Ride stylish enough to create the right impression where I am going?
    • Will I get grease on my pants?
    • Will I arrive at my destination hot and sweaty?

 

These are just a smattering of the issues faced by urban riders around the world, everyday. Individually, they may not seem like much; but taken as a whole, bike riding can become inconvenient for many.

 

Facing problems.

Beyond the problems associated with urban riding, we also saw much bigger problems facing the world and its cities: car congestion, declining health and wellbeing, and expanding environmental footprints.

Looking at these hurdles, it seemed to us that if there was a bicycle that addressed all the daily needs of riders, and did so in style, we could also tackle the larger problems facing our car-dependent communities. 

So we searched; up and down, here and there. We looked to bicycle manufacturers around the globe for the perfect urban transport bike. And we came up empty.

 

A fun challenge becomes serious.

A mechanical engineer, a 3D modeller and a graphic designer walk into a bar… 

Fast forward to 2015 and, failing to find the perfect bike, we decided maybe we could do it ourselves.  So Julian (mechanical engineer), Adam (3D modeller) and  Andrew (graphic designer) got together and challenged themselves to design a bike that was both stylish and highly functional. What began as a fun activity soon became a relentless pursuit to create the ultimate Ride to make urban riding easier for everyone. 

Being outside the traditional bike and mobility industry allowed us the freedom to think creatively and design for the user.  We looked at barriers to urban riding in Australia and around the world, then put together a Design Advisory Group of 12 experienced urban riders to help distil the main problems. With their input, we began designing a bike that could address each problem. 

Fun fact: The first bicycle came out in 1885 and, in the 130+ years since then, there have been very few innovation milestones for city bikes. We think it's high time to change that.

Once we had modelled out the first bike, we knew we were onto something. So Julian reached out to his friend Ray (Business) and with his expertise, we decided to ride ahead with making this challenge a business reality.

 

Riding into the future.

After 5 years of customer research, design, engineering, prototyping and testing, we have created our first product to revolutionise the way we move: the world leading Tiller Rides Roadster. 

Named in honour of the first bicycles that were used to get people from A to B, the Tiller Rides Roadster is leading the way to a healthier, more sustainable future for people and the planet.

A ride that's better

Tiller Rides founder, Julian Ilich

​“I searched endlessly for the perfect urban bicycle. When I found something beautiful, the functionality had been lost; if it was highly functional, it gave little consideration to aesthetics. Wondering if it was me, or a wider problem, I began asking other urban riders if they had the same issues - and they did. It was time to create the electric bike we wanted and needed.”