The Kradl Story: How an engineer turned his near-death experience into an entrepreneurial pursuit
Founder Robert Ozarski hand-engineered the Kradl, a revolutionary bike lift that raises your bicycle to the ceiling for convenient storage and easy access without the hassle of electricity or clumsy ropes and pulleys.
Robert had dabbled in adventure, but he wasn’t always an avid cyclist. In 2008, while on a hike to train for a rim-to-rim of the Grand Canyon, he suffered the mother of all heart attacks – a “widowmaker.” Miraculously, he survived, thanks to a fast-acting San Diego Fire & Rescue team that air-lifted him off Iron Mountain.
Once recovered, Robert wanted to get active again. Not quite ready to hit the trails, he took up cycling. He loved his daily rides but thought there had to be a better way to store his bicycle. He wanted something that would allow him to get up and go, while protecting his bike and making the best use of his garage.
Not finding anything on the market that fit his vision for a simple, straightforward, easy-to-use solution, he decided to create one himself. An inventor at heart and engineer by trade, Ozarski embarked on a road to design a better bike lift right out of his own garage. After almost a decade of design, trial & error, and prototyping, Kradl was born.
“I had a classic road bike and I didn’t want to leave it leaning against the wall for fear I might ding it. So, every morning, I found myself on a stepladder, lifting my bike off a hook. It just felt like a hassle,” said Ozarski. “I had a vision for what is now Kradl, and when I realized it didn’t exist, I decided to make it myself.”
Ozarski shared his design with son Marc Ozarski, who encouraged his dad to take his design a step further. “I was confident that Kradl could bring value to anyone who owns a bike, whether that person is a serious cyclist or it’s a family that owns multiple bikes and has limited garage floor space, like my own,” said Marc. “Going for a ride shouldn’t feel like such a process; it always had for me, it clearly had for my dad, and I was sure others felt the same.”
So whether you’re looking to make the most out of your garage or live in an apartment with no square footage to spare, Kradl gives you effortless access to your bike while giving you back that valuable floor space.
Kradl does more than just give you back valuable floor space, however. For every Kradl purchased the company makes a donation to support emergency responders in an amount sufficient to power a rescue helicopter 10km. Forever indebted to the City of San Diego and its helicopter, it is part of the company’s mission to not only support rescue personnel, but to make rescue services more readily available in the places its customers love to ride.
Stay tuned as we share more about the Kradl, our athletes and how we're launching this little San Diego-based brand...and your bicycle...to new heights!