I'm going to skip the usual intro about coronavirus and start off with some good news!
You may remember from our previous update that Dave, our Technical Lead and the designer of the FLIT-16, was visiting our manufacturing partner in Taiwan. Whilst he was over there, he was helping to build two brand new demo bikes to bring back to the UK for this year's bike shows.
Sadly, the bike shows are cancelled, but that hasn't stopped Dave from assembling Marengo (our grey demo bike) in his temporary workshop at home. We're excited to say that Marengo is now complete! Here's a first look...
Dave explains some of the new features on Marengo, our new demo bike
*Special thanks to Dave's wife for helping us to film this clip!
Our brand new demo bike, Marengo, looking handsome with his super sleek matte paintwork.
Not only does he look beautiful, he is beautiful to ride too!
Marengo is hot off manufacturing tooling, so incorporates all of the design tweaks that we have made since launching our Kickstarter campaign last year. All of these tweaks were made based on feedback from our wonderful test riders. We're really happy with the final design!
Here are just some of the changes that we've made...
- New handlebar display: bigger, brighter, better. Based on your feedback we've upgraded the handlebar display. We're really pleased with the new one - and it's got some pretty cool features (like a sensor to turn your lights on automatically). You can also see detailed riding stats like calories burned and power output.
- New brake levers: these are shorter, so work better with the fold. They also allow us to tilt the brakes up slightly which gives a more comfortable hand position.
- Improved hinge design: these are more robust and easier to service.
- New tyres: upgraded to Schwalbe Marathons for better durability and excellent puncture protection.
- Matte paint finish: we love the new matte finish! It looks super sleek.
If you haven't had a chance to test ride yet, don't forget that you can register your interest here - we'll get back in touch to organise a test ride as soon as it's safe for us to do so.
Manufacture of our first batch of ebikes continues
We're really lucky as a company that the coronavirus outbreak hasn't significantly affected our manufacturing partner. They're based in Taiwan where the public health authorities have done a really impressive job at containing the spread of the virus, with just over 400 confirmed cases and 6 deaths.
Since our last update, our manufacturing partner has been making the CNC parts of the bike frame. These parts start as a solid block of metal, which is then progressively milled away by a CNC mill. We're looking forward to showing you some of the parts that emerge from raw metal in our next update!
To give you an idea of what the process involves, we've summarised below.
So what exactly is CNC milling?
CNC (Computer Numerical Control) milling is a process by which a solid metal block is turned into the desired shape by the progressive removal of material.
The part design is uploaded to the CNC mill, which uses computerised controls and rotating cutting tools to gradually remove the material from the solid block of metal. There's a good detailed description here.
As you can imagine, this process takes quite a long time, but it allows us to make complex parts like the hinges (see video below). To make these two hinge parts takes roughly 1-2 hours.
A CNC-ed hinge in action! This takes roughly 1-2 hours to manufacture.
Reserve your ebike from the first batch
If you've read this far, you will probably have noticed that we've launched a brand new website! This means that you can now reserve your FLIT-16 directly through our site, instead of through Indiegogo, and we're throwing in free shipping for UK buyers as part of the bargain.
We have also introduced flexible payment options, so now you have the option to either:
- Pay £1,999 with a 10% deposit now, and the balance at the time of shipping, or
- Pay £1,699 up front for the biggest possible discount. This discount will reduce as we get closer to shipping, so get in touch if you want to avoid missing out!
Both options guarantee you an ebike from the first batch (there are limited numbers available!).
To find out more, click on the button below.