The FLIT story – a timeline
Dave & Alex (Co-Founders of FLIT) met whilst studying in Beijing
Dave & Alex at the Great Wall
Electric two-wheelers were booming in China at the time, and we saw a real opportunity to develop an ebike for European cities. We wanted to design a folding ebike that could be taken on trains, undergrounds and buses: giving people lots of flexibility when travelling through the city.
We relocated back to the UK, to the cycling capital Cambridge to start FLIT
David Turpin, an Industrial Designer, joined our team
David designed the iconic ‘pop phone’!
David’s job was to turn Dave’s engineering drawings into beautiful designs.
We were awarded the Department for Transport grant to build our first prototypes
We were accepted onto the Accelerate programme at the Cambridge Judge Business School (the best in Cambridge!)
We built our first prototype, which we presented at the Hello Tomorrow Conference in Paris!
Alex presenting our first prototype (you’ll notice a huge difference to the current FLIT-16 design!)
Started the Design Council’s Spark Accelerator programme
Awarded a special commendation from the Design Council!
We began working with our manufacturing partner, a specialist aluminium frame manufacturer, in Taiwan
Alex, Dave and Joe at a specialist fork factory
Our first manufacturing prototype (which we named the FLIT-16, after its 16″ wheels) was made
Our second prototype – closer to the final FLIT-16 design, but still lots to change!
Initial mechanical testing and tooling complete
Our first round of prototypes built on tooling: Marengo and Maya!
Meet Marengo and Maya, the look is mostly there now!
We launched on Kickstarter!
Our launch campaign raised over 450% of its target, so we extended our pre-order offer to Indiegogo
Production begins with pilot manufacturing run
Welding in the frame factory
Pilot manufacturing run complete
Meet Blaze: hot off production tooling. Here are all of the design changes that we’ve made based on test rider feedback.
Mechanical frame testing complete, and manufacture of frame parts begins
Parts of the rear frame manufactured and ready for assembly
Dave visits our manufacturing partner in Taiwan
Dave’s ride to work – not too shabby!
Batteries complete, Dave brings two demo bikes back for UK test rides
FLIT-16 batteries all boxed up and ready to go
Manufacture well underway – all CNC main frame parts complete
CNC-ed frame parts ready to go! This is part of the headset at the front of the bike. Not sure what CNC means? CNC milling is a process of gradually removing material from a solid block until you reach the desired shape. We have lots of complicated shapes in the FLIT-16 which CNC milling allows us to create.
Welding of the main frames begins
For some behind the scenes welding action check out our blog post here.
Welding up the rear swing arm of the bike (the part of the bike that swings underneath during folding)
Dave oversees final assembly in Taiwan
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dave is granted special permission to fly out to Taiwan so that he can oversee final assembly
Dave en route to Taiwan to visit our manufacturing partner
Final stages of manufacture: painting & assembly
For a backstage tour of what happens during these final stages, have a read of our blog post here.
Hand-finishing marengo grey FLIT-16 frames
FLIT-16 fleet arrives at our warehouse in Cambridge, UK
The FLIT team with some of the first FLIT-16 fleet
Quality checking begins – we check and test ride every single bike to make sure that it’s perfect before sending to customers
All bikes from our first manufacturing batch delivered!
Happy customers all around the world.
Time to celebrate! Thanks so much to one of our customers who sent this photo all the way from New York City
We ran a competition to see which one of our riders could fold their FLIT-16 the fastest.
The answer… an incredible 7.43 seconds!
Meet Stuart, King of the Fold
We built our dream workshop
The perfect space for our engineers to develop new ideas
Our R&D workshop
Great to see our riders enjoying their FLIT-16s
… and leaving such lovely reviews on Trustpilot.
We ran a competition to see where our riders could fit their FLIT
The winning entry! Jeremy fit his FLIT into the back of his Austin 7, Chummy – the perfect road trip set up with the picnic basket too.
Full Charged OUTSIDE
Our first live event since the pandemic!
Dave and Matt demo-ing the FLIT-16