Good day! We hope that everyone is doing well and are staying safe and healthy.
On our side, extended COVID lockdowns have been a logistical nightmare, but the team has been working hard to re-organize. Some delivery dates from our suppliers have been pushed back, but this will not affect our order fulfillment dates.
Price increase for new orders
At the same time, we are also dealing with a drastic increase in worldwide material prices. Raw materials such as plastics and aluminum, and components such as microchips have been heavily affected by a huge increase in demand and a shortage of supply. As such, prices have been increasing steadily throughout the year – adding an extra hurdle for the team to overcome.
Fortunately, we are able to absorb some of these costs as we managed to secure and purchase a large majority of the components early enough. However, we are no longer able to absorb the additional costs for a major component – the battery.
Our battery has always been priced very competitively to the market, but we are no longer able to absorb the rising component prices. As such, we will be implementing a price increase for the extra battery perk. Pricing for all perks that contain batteries will also be increased correspondingly.
This price increase will go into effect on 23rd June, 12PM UTC. All perks will still be available for sale at current prices until then.
The price increase DOES NOT affect existing backers as your purchase price has already been locked in. These prices are only for new orders after 23rd June, 12PM UTC.
Today, we would also like to give you some updates on the following items:
- Solution to Issue #2 from our previous manufacturing update
- A quick look at one of the main control boards for the bike
- A look back at some of the changes and improvements made to the bike between prototype and manufacturing stages.
Solution to issue #2 – housing warpage during mass production
This is what we had to say on this issue during our previous update:
“The aluminum internal frame of the bike is a critical structural member of the bike, as well as a mounting point for the plastic housing. This means that the plastic housing is screwed to the aluminum internal frame.
However, even though we have previously received a batch of decent quality aluminum frames, subsequent batches did not fulfil our quality inspection again. We are frustrated that our supplier failed to weld the parts within our specified tolerance and failed to detect the issues in their outgoing quality check. Compounding the matter, the team has also noticed some warpage issues with the plastic housing. This is normally due to a less than optimal cooling rate and insufficient number of ribs in the design.
Combined, these two issues result in an inconsistent bike appearance and in some cases, failed assembly due to misaligned screw holes.
Our engineering team plans to fix this issue by modifying the mold to allow more uniform cooling and add more ribs to ensure minimal warpage. The frame misalignment issue will be resolved with the use of a better welding fixture and a go/no-go gauge in our supplier’s inspection process.”
The good news
On to the good news – the team has already identified a solution for this issue. Our engineering team has been working closely with our supplier to implement further changes and qualification checks. These include:
- Reworking of the mold to reduce plastic housing warpage.
- Visual inspection and tolerance tests for the welded parts.
- Implementation of a housing reference template to ensure proper alignment.
Mold being reworked for part of the housing. Can you tell which part this is?
Rework of the main housing mold in progress.
Visual inspection of welded parts to ensure workmanship quality
Implementation of a reference template to ensure screw hole alignment.
With the mold rework and implementation of additional processes, the engineering team is confident that this issue has been fixed. We will continue to monitor the quality of each produced part to ensure that a high level of quality is maintained.
Issue #1 (lowered fatigue strength on certain components) is still being worked on. We hope to give you an update on that soon.
A look at the main bike control board
We’re also planning to show you a closer look at some of the bike components in our upcoming updates, starting with the control board. Do note that we are unable to show all components and mechanisms as many are still patent pending.
The control board can be thought of as the “brains” of the bike. It collects data from the sensors embedded into the bike, your pedaling and throttle input, and translate all that into raw power that moves the bike.
Security systems and auxiliary functions are also managed by this board, including the theft detection algorithm, biometric access system, locking mechanism, and GPS tracking.
Power is delivered to the control board from the main battery with a backup power supply to run the security systems if the main battery is removed or empty.
Changes and improvements
Other than that, it seems like a good time to highlight some notable improvements that have been made to the bike since concluding our initial Indiegogo campaign.
Our engineers worked hard to further strengthen the frame by improving the overall structure. In addition to this, the frame is now built using a better grade of aluminum with T6 tempering for better overall stiffness.
We’ve also managed to reduce the stem weight by a full 100 grams while keeping the same outward appearance (plus logo).
The bike now also includes customized reflectors in compliance with EU laws as shown in the picture below.
These reflectors are in addition to the integrated signal lights and automatic LED headlamps to make every ride a safe one.
Increased carrying capacity
Another popular request was to increase the carrying capacity of the wheel bag. It was a fair point, so we worked closely with our supplier to enlarge the bag size.
The wheel bag now comfortably fits a spare battery inside, which means that you can carry up to 2 spare batteries for longer trips.
We initiated a logo change some time back, which meant that the logos on the bike was also changed to the new design.
Flipping the chassis and kickstand
If you look closely at our campaign videos and pictures, you may have noticed that the bike was initially designed with the kickstand on the right hand side. This was done due to some initial engineering challenges. However, many requested for this to be shifted to the left hand side to be more comparable to traditional bikes.
So, we did it.
This was no small undertaking as moving just the kickstand alone to the left compromises the bike aesthetics – we had to shift the entire drivetrain over as well to maintain design consistency.
The fork was also mirrored for design consistency.