Hollow Wheel Manufacturing & Shipping Update 4
First, thank you for being patient and supportive. The finish line is almost here. I apologize for the delay and I appreciate your support. Please let me know if you have any questions or want to punch me on the face. Sorry.
Cliff notes: a couple more weeks before things get to production. I think it is early to middle January, but I am 100% confident it won't be later than that.
It has been a great couple of weeks of testing. Everything is finished (well, still waiting on a couple more parts for the test rig to be done) and I have been tweaking the wheel - the compound, in particular. The geometry seems perfect and I am now just trying to put miles on the wheels and trying to break them. So far, I don't see any problems with it after some wheel tearing downs (AKA - cutting the wheel apart and looking for any cracks or anything bad). No cracks. Nothing crazy. It's very comfortable and grippy. I am impressed.
What is next?
- Put 2000 miles on several sets of wheels with the newest compound
- Inspect wheels for damage
- Color correct and printing
- Start Production
Item 1 is the longest, but the test rig is nearly complete and that will enable me to put on 2000 miles at 50 mph inside a week. Then a tear down. I don't expect anything bad to happen, but that is the long lead item. Color correction is very simple, about 4-6 calendar days. Then Production of the wheels is quick at about 10-15 calendar days.
The target deadline after all these deadlines, I think is next Friday (12/18). I should have a really clear idea and my hope is to start heading into production.
Why the delay?
Had to make some compound changes to the wheels; had to go through some iterations.
The first samples were too hard, measuring at 95A, when it is supposed to be 80A. A big relative difference, yes, but no major tool change or anything really drastic so it isn't too much of a set back. A setback nonetheless.
Also my skateboard got stolen so I had to wait a couple of days to borrow a friend and buy another. My friend, Vince, let me borrow his Verreal RS and that allowed me to start putting miles on them. Here are some pictures of it mounted:
Lastly, the test rig is waiting on a couple more parts and so I was in an annoying holding pattern. More on that in another post.
On Tuesday (12/8) I got a second sample set from the factory, which is softer and closer to the spec (89A). Since then, I have been trying to put on as many miles as possible and have given them to a couple of friends to put miles on them too.
Here is some of my friend's feedback so far on the 95A version compared to the TB110 wheels:
Here is some pictures of the wheels on a Flex:
Here are some videos of me riding on some not so great roads:
My plans for accelerating testing:
The answer is the testing rig. I am missing a couple more parts to the testing rig, but here are some pictures of it. This will enable me to simulate a rider weighing 250lbs and over 1" bumps at 50mph in 130F weather. The parts come in on Sunday and I hope to get everything up and running on Sunday night or Monday.
From the survey, a lot of people wanted white to dye and the other half wanted black. This puts me in an awkward situation because the MOQ is really high. So I am working with the factory to understand the costs, but I am trying to launch with two colors since there is so much interest in both. I should have an update sometime next week with more information on the plan there.
By the way, here is the finished rendering and graphic printing of the wheels:
Thanks again for everyone's support and patience. I really appreciate it. It is going to be worth the wait. I promise.