Wow, it’s been a crazy busy month! Here’s the lowdown:
1) The very first samples of the plastic rear wheels arrived, and they look sweet. Our rear wheels will be thick HDPE plastic with ball bearing hubs to keep them rolling straight and smooth.
2) The manufacturing sample Serial Number 0001 arrived last week and we’ve build it up for testing and evaluation. Now that all the tooling has been built, the manufacturing sample is the first test run of all the processes. We have to verify every dimension, every specification to ensure that it is exactly what we ordered. And to make sure that what we ordered is what we actually wanted.
What you don’t see in this picture is that there will a plastic front wheel cover that is printed with a graphic inspired by the 1974 Marx Big Wheel front wheel.
3) Additionally, we will include all the tools necessary to build your High Roller! So, no scrambling for oddball metric wrenches, it will all be in the box ready to go. Here’s a quick video of me building up the very first High Roller. Yours will actually be simpler to put together than this, as I had to install cranks, stem bolts, brake lever, etc. Here will be your assembly steps:
a) Bolt frame together.
b) Install rear wheels.
c) Install fork and stem.
d) Bolt on seat bracket and install seat.
e) Install pedals.
f) Go ride!
4) And then, what we’ve all been waiting for, the very first ride!
6) More good news is that our front freewheel hubs are coming in ahead of schedule and is a big relief to the assembly factory. We’ve got them custom laser etched, and they are things of beauty. Gloss black, riding on sealed bearings, fully internal freewheel mechanism.
Even with all this good news, we’re still faced with challenges. After two days of riding, one of our rear wheels broke. It was the very first sample, and it was no big surprise since we knew that the plastic was much thinner in places than we wanted. We’re working with the mold makers right now and are zeroing in on a solution.
Also, we’re in what is known among program managers as a “day for day slip.” This means that for every day we’re delayed, that’s another day that gets added onto the ship date. There is no margin left in the schedule. As we work through manufacturing processes, testing the sample, and making tweaks to the tooling, it all takes time and delivery date is affected.
We’re gunning for a late July completion, but it’s still going to take a month in shipping and customs. So realistically we should plan on early September for shipment of the High Rollers to backers. Of course we’re hoping for an earlier delivery, but we’re trying to be realistic instead of optimistic. There’s a lot of “firsts” to get through yet before we see the whites of their eyes (first manufacturing run, first assembly, first overseas shipment, first time through customs, etc.).
As always, I can’t thank you enough for your support and your understanding as we all get through this. This has been a mind-bending, epic project that you’ve allowed me to undertake and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Keep the faith. It’s real!
p.s. Here’s a couple of fun videos of the manufacturing sample in action:
Riding the 14 mile Starlight Spectacular midnight ride in Colorado Springs
And testing out the cup holder on the Cruiser Rocks ride in Denver: