Well it feels like just a couple weeks ago I posted an update, but looking back I realize it was the end of June since you got a data dump. That’s testament to just what a jam-packed, crazy summer it’s been for us here at High Roller. Before we launch into the meat of what’s been happening, let’s cut to the chase:
1) Shipping container from Taiwan arrived on schedule and we’ll be unloading it Wednesday!
2) Domestic suppliers of the Seat and Rear Wheels have both had problems.
a) Seats had a recall and all supplies have been pulled back (we’re working to release acceptable seats right away).
b) Plastic molder has been using the wrong material for the wheels (we’re working with them to correct the problem or source a new manufacturer).
Upshot: We won’t have enough parts to complete the build until late October. It’s been absolutely maddening for us that our suppliers with the hardest job from the furthest away were able to deliver as expected, and our American suppliers have been tripping over themselves trying to produce one good part.
Ok, so here’s what’s been happening:
Throughout July, parts flowed into our assembly factory and got put together. Here’s what 300 rims look like when they arrive.
And here’s 300 wheel sets all built up.
And 300 frame sets back from the painter:
In August, everything got put together and was packaged for shipment:
Here’s all the front wheels assembled with the disc cover:
and ready to be mated to these 300 forks:
And boxed with these 300 handle bars:
With all the talk lately about foreign labor, outsourcing, and manufacturing, did you ever wonder who actually builds your bikes in Taiwan? These guys do:
And they had to put every sticker on every frame by hand:
There are no automatons that do this for us. No gleaming assembly robots. It’s all people like us who have a job and do it to the best of their ability, day in and day out. And trust me, having built up just a handful of these things, they have my utmost respect. It’s hard, tedious work done to exacting standards (demanded by you and me), where mistakes are not tolerated easily.
All of the small parts and fasteners are boxed separately, including all the tools you will need for assembly!
At the beginning of September, everything was packed into a shipping container and sent to us:
Ours is the red one!
So what’s left to do?
We’re negotiating with the seat supplier right now to see if there are 300 good seats in the 1600 seats they recalled (the recall is for cosmetic reasons, not structural or material issues). We’re willing to drive or fly out to their warehouse and cherry pick the best ones if they’d be willing to accommodate us. We should know in the next couple days if that’s something that can happen. If they say no and make us wait for the replacement seats, it will be mid to late October before we see them.
Our rear wheel molder is getting a sample of the proper material in this week and will be making some sample parts by the weekend. They’ll then send those parts to us for evaluation. All of that will take at least a week. Once we approve the parts, they can begin molding and will work around the clock for about 3 weeks. The wheels will get freighted to us and we’ll repackage them with the rest of the High Roller and send it out to you. If all goes well, that will be about late October.
Not putting all our eggs in one basket, we’re also getting quotes from local rotomolders in parallel. That way if we hit another snag with the first rotomolder, we have a backup plan. It will probably take a little longer, and will definitely cost a little more, but we will have the quality control to ensure that we get good parts.
Well folks, that’s probably enough for one big message. Tomorrow I’ll update you with some of the fantastically fun stuff that’s been happening in the last couple months while we’ve been waiting for production! Trust me, it’ll be a kick! It’s what keeps me going every day.