June 27, 2011
FLO Cycling - Factory Updates/Smoke and Mirrors
As you all know I had a trip scheduled to China. The goal was to meet our carbon fiber manufacturer, rim manufacturer and our assembler to do a final check before we started full scale production. We had previously met these factories at Interbike where we interviewed them to get as much information as possible. We felt comfortable with our choices after leaving the show.
When we received our first set of prototype carbon fiber fairings we noticed some minor fit and cosmetic issues. We contacted the factory and they ensured us these problems would be corrected. Unfortunately, they were not. In the early part of June we brought a Taiwanese importer/exporter on board to help relay our message. She quickly made contact with the factory's engineers. We soon learned the factory owner lead us along. The engineer advised us to look elsewhere since they were not experienced enough to produce the carbon we wanted, or properly build our wheels.
Within 24 hours we had plans to travel to Taiwan. Our new importer/exporter had arranged meetings with nearly 20 factories. The Taiwan trip went exceptionally well and we have narrowed our selection down to a few factories. I walked the floors of every factory and interviewed the engineers. These factories are set up to produce the products we will sell. We have full confidence in the new factories. To be honest, the final product will far surpass the quality of the old one.
First we want to sincerely apologize. We had all intentions of offering a pre-order this week. Unfortunately, we have lost a ton of money and are again extending a delay. I never envisioned ourselves in this position when we started this venture. Our plan to share our design process unfortunately hurts everyone involved when we get bad news. We made the decision to wait until the trip was over to spread the word. It's a choice we hope you will understand.
We want everyone to know this is far from over. We will be bringing products to market and our goals of incredible aerodynamics, great quality and affordable prices will be kept. We are not starting over as most of our work still applies. Our CFD analysis and wind tunnel data, along with our rim, hub and spoke selections will all remain the same. Ultimately, we need a new carbon manufacturer and professional builder.
We understand the feelings of our followers will be mixed as you read this. We fully understand everyone's stance. For those who understand our intentions with our open door design process we thank you. Anyone willing to weather the storm will be rewarded with the quality products they deserve.
We currently do not have pre-order dates. Please feel free to ask any questions. We will do our best to answer them. Again we are terribly sorry for the delay.
I'm compiling a detailed factory visit report that I will be posting shortly.
As determined as always,