in the last update we finished designing the motor mounting bracket and we needed to make some prototypes for testing and validation. That's exactly what we did, but it took us a second attempt to get it right.
In order to get some fast and accurate prototypes ( in terms of material and fabrication process) we went for the sand casting. We created prototypes with our 3D printer ( the first ones on the left in the picture below), made the surfaces smooth with metal filler and used those as models for the sand casting. In the middle of the picture you can see the sand casted parts. As you can see we put those on some stressful test and the mounting bracket didn't survive. That brought us behind the original schedule, since we had to re-designed the mounting bracket in stainless steel (AISI 304) so to be coupled with the controller box cover ( see in the below picture, on the right the mounting bracket + controller cover assembly). That proved to be reliable and strong in our first test even though the whole process delayed us of one month.
We made a short video of the making of the prototypes for those who like molten aluminum. Apologies for the audio, but we were not exactly in a studio.
We'll have to go through the testing phase ( approx 10 days) before validating this solution. The sand casting prototypes had very rough surfaces and isn't good enough for us. We will probably make a second attemp with the new design to see if we can reach an acceptable level look and feel. We'll make this second attempt just because it can cut the lead time of the kits of approx 20 days.
So here's the new estimated lead time for your kits if plan B doesn't work. By March the 10th, if the test goes well on the new bracket design, we'll kick off the two castings. The casting lead time is approx 30 days, let's keep 40 because there's always something that comes up. That brings us to the end of April/ beginning of May. We really hope plan B will work, we will post the pictures of the second attempt for you to validate and we'll ask you what's your feedback.
In either case, in the meanwhile we'll perform the 1000-hour test for 3 systems on our test bench of the final configuration with the sand casted parts. We want to get this test passed before shipping the product. That will take 14 days if we run the motors 24/7 and if everything goes smooth. More details about than in the next updates.
CARBON FRAME COMPATIBILITY
More time means more refinement. While re-designing the mounting bracket we kept in account of the compatibility with carbon frames. Some of you visited our factory, bringing their bikes with carbon frames demanding for the compatibility. We exploited the re-design need to increase the contact area between the mounting bracket and the frame so to better distribute the load on the frame. To make it clear: we still cannot guarantee full compatibility with any carbon bike frame, but that's a step forward. In the next update we'll give you more details about that.
HALF GRIP THROTTLE
We finally got the sample of the ultimate half grip throttle. It's a one-piece throttle, very compact and stealthy.
We plan to send the next update around March, the 20th.
Appreciate your patience, we are working around the clock to bring you the finest product as quickly as possible. We'd also like to add that we are thinking how to sweeten your wait because you deserve all our gratitude for making this real.
All the Best,
Matteo, Luca and Bikee Bike Team.