Hi SussMyBike supporters, fans and followers,
As always at this time of year there is a rush to get things done before you can relax over the holidays. For the team here this has certainly been the case. within both the product development and in the business development side of things. We thank you all for sticking with us, for without you guys putting your money on the line there would be no product! So without further delay here is what’s been going on behind the scenes…
– Factory Visit –
Stuart Kelly who has been project managing the development went to the Zot engineering factory in Musselburgh (just outside Edinburgh) last week to work with the guys who will be doing the final assembly and identifying any issues in the manufacture and programming of the units. A few photos of the factory below to give you a flavour of the factory environment!
Some units sitting on the bench!
One of the ‘pick and place’ machines for assembling the electronic circuit boards.
An assembly station setup by one of the engineering team.
– Factory Team Collaboration –
We are delighted to announce that we have secured a partner who is a Factory Race Team for a well known bike company! These guys will be invaluable with their expert feedback and formidable existing knowledge of bike setup. We are going to keep the identity under wraps until the deal is further advanced but we are totally stoked to have these guys on board! More news on this to follow!
– MTBCOS Conference 2016 –
The guys at the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland (www.dmbins.com) organised their second mountain bike conference for 19th November and it was a stonker! In attendance was mountain bike legend Gary Fisher who is regarded globally as one of the inventors and pioneers of the sport we love today. We managed to get a chat with Gary who thought our idea was really cool and he went on to say that he reckons 80% of mountain bikes have their suspension setup incorrectly!
Incidentally, we had the pleasure of meeting another biking legend – Hans Rey aka Hans “No Way” Rey at the previous conference in 2014
– Updates –
We have realised it is very easy to become really inward looking at the day to day tasks and the product development and not keep our backers up to date. Without our backers we do not have a mission to produce an innovative useful product. We apologise for this and will work harder to provide more regular updates!
– Fun stuff –
We recently got connected with the talented Mr Ali Clarkson – a trials rider for Inspired Bicycles and a demo rider in the Danny MacAskill Drop and Roll tour. Our ask was for Ali to demonstrate our unit being ‘exercised’ in front of a panel of judges who we ‘pitched’ to for investment at the Scottish Edge AwardsScottish Edge Awards semi-finals. We certainly got a smile or two as Ali did his stuff. See for yourself here http://bit.ly/AliCVlog29
Not content with our indoor escapade with Ali – we got him to showcase his trials skills on his mountain bike! We headed to the Cathkin Braes track that was built for the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and got him to ‘do his stuff’. Its just intended to be a fun video which we think people will enjoy! Check it out here http://bit.ly/AliClarkson
– Development Progress –
This is the bit you all want to know about, so here goes! There are two key parts to the SussMyBike product – the physical unit itself and the software. You can see from the information above regarding the factory visit that we have finalised the manufacturing procedure and are in a position to build units which we are pretty happy about. That then leaves the software part which comprises the code we run on the SussMyBike unit itself and the App side which has all the user interface functionality that you see on the screen of your phone. At the moment we have the dynamic sag part of the code done and we are still working on the algorithms for the other detections. Needless to say this has been a difficult long journey and is taking a lot longer than we intended.
So what are we going to do about it? Well we have been working hard to get additional resources on board such as the factory race team, engineers, experienced riders and most importantly more investment. Development costs money! – and we have a pretty big task here in terms of the work to develop the algorithms within a build, measure, learn cycle. We think we have done pretty well on the physical development yet we have not made the progress overall that we ourselves or indeed our backers will have hoped for.
– Partnership –
With this in mind we are currently figuring out a deal with a potential partner to provide investment and the connections we need as a small growing company. Talks are early stage but are moving in the right direction and could mean a huge upgrade to our capabilities and ability to really fast track the remaining development. We’ll keep everybody appraised as soon as we know.
– Timescales –
We realise this is the key question backers will be asking about. At this point I’d have to say it depends really on how soon we can get our partner on board and hire additional developers and engineers. This would allow us to get out a much better product in a shorter time period. If this doesn’t happen or takes much longer then we will be moving much more slowly.
We could start shipping early units by the end of February with beta firmware which would not be as tested as we would like. We would then release software updates as we improve the algorithms. This would not be ideal and we don’t want to have a product in the field that is not making customers happy. We’d welcome any feedback from our backers on what they would prefer at this stage. Please email me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org
Best Wishes for the festive season and thank you for bearing with us.