We wanted to fill everyone in on what's been going on on our end for the last two months. First off we'd like to apologize for dropping the ball with communication. As you all know we're a small team and when problems came up with manufacturing/assembling we quickly had all hands getting to the root of the issues to get back on track. Speaking of problems, there have been aplenty, but it's nothing we are too afraid to tell you about, nor is it nothing too serious as much as it is time consuming.
First off, as we detailed in the last update and much more in the comments section, we had a huge issue with faulty cables that were delivered to the factory and required all assembly to be halted. These were custom cables that we had ordered months in advance. Having the majority of them go sour on us required a mass hunt for a new supplier that took weeks of finding, and another few weeks to actually get them replaced. Additionally, we opted to switch to a more standard cable/connector setup for something a little more off the shelf. This required another order of Rear Indicator PCBs - which have just arrived from the PCB assembly factory.
On top of the already complicated assembly process for Helios Bars, finding this out was pretty detrimental to timelines and completely shifted timetables and delivery dates for many of you. We've made it out to most of you by now, and the remainder will be getting their bars very soon as we are beginning assembly once again after receiving the new connectors, cables and PCBs.
Another issue we came across is getting a supplier to polish the bars up to quality. It's a dangerous procedure that few do here in Shenzhen at the moment due to the harsh chemicals necessary which is why are unfortunately forced to pull this particular finish. We'll be reaching out to those who have chosen this option. If you know you've selected this option and would like to switch to either Anodized Black, Gloss Black, or White, please let us know at founders [at] ridehelios.com. We sincerely apologize for this issue, it's actually something we're addressing for the second production run, so if you'd like to wait for those to finish up, we can move you to that queue.
We know we've run far too long in getting you your bars. We are super upset about doing this to the most loyal backers ever, but the last thing we'd want is to ship you a defective unit, or something that didn't live up to the quality standards we've set forth.
If you have any questions, comments, or compliments ;) please send them our way at founders at ridehelios dot com.
Just wanted to give everyone a quick update on our shipping status and schedule. As I mentioned in the Comments section of the campaign, we unfortunately ran into an assembly speed bump. During our testing procedure we noticed that we started getting unreasonably high defect rates with our cables connecting power to the main board. We narrowed down the problem and have ordered higher quality replacement parts. We should be receiving those shortly, however this has set us back 2 weeks in our delivery schedule as we had to resolve this problem before sending out any more units. We sincerely apologies for this, but it was a wrong that we had to correct before sending out faulty units, and luckily, we were able to find this problem before sending out any defective units. So the rest of KS backers should receive this shipping confirmation in 2 weeks. That's about how long it'll take to build out the bars - as always we'll let you know if anything else comes up though.
On the bright side of this assembly quirk, we've used this down-time to teach a factory how to build and test Helios Bars, which means our build times will be much faster. Now, Kenny won't have early onset arthritis! Woo!
Also want to give a shout out to Toronto Helios Crew who are representing Helios with group rides and events coming soon! If you're in the Toronto area, Like this page and meet up with your fellow Helios riders. Light up the night! Thanks for spreading the word guys, it means so much to have passionate backers!
Another thing i wanted to touch on is the GPS setup process. David Vo in the comments section has done an excellent job outlining the process, but i'll reiterate what he's said to clear up some confusion. After you purchase a pre-paid sim from one of the many GSM carriers around the world (AT&T, T-Mobile, Rogers...), you'll want to put it in a cell phone first and perform any activation that may be necessary - most of the time it's usually activated by just making a call. What's cool about our GPS module, is that it's actually also a GSM module :). This means that even if your GPS unit can't find a signal, your cell signal can do it's part to best triangulate your bikes' location. First, you'll need to set this up though by finding out your carriers APN. You can do this usually by heading into your phones settings app -> Carrier -》APN. Alright, so this initial set up was all done in your phone, not in Helios bars yet.
After you've confirmed that your SIM is now active and can accept calls/texts you can put it in Helios bars. Set up your APN by texting your number "APN.(your APN)". You should receive a text that says APN OK!. Now you're all set! So now when you want to track your bike, in the case that there is no GPS signal where your bike is, it can use GSM triangulation to give you an estimate of where your bike is. Our APN list seems to be out of date, so when you guys have success, we'd appreciate you al letting us know what you're using so we can create a list and help others out.
Alright guys, we're getting back to work. We appreciate all your patience. If you guys need to update addresses and such, please don't hesitate to do so. Chances are we can still update them if you haven't received shipping confirmation.
First of all we'd like to apologize for the lack of an update the last couple of weeks. We've been active on comments through Facebook and such but we've just been so heads down over here that we've hardly had a chance to create a full update. In any case, we'd like to just give a quick status update on the progress with building/shipping Helios Bars.
Currently we've built & sent over 400 bars to our fulfillment center for processing and shipping. That pins us at roughly 80% of KS backers which we're excited about! It can take them up to 3 days to send us back tracking numbers, so sit tight as we compile all those and send confirmation emails to you. Although we're pretty excited about this, we're still working like madmen to get the remainder of the bars complete, not to mention the site pre-orders that we're also fulfilling.
Some cause for this month long assembly journey is that often times we'd run out of supply on bars of certain finishes but mostly it's been due just to the sheer complexity of helios bars. As you all know, Helios Bars are jam packed with features, and ensuring that the bars arrive in their best condition and function to you, is as cumbersome as it is exciting.
That said, hundreds of bars have arrived at backers' doorsteps and we should be winding down our assembly sprint in hopefully just 1 more week for KS backers. So, those of you who have received your bars, how are you liking them :)? Let us know all your thoughts below.
Finally, our app has been approved by Apple and is now live in the app store. Feel free to get it here, or just search the App Store for "Helios Bike" and you should be able to find it. The app so far is not much more than an interface for your bars, but we've got big changes and updates coming. We've already begun work on some of it and we've mentioned before that Helios Community will soon be buzzing with events, rides, and guides in your area by other helios riders (non-helios riders are of course welcome too :) ). We're working on refining the social aspect of Helios and we'd love to have you guys check out how it is so far, it's just the bottom left button on the app. Oh and we're working hard on Android and hope to have it done by the end of next month.
I think that's all for now guys. We're going to get back to the mammoth of unassembled bars we have behind us. Sorry for the brevity, but let us know if there is any specific details you'd like to know about our process. We're expecting a hundreds more tracking numbers coming through to us from our fulfillment center
Don't forget to share your pictures using the hashtag #smartbike on our facebook, twitter, and instagram pages, and follow us on these channels as we tend to post smaller milestones/updates more frequently. We can't wait to see your new setup!
We <3 U.
The last month has been as hectic as you may imagine, but rest assured your Helios Bars are on the way! As promised in our last update; shipping will continue through May. We're currently in the midst of packing up all your Helios Bars & sending them over to you. If you're curious as to what you'll receive in the box, you're in luck because we've broken it down for you below:
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
Each & every order of Helios Bars ships with the following add-ons/accessories:
- Charging cable
- 4mm allen hex key
- Security magnets
- 5 adhesive rings (different colors)
- 3 replacement silicone plugs (for the charging jack hole in extremely wet conditions)
There is also detailed installation instructions on the inside of the box to help you pimp out your bike faster! You will notice there is no physical manual; That is because we made it online!
Ridehelios.com/go is live and contains detailed installation instructions as well as everything you need to know about using the app and the bars.
Here are some photos so you can get a sense of what to expect:
WHY IS IT TAKING SO LONG?
We've been receiving alot of emails from people asking why it's taking us so long to ship out. First & foremost, we'd like to apologize if we were unable to reply to your email in a promptly manner-- shipping out your Helios Bars is our highest priority right now. To answer your question; it's taking a little longer than expected due to the fact that Kenny's been handling the bulk of the assembly/packaging himself.
WHY IS HE DOING THIS AND NOT YOUR FACTORY?
We have seperate factories that handle different components of your handlebar: the bar itself, the cnc pieces, the injection mold, the pcb, etc.
Assembling a complete bar takes many numerous steps and you must pay close attention to detail to make sure the bar comes out at the highest quality. We weren't satisfied with a few of our factories we tried to set up assembly in because most of them haven't assembled a product so intricate. We decided that to make sure every bar is absolutely perfect when you receive it, it needs to be hand assembled with attention to detail in mind.
We are bringing over a few more people in a couple days when we expand our workforce & shift our shipment into overdrive. In the meantime, check out some photos of the madness occurring at our HQ:
Rest assured, everything is on schedule! It's such an exciting feeling to be finally shipping out 1,000 units of our product across the globe. We know you guys are even more excited than us, so we'd just like to thank you again for being patient with us. We can't wait to hear your thoughts & feedback.
The Helios Team