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Locked & Loaded
If you've been following the project updates, you know that we've been really focused on testing and design changes up to this point. We delayed the start of production tooling to incorporate a number of important design changes that dramatically improved the functionality and longevity of the seatpost (read about some of those changes here).
So we're happy (and relieved) to announce that the design is finally locked down and production tooling is underway. In this case "tooling" refers to the forging molds, extrusion dies, and machining fixtures that will be used to produce the individual parts of the seatpost. These tools are what make it possible to shape the raw materials consistently and cost-effectively into finished parts.
The next critical juncture is the first-article inspections of the production samples (produced using the tooling described above) which will happen toward the end of this year.
We've Got a Thing for Mud
Just because tooling is underway doesn't mean we've stopped testing. We've shifted our focus to contamination testing to make sure that the performance of the pivots and seals is bulletproof in the worst riding conditions. That means a combination of lab testing with sand, water, mud, etc., as well searching out the worst-possible conditions for ride-testing.
Seatposts in the Wild
Our team continues to put the prototypes through their paces, not only during competitive events, but also commuting and just tooling around town.
* Claims of improved child behavior have not been independently verified.
We'll provide another update in about one month with further details, but as always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out via the Kickstarter comments, Facebook, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Redshift Team
It's been a hectic end to the summer here - we've been hammering away on design changes, testing, and manufacturing logistics, and we're overdue for an update.
We've made a number of important design changes to the seatpost based on testing and rider input. Some of the changes were planned before the Kickstarter, and some were based on valuable feedback that we received from backers during and after the campaign.
2 > 1 - The most visually obvious change is the switch to a 2-bolt saddle clamp from the previous side-address one-bolt design. User testing showed that it was difficult for riders to achieve the high bolt torque required to prevent slippage, especially using a small multi-tool that riders often carry.
The switch to a bombproof 2-bolt clamp system required a complete overhaul of the rear linkage of the post, as well as additional testing to ensure that the revised mechanism could withstand the high forces that are applied to the saddle. But we think the benefits are worth the extra effort:
- Bombproof tilt adjustment - the two bolt design virtually eliminates the possibility of slippage, and saddle tilt can be precisely adjusted very easily.
- Lower torques - the torque specs for the bolts are around 6 N-m (compared to 14 N-m for the side-address design), meaning that trail-side adjustments are easy to do with a standard multi-tool.
- Lower profile appearance - the two-bolt design is much lower profile than the one-bolt design, resulting in a sleeker look and better aerodynamics.
The Missing Link(age) - Under the hood, we updated the connection between the lower linkage and the spring plunger to include a separate short linkage. The previous cam connection was wearing prematurely in high-contamination (aka "muddy") conditions. The addition of the plunger linkage eliminates the wear point and makes the suspension action smoother and more responsive.
Fend for Yourself - Last but not least, based on our backers' feedback, we'll be including a removable fender with every seatpost. For those of you who frequent the aforementioned "high-contamination" environments, the fender is a great way to extend the duration between service/cleaning intervals and keep the seatpost running as smooth as possible. We'll have more details and photos of the fenders in our next updates.
As you may have guessed, these design changes and associated prototyping/re-testing have delayed our production and shipping schedule. We had hoped to have the seatposts in your hands by the end of the year, but we're now targeting early 2019 instead.
Our mission here at Redshift is to produce the highest-quality components, and sometimes that means delaying shipment of a product in order to make it live up to your (and our) high expectations. Thank you so much for your patience and support - none of this would be possible without our backers, and we love that we get to share our journey with all of you.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out via the Kickstarter comments, Facebook, or via email at email@example.com.
The Redshift Team