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(lively orchestral music)
(Email message tone)
- Oh look, those guys at (beep) have a new bike.
- Let me guess.
This one's five millimeters longer
and one degree slacker, Kaz?
- Let's see; actually, six millimeters longer.
- It's ridiculous.
All these companies, they're trying to cram
evolutionary down our throat as revolutionary.
Just jump in with two feet already.
- Wait, aren't you the guy that's always saying
that bikes are getting too long and too slack?
- Seriously, why are we wasting our time
with this bullshit, Kaz?
I'm gonna make an Enduro bike.
I'm gonna make it slack and long.
It's gonna be like it's from the future.
- You're gonna make an Enduro bike?
Yeah, I'd like to see that.
- Dude, be the judge you wanna be, dude.
(intense humming sound)
- Do you guys remember that old guy
that used to work for Pinkbike a few years ago?
He went over to Taiwan to look into this.
- And we're gonna use this to start our own brand.
So, what would that cost?
- $250.
- That's 250? - 250 U.S. dollar.
- You've got to factor that in.
It's not a case of coming here with your suitcase
of cash and saying, "Make me some bikes."
- So, how hard can it actually be, right?
(upbeat techno music)
To figure out what bikes are gonna be like
in a decade, all you have to do is
go back ten years and apply that change
to what we're using now.
It's simple math.
(upbeat techno music)
So these days, okay sixty-nine degree head angles.
Now they're sixty-three, so in ten years,
they're gonna be fifty-seven.
Why can't these idiots see that?
(upbeat techno music)
It's so long, it's so slack.
So many water bottle bosses,
I'm getting hydrated just thinking about it.
(upbeat techno music)
Yes, okay.
Off to Taiwan.
(jazzy drum music)
After thirteen hours in the back of the plane,
I'm here in Taiwan, double-fisting bubble teas
at the Taipei Cycle Show.
Now, if you want a frame made, this is the place to come.
It's full of people and companies.
Follow me inside, and let's get it done.
Hey, I'm Mike, how are you?
- I'm Jamie. - Jamie.
- Yeah. - Check this out.
What do you think of that?
- So, you want to make this bike, or...
- [Mike] I would want to make this bike.
This is my dream bike.
What do you think?
- Hmm...
This looks weird.
- It's your design?
- This is my design. I came up with this.
- I think it's not good for normal bikes.
- All right, so you want a bottle on your down teeth?
- Yeah, it's really important to stay hydrated.
- This looks garbage. - Garbage.
I thought it looked pretty good.
It had all the right angles.
You could put three bottles on there.
- No one designs like this.
- Your downhill is totally a disaster.
- So, minimum order quantity, five hundred frames,
that's where I start, okay?
How much money do I have to bring you?
- $600 per frame.
- Per frame. - Yeah.
- Without a shock? - Without shock.
- So, $100,000 to $200,000 to start?
- Yeah.
- Because you wanted to have a fiber--
- Custom carbon.
- So, I think the minimum cost you're gonna take
is at least $100,000 U.S. dollars.
- $100,000, okay.
So, I should go back to the drawing board it sounds like.
(laughs) And come up with 100 grand.
- Yeah. - Okay.
Garbage, garbage my ass.
Look at these things.
This thing's the (beep) future.
How slack it is, it's got all those
(beep) water bottles in it.
I'm gonna find somebody.
So, I've just got back to the hotel room
after spending all day walking around
the Taipei Cycle Show talking to frame manufacturers,
and you know what?
It's not looking very good.
Not only do they not like my frame design,
they also don't like the suspension design.
So, we're back here, and I need some advice,
so I'm gonna call up some industry experts
and get exactly that.
Hey, Cesar.
- Hey, how are you doing?
- So, I'm in Taiwan right now, and I'm trying to get
my dream bike made, like we came here,
I've got a drawing.
I know the general idea.
I've gone to a few factories, and I'm having a hard time
finding somebody who wants to make my bike (laughs).
And I have heard that you kind of went through
the same process, and you ended up actually
deciding to make your bikes in Spain.
- Yeah, right, I mean, for us, for sure,
for a small brand it's hard to start in Taiwan.
It's a lot of investment there,
and getting all quantities, and all that.
It's doable, but still, for us, it was a matter
of doing it ourselves and learning the process,
so it was not actually the pain of going to Taiwan,
because it ended up being more pain doing it here.
But, anyway, still we know it's a big struggle.
I mean, the difficult part of all this
is that the know-how is in Asia.
- It's not here with me, that's for sure (laughs).
Okay, so, would you do it again though?
Let's go back to where you started.
Would you do it again?
- I mean, being honestly, I would say
I would probably make a couple.
You know, when it was (audio cuts out),
we're just finishing the last model in this week.
- [Mike] Yeah.
- Took us a long, long time, so being honest,
I would definitely do one or two of the models here
ourselves to kind of learn, but I would have
probably done one or two in Asia and then switch
slowly into completely manufactured in Barcelona.
- Okay, all right, so it sounds like
what I should do is maybe stick to Taiwan manufacturing,
see if I could find somebody there,
and see what I come up with.
It's probably not gonna end up being that dash
that you made, but it'll be fun anyway (laughs).
- Yeah, for sure.
- All right, Cesar, thank you for your help, man.
I'll let you know how it goes.
(Skype ringtone)
- Hey, Mike, what's up?
- [Mike] Hey, Dave, how's it going?
- Good, buddy, what are you doing?
- I'm trying to make my dream bike,
and the suspension design that I came up with,
I'm getting a lot of no's from the people here.
- This looks garbage.
- It's a high-pivot, dual-link with a chain idler design,
but I don't think it's gonna work,
so basically, I'm wondering if you could help me
with the suspension design.
So, I'm looking for something long traveled,
about a hundred and eighty millimeters,
so obviously like Enduro, all mountain intentions.
You know I would like it to be a high-pivot in idler,
'cause that's the way that all the fast bikes
seem to be going.
- Amen. - Yeah.
But I don't know where to start.
I don't have a clue here.
- You know, normally, with a fab shop,
with a really good fab shop, you can build some
aluminum test mules, and that might
take you about a year to get to the point--
- A year. - Where you're ready to start
actually designing your bike.
Like 50 to 75 K per iteration
of just being able to go and ride test this thing.
What about patent protection?
Is that gonna be important to your company?
- I haven't even thought of it,
but I think I would like the design
to be exclusive to me, wouldn't I?
Doesn't that make the most sense?
- You're talking a minimum of 300 K, U.S. dollars
for worldwide protection and a low level.
It's a super expensive prospect,
but for exclusivity, you pay.
- Dave, I'm gonna be honest with you.
All those numbers are much higher than I expected.
- [Dave] Yeah, it's real--
- Those are big numbers.
- I think those are real numbers, like you can spend more.
- [Mike] Yeah.
- And, you know, it kind of depends.
You gotta kind of decide what you want.
- Okay, Dave, I've got some thinking to do about this.
Thank you for your help.
I'll let you know how it goes.
- My pleasure, good luck, Mike man.
- Take care, Dave, see you later.
Okay, so I just got off Skype calls
with Cesar Rojo of Uno and Dave Weagle
of a hell of a lot of suspension designs,
and they've given me some great advice.
Some things are good, some things are bad.
Dave said I need a ton of money to start.
Probably 500 K.
I don't have any money.
Cesar recommended sticking to Asia for the manufacturing.
So, I think what all that means is we're gonna have to
start thinking about catalog frames.
Well, we're here in Taipei for the Taipei Cycle Show,
so let's head back into the show,
see if we can find some interesting catalog frames
that might work for what we want.
I've drank about ten bubble teas,
and I've been shut down about ten times.
But we have one more place to stop, and that's Genio.
They're a smaller outfit.
They produce about forty to fifty thousand frames a year,
compared to other places that do hundreds of thousands.
But they're known for their quality frames.
Hi. - Hi.
- Hey, I'm Mike. - Calvin.
- Nice to meet you, Calvin.
- What are you gonna show me?
- Well, it's my bike design.
Nobody else seems to like it.
I'm hoping you can make it for me.
- Okay.
- Let's have a look. - Let's have a look.
- Are you ready? - Yep.
- What do you think?
Give it to me straight.
Wow, this looks pretty dumb.
- I put my heart and soul--
Oh. (both laugh)
Yeah, the setting is quite extreme,
and very forward thinking.
And three water bottles.
- Gotta stay hydrated.
- Wow, that's something pretty unique, yes.
- Can you help me with this?
- Yeah, we can have a try, but
there's a lot going on.
- There is, all right, let's sit down,
let's talk about this.
Show me what you got.
- [Mike Voiceover] When a new brand doesn't have
the engineering resources to design a bike
from scratch, like me, they buy an open model catalog frame.
You choose the design and color,
then you put your name on it,
and you get to call it your own.
Lots of big companies started out by doing this,
and some of those bikes are pretty damn good.
Now, Calvin says that my credit rating
and my physically impossible suspension design,
or whatever, means that I should stick with
one of their open models.
But he says that they could take my geometry
from the future and apply it to one of their existing bikes.
Looking through their catalog, I liked what I saw,
so the next step was to head down to their factory
in Taichung to hammer out the final details.
(upbeat, jazzy music)
Welcome to Taichung, a couple hundred kilometers
south of Taipei.
Now, I thought I'd show up at that trade show
and be able to get my own crazy carbon fiber
mountain bike made, but it turns out
there were a lot of problems with my design.
But we've talked to Genio, and it sounds like
they could do something for us
and use that crazy geometry that we want.
We're gonna head to their factory
and have a look at how it's made,
but first, another bubble tea.
We've taken a short Uber ride
up into the hillsides of Taichung to get to Genio.
They do a lot of cool one-off projects exactly like ours.
Let's go in and have a look at our own special project.
- I checked with our team.
Maybe, probably you have to change the system.
- Change the system, okay so,
I can't use my high-pivot virtual design?
- No, I think you probably have to go more basic design.
- Okay. - So, maybe we start off
like really simple one?
- Okay.
- And in the future, you can have some, yeah,
adjustment to that.
160 travel, and I think basically
you can start modifying the geometry
according to that, according to your drawing,
and then probably will produce a frame
for you to do the test riding.
- All right, can I see one of these frames?
- Yes, sure, I will bring you one.
- Oh, this looks nice.
Okay, so we could put my geometry on this frame?
- Yes.
- How long's that take?
Should I hang out for a few days, or...
- [Calvin] No, it takes eight weeks.
- Eight weeks.
So, it turns out that me showing up in Taiwan
and expecting to have my dream frame made like that
were pretty far-fetched.
I had no idea what I was getting into,
and not only is the process much more expensive
than I thought, it's also much more complicated.
Now, Genio is gonna take care of all the design
and the test work for me, and eight weeks from now,
that frame is gonna show up in Canada.
As for me, I'm about to load up on sleeping pills,
jump on the back of a jet,
and head off back to Canada, as well.
All right, everybody, moment of truth.
The frame showed up just a few hours ago.
We're gonna rip this box open, see what we've got.
Here we go.
- [Mike Voiceover] Sure, it's not quite
what I set out to make, but finally getting to see
the frame in person was surreal.
It didn't come with English assembly instructions,
but it went together smoothly,
and I had less bolts leftover than you'd expect.
To build it up, we went with some forward-thinking parts
from Ether Team, TRP, One Up, and Sram.
To keep the futuristic theme going, we wanted
a zero offset fork, but nobody wanted to make one for us.
For the drive train, I can see the writing on the wall,
and no, it does not have a silly gear box.
We used to have twenty-seven speeds,
then we had twenty, and now we have twelve.
Obviously, the future is less gears.
That's why we went with Sram's wide-range
eight-speed E-bike drive tray.
And, oh...
Uh oh.
It's not going there, it's not--
Oh, shit.
It needs a name, doesn't it?
And bike names need to be aggressive, don't they?
Sick, evil, slayer.
But I also love donuts, and I'm fishing
for a Tim Hortons sponsorship.
So there it is, the Grim Donut.
The future.
Just look at it.
I don't know why these idiots couldn't design this.
It's so simple. (record scratch)
I should probably test ride this thing before I order
thousands of them on the Pinkbike credit card.
The Grim Donut lives.
Here we are.
This is the first time I've ridden this thing
all built up, I'm just about to drop in.
I haven't even sat on this bike yet.
Let's give it a go.
(bike gears click)
You know, it feels so slack
that it's almost like the fork might not work.
It feels like it might want to do that.
I have no idea what is gonna happen here.
Wearing the helmet, of course.
Let's drop in.
(upbeat instrumental music)
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We Went to Taiwan to Make a Bike from the Future (and Actually Did) - The Grim Donut

14 Folder Collection
Henry 楊 published on May 24, 2020
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