It seems to me that single speed racing is getting more and more popular these days, especially in cyclo cross events. I have been racing in this class for two years now and I think I know what's behind the lure of the bike that never has the right gear.
First you have to choose your gear and you know it's going to be wrong 99% of the time.
What gear to run was something I cared about in the beginning. I thought changing my one gear to match the course every race could make a difference. Wrong!!! The reality is, nobody gets this right. Yes, of course there are catastrophic gear ratios like way too big, or way too small that will eliminate you from being a contender. But once you find that acceptable range where your rpm's aren't dizzying on the flats and your knee caps aren't blowing out their sockets when riding up a small incline, you are ready to never touch your bike again.
here is video explaining cross with a little single speed race action after 3:04min :
Single speed attacks can be so cute :)
If you are an experienced racer and used to eye popping attacks that tear the peloton into pieces within minutes, be ready for a new experience. Nobody can drop the hammer and sprint away. The difference in speeds between racers is limited and break aways look more like somebody trying to secretly sneak away. The key for being a successful single speed racer is to think and look further ahead. Momentum is your friend and exit speeds out of turns matters a whole lot more when the only gear you have is most likely a little too big out of every turn. All of this keeps the racers closer together for longer and makes the racing just more fun. Nobody enjoys being dropped after the first straightaway.
Looks matter. (and I mean the bike)
Face it, all those gears, derailleurs and sloppy dangling chains aren't sexy. A single speed bike offers a clean simplistic look, that also comes with a certain quietness caused by the lack of chain slapping against the frame. There is also the weight advantage when you don't have gears. This is big plus when you have to carry your bike up steep hills or lift it over barriers.
More fun for the money?
Single speed bikes can be build up rather cheaply. You don't need to buy any derailleurs, shifters, cables and cassettes, which translates into pretty hefty savings. There are complete bikes starting under $ 1000.- that rock. (check out some bikes here) Entry-fees are also cheaper (at this point and hopefully it will stay this way) than the geared categories. Even so this might change with the growing popularity of this class, it's nice to have some extra dough for the after party.
We are all the same. The "no classes" rule.
This in my opinion is the biggest and main reason why the single speed class has grown in popularity for the last couple of years. It's one big class. No cat. 1,2,3 or 4 or age groups. All that matters is that you don't have gears. It's the same for everybody and the likelihood of somebody in a costume lining up along the side of you keeps the seriousness to an acceptable level. Oh, and there is nothing to win but bragging rights, which is always a good deterrent of professional recreational racers.
All in all I love it, and I will continue to spin out of control going down and mashing up those hills.
Not only is it made in the USA. It's actually made by me. :) After three manufacturers failed to finish the DaHANGER production, 1/2 of the manufacturing is done here in Kingston NY. This is our massive foam fixture that holds and keeps the part in place while the HD foam hardens and makes a solid part.
Making American manufacturing great again is going to be really difficult since most of them have already gone overseas and the few that are left only want the easy big money jobs. As soon as you have to touch parts and do manual labor you are on your own. This wouldn't be a problem if made in USA products could be sold for a premium, but that is a faulty statement. The conflict at heart is that Americans can't keep asking for cheaper products, buying things in Walmart that are made overseas and ask for jobs to come back. It will never happen unless money starts circulating on a local level. It would also help if small retailers would offer more locally made products since that might create local jobs and turn workers into customers. Nevertheless, I am extremely happy to be able to send our hangers around the world and continue to plan our next products. DaHANGERs will most likely be always made in the USA, but I am already looking overseas for our second Kickstarter manufacturer since price matters and making money would allow me to hire the first employee to help with fulfillment and manufacturing. If you want to be in the loop and first to find out what the next project will be, please sign up to our newsletter.
me, myself and I :)
The choices are endless and if you are doing it right you will have a bike for a lifetime.
The moral of the story is:
If you can find a complete bike that has all the parts that you can live with in the color that you want in the right size and you are not planning on changing anything, then go ahead and buy off the rack. But if you are planning on upgrading individual parts later, you might want to consider starting from the frame up and go custom all the way.
btw. "Only bicycle geeks like you and me will see the value in custom bikes, so don't bother making your case to the pedestrian non cyclist out there or they might lock you up. :)"
Enjoy the ride,
‘THANK YOU” for helping me bring the product formerly known as “Shelfie” to life. All rewards have been sent out and we (I) are slowly transitioning into the real world of marketing online and selling thru retail stores.
The lessons learned: I always knew it was going to be hard running and completing a Kickstarter campaign. The business world is not a very kind place to be when you are a micro small startup (aka. One man band) Lessons were learned over the last two years that no MBA or business school can teach you, especially when it comes to trust, believing in contracts, the trademark legal system or the actual words that come out of other peoples mouths. Communication is key and when it breaks down you better see the writing on the wall that things are not going as well as planned. We went thru three different manufacturers (all based in the US) and a lot was promised and very little was delivered. I remember the time when I had to use my wives phone to call our manufacturer since they wouldn’t pick up anymore when they saw my number on the caller-ID. Also being a Kickstarter project with actual orders to fulfill can be a negative when you are starting to run late because of failed tooling and you need to find a new supplier. Prices all the sudden change, things are getting more expensive since they know you painted yourself into a corner and you have backers that want the product as promised. Thank god I am a stubborn bastard who is not afraid of a little well-mannered confrontation and problem solving is my strength.
You don’t need to go to CHINA to get screwed: I hear a lot of comments about “don’t go to China, you’re going to get screwed, Made in US is better and there are companies ready to do the work here in this country” Ok, here is my five cents to this. Many companies in the US won’t even pick up the phone unless you’re writing a PO of $ 150,000.- or more. Almost all US tooling companies sub out the making of steel molds to China since they can’t compete with their pricing and they are actually pretty good at it. The engineering and tooling design is still made in the US most of the time. How about the actual production? Well, that depends a lot on how much physical labor is involved and what are the costs per hour for that person doing the tasks. After our injection molding effort had failed three times we switched to the much more labor-intensive roto mold method. We had finally figured out how to make the part, but it needed to be flame polished and foam filled which turned out to add an extra 45 minutes per part. (too much for any US company willing to take on) That was it, we had an almost finished product and it was now up to us to finish it off. After getting all the equipment and materials together we are now successfully producing the bike shelf and have shipped over 550 units into the world. Being made in the USA is something we are proud of, but most people in the real world don’t care where the stuff is made as long as it is cheap. Would we ever outsource the production? Maybe, it all depends on the demand, but for right now we are happy with the process and our manufacturing partner in the US.
Will I ever do it again? Not will I, but when? Definitely, I am a creative person at heart and had many ideas during the journey of our project, but didn’t allow myself to be distracted until I had completed this one. The lessons learned and the mistakes made cannot be wasted by never doing anything else again. I have watch, backed and followed many other Kickstarter campaigns, I see the struggles creators have when shit happens and wish they would communicate better with their backers who believed in them and use them as a resource when the going gets tough. We are all in this together and I will always do my best to move things forward.
Feedback has been awesome: The feedback that I have received has been amazing and even so some of you have been surprised by the size of the DaHANGER the photos speak for themselves.
Chances that you are a cycling nut just like me are pretty high and if you want to follow our newsletter to get continued updates on what’s next and when the Kickstarter 2.0 will launch please sign up here: NEWSLETTER
Thank you again and keep in touch.
We are slowly getting to the end of our Kickstarter fulfillment journey. A big thank you to everybody who has been part of this and helped packing boxes and shipping DaHÄNGERs to all of our backers. There a roughly 130 units that still need to get finished and packed. We are going to work as fast as we can to complete these orders in the next couple of weeks.
Since I had to take over 50% of manufacturing it's a little slower than expected, but I have sent close to 100 DaHANGERs so far and I am finishing between 6 - 9 units per workday. Everybody will get their reward and I am slowly upgrading my equipment to speed things up. For example I have moved on from ordering foam in 5 gallon buckets and getting my first drum (55 gallons) delivery this week. This requires me to have tools and new equipment to get the foam out and into the part. I also decided that after running out of granite white parts, that it was good use of time to drive (700 miles) to our supplier last Sunday to pick up (90 granite white, 10 grey) DaHANGERs on Monday and discuss a couple of quality control issues that I had. This is all very exciting and I am so happy to finally be able to (slowly :) fulfill all of our Kickstarter rewards.
If you have moved during our lengthy campaign, please make sure to updated your address in your survey. Just go to our DaHANGER (Shelfie) Kickstarter campaign page, find your reward, click on survey response and edit your address. This will help me from making any shipping mistakes. I am using a shipping app called Shipping-Easy which sends out an e-mail with tracking when your reward is being send out.
All the black DaHANGERs have shipped and granite white is next. There are 10 grey DaHANGERs that we received to approve the color that will also ship in the next two weeks.
Oh, and one more things, the order of fulfillment is kinda random since my backer report has all of your names in the order of when payment cleared and not when you backed our project. No matter what, everybody will get theirs sooner or later.
Thank you for hanging in there,
Well, I didn't get struck by lightning and boxes are shipping out. But of course there is always a little bad news, but this one only effects me and has nothing to do with the end result.
Our latest manufacturer was unable to setup their foaming gun and fill the parts with foam for us. booooooo :( So they are only making the plastic parts for us.
So I went, picked up the fixture and have been figuring out for the last week how to do this on my own. (with great success so far). The secret is using the right foam, having vents at the right spot and one very common but secrete ingredient that makes it possible.
The good news is I am able to finish them, including the flame polish. The bad news is that it's just going to be a little slower than originally planned since I have to spend roughly 1 1/2 hours on each unit before I can send it out.
I do love that I am involved in the making of the product again and have the hands on experience that I am used to.
The granite white DaHÄNGERs will be next.
thanks for hanging in there.
We will start out with these three colors.
Black, grey and granite white. Black and grey are solid colors and tinted thru out the material and not painted on. The granite white has small random black specks in it and is also tinted thru out the material and not painted on.
Here are two samples of what the grey (solid) and granite white (random specks) look like.
Yes, can you believe it? You probably thought this day would never come, but we have finally completed our product development journey and are in the middle of production. There are about 500 Kickstarter backers that are waiting very patiently for their products and they will be the first to get the DaHÄNGER's. We are currently producing at a speed of 100 units per week and will move right into our newly created pre-order list.
The first Pre-orders will start shipping 7-8 weeks from now.
Save your spot at the top of the list by pre-ordering now and also take advantage of our free shipping within the USA offer.
What's a pre-order you ask?
Your pre-order locks your place in line to receive your DaHÄNGER after we finish sending our Kickstarter orders out. Your card will be charged when you reserve your DaHÄNGER, but you can of course cancel at anytime for a refund.
After your DaHÄNGER arrives you still have a full 30 days to make sure it lives up to your expectations. If it's not love at first sight, you can send it back to us for a refund.
Remember - this will be most likely the only way to get a DaHÄNGER before the 2016 riding season kicks into high gear.
Our new manufacturer has been nothing but amazing. I spent two days with them this week testing different materials and had them run the mold and foam fixture to make sure everything is ready to go. Production should start next week and as soon as they have a couple of pallets loaded they will ship them to us and we will send them out to you guys. One little change happened that will effect the black DaHÄNGERs. We originally wanted to use recycled materials to have less of an environmental impact. Well, it turns out that the regrind (recycled material) is very inconsistent and does not provide the strength needed to hold up the bikes. So we are going to be using the same material for all three colors.
If anybody wants to switch their reward color to black please send me a message (not a comment) on Kickstarter and I will make a note of it. Also, if you have moved recently please update your address in the next week to make sure it's going to the right place. Fulfillment will take roughly 5 weeks since they can only produce around 75 - 100 units per week.
I will let you guys know as soon as the first reward are on the way.
And like always, thanks for hanging in there.