Posts in the category How To

Fox Factory Tour Part 2: The Assembly Line

Fox US Factory Production (9)

After components are produced at Fox’s California based machine shop, the parts are sent out for anodization (either locally or to Japan), then shipped to the Fox assembly facility in a small town just South of Santa Cruz, CA. 

As these components arrive from all corners of the world, random samples are pulled for inspection and walked directly from the receiving area and into the Quality Lab.

In addition to testing individual components, they also pull sub-assemblies to ensure parts are fitting together properly and double check for wear on tooling.

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Fox Factory Tour Part 1: Headquarters & Machine Shop

Fox Factory Tour HQ

Glancing at the modern carbon wonder bike, there are few if any parts that are still made here in the United States. Among those items are usually things like pedals or chain rings, but surprisingly enough, Fox produces its golden coated bits in the golden state.

The company is headquartered in Scotts Valley, California, a small town just outside of Santa Cruz proper, that can claim its fair share of epic road rides, mountain bike trails, and old growth redwoods. We recently visited their facility to check out their production setup…  READ MORE ->

Friday RoundUp – Bicycle Bits & Pieces

Video Series

  • The Seasons Collection – A multi-media photography collection of adventure sports-driven stories about people who push the limits in pursuit of their passion aka LIFERS. The video highlights all that happened this past week at Windell’s Sports Camp as the team followed Cadence Founder Dustin Klein, Windell’s Sports Camp Director Jamie Weller and legendary action sports photographer Bryce Kanights. You can also watch all of the other video recaps here.

Father’s Day Deals and more after the break… 

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Friday RoundUp – Bicycle Bits & Pieces

  • Our friends at amain.com sent us this great video they made of footage from the 3-day Chico Stage Race Presented by Sierra Nevada. This “Director’s Cut” version shows off their great video editing and production skills with on-bike and aerial views in and around the beautiful region of Chico, California. Enjoy!
  • Cyclevox, the UK’s leading cycling commentary, PR and production company, has today announced the launch of the world’s first dedicated women’s cycling video channel, Voxwomen. Cyclevox Founder and UCI Women’s World Cup Commentator, Anthony McCrossan, is launching Voxwomen to give female professional cyclists a voice and to encourage equality across the sport.
  • Jamis® Bicycles is launching its West Coast Bicycle Test Ride Experience program. Building on the success of their popular East Coast program, Jamis is broadening its reach by supporting an expanding dealer network west of the Mississippi. Visit bicycletestride.com to reserve your Jamis bicycle for upcoming events like The Sea Otter Classic and Ragbrai as well as keeping up to date on all Jamis related events, races and upcoming Bicycle Test Ride Experiences.
  • Are you heading to Louisville, Kentucky for NAHBS this weekend? Well then stop by the Road Holland booth and say hello. If you cannot make it to the show then perhaps the next best thing is to save 20% off of anything at RoadHolland.com by using the promo code NAHBS15.
  • Isadore Apparel, the high-end cycling apparel brand owned by Pro World Tour rider Martin Velits (Etixx-Quick Step) has opened exclusive Isadore Pop-Up Store in Majorca, Spain. The store is located in Port D’Alcudia in partnership with cycling rental company Bikehead and Bike_nnet Guided Tours in exclusive new surroundings close to the harbor of Port D’Alcudia. isadoreapparel.com
  • Edible Pedal combines two passions shared by many Sacramentans: farm-to-fork food and bicycles. Here’s the video about John Boyer and his 10-plus employees who are using bicycles to deliver food from Sacramento’s farm-to-fork restaurants.
  • Cycling-friendly city Amsterdam is out of bicycle parking spaces, so it’s building 40,000 more by 2030 to alleviate the problem. Over 880,000 bikes are used around the city and they need parking spaces along the canals. With more bikes than parking spaces it’s a big problem that costs the city and illegally-parked bike owners a lot of money.
  • Lynchburg, Virginia bicyclists will have some creative places to park after several artists put finishing touches on racks that will spruce up downtown this summer. Four winners were named in a design contest for the new racks. They are Matt Perkins, Phillip Gabathuler and Davey Hazelgrove, all of Lynchburg, and Roanoke resident John Wilson. Here’s more on the story.
  • Are you a traveler, athlete, adventurer or executive? Then you need a Greenbelly bar, a healthy meal that provides 1/3 of your daily nutrition. Made with all natural and delicious ingredients, Greenbelly is a Complete Meal On-The-Go. Now Greenbelly needs your to help the company grow. Check out their Kickstarter campaign.
  • Get your kicks on Bicycle Route 66 – Adventure Cycling Association announced the release of their latest route, the 2,493-mile Bicycle Route 66. The route follows the famous corridor from Chicago to Los Angeles on roads appropriate for cyclists through six states. Visit Adventure Cycling Association for more information on Bicycle Route 66 and their other bicycle travel routes..
  • The Mystic MTB Race presented by Owenhouse Bicycling Co. is proud to announce that it is back for the second year in a row and will be hosting the event on Saturday July 18, 2015. Featuring 40 miles of challenging climbs, world-class descents and remote scenery, the Mystic MTB Race offers mountain bikers an opportunity to challenge themselves on some of the most enjoyable connector trails in the Gallatin National Forest.
  • Are you interested in mountain biking in exotic locals but concerned about the “What if?”. Well H+I Adventures, the specialists in premium mountain biking holidays, has aligned with Global Rescue, a world-class emergency service provider that offers medical and security evacuation assistances and destination reports. Global Rescue will be included on all H+I Adventures trips, whether it is an advanced biker’s journey to Ecuador, or a beginner’s ride in Namibia. Plan your dream trip!
  • Josh Bender & Lindsay Beth Currier promise to teach you how to ride with more FUN and FLOW! They’ve announced their 2015 Enduro Mountain Bike Skills Camps schedule. After being asked by her female pupils to coach their husbands, boyfriends and kids, Lindsay recruited her significant other, Josh Bender, to provide a series of COED Enduro Mountain Bike Skills Clinics in their home region of Northern California, and surrounding areas. The first camp starts in April.

#BIKESTARTUP: Five Deadly landmines to avoid when building bike products

Bicycle Landmines

Myriad landmines on the way to production. Source: especesmenacees

In the first three articles in this series you’ve learned to solve a customer pain with a bike product, build prototypes, and hunt for a quality contract manufacturer (CM) to build it in volume.  If you’ve done well in steps 1-3, you’ll have 3-5 viable CMs.

Now you get to choose one and mass-produce your dream product, the success of which will ultimately hinge on your ability to navigate myriad landmines. Watch out for these 5 in particular:

Landmine #1: Your CM Isn’t Excited About Your Company

You’re not IBM. You’re a tiny company no one’s heard of and your CM doesn’t care about your $100K first order. They do care, however, about your big, future orders. You MUST start by selling the big vision of your company and show them the product roadmap with their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In our case, every CM knows our vision: we are on a mission to protect city cyclists and “while we’re only placing this small, 5,000 unit order now, next year it’ll be 25,000 bike lights plus three new products.”  And it’s true.

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Reader’s Rides: Building your Own Suspended Rollers for less than $150

ASJ suspended rollers

As cyclists, I know there are a lot of do-it-yourself types out there. Why spend your hard earned money on something on something you could build yourself, for less? If that sounds like something you would say and you’ve been looking for a better way to train indoors this Winter, here you go. If you know what rollers are, you are probably familiar with the Inside Ride E-Motion rollers which are fantastic. Basically, the roller frame floats back and forth on a separate frame which combined with additional support rollers for the rear wheel and front wheel bumpers makes roller use easier and more enjoyable. While the Inside Ride version will ultimately be more portable, not everyone has $900 to drop on something they only hope to use on the worst days of the Winter months.

Ever since suspended rollers became a thing, there have been DIY versions but few have the detail of the plans sent into us by Adam St. Germain. Compiled on the Short Handled Shovel blog penned by ASJ and Noah Jacobs, the DIY instructable takes roughly $125 of raw materials plus a set of rollers and transforms them into an impressively functional set of suspended rollers…

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Home Workshop Series – Part 5 – The “Non-Standard” Tools

Ratchet-Set

Having been a mechanic in other industries, it is a bit strange that cyclists are so attached to only purchasing and using tools made by bicycle tool companies. There are lots of great tools out there that may do the job better, cheaper, or different than the more specialized tools available from Park, Pedros, Lezyne or other cycling-specific tool companies.

One thing we all agree on, everyone should get a simple ratchet and socket set. Available for insanely low prices at places like Harbor Freight or other discounters, they are a great tool to have around, and most bicycle-specific fitments such as bottom bracket tools will have a fitment to be driven by a standard 3/8″ ratchet.

Take a look inside to see what other things we have adopted from outside the cycling industry to get our bikes on the trail…

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#BIKESTARTUP: The First 3 Steps to Slaying the Manufacturing Dragon and Mass-Producing your Killer Product

Fourteen factories in three weeks: some incompetent, some inhumane, some overpriced, and one excellent.

Fourteen factories in three weeks: some incompetent, some inhumane, some overpriced, and one excellent.

Slava Menn is a serial entrepreneur and CEO of Fortified Bicycle. He loves biking, building, entrepreneuring, and teaching. In this monthly series, he shares his team’s hard-learned startup lessons with aspiring entrepreneurs.

Our first articles showed you how to ease a pain with a product idea and how to go from idea to prototype. Assuming you’ve proven the concept viable and have a working prototype, it’s time to hit “go”on the production line and manufacture en masse, right? Not so fast – you first have to slay the meanest, nastiest dragon in the startup world: volume manufacturing.

We’ll get into price negotiation, quality control, and supply chain optimization later, but first we must learn to source an honest, quality manufacturing partner to take you from prototype to thousands of products.
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Home Workshop Series – Part 3: Basic Tools & Kits To Start Working On Your Bike

Chain-Tool

Now, we start to dig into tools. Probably the most needed item in your home workshop, and the most common first purchase, a good set of common tools are needed for about 75% of your bike repairs. There are a lot of starter kits out there which might work for your needs. Or you can create your own kit from the suggestions here.

There are a lot of great tool companies such as Park, Pedros, Lezyne, Birzman, plus some lesser known ones like Lifu, IceToolz and Spin Doctor. And tools don’t have to come from a bicycle-specific maker. There are also tools that are worth buying the top-end right away such as the Park professional chain tool above, and some where the basic tool works just fine.

Both Zach and I have been professional mechanics in the past, but do all of our work at home now. Take a look inside as we discuss what works for us in building the starter tool kit for your home workshop….

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