Our Journey has started and is growing momentum daily. We are currently building the final prototype for the next stage of rigorous testing. We hope to have a product ready for production in the next 2 months. If you like our bars and would be interested in buying a set when available, please send me an email from the link at the bottom of the page or firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add you to the list. No worries, we won't spam.
It's been a while since our last report out, hard to believe a couple of months have passed already. Lots to report on!
Pro Antony Costes
Welcome Antony Costes, pro triathlete and super awesome guy, to our MORF Family!!! Antony has been racing our bars for the past several months and wow, what an athlete and professional he is. You can see more on Antony on his Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/antoletigre. I have put some pics of Antony's super slick race set up on the site under Pro's. He has done a fantastic job setting up his bike to be as slick a set up as I have ever seen. It is unorthodox, but super fast!!!
We have spent the last few months continuing our focus on the design of the bars, specifically around robustness and reliability. When Antony was here at IMTX, we spent a bit of time discussing the design of the bars and he gave me some really sound advice on the bar design. It fundamentally changed the design of the mechanism in the bar, which set us back 6-8 weeks. Extending the delivery was tough for me as I don't want to let the community down, but it has always been my number one priority to produce a reliable, safe and fast product so the decision was easy to go back to the drawing board and change what Antony asked us to change. It think it is important to take Antony's input to heart and act upon it as he has a lot of time and experience on Tri bikes with aero bars. Thank you Antony!!!
So what's the new schedule, that's the big question. We have since redesigned the bars, built several iterations and we are finally at the production design!!! We are currently setting up manufacturing fixtures to mass produce the product and the first 10 units will be coming off the assembly line in the next 3 weeks. Once completed, the will be going to a 3rd party lab for ISO fatigue testing as well as some test bikes for additional road testing. Barring any issues, we hope to be ready to ship in August. I do appreciate everyone's patience and support! This process is taking longer than I had originally anticipated, but getting it RIGHT, SAFE and RELIABLE is so important, it will be worth the wait!!!
We would like your feedback! We are configuring the design to allow for forward facing brake levers. I know it's a bit unorthodox but makes for a lighter system, less parts, and ease of install of mechanical shifters. The beauty of the design is conventional style brakes can be used as well, so they are not required to use the bars. Send us an email, let us know what you think! email@example.com
Wind Tunnel Testing
Cornelius from SlowTwitch (most know him as Greenplease) was super cool in taking the MORF bars to A2 during his Aero Camp session. What a cool guy!! He put the bars up against the TriRig AlphaX bars with integrated stem, one of the fastest bars in the business. The results were not as good as we had hoped, they were identical at 10 degrees and 2-3 watts slower at 0 degrees, both with rider (total watts for rider and bike was approx 200 watts). The tests were run without a BTA. It is really hard to get consistency with a rider, but to me, the data is the data. Cori was extremely intentional about trying to get an identical body position. I believe I understand where some of the discrepancy lies and know how we can make further improvements. We have recently signed up with the University of Houston with the CFD (Computational Flow Dynamics) group to do some CFD analysis to hone the design. Once we are done, I am pretty confident we will be faster than anything on the market. Some work to do though. We will update the website in the next couple of weeks with the wind tunnel data we have run so far. The pictures below are from Cori's testing (Left MORF Bars, Right AlphaX)
NAHBS - Matt Conrad
NAHMBS Representation - Matt Conrad was gracious enough to use our MORF Tech bars on his Tri Show bike at the NAHMBS. Check out the pic, bike looks GREAT!! Lots of good feedback, I really look forward to work with Matt, keep an eye on him, I can see really great stuff to come. www.journeybicycles.com
Prototype #8 - Closer to Production
Now that the ugly bars are tested, and after numerous 3d printing of prototypes, it is time to make a production based unit!! Finally, assembled and installed on the bike. They look much sleeker and are precision machined from billet aluminum. Took them out on their maiden 25 mile voyage today and they were nice and smooth and the end stop locks were solid. Much better than the previous assembly. Enjoy the pictures. Check out the video on the home page.
Prototype #1 - Will it work?
After giving the idea some thought, I needed to determine whether the bars would be stable, transitioning between the two positions. One way to test this would be to build a quick and dirty prototype. Using some copper fittings, tubing, plywood , a scroll saw and a weekend later, I designed prototype #1. I put it on my daughters small BMX bike, donned my helmet, grabbed an iphone and took the first ride! Scared and excited to put the bars to work and figure out if it was controlable. To my surprise, it was extremely stable!!!! Plywood prototype bars #1 successfully tested, CONCEPT VIABLE!!!! see it to believe it, watch the video below!!!
Prototype #2 (AKA - Ugly Bars) - How about something on a real bike?
Christmas break 2015 is here and it's time to put one of these wonderments on a real bike. A trip to the hobby shop for some supplies, a drill press, a radial arm saw was all it took to make prototype #2. The prototype wasn't the prettiest…but I really wanted to see how well the bars did at 25-30 mph, and the functionality in an emergency situation. The video shows the bars maiden voyage on my Cervelo P3. Once the unit was built and on the bike, I managed to put about 2000 miles over a 5 month period on them. I know I am a little biased, but I simply love them!
Meet the Kossel 250
My day job is all about product development and the key to successful product development is failing fast. We learn more from failure than we do from success! An excellent tool to do that is a 3D printer. Once it was determined that the product was viable, I put some miles on the ugly prototype #2, we bought a Kossel 250 3d printer. It has already consumed a complete spool of material on printed plastic prototypes and have printed prototype #8. What a fantastic tool, I can make prototypes at the same time as playing barbies with my beautiful daughters. And they say men can't multi task:).