We’ve been working around the clock with our manufacturing partners to bring your AMX into existence. Grab a coffee/tea/kombucha and read on. There is lots to share.
Manufacture: From Production Prototype to Final Spec
When we launched the AMX campaign we were in the Production Prototype stage. This meant that we were working with prototypes made using the same supply chain we’ve put in place for scaling manufacture. It was a great starting point, but it’s only the beginning. It still leaves fine-tuning and refining, which the team have been working on since.
There are complicated processes involved in the ‘scaling’ part of getting the AMX ready for you. Any product that we design and sell must conform to industry standard certifications - standards we aim to exceed. Our previous AM1 backers observed the obsessive detail we put in throughout the process, and now you will too. We create urban electric bikes and we understand that these bikes become fundamental parts of your daily life. Reliability is core to our mission and thus it’s key that our bikes are user serviceable. Testament to our process is that 12 months since we started shipping the AM1, user feedback is that our bikes are extremely reliable.
You will now have a front row seat into the inner workings of a small, rapidly growing startup. In our previous campaign, backers joined us through the successes and the trials along the way. Buckle-up as we take you through the process of designing, manufacturing, testing and shipping 15 tonnes of bikes to 200 different cities in 40+ counties.
Let’s start with some of the specification upgrades achieved since the campaign ended…
One part of the frame we had to revisit was the rear dropouts. The dropouts are the part of the frame where the rear wheel is mounted. The subtleties in the design is especially important for the brakes and the drivetrain. The AMX is designed to take both chain and belt so there are some constraints that took some consideration. One important issue is that of chain/belt tension.
As learned from testing with the AMX, we realised that the prototype dropout needed to be redesigned. We observed that under some conditions it would increase the strain on other components potentially causing premature failure.
Belt and chain tensioning will be super easy, even for a novice. Furthermore, if you need to change a rear tyre, you can now do this without having to remove the fender or disconnect the brakes.
In addition, we reconsidered the front brake cable routing for all the CLASSIC and STEP models. It took some effort but we’ve now incorporated the brake cable through the fork. This is a feature usually reserved for premium high-performance bikes. It’s more aerodynamic and it further smooths out the lines of the AMX. It looks really slick!
The controller is the brains of the bike. It’s a small computer combined with high-power electronics that regulates the flow of power to the motor while running the ancillary functions of the bike.
The production prototype AMX featured an integrated controller that was concealed within the seat tube. When testing our bikes for manufacture our focus group users go through the process of removing each component and replacing it, to make sure this process is manageable for all of our customers if it was ever required. As we expected, all the components were simple to replace, except for the integrated controller. After much experimentation and prototyping, we concluded that in its current iteration this was not going to be user-serviceable part, which doesn’t fit our ethos. We made the decision to improve its placement by positioning it below the battery. This has the added benefit of removing the cables that were once visible there. It looks a lot cleaner now!
Given that we were making a change to the controller, we took this as an opportunity to add in some other improvements too. The new controller is now a sine-wave controller. This results in an e-bike that is completely silent on the road. Check out the video below to hear for yourself.
Bonus feature - Throughout the campaign, we received a substantial number of enquiries for GPS tracking systems (like this one). These live in seat tube. This new controller frees-up the seat tube for any of you who would like to retrofit a GPS solution that resides here. It’s not something we will offer ourselves but it’s an option now available to you.
The wheels you can see in the Indiegogo video are “deep rims”. They’re robust, look good but understandably add weight and require inner tubes with extra long valve stems to accommodate them. We’ve sourced a new rim that’s a little shallower but equally strong, and have incorporated this for all CLASSIC and STEP AMXs. As such they take normal inner tubes and can save 700 grams off the weight of the AMX without compromising on strength or durability.
The e-bike market is growing rapidly and this does have some impact on global supply chains for parts, specifically branded components like tyres. Tyres play an important role in the comfort, durability and safety of our bikes. We have chosen Schwalbe as one of our main tyre suppliers and everyone that rides an AMX will agree that they are the right choice. Riding an AMX over the worst cobbled streets is laughably smooth.
Our supplier has experienced huge demand for Schwalbe Big Apples and they do not have enough in stock for us unless we were willing to wait some months. They have offered Big Ben’s as a like for like replacement and we have agreed that it’s a great solution. The Big Ben will come with the same level of protection with ‘K-Guard’ as the Big Apple’s.
- Frame has been improved to dramatically facilitate easier servicing and improve cable management.
- Controller is now integrated into the battery housing to improve servicing.
- Wheels are now lighter and more durable.
- Schwalbe tyre update.
- Manufacturing & assembly continues throughout February.
As always, thanks everyone for making this possible. The AMX is now even more awesome and we can’t wait to get you all out tearing up the streets.