damonjackson_spl wrote:Great sounding product but the most important aspect that seems to be missed is the price. Your volume could exponentially grow to massive production if you made a product better than cyclone but not as exxy as ecospeed or ego.
Still seems like a boutique type drive, need something around $800-$1000
With lower power can't you go cheaper and smaller belts?
The problem is the very high parts count. The price of the actual drive system would not be very high. However, this system requires the drive system (100% custom parts, pulleys, torque limiter, etc, nothing off the shelf), a complete freewheeling crank with high quality freewheel and bottom bracket, second support bearing with chainring and bearing adaptor (again, custom made), frame mounts (many parts, all custom), a new motor, and a controller.
The drive will, indeed, be sexy looking. It does not take much extra time or money (almost no extra time or money) to make the system sexy looking. I have CNC machined aluminum pulleys that are wiffled with many holes and the drive is machined in a very visually appealing way.
I will have over $1,000 invested in each drive out ot my own pocket, not including the huge amount of time designing, programming, and debugging the system. Beyond that, the only way I can get my cost that low is to purchase 20 of most of the parts at a time.
The belt cost is not the main money draw. It is sheer parts count. A freewheeling crank drive system can, indeed, be made cheaper than this. However, this system is meant to be very light weight, and high quality as well as relatively quiet. Cyclone systems are innexpensive, but heavy, noisey and look like a hammer. No problem for most buyers. They fill a niche that is very large. Eco-Speed stuff is high quality, but honestly (and I am sorry to sound as though I am bashing any products) I am sorry they are CRAZY overpriced! They are, also, HUGE and use #25 pitch chains. If Eco-Speed drives were 1/2 their price, I would still find them expensive for what you get.
Lastly, as huge market is not always a good thing. This is where Eco-Speed really has it figured out. The high-end decreases overall numbers substancially, but increases profit margins. This drasticaly reduces customer support. If you sell 1,000 systems to beginners who only have a few hundred bucks to spend, you will have low profits per sale and high customer/product support. However, if you sell a hundred systems at $1,000+, your profit margine is higher per sale and customer support that is required is far lower. That means that any customer question or issue that arises can be given far more attention.
I have plenty of people willing to invest in this. I have not taken them up on it because that puts a strain on a business (many times it does), and I know I can do this without them. I am ordering enough parts to build 20 systems (some parts I can buy one at a time if I need to at no additional cost, but not the machined parts). As those sell, I will presell more kits with a modest wait time. The deposits on that second batch of drives will be used to fund the second run of parts. This is how I have funded my previous kits for both bicycles and RC helis. It works well as the deposit guarantees order volume (gives me exact numbers to work with), gives some up front capitol without a "Payback" debt, and allows me to order larger volumes of parts each time I reorder.
What I am doing, also, is constantly scanning the web looking for other motor options, controllers, etc.
Lastly, the best business model for building a company without capitol is to apeal to the high-end first, then cust costs once products are selling well. I may, indeed, look at a less costly system after this one. However, the only way to do that is to reduce parts count. That requires a direct drive (no primary belt reduction from motor to jackshaft). That means a larger far lower KV motor. That, in turn, means less power per pound. See the delema?
I am working on making the best that is not for only the ultra wealthy. Yes this system is for those who have at least a small amount of means. The being said, it could be priced nearly twice this high, make me a FORTUNE and still sell in limited quantities.
I hear ya. I would love the price to be below $1,000. I am working on cost cutting the best I can without sacrificing quality.