As previously mentioned, we moved at the end of February into the building next door, approximately doubling our space. We actually increased our manufacturing space by about three times. The move was done to have room to bring powder coating back in house, something dearly missed the past four years. It is great to have the control over quality and scheduling again.
The next thing which will be happening soon is to increase welding capacity to gear up for next year.
Bill Meacham has been responsible for our web development for several years. I first got to know Bill in 2003 when he bought a Slipstream on Ebay and needed parts to put the bike together. One thing lead to another, we became friends and Bill did a great job in helping us with the web. As we all know, we don't have total control over our lives and Bill has a full plate now and no time to work on our website needs. Thanks Bill!
I don't believe that there is an urgent need to get a replacement immediately, but I need to start looking. If you have the talent, skills and Dreamweaver I would like to start looking at resumes (you will have to tutor me in Dreamweaver as well). Just need to find the best person who happens to be holding a sign that reads "Will do web development for Slipstream"! Gotta love the barter system.
Since we no longer have frames built in Taiwan and no longer purchase any components from there either there are some component changes. The biggest item is wheels. We now get our built wheels from Velocity using their standard black hub, black spokes and a black Aeroheat rim with machined sidewalls. These wheels cost us considerably more than the Taiwan built Quando / Alex wheels which we used for the past eight years.
Other components are in a constant state of Shimano flux and may vary due to availability.
Due to cost increases in raw material, components, labor, energy and a host of other increases and the fact that prices have not changed in almost two years, there will need to be some adjustments made. Expect to see changes effective January 1, 2011.
I have mentioned some new product that I am working on to some people in phone conversations so I think it is probably OK to open my mouth here. Without going into detail at this time, let me just say that there is a new SWB in the works which draws on my many years of racing cars and the quest for speed. It will be called the Muroc, named after Muroc dry lake in Southern California, one of the original locations of automobile speed trials, 20 to 30 years before the Bonneville Salt Flats were commonly raced on. My personal experience starts with Bonnevile in the mid 1960's, setting several records, gaining membership into the Bonneville 200 MPH club in 1969 and ultimately driving our little roadster to around 235 MPH in 1971. Needless to say, I am not just a stogy old designer and machinist … the Muroc will give you a new way to look at Longbikes.