Thanks BA & all, see some more detailed answers below. Apologoies for the long post;
I see a solution that's already been done by 4 other binding companies. Also is it really that hard to bend at the waist and strap in? I haven't sat down to strap in, in about oh 15 years.
- The binding aims to appeal to those riders who for whatever reason don't like strapping in. It's not for everyone, but they are out there.
Looking at the design of it I can already see that it's flawed. You have more moving parts which = more potential for problems. Your baseplate is too thick and will deaden the feel. I'm guessing it's this thick to make room for the lever which has to function to release the straps
- Yes, more moving parts than a standard binding, but they have been kept pretty simple. Similar number of moving parts to a Cinch really. Making these robust and reliable has been a large part of testing so far. More to do.
Also do you feel 100k is enough start up capital to make molds?
- No. This is only aimed to be part of the funding. Molds alone can cost $150K plus.
Which factory are you using for this?
- We're talking to a couple, and have a preferred. Obviously can't talk names until the ink is dry. They are all reputable factories, making bindings for other brands.
Why do you feel your product is so much better than what is on the market from established brands?
- Personally, while there are lots of great bindings out there, we wanted something else, that would bring back the "step-in" idea, without all the drawbacks of the old models.It's purely a preference and is aimed to appeal to a certain group of riders.
What is your 1, 3,5,8, and 10 year plan?
- 1 year plan= get this initial campaign over the line, refine the design, get some initial product out. 2 Years = build on the momentum (hopefully), refine and improve. 3 - 8 years planning would be a bit premature at this point
The way I look at it, yet another company making an inferior product. I can see that now in the way you're prototyping and knowing that it takes at least 2 if not 3 to 4 years to get a binding to where it needs to be.
- You're correct about the time required. Our focus is to put out a solid reliable product first up. Build on all the feedback and continue to improve. No doubt there will be niggles/issues. Even Flow with all the experience has had issues with thier new toe straps for example. Now had to make the heelcups a bit bigger after feedback, and have issues with ladder straps. We're not comparing ourselves to them, we're new to it, but have some very experienced people helping out, but even the established guys have issues, and this is part of the process. It would be unrealistic to expect perfection day 1, but we'll be working damn hard towards making as solid binding as possible.
1) I agree with BA about the base. It looks too thick and it's off-putting. If you can't physically shrink it any, maybe you can disguise it in the design.
- This will be addressed for production
2) My concern is that because the mechanism is invisible (unlike Flow or Cinch) I tend not to trust it. You're going to have trust issues, so you'd better have a damned good warranty and make a big deal out of it.
- The handle is a visual cue. When unlocked the handle is up, when locked it is down. Agree, it will be a matter of getting on the mountain and under as many riders as possible, and backing it up if any issues.
3) You're at a disadvantage for the North American market because of your location.
- Valid point. If all goes well local US distribution & point of contact would be essential. Something for further down the road.
4) On the don't-trust-the-mechanism front, these things will need to be publicly play-tested a lot.(Absolutely).
I'd be concerned about accidental release, either from snow pushing up the lever, jarring impacts triggering the release, or just hard riding forcing it open.
- Lever position will be refined. So far the current location seems best. To release the binding the lever needs to be pulled and the boot lifted up at the same time. Rider weight keeps the binding closed, so even if the lever is momentarily lifted by an obsticle, the binding won't release. No issues so far, more testing to be done.
5) Ugly. - Yep, it's a prototype. More prettying up to be done.