With highs, lows and unexpected loop-de-loops, launching a new indoor bike trainer to the masses is a ride unlike any other. From the conceptualization, to the design, to the build, to the much-anticipated launch, here at CycleOps this process is one that we take great pride in.
And with that pride comes an unabashed commitment to quality. Simply put, our team is committed to delivering best-in-class indoor bike trainers – even if it means delays. We believe in doing it right, or not doing it at all.
To give you some insight into how seriously we take our dedication to our customers, we wanted to walk through the step-by-step process of how we build and test the Hammer.
1) Early and Consistent System Tests
Throughout the development process, prototypes are tested to ensure current development is on track. Sign-up sheets for test rides fill in, the number of employees walking around in kits exponentially grows, we compare notes.
The Hammer and Magnus are put through the ringer via interval simulations in system tests.
2) Building Raw, In-House Castings
The casting is the heart of the Hammer build. It's the trainers core, it's shape and it's machined in-house.
3) Paint it Up
After the casting is complete, it is sent a short 54 miles down the road to Beaver Dam for powder coating. This process applies the color and gives the trainer its texture.
4) Final Assembly Begins
Once the casting is painted, the units are sent back to our headquarters in Madison for the final assembly.
Hammer castings on display in the resistance unit area.
5) Resistance Mechanism Assembled
The focus of final assembly deals almost exclusively with the innovative resistance mechanism that makes up the Hammer smart trainer. This mechanism is custom made by a partner of ours to our exact specifications. Trust us, there's no resistance mechanism out there quite like ours.
6) Final Component Build
Decals, feet, electronics board. If it's part of the trainer, it's assembled during this step.
Magnus resistance units lined up for their turn in the calibration stand.
7) Calibration and Verification
This step is completed in two different stages:
Stage 1: A visit to the fish bowl. During this process we assign the trainer an ANT+ and Bluetooth ID, along with installing the latest firmware before the final calibration.
Stage 2: The final calibration. During this stage each Hammer bike trainer is uniquely calibrated. We run each trainer through a protocol of ramp-ups and coast-downs at four different speeds. From this test we're able to create a customized calibration table for each trainer.
This intricate step takes roughly 20 minutes to perform. Each one is uniquely calibrated. Test rolling resistance at 4 different speeds. From that data we can create a customized calibration table for each trainer.
8) Ride Testing
While the production of each of our bike trainers evolves into its own rhythm, at the onset of a new product we obsess over the details. While we fine-tune our manufacturing process here Madison, Wisconsin, every unit undergoes a ride test. Our team has religiously and meticulously ride tested every single trainer that's left our doors since we began shipping at the end of November. Each Hammer is pedaled up to 1000 watts, then coasted down, with our team tuning their eyes and ears for any vibrations, noises or anything out of the ordinary.
Each ride test provides us with a valuable piece of data that we can use to ensure that we're producing the best performing smart direct drive trainer in the market.
9) Final Boxing
At last, the Hammer is carefully boxed and set off to its destination. We designed our packaging to ensure that your new smart direct drive trainer is perfectly encased to ensure a top-notch experience from the minute you open the box. Each and every Hammer is tested, boxed and shipped from right here in Madison, Wisconsin.
Boxed, stacked, wrapped and ready for delivery.
We'd be remiss not to mention our hard-working staff on the manufacturing floor. Our stellar line leads, in one week, learned how to build two entirely new trainers, the Hammer and Magnus. Their dedication and overtime have allowed us to ship as much as we have, an effort appreciated by every single employee at Saris Cycling Group.
Take a behind the scenes look at what these final steps look like with our product manager, Eric.
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