We won! We won the „peoples choice“ award at the DT Swiss Craft Days bike show from a little while back. Fancy that!
We were invited to attend the Craft Days show, of course we obliged, and we were happy to be there amongst some of the more creative builders, crafters, artisans, and thinkers in the European bike industry. To now be chosen as the show favourite is a big deal, it really validates all the hard work and late nights spent on the Double Choc prototype. Please allow me to tell a few stories about the proto you all loved so much.
This prototype is, well, just that. I mean, it *technically* works, but it’s still plenty far from production. The next steps of getting this bike to production could take weeks, months, and maybe even years! I can hint that of the three, it won’t be weeks, and is also unlikely to be years… but in any case, it won’t be tomorrow, and the bike won’t look like the one above.
Okay, that’s a bit extreme… the Double Choc will look like the photo above here, after all that’s the point of a working prototype, right? We built this third prototype to parade it around and show all our friends and ask what they thought of it (spoiler, they loved it!), and it’d be pretty wild to change its appearance completely after taking the time to show everyone the bike as it stands. Nonetheless, there are a few big changes that are yet to solidify into a fourth working-prototype, however most of said changes will be technical, not aesthetic (except paint, we’ll definitely paint the next proto).
When we kind of soft-launched this platform at Bespoked in October 2022, we had quite the uphill battle to get the bike there for display. Chris and Joergen drove up to London from Dresden, while Flori and Henri stayed behind to hold down the fort and finish the bike! We bumped into a couple problems during construction of the bike and there was much filing and re-working done as the sun set in Dresden on Thursday… the show started Friday afternoon! A huge part of building any full-suspension MTB frame, let alone a completely new fully-platform, in-house, from steel, and as a small company is that there are so many moving parts, tolerances, and measurements to get right. We, well, messed up on a couple. The sub-frame didn’t mate to the frame as we had planned, but with some quick thinking and an air file, Flori and Henri were able to get everything fitted, the bike built, and Flori on an airplane the next morning, Double Choc Proto in tow.
Flori showed up just in time to meet the rest of the crew at the Bespoked stand next to our buds The Bicycle Academy (we miss y’all!). Quickly we got the Double Choc out of the flight case and started assembling the bike on-site. Chris said within minutes „Now I know exactly what I will change on the next prototype“. In any case, we made it, and the Double Choc proto was real, and on display for the world to see.
The bike that everyone saw in Bespoked is the same one that won the people’s choice at the Craft Days show. However, that bike has neither the full suspension travel we planned nor the kinematics we designed. Due to the production flaw we discovered in the prototyping process, we ended up with a completely different bike than we had designed! Visually everything checks out, but it’s back to the drawing board to get everything built and functioning as it’s supposed to be.
This all really hits at the core of the Homebrew project and why it’s so amazing(ly difficult). We get asked pretty often if we are building custom bike frames, one-by-one, and that is definitively not what were are doing. Being a custom frame builder is a challenge in its own right, but what Sour is doing is designing frames that are rad, unique, and bikes that we’d want to ride, but then also serialising them… that is, putting them into production. Granted, the bikes are still very much built one-by-one, and by hand, in week we will build a number of frames all exactly the same. Therein lies the secret sauce and the difficulty of designing a complicated bike platform that is also feasibly reproducible. So while there are plenty of things we could employ to build the Double Choc frames one-by-one on a „custom“ level, we can’t use them or employ those methods because ultimately we are producing sometimes several hundred frames in any given model!
We are not currently planning on producing large numbers of the Double Choc when it is released, so this will give us more breathing room to further perfect our full-suspension-production process. We will limit the number of production slots to be sold for this model until we are confident that we can handle a larger demand.