FLX’s Babymaker II e-bike was unveiled last month during its pre-sale, and it shocked the market with more than a bold name and low price. The bike would also have been destined for American manufacturing in Detroit, Michigan.
Now that early production has begun, and we get a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on in the assembly of these e-bikes in the United States.
FLX is certainly not the first company to claim American e-bike assembly. We were lucky enough to check out locally built e-bikes from the California-based Electric Bike Company, as well as other companies like FattE-bikes and WattWagons that also boast of being made in the USA.
But the proof is in the pudding, and that’s what FLX founder Rob Rast tried to show in the company’s latest video, which was reportedly filmed at FLX’s Detroit-based manufacturing facility.
In this case though, the video largely focuses on the e-bike inspection steps, instead of sharing concrete details regarding any fledgling assembly line for Babymaker II e-bikes.
Quality control through rigorous inspection is of course an important step, and it is arguably one of the biggest advantages of local construction in the United States.
As Rob explains:
“There are several quality control processes here. One is at the original factory where these parts are built. These are checked before shipping. And when they get here, we inspect them again – this is called an “incoming inspection” – and remove any parts that were damaged in shipment or missed during shipment. of the first inspection. They are inspected again when they are assembled into the bikes, and finally once fully assembled there is a final inspection.
Many rejected components appear to suffer from cosmetic issues such as peeling paint, surface scratches, or imperfections in the rim finish.
An example shows a wheel with a cross-threaded bolt protruding from the front hub. This is presumably an assembly error and not something that was detected during an entry inspection.
Otherwise, you have to wonder how something like this got out of the original factory in Asia.
We then see how the final bikes are inspected, covering most components, from hydraulic disc brakes and handlebar mount to wheel trueness and Gates carbon belt tension.
What we don’t really see is the actual assembly of the e-bikes, which are currently still on pre-order.
This begs the question, “What happens between parts delivery and final inspection?” It’s a very important part of the building process that seems to be conspicuously missing from the video.
We briefly see wheel stands that look like they were meant to be assembled on bikes, but no actual assembly takes place during the video.
Another strange remark is that the factory seems to be half full of Bird electric scooters. Several models of Bird scooters are visible in the background, including dozens of seemingly new electric scooters lined up next to open boxes.
It could also be a depot used by Bird, with the two companies renting space. However, it seems a bit strange that there is no form of siloing between the different operations of different companies.
Hopefully we’ll learn more about the actual assembly process to see how much is done locally and how much production takes place in Asia ahead of time.
Until then, let’s hear your thoughts on what we know so far from this behind-the-scenes look at the production facilities of Babymaker II. Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below!
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