Well, I have to say that I never agreed Ted's business plan for the development of the crank.
But as you know, he has trashed a lot of time and energy on non profitable other projects, without investing money on bike parts development for 4 years.
The result is that one day he called me to relaunch the Ciamillo crank project and I defined for him the features of what would be the best crank that money can buy.
I have always been not convinced by the V1 because Ted is not a primary carbon fiber manufacturer. The Gravitas are good because the energy transmission is low compared with a crank... and all the best brands in the world have met issues on carbon cranks.
When we worked on the V2 of the crank, I became impatient because it was the alchemy of one of the best carbon available in the USA and the best aluminum machinist in the USA.
I had the chance to ride the V2 at the beginning, and I still have this prototype in stock. The features of this V2 used to be very impressive and at this point I was very optimistic to start the sales since I had no failures, which is positive for just a prototype.
But, according to me, Ted has not been implicated enough in the crank between January and September 2013. Ted may not agree with me, never mind ! The fact is that the real cost of production without R&D costs is higher than any other crank in the world, except maybe THM. No company in the world would accept to produce at such costs levels. And Ted had to deliver cranks sometimes several times to the same customer. What a crazy cost !
At the same time, Ted has no all new brakes to supply in big quantities, which means that he cannot fund the crank project with the cash of the brakes.
At the same time, Ted wanted to make sure to share the risks on his new products, and he spent time for the new Lunocet 2014 which is, I have to say, an awesome product, but probably not yet a success due to the high price.
So, the project of the crank has not been able to advance at the good speed, the small evolutions requested took a lot of time, and I'm still frustrated because Ted did not heard me this spring when I wanted him to attach the spider to the base. But he finally did it and now I'm very excited because the product is no longer a prototype, it's a commercial product.
The last things he has done was the finishing (black powder coating), and it's definitely giving a perfect aspect to the product.
As I'm still riding with this all new version, my French customers who are visiting me are very impressed and they want to order. But I don't promise the moon, they will wait for 6 months for most of them, also because I know how much it's long to produce just one crank. The happy few customers who have ordered this spring (without paying anything) will be probably delivered next November. I cannot certify that the product will not meet any failure, but as of today, the fatigue tests done with the V2 and now the V3 are making us very enthusiastic. Ted knows how long the tubes have to be inserted in the aluminum parts, he knows how to glue the tubes, how to make the exact length ordered, and the PTS system is fine.
There was some additional weight on the previous versions, but Ted is working on that, touch by touch, gram per gram, and I'm sure that the product will be appreciated by weightweenies and not only design fans. I'm personally interested by the ratio weight and stiffness, because that's what I need in competition. Despite the version that I have is only 60g lighter than the equivalent product from Rotor (3D+), there is still a big gap in terms of feelings. This looks like when you change your heavy steel pedals by a titanium Speedplay pair, but the weight savings are dispatched all along the arms, which is allowing good sensations.
To conclude, I'd just say that the product is on the way to a large production, and Ted needs again a few weeks to increase the cadency. I'll also validate soon a significant new version of the GSL, and I already know that it'll be a success because this is a product that is matching with the 2014 market needs.
For impatient direct customers, once cranks and brakes are going out at full capacity, Ted will have more employees and the customer care will change.
I want to push up Ted to have an internet shop like I have www.ciamillo.eu
for Europe. This is important to have stock on brakes, small parts and to know that if you order, you're delivered within 48h (1 week for international). I want Ted to have a such integrated website with actual stock available, because as of today the European customers have a great customer care for a made in USA product, whereas US buyers have a poor customer care due to the fact that Ted has not yet the HR resources to do that.
Please be sure that Ted wants to recover the production capacities that he used to have in 2008 and meet the market standards in terms of customer satisfaction. This is for me just a question of a few months...