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Volpe's Velox gossip


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Steve A
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Joined: 26 May 2006
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Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They sent this update on October 4th:

Hi Velox and Coyote folks,

Finally, some news!

FIRST - an apology. I know this has been beyond frustrating for many of you. I hope you will trust me when I say I am up at night agonizing over this process and the fact that I’ve let many people down. We had to let our operations manager go in 2018 and I have been taking over most of her tasks (shipping, inventory, ordering), which has taken me further away from the Velox/Coyote project than I wanted. HOWEVER, we have recently hired an individual from another leather goods company who will be transitioning into a shop management position over the next several months - this will include jobs held by the previous operations manager. Which means (good news!) I’m finally back on this project at full steam and will be making faster progress than I have been over the last two years. I am truly sorry for all I’ve put you through, and greatly appreciate those of you who have reached out with encouraging words and support. The Velox and Coyote are now rolling again at a hurried pace.

NOW the details (if you don’t want to read through all of these, you can scroll to the end paragraph for the conclusion):

Over the past several months, HED Cycle has been working with us to refine and finish this case so that we can start producing parts. It’s a little bit bitter sweet for me, as I really intended to make these in-house. It’s an expensive process without middlemen! However, HED knows what they are doing, at least with compression molding, which is where this is headed (see what I did there?).

Here’s what I’ve learned from them from our experiments and conversations:

Heated compression molding is much faster than bagging. A mold this size may have more delays from required cooling off than actually making a part!

Their process allows for fairly sloppy layup, as the fibers can be squished into place later with pressures around 150psi. They can actually bend 1 inch aluminum flanges and have to press them back in place after some number of parts! The much more common bagging pressure is about 15psi. What they didn’t like about our bagging experiments was that the layup has to be perfect, and that can take an hour or more per part, plus de-bulking vacuum steps. None of their parts were cosmetically perfect, as they just didn’t have the patience for building 3 bags/part. That’s good, in my opinion — they are pushing me toward a true space-grade or hyper-car process.

With 150psi, the risk of a bad part is mostly eliminated. There is almost no risk of bridging or air entrapment.

There are some disadvantages:

The honeycomb will have to be added later, maybe by us. Since that’s a straight piece needed only on the sides, it will be easy to do, but is definitely a step that will have to be added. We are trying to produce parts that would not require that — I’ve seen some carbon bike seats they made that do NOT flex, but still have very thin walls and weigh basically nothing.

We will also have to have these top-coat sprayed either at Torpedo Bags or by a third party, as compression molding reveals some minor flaws in the layup. HED is not set up for that kind of smelly off-gassing. We have access to a large spray booth on site, so in the short term this won’t be a big deal to do ourselves.

As it stands, they have a 5 axis CNC tool in house, and we’ve located a vendor who can supply aluminum blocks big enough to cut, once again, a new mold. The laborious portion of this project were the CAD drawings, which were completed in late 2017, so this shouldn’t take terribly long. The interior CAD molds are long since drawn as well (for the injected foam), and I’m borrowing one of their “nerds” to help us cut them on our CNC machine.


CONCLUSIONS: I hesitate to provide a timeframe, as that has gotten me in trouble in the past - although I know that’s really what you want. But I am still investing time and money into the project (and I’m feeling re-energized and less frustrated on this project with HED's expert help and advice). Since I’ve decided to move forward and turn this over to HED, my personal time will become less of an issue. They are a much larger company, and will be able to deliver a little easier than we could do in-house. And now that we have an individual helping with shipping/shop duties (Lindsey has been adding more time in the shop to take over some of my tasks as well), I am a bit more flexible to devote more time to finishing this and FINALLY getting you patient folks your cases.

Stay tuned, and please stay patient — Lindsey loves hearing from people, but about 2 people on the waiting list have really impacted her sanity (and are rejecting a refund, which is really counterproductive). I have told her more than once that we deserve some complaints, and I’m very empathetic with everyone’s frustrations, but it is really not her fault. She isn’t as involved in the project as I am, so she really doesn’t have more information than a basic “we’re working on it”. She’s probably more upset with me than you folks are.

I gave HED the go-ahead, so they’re off and running. Since I am pushing forward faster than I have in the last couple years, I hope to have Velox cases to ship shortly after the new year (the Coyote should follow a few months after that). While the holidays get busy and certainly can get in the way of things, I have Lindsey and our new shop employee helping with the rush, which won’t take away as much of my time as it has in the past.

Thank you again! Happy fall!

Steve
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SHS_Trumpet
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guess it's that time again.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is nothing more than speculation, but given everything going on now, and the problems in MinnesotaI would be very surprised to see much forward progress.

Hopefully I’m wrong though.

Brad
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kristiner
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They were shut down for a while due to COVID and then again during the demonstrations in the summer. I ordered a leather case back in January and it's on the truck to be delivered tomorrow, so hopefully they're getting back up and running!
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LittleRusty
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Joined: 11 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kristiner wrote:
They were shut down for a while due to COVID and then again during the demonstrations in the summer. I ordered a leather case back in January and it's on the truck to be delivered tomorrow, so hopefully they're getting back up and running!

Hopefully not on a USPS truck. I haven't had good luck with them recently.
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stomvi2
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Joined: 04 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Understandably there's been a lot going on lately. But the problem, as before, continues to be zero mention of Velox at all. They haven't even bothered to toss us the occasional "thanks for being patient" anymore. They don't respond to emails, or messages on their facebook page, yet are able to constantly advertise new case skins and products. Anyone who contributed to their Kickstarter has now passed the 5-year mark waiting for this case.
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Crazy Finn
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah Kickstarter.... where you contribute to cool sounding stuff and either get disappointed with the actual released product or slowly watch as the venture vanishes into the ether with nothing to show for it.

(this is a comment about Kickstarter, not Torpedo Bags, specifically - although... well, they haven't vanished, but haven't presented a disappointment, either)
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ProAm
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huh, the only Kickstarter I have participated in produced and delivered the product (a small, full android phone - look up Jelly phone on Amazon if interested) in a timely manner. I liked it so much that I just participated in their recent Kickstarter project to build the next generation.
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Daniel Barenboim
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's face it. It's never gonna happen.

DB
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Crazy Finn
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ProAm wrote:
Huh, the only Kickstarter I have participated in produced and delivered the product (a small, full android phone - look up Jelly phone on Amazon if interested) in a timely manner. I liked it so much that I just participated in their recent Kickstarter project to build the next generation.

That's cool.

I don't follow a ton of Kickstarter projects, but I can name at least half a dozen that basically haven't resulted in anything.

I haven't actually bought into one, I always find them after the fact, but if it's something that's interesting, I'll check in on the development.

Anyway, I'm sure many work out, but it seems like a lot of them fizzle as well...
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Brad361
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Joined: 16 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daniel Barenboim wrote:
Let's face it. It's never gonna happen.

DB


REALLY hate that I do, but I agree.

Brad
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Crazy Finn
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Joined: 27 Dec 2001
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a bummer that we can't get the old 2.5 case anymore, either - as this was going to be updated with the new tech and methodology. It's going to be a long while before we see something there...

On the other hand - it's nice that he's saved Cronkhite / Reunion Blues and you can still get those from him - if that's what you want.
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am really curious about the details of what happened.

I wonder if Steve had picked a different course early on if the case might have made it to market. Or if, after finding out the challenges, switching to a experienced partner to either consult or take over the effort might have made a difference.

I also am curious about the whole process in making a carbon fiber shell.

Please note that I am not addressing any of the non-technical issues, I am merely curious about the technical processes and challenges.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’m curious as well, especially since (I THINK this is correct, someone might know for sure) the case was also supposed to be available in fiberglass as well as carbon fiber. But I suppose the challenges of making a quality case of either material are probably quite high.

Especially given the situation(s) in the country today, I really don’t expect to see anything new from Torpedo in the even somewhat near future, sad to say. I’m a big fan and user of their products, and wish them the best, but I believe the ball has definitely been dropped on this. It happens, companies recover, hopefully these guys will too. I’ve always received exceptional customer service from Torpedo, we need companies like this to stick around.

Brad
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Steve A
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brad361 wrote:
... I’ve always received exceptional customer service from Torpedo, we need companies like this to stick around.

Brad


It's great that you've had good experiences with them, but I've been waiting more than a year for a refund they promised in a few weeks. Is that something you think we need to have stick around?
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve A wrote:
Brad361 wrote:
... I’ve always received exceptional customer service from Torpedo, we need companies like this to stick around.

Brad


It's great that you've had good experiences with them, but I've been waiting more than a year for a refund they promised in a few weeks. Is that something you think we need to have stick around?


Really? THAT’S what you got from my comments?

What I said was that my past experience with them has been exceptional, which it has. Present conditions don’t change or reverse past experiences.

And if you interpreted that to mean that I think your waiting a year for a refund is acceptable in any way, assuming your claim is correct, I don’t really know what else to say.

Brad
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Steve A
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll be honest, I'm pretty frustrated by the situation, so perhaps I'm being less reasonable than I otherwise would be, or should be. My point is this: I keep reading (from you, and others) how great they are, aside from this, and no doubt they're lovely people who've gotten themselves into a tough spot. However, the fact remains that I was told (and it sounds like I'm far from the only one) that I'd get my refund within a few weeks of asking for it, when it seems likely they knew that wasn't true, and, sure enough, 14 months later, I'm still waiting. It took them almost five months to send me less than half of what they owed me, and I've been emailing them since December trying to find out when they're going to refund me the rest, and I'm still waiting for *any* response.

You can interpret that however you want, but given my experience and those of others who've posted in this thread (and on their Facebook page), I think it's clear that they're making promises they likely know they can't and won't keep to try to very temporarily placate people who have every right to be angry with them. Maybe they're viewing things through unrealistically rosy glasses, so are surprised when they totally fail to live up to their promises, or maybe they know they're lying to us. Either way, I'm pretty sick of seeing testimonials about how great they are.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve A wrote:
I'll be honest, I'm pretty frustrated by the situation, so perhaps I'm being less reasonable than I otherwise would be, or should be. My point is this: I keep reading (from you, and others) how great they are, aside from this, and no doubt they're lovely people who've gotten themselves into a tough spot. However, the fact remains that I was told (and it sounds like I'm far from the only one) that I'd get my refund within a few weeks of asking for it, when it seems likely they knew that wasn't true, and, sure enough, 14 months later, I'm still waiting. It took them almost five months to send me less than half of what they owed me, and I've been emailing them since December trying to find out when they're going to refund me the rest, and I'm still waiting for *any* response.

You can interpret that however you want, but given my experience and those of others who've posted in this thread (and on their Facebook page), I think it's clear that they're making promises they likely know they can't and won't keep to try to very temporarily placate people who have every right to be angry with them. Maybe they're viewing things through unrealistically rosy glasses, so are surprised when they totally fail to live up to their promises, or maybe they know they're lying to us. Either way, I'm pretty sick of seeing testimonials about how great they are.


I TOTALLY understand why you would and should be very angry in this situation, I would be too. My past experience with Torpedo has been nothing but positive, but that doesn’t negate or in any way excuse the situation you’re dealing with. And so we’re clear, I’m not saying “how great they are”, I’m just relating my past experiences in dealing with them, which have been positive.

I hope you get a resolution, it seems very much overdue. I don’t know WHAT has happened with Torpedo, but I hope they can correct it quickly; I think their future depends on it.

Brad
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Matt Graves
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:42 pm    Post subject: Volpe's Velox gossip Reply with quote

I am determined to NEVER EVER buy another Torpedo product again after the Volpe's Velox. And I owned a Torpedo previously that I bought at Dillon's Music. I don't care how great their products are. Their mis-handling of the Volpe's Velox and the specifics of their communication with me (which I will not discuss publicly) completely turned me off. I will support one of their competitors instead.
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Matt Graves
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:34 pm    Post subject: Volpe’s Velox gossip Reply with quote

Yes, seriously. Anyone involved in the Velox is tired of explaining. I’m done waisting my time now.

Good luck.
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Last edited by Matt Graves on Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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