Stokemonkey sales are on hold until further notice. We expect resumed sales in early 2008. We will announce availability here when we are ready to ship, not a day before. The primary issue is the low stock levels of necessary components. A more complete status picture is in the comments below.
Why have stock levels fallen so low, and can’t we just order up more parts? Because we’re continually improving Stokemonkey, and the design and test process has taken far longer than anticipated. We can’t order parts in volume because their new design is not completely stable.
Late last year we identified a safety liability with Stokemonkey. We have since tested several potential fixes, and rejected most as unreliable. The process has led to a complete redesign of Stokemonkey’s controller by the manufacturer to fix this problem decisively, and to incorporate several other improvements. Meanwhile, we have received one more report of the dangerous stuck-throttle problem (for a total of two incidents), so we won’t consider ordering more of the older-generation controllers as a stopgap.
Clever Cycles plans to sell and support Stokemonkey not exclusively as a mail-order, do-it-yourself retrofit kit, but as something you can buy as part of a complete vehicle, from us or other bike shops. This exposes us to greater liability than before. Specifically, our insurance likely won’t protect us in the event of claims if the vehicle doesn’t conform to federal Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations pertinent to electric bicycles. These regulations stipulate a powered speed limit of 20 MPH. Stokemonkey’s top speed to date has been essentially unregulated; people installing the kit have had the option to limit the bike’s high gearing to impose arbitrary top speeds as their jurisdictions (or personal judgment) may require. But now, as hinted previously, we must assure that the federal limit will be observed whenever the product is installed as directed. Without making the product, or your bicycle, suck. We’ve got all the basics in place; now it’s a matter of getting the various parties involved to coordinate certain details, get the components into production, and deliver.
We know that Stokemonkey and cargo bikes together are a great concept with enormous potential to help bicyclists “cut the cord” of car dependency, even if they live in places designed to cement such dependence. We ask your understanding and patience as we proceed cautiously toward rolling it out on a grander scale.