@Thomas - that's no problem. I'll get a few samples so you can guys can try them. Essentially most of the 'carbon' comes from just a few conglomerate sources in Southern China around Shenzhen. And then many small jobbers are contracted to them to produce the various components. What I'm doing is following the carbon trail to get into the most reliable and consistent 'jobber' and distributor. Since I did alot of biz in China and TW these past 10yrs, I have some pretty good contacts and ex colleagues there who will snoop out for me. Then take some risk in hassling through the sample schemes (and scams) to get lined up closer and closer. So far, the forks that have come through aren't too shabby - especially for the cost - and probably the saddles are the same, and alot less critical in cronstruction than fork. Since the jobber is building for companies like ATR and GIANT, they just use the exact same materials and process. In fact, it would be too costly for them to make an inferior product than already they are doing! Since they just use the over-supply of resins, clothes and molds. The only thing you don't get is perhaps the latest mold designs which are carefully guarded, and perhaps the ultimate in QC and perfect layups resulting in near zero defect cosmetics. But , hey - for 20,000 yen, I really don't mind if the gelcoat has a smudge.
What kind of Team Logo should be put on the saddles, do you thnk? Also- maybe personalized name or slogan? Usually the graphic is printed and cut then laid on just before the final clear coat.
The kit is in, and is likely to get better and better over the years, so with Tim's contacts and knowledge, why not take it to the next logical step and brand it into hardware!
I would like to be allowed to chuck in design ideas for the graphics, if that is OK. Not too au-fait with saddle dynamics and all that, so that is best left to the experts (you guys), but a joint effort would be incredible.
What do you think about this idea - use a lightweight carbon frame to support a heat moldable section. So - you end up with a saddle that is custom fitted to your sit bones? Something akin to a Brookes, really - but much lighter and more easily 'reset'. The sampson saddle looks interesting - but I like to move around on my saddle depending on the ride requirement. The constant shifting might be bothersome with the Sampson 'pads' instead of a continuous smooth surface.