The FLIT Story
We founded FLIT in 2016 with a vision to re-invent how we get around our cities. Our goal is to make your city journeys a joy, allowing you to go further, faster, with complete freedom.
As a team of designers, engineers and cyclists based in Cambridge, UK, we’ve been inspired by the amazing cycling culture of our city. We love the way that cycling makes Cambridge feel more human and connected, and the sense of freedom it gives you.
Dave and Alex (co-founders) met in 2015 whilst studying in Beijing. Electric bikes were their fast and fun way of zipping between lectures, and sparked their interest in how ebikes could be used elsewhere. Dave, as an ex-Jaguar Land Rover engineer, had always dreamed of developing his own electric vehicle, whilst Alex’s study of transport policy had convinced him that our cities could be happier and healthier places to be. Together, they wanted to create a product that made city travel effortless, whilst fitting neatly into your lifestyle.
They moved to Cambridge, the cycling capital of the UK, to begin the FLIT story with just a few ideas on a piece of paper. Since then, the FLIT team has turned those early pencilled sketches into a simple folding bike, designed from scratch to be electric.
Meet the team
With keen interests in cycling, technology and public policy, Alex is delighted to bring his experience to a project that combines all three. Alex leads the commercial side of the business so that the engineers can focus on what they love doing best: building great products.
An automotive engineer by training, Dave is working on his dream to make electric vehicles of all types a reality. Dave has overall responsibility for product design and integration. His fluent Mandarin helps us build strong relationships with partners in Taiwan and China.
A designer with over 20 years of product development experience in France, Hong Kong and the UK, David makes sure that our ebike always looks its best.
With a degree in Media Arts and a professional background in product marketing and photography, Lucy is responsible for getting the word out about our ebike and looking after the wonderful FLIT community.
With a Manufacturing Engineering degree from Cambridge and professional experience in technical consultancy, Matt works to bring the fun and flexibility he finds travelling by bike to everything he designs at FLIT.
With a degree in Product Design Engineering and an ambition to tackle customer focused challenges, Adam has joined the engineering team and will use his own cycling experience to help develop innovative products which deliver memorable experiences.
As a keen cyclist with a degree in Engineering from Cambridge University, Harry aims to drive the creation of innovative, customer-centric bike designs at FLIT that prioritise a great user experience.
The story so far
Dave & Alex (Co-Founders of FLIT) met whilst studying in Beijing
Dave & Alex at the Great Wall
Electric two-wheelers were booming in China at the time, and we saw a real opportunity to develop an ebike for European cities. We wanted to design a folding ebike that could be taken on trains, undergrounds and buses: giving people lots of flexibility when travelling through the city.
We relocated back to the UK, to the cycling capital Cambridge to start FLIT
David Turpin, an Industrial Designer, joined our team
David designed the iconic ‘pop phone’!
David’s job was to turn Dave’s engineering drawings into beautiful designs.
We were awarded a Department for Transport grant to build our first prototypes
We built our first prototype, which we presented at the Hello Tomorrow Conference in Paris!
Alex presenting our first prototype (you’ll notice a huge difference to the current FLIT-16 design!)
Awarded a special commendation from the Design Council!
We began working with our manufacturing partner, a specialist aluminium frame manufacturer, in Taiwan
Alex, Dave and Joe at a specialist fork factory
Our first manufacturing prototype (which we named the FLIT-16, after its 16″ wheels) was made
Our second prototype – closer to the final FLIT-16 design, but still lots to change!
Our first round of prototypes built on tooling: Marengo and Maya!
Meet Marengo and Maya, the look is mostly there now!
We won the 2019 ACID Design & IP Champion Award
David Turpin, our Designer, and Dave Henderson, our Technical Lead, at the awards ceremony
We launched on Kickstarter, raising over 450% of our funding goal!
Dave, Alex and Joe celebrating the end of our Kickstarter campaign
We were finalists in the Eurobike Startup Awards
The FLIT-16 was chosen as one of the top 20 bike innovations by the EUROBIKE trade show (the biggest bike show in Europe!).
Production begins with pilot manufacturing run
Welding in the frame factory
We were awarded an enterprise fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering
Dave visits our manufacturing partner in Taiwan to oversee mechanical testing of frame parts
Dave’s ride to work – not too shabby!
Batteries complete, Dave brings two demo bikes back for UK test rides
FLIT-16 batteries all boxed up and ready to go
Manufacture well underway – all CNC main frame parts complete
CNC-ed frame parts ready to go! This is part of the headset at the front of the bike. Not sure what CNC means? CNC milling is a process of gradually removing material from a solid block until you reach the desired shape. We have lots of complicated shapes in the FLIT-16 which CNC milling allows us to create.
Dave oversees final assembly in Taiwan
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dave is granted special permission to fly out to Taiwan so that he can oversee final assembly
Dave en route to Taiwan to visit our manufacturing partner
Final stages of manufacture: painting & assembly
For a backstage tour of what happens during these final stages, have a read of our blog post here.
Hand-finishing marengo grey FLIT-16 frames
We won a grant from Innovate UK for a £214,000 project to re-invent ebike manufacture
FLIT-16 fleet arrives at our warehouse in Cambridge, UK
The FLIT team with some of the first FLIT-16 fleet
Quality checking begins – we check and test ride every single bike to make sure that it’s perfect before sending to customers
All bikes from our first manufacturing batch delivered!
Happy customers all around the world.
Time to celebrate! Thanks so much to one of our customers who sent this photo all the way from New York City
We ran a competition to see which one of our riders could fold their FLIT-16 the fastest.
The answer… an incredible 7.43 seconds!
Meet Stuart, King of the Fold
We built our dream workshop
The perfect space for our engineers to develop new ideas
Our R&D workshop
Great to see our riders enjoying their FLIT-16s
… and leaving such lovely reviews on Trustpilot.
We ran a competition to see where our riders could fit their FLIT
The winning entry! Jeremy fit his FLIT into the back of his Austin 7, Chummy – the perfect road trip set up with the picnic basket too.
Fully Charged OUTSIDE
Our first live event since the pandemic!
Dave and Matt demo-ing the FLIT-16
FLIT awarded Department for Transport TRIG grant
We’re working on a top secret project… keep an eye out for announcements!
FLIT-16 named in “8 of the best from London’s Ebike Festival” by T3 Magazine
Read the full article here: https://www.t3.com/news/looking-for-a-new-electric-bike-here-are-7-of-the-best-from-londons-ebike-festival
Matt and Dave at the London Ebike Festival, very proud to hear the news!
FLIT released the Commuter Edition
You asked, we delivered. The Commuter Edition of the FLIT-16 has a free kickstand and mudguards and reinforced steel parts to handle the toughest commutes.
A new generation is coming…
The team have been working hard behind the scenes to launch an even better folding ebike.
We launched M2 First Riders to our waiting list!
Before a public launch, we released a limited number of pre-orders for our brand new model, the M2 on our waiting list – these customers are our M2 First Riders.