You’ll remember last week when I posted about the state of the LIMITS power meter that was crowd-funded via Indiegogo. I expressed extreme skepticism at their ability to deliver a project next month (as soon as 12 days away), given their lack of evidence thus far. Virtually every commenter to that post agreed with my position, and nobody questioned the evidence I had put forth.
Some questioned the tone, which I accept was sharp. That was my intention, for which I will not apologize. When a company takes 1,951 people’s money ($432,656 worth) and lies to people on the state of the project, then I’m going to be sharp about that.
However, one such group that’s especially upset about that is LIMITS themselves. Instead of responding to my concerns with data or results to show I’m wrong, they’ve sent over a nasty letter. Some 1,831 words worth of angry panda. And, threatened me that I must post such letter within 48 hours of receipt:
“We would kindly request you to consider the points raised in this document and we request that, within two days, you do the following.
1) Publish the attached letter in full on your blog.
2) Remove from your blog, the defamatory comments outlined in the letter.” – Chairman of LIMITS, Nov 17th, 2015
The above being from the letter I received. Thus, I’m doing as they required.
(Side note: Do they really not realize how the internet works in search engine optimization? This post, and my previous post, will last for years for anytime someone searches about their product. They’ll show how the company conducts itself, that they’d rather send litigious-looking documents than just show simple results.)
So, that I shall. Now as much fun as it would be to tear about every line of their letter (because I could), I think I’m just going to pick a few of my favorite parts. Quite frankly, I’ve got reviews to publish and this is wasting time doing so. At the end of the day, all they’re doing is distracting you from the fact they still haven’t released any data on it. Still! If you’d like you can download the letter here, as well as the attached e-mail to me here.
Let’s start off with one of their first rebuttals about why they shouldn’t provide data to me or any other media:
“Very few if any, technology companies would hand over products using their latest technology to bloggers when the product is only part way through its development stage.”
Odd – the following technology companies have shown me products during development stages, and offered testing as such: Garmin, TomTom, Adidas, Polar, and Suunto, not withstanding pretty much every other company. In the power meter segment though (since that’s the segment we’re referring to), the following companies have shown me development units and/or data over the years: SRM, PowerTap, Power2Max, Stages, 4iiii, ROTOR, Brim Brothers, Ashton Instruments, Quarq, Polar/Look, Dyno Velo, and PowerPod.
As I noted in my post, I’m happy to oblige by any specific NDA/embargoes around testing of those products, as I often do. Once release occurs however, I don’t do partial results.
“You criticise us for not having a major presence at Eurobike and Interbike.”
No, I criticized you for not actually being at your booth at Eurobike. For it being non-staffed during the show. I also noted concern that most power meter companies that were so close to launch would be at both shows.
Now in my post itself, I actually didn’t raise concerns about their experience. Rather, someone had asked me in a follow-up comment about that. So, I responded at the time that I didn’t actually discuss it in the post since I gave them the benefit of the doubt that perhaps they did have someone on staff even though they failed to list that in any bios.
Turns out, they don’t have anyone on staff with power meter experience. Next time, I’ll be sure to add that to my concerns.
“The design team have the necessary package electronics, communications, software, mechanical statics and dynamics, project management and manufacturing technology skills which they have successfully applied to other applications. They do not need to be power meter specialists as you imply. Apple had never made a telephone before when they launched the Smart Phone.”
Instead, they pulled out the Apple card. A company with ~115,000 people. A company that sought out and recruited new employees with phone experience prior to launching. Now however LIMITS more directly states they don’t have experience with power meters. That is a major concern of mine. They’re free to differ on the importance of that, and I’m free to see how well the product handles. Personally, if this were an airplane, I’d prefer at least someone at that company had experience designing an airplane before.
They then got upset about me repeatedly asking for data to prove they had a working product. Heck, I even said they could pick whichever data they wanted that made their product look functional. They didn’t oblige.
“Your one sided reporting of the LIMITS company, our development programme and our crowd funding campaign seem to be the result of pique based on our reluctance to provide you with privileged access to our confidential data before the product was fully ready. This is an unfair abuse of a powerful position.”
In actuality, my initial post in April was quite fair and mostly positive to them. In fact, even after a conference call with their team in late April, I only went as far as updating my existing post with a supplemental section regarding your implying that you had a prototype, when in reality, you didn’t. You are correct, this was wrong. I should have created a separate post to make it more clear to future followers that you were already misleading folks. I’ll be sure to increase my communications about your project in the future accordingly. My bad.
Next, there’s a whole slew of comments in the document that didn’t like about my calling them out that they implied their team was on the LIMITS power meter back in April. After all, they showed the team riding around on their power meter. And they showed the team using them:
“The messages in the video, including all the comments by the cycling team, were all about the value or utility of power meters in general and not an endorsement of LIMITS in particular. There was never any claim or even implication, that a LIMITS power meter had ever been used on a bike by the racing team or anyone else. The comments and the demonstration in the Indiegogo video were about the <<<concept>>> of the LIMITS power meter and what it promised. The comments in the video however mentioned the capability of LIMITS concept without specifically distinguishing whether this capability was available in a product, now or in the future, and this could unfortunately have been considered to be ambiguous, but certainly not a deliberate lie.”
No, that’s a lie. LIMITS was not ambiguous, here’s the exact phrasing included in the initial campaign, but also in your current FAQ on your own site (still as of Nov 18th, 2015):
“LIMITS has been used by a number of the Spokes Racing Team and Club Members generating positive feedback with many of the cyclists reporting an improvement in foot position leading to an improvement in comfort, especially over longer rides. Analysis of this feedback highlighted that many cyclists knees track outward at the top of the pedal stroke adding unwanted stress on the knee and splaying the power outwards on an inefficient vector relative to the pedal travel.”
Here’s the copy directly from the LIMITS Indiegogo page as it stands today (still!), and has been since launch:
Here’s also some free imagery on the LIMITS website (again, as of today):
Just for the awesome sake of internet awesome, here’s a sampling of places where this very specific wording, which is littered across the internet (perhaps it was part of an initial press package). The dates for virtually all of these show the April timeframe.
LIMITS representatives also responded back with similar language during that timeframe as well. Here’s one message from a backer that asked about LIMITS and whether the team was using it:
So no, I didn’t make that up. LIMITS was very clear that between the written text on their own page, as well as the visual imagery on the video showing people using it, that it was real. Heck, so real that they were already learning from it. Dang!
(Side note: At this point, most would say: “I rest my case”, but I’m just getting warmed up. Which takes a lot when I’m currently sitting in the Arctic Circle.)
Next, they straight up admit that the things we saw in the video weren’t real:
“Showing dummy products or “space models” before the actual launch of new products is common marketing practice for major corporations as well as start-ups and is typical of many crowd funding projects. We showed dummy products in the Indiegogo video and at Eurobike and at the T3 awards. No claims were ever made in the video, or elsewhere, that working products with this capability were available.”
Now, I prefer to use another more exacting word for those things you showed: Fake. Fakes. Illusions. Not real.
All of which would actually had been perfectly fine if they’d simply stated that. But alas, nowhere on their page did they state that. In fact, they stated (and still do) on their own launch page and site that they were real, as the team used them. Yet, then they’re fake per this document. I’m so confused:
“Fortunately you also state “They didn’t have a unit then: Period. They said directly so much to me in the final days of their campaign way back when.” This statement actually confirms that we were not claiming to have a working product and you knew it.”
So again, LIMITS lied when they said the team was already racing with it and learning a bunch of cool stuff.
In closing, they note:
“If you have any credible evidence of deliberate lies, deceit and scams you should produce it. If you don’t have such evidence then you should withdraw your defamatory comments.”
I presented said evidence above, in the form of your own words saying you were using it when it didn’t exist. Nobody was using it, it didn’t exist. That’s lying. And deceiving (with extra pretty imagery of team members riding it). Thus by extension: Lying and deceiving to gain peoples money is the definition of a scam, from our friends at Merriam-Webster:
With that, my job here is done.
(All imagery in this post courtesy either LIMITS’ own page, or the interwebs at large and notated per image where it came from)
(P.S./Update – Just to be clear to folks, I really had no desire to post on this topic again. And I wouldn’t have, had the company not forced me to post their letter (just added that snippet into the post). I don’t plan any further posts until they release a product – or delay substantially, in which case I’ll review it just like any other product.)
Other then that….what do you think of their product?;)
They had one?
And to think I almost went in on this. Great reporting! Still can’t wait for when power meters are around 200 dollar so I can actually afford one.
So…still no evidence or hint that the product exists in a form that might ship within the next 40 or so days?
Have you considered that they are elves working on it in secret to make sure it’s a surprise at Xmas? Santa would be most upset if the children see their gifts before the big day. If you tell me Santa doesn’t exist either there will be trouble, evidence or no!
Ray, did you edit that email for comedy value, or did he really use 3 different domains, one of which is not the domain he was talking about? mpower.co.uk are surveyors, mpoweruk.com is the site he implied but didn’t link to. Perhaps they really are just terrible at comms?
Aside from blanking out the prefix of his e-mail address, and the second half of his phone numbers, I did not modify anything.
And he said that Ray could contact him after 12:00 AM UK time. Which is midnight. Ray should have made that 1am call!
? seems like my 20$ is well spent. Keep up the good work Ray!
I hope we are at our “Limits” of providing free press for this non product.
Ray, we got your point. Don’t waste your time on this anymore, it’s not worth it.
I think that this is probably the best approach.
I don’t plan to, I’m bored of it as well.
Agree. These back and forth p****ing contests serve no one.
It will take someone (at limits) with a great amount of restraint to react calmly to your response to their request. I see a sh.t storm brewing.
Silly that they would want you to remove your post but not consider what might be posted all over the Internet should they decide to sue you for defamation.
After reading your post, I cannot wait to see their REAL products.
From their letter “It does not depend on achieving any technical breakthroughs for its success” … one can only hope they weren’t expecting to get any R&D relief from HM Revenue & Customs because that one line just torpedoed it.
I get being upset that they were called out, but they are only further digging their hole. It’s a shame.
You sir just made my morning!
I don’t do cycling so not really interested in powermeters, just randomly stopped by this post while looking for something else 😀
VERY disappointing reaction by LIMITS – in my opinion that is worse than the marketing ‘space models’, or lack of engagement on progress. I can understand being silent, but to attack the right of someone with experience to analyse and comment is incredibly disappointing.
As for the ‘space models’ – sure, use them if the marketing campaign perceives the need to fake people out that a project is farther advanced than it is. But it is supposed to be left up to the READER to infer that those are actual products – when you actually state in writing that they are in use, that is no longer a ‘space model’, that is now known as ‘a lie’.
Potentially great product, getting trashed by poor approach to the market. Hopefully just inexperience in customer facing activity, and the project itself is going well.
Well done Ray. Don’t let them scare you off. Don’t let them get away with their scam.
They must be brilliant marketeers! Besides being in denial about their “product”, they seem to be in denial about your reputation as well…
They acknowledge your influence but seem to forget how you got that influence. I don’t just read your blog for the awesome tech details, but also your total honesty!
“LIMITS has been used by…”
“They have been testing alpha units for us”
Is it possible that “alpha units” were a dummy form factor of the LIMITS power meter? Or really just spacers to widen the foot position to mimic a LIMITS foot position? Thus allowing them to make the statements regarding Q Factor, foot position and knee tracking (and “use”)?
This has been brought by the most charitable reading department.
I wondered the same thing.
The Limit’s folks were discussing Q Factor, so this one may have been taken out of context.
Just throwing it out there…
I for one hope that Ray’s wrong, as I backed it. But I did know the risks, and I think Ray even pointed that out at the time – Indiegogo vs Kickstarter for eg.
I’m not that much into cycling, but this is entertaining. Their letter is complete bull, but the bit where they explain crowdfunding takes the cake.
I would not be suprised if, in case they are unable to deliver, they argue that your bad publicity made their project nonviable (with all the money from Indigogo already spent ‘for the project’ of course). They already hint at it in their letter: “There could still of course be commercial risks, such as those you appear to be trying to create.” So if it’s a scam, your critisism might even play in their hands by giving them some kind of argument (not very powerful of course), why it didn’t work out for them.
I wonder what the Spokes Cycling team who’ve ‘used’ the product think of it
link to spokesracingteam.bike
Actually used to be my LBS… this all feels so personal now 🙂
Twitter: Yesterday the team were involved with the filming of a promotional video for the new @Limitscycling powermeter.
link to twitter.com
Hi Ray, I’m very interested why you’ve so much attention to this project. Of course, I understand that it’s an interestering product for cycling. But, I also know you’re reticent to Indiegogo or Kickstarter projects at all. You mentioned them in post and treated them critically. Your blog is also more focused on proved products or companies who made proved products.Thus, I wonder why this project you have specific attention
I would assume Ray is so interested in the project because there’s a fair amount of readers on here who cycle and would back or have backed this project. Very few, if any, of the readers really know or understand the complexities of a new product launch (especially one so data driven) and therefore many have contributed blindly (myself included). Ray is simply pointing out what appears to be many risks associated with the project and its management/project team/marketers.
I regularly read the blog and I don’t think I’d agree with “I also know you’re reticent to Indiegogo or Kickstarter projects”. I don’t really get involved in crowd funding and so a good amount of my (minimal) knowledge on crowd funding comes from here and I get the impression that Ray is happy to support and write about crowd funded projects with the caveat that Indiegogo is a riskier site to be spending your money at than Kickstarter is.
I’m thrilled to support startups in the space, and often talk about crowd-funded projects, as they are ultimately part of the space and introducing products into it.
I have discussed in the past that most Kickstarter projects will under-deliver (either in timelines or production functionality), which is simply a factual trend that we’ve seen over the past few years. But I still like to give it the benefit of the doubt.
My general rule of thumb on crowd funded projects is that I don’t post on them unless I have a physical product in hand (no matter how early/prototype it may be), with the exception of high-interest products based on reader demand. Back in April, I had significant reader demand for my opinions on the project, hence the post.
Thanks for this comment, that clarifies a lot. Indeed, it’s an interestering product for the readers.
Marketing is a art that such companies manage quite well. So the look-and-feel and promises are very good, also because they promise opportunities regular products didn’t have that time. Examples: LEO Fitness intelligence, Stryd, Runscribe. With very different results..
Thanks for your blog and keep going!
Their claimed launch date is not exactly far away. Maybe they’ll surprise everyone and hit it (then they can enjoy a huge amount of “I told you so” having done something no-one else has ever managed – to which we should all give the appropriate amount of kudos!).
Or maybe they won’t deliver anything in December. I know which I think more likely!
You should call the “chairman” just to see what he says.
Great reviews as always, I trust your reviews, fact. You help me make choices on new tech and educate me at the same time. Crowd-funded projects and companies must realise that trust is what they trade on. Say something to your backers and deliver on what you say. Trust in the project if someone disagrees with you and writes an honest blog, prove them wrong. That one letter from Limits has blown all the trust out of the water. So look forward to the review mid-late Dec. Trust maybe restored or maybe Ray your trusted opinions have been right along.
I must get me one of those Apple Smart Phones…!
Sorry, I couldn’t understand what you were banging on about.
I thought that you were referring to these.
I’ve backed this product and like me I’m sure everybody (except competitors) want to see it succeed.
I must admit I did think they had a working prototype when I viewed their video and read the Indiegogo campaign. This appears to be all about the semantics of marketing of which I’m not a big fan, so I’m with Ray on this one I feel I was misled.
However, I don’t feel like this is a scam as they have shown progress with the hardware design and development. It may still be delivered as per the published timeline and even if it slips a bit I would consider this normal. I work in technology and projects slip all the time. In fact, if it is delivered on time (or close to) I really don’t care about the initial marketing as I wasn’t expecting anything before December anyway.
I do find it interesting that they decided not to share any specs or data until launch for confidentiality reasons. This is entirely their prerogative and I can understand it, just because other companies do this does not make it compulsory (even though it may help the development). What I don’t understand is why this decision wasn’t communicated. A lot of this negativity could have been avoided with a simple statement!
Ray, please don’t try and kill this product off as I would like to get something for my money, as I’m sure all backers would 🙂
Tony, what progress do you think they’ve made apart from posting pictures of component parts??
Exactly that. They have designed and had built the component parts which we all now know didn’t exist in April.
To me this is progress. I, and may others, have funded a development project. We have not purchased an off the shelf product.
Hope is a powerful drug.
Hope, yes I hope I get something for my money despite the naive/bad marketing which is essentially all this little spat is. I’m not quite ready to jump on the cynicism bandwagon yet – I’m actually prepared to give them a chance to deliver.
I am also a realist, this is a crowd funded project and may not deliver on time or anything at all. I was aware of that when I funded the project. The Zano drone being a timely case in point.
Tony, unfortunately i think your idea of progress is a little different to what Ray has in mind.
I would think that when they post an update on progress, it has to be meaningful progress. Ray has mentioned about how they posted updates eg getting ANT approval. These to me are not “meaningful”. In that these are not actual hurdles in producing the promised product.
In my opinion, posting meaningless update is as good as sending out and update saying that they woke up from their sleep on time. waking up on time is essential to get work done. But does not automatically lead to getting actual work done. It is the actual progress that the backers want to see.. for example testing data.
nonetheless, good post from Ray
To be honest, I don’t think that this spat is doing either you or Limits any good. You’ve made your scepticism very clear, and presented your reasons with clarity for all to see.
I certainly disagree with anyone deliberately misleading their backers, but anyone who reads the Indigogo ‘rules of engagement’ knows that there are fundamental risks, and no guarantees.
It’s better for all of us if Limits are successful in bringing a product to market, so I personally would prefer to see the feud stop and then we can wait and see if they can deliver the product they promised.
To be honest, I don’t think that this spat is doing either you or Limits any good.
But it was nice to see the to return of your normal writing style in the context of LIMITS 🙂
As noted in the post, I didn’t have any plans on writing further. They left me no choice when they demanded I post their letter.
I don’t plan any further posts until they release a product (or delay significantly).
To be fair it was a request more than a demand.
When you start throwing around the word “defamatory,” it becomes a demand. That reeks of litigation.
Personally, I am glad that Ray posted this. So, it is not better for us all that he not respond to the bullying tactics of Limits and their failure to show any progress with the 400k+ and counting they are raising.
With the dream of affordable power meters for all, scammers will come and pray on your hope and dreams. LIMITS appears to be one of them, so individual investors beware!
Thanks for the heads up Ray! Keep keeping it real.
I’ve been following your website for a few years now and absolutely love the brutal honesty. It’s so refreshing to read a review which highlights the dangers of crowdfunded vaporware from a company which uses deceitful marketing and even has the nerve to send a threatening letter. Keep up the great job!
There are also other more serious allegations that can be made against people that make false representations with the intention of making gains for themselves or others.
However, in the interest of saving Ray from receiving more grumpy letters and having to waste his money on lawyers I won’t mention anything more specific that might be allegedly defamatory – even if justifiable and/or fair comment/opinion
“having to waste his money on lawyers”
Actually, in Britain we don’t have the weird laws America has and so they wouldn’t be able to waste Ray’s time and money in the court system. Our judges just laugh and tell people to grow up usually 🙂
That’s actually not true in the case of UK libel and defamation laws, from everything I had read. Our rules are archaic from what I understand.
Read some of the stuff by David Walsh on Lance Armstrong, and the fine lines he and the Sunday Times had to tread. There’s a reason why L.A. Confidentiel was in French and not published in the UK.
Dave, you’re very wrong about that.
I would much, much, much rather be sued for libel in the United States than in the UK. Not only does the United States have far greater free speech limitations on the scope of libel law, but it generally has better procedural protections. Most states have anti-SLAPP laws that allow defendants to recover fees, and anti-SLAPP litigators generally don’t require defendants to pay for their defense. An anti-SLAPP motion halts all discovery as well.
We do have laws, of course. What I meant was that our system is much more controlled. As I said, it’s much more common here for a judge to laugh and throw you out than to take it further. It has to be proven to be a real case before the defense needs a lawyer here, and even our lawyers don’t tend to pursue cases for profit as readily. Where there is real defamation then, yes, there would be a case. First, however, the company would need to show that the opinion expressed on the blog was not “reasonable”. They cannot do this because there are thousands of comments shouting about how reasonable and right the opinion was. As I said, in the UK this is not an issue and Ray would have nothing to worry about.
The UK has terrible libel laws, and it is very expensive to defend against a libel suit – even at best you’ll quickly rack up legal fees, and to be able to recover those you may need to go to court (otherwise, you need to persuade the party angry at you, who is trying to hurt you, to settle and pay them). In which case you need to “win” AND convince the judge you should be awarded /all/ your costs, which is not guaranteed even if you win.
You should read the case of Simon Singh and the British Chiropractic Association. England is a favourite place to bring libel cases btw, to shut people up. You don’t even have to have anything to do with the UK to be able to sue someone there for libel.
Note that you can’t really say “UK” here – Scotland has a different legal system to England. Ireland also has similarly dreadful libel laws – inherited from England, but either missing some reforms or its jurisprudence on libel evolved in an even worse direction, tilted against free speech.
Oh, and by “there” I mean the lawsuit, not the defendant. You can be outside the UK and file a writ of libel against someone else who is outside the UK, in an English court. Apparently they’ve added a slight barrier to this in 2013 in the Defamation Act, but it seems only a low bar.
Let me know if you need an attorney we can sue those guys
even though your are right to warn people about LIMITS and how it’s essentially a scam – you might be giving them a way out……..what will probably happen when they don’t deliver is that they will blame you and your adverse publicity as the reason. They will say that they were just about to get units to customers and because you ‘damaged’ their business they weren’t able to complete because funding dried up or some other bullshit.
Obviously this will be nonsense – but i think it’s entirely possible. Sorry if I’ve just given LIMITS any ideas but I suspect the one thing they are working hard on are EXCUSES so I’m sure it’s already occurred to them
just my 2 cents
> what will probably happen when they don’t deliver is that they will blame you and your adverse publicity as the reason
1) The date for delivery was set and publicly announced way before Ray posted the article.
2) The previous article was posted a month (December is actually sooner, but lets say middle of December) before that promised delivery date. Now if you think this one month is crucial for product finalization and release (this is specially the topic that Ray argumented in the previous article), then you’re just naive.
> because you ‘damaged’ their business they weren’t able to complete because funding dried
If “funding dried” that means their funding goal THEY set was too low. But they were far away from being too low. Let me quote from Indiegogo website the funding state as on November 18th : “Original campaign was 244% funded on May 30, 2015”.
244% on May 30th, which is plenty above the wished funding. If they fail to complete the product with those resources, then lets say that Rays article has nothing to do with it.
Ray – I think you need to be really careful here. They appear to be putting you on notice of a potential defamation action. I’m not a lawyer but my understanding in the UK is that the defendant must show proof of truth of the statements that are claimed to be defamatory. Honest opinion is a defence but some of your statements above might go beyond the level of opinion (again, not a lawyer). LIMITS would need to show probably financial damage, but if their second funding round fails/goes badly they might have that (even if that is frankly correlation not causation).
I’ll be honest, when I first came across LIMITS (through your site in April, I believe), I remember reading it and thinking that is was really vague and it didn’t seem from the statements that the team had actually ridden the product as they just went on about power meters generally. LIMITS could well claim that alpha units were simple non-working mock-ups for Q factor (of course if it turns out the team didn’t even ride those, game over). I’m worried that if it comes to it, a court might (I suspect reluctantly) hold that there were not any lies, as such, in their original statements.
NOTE TO ALL: I am not associated with LIMITS, a supporter of theirs, know anyone who works for them and haven’t bought into the campaign. I agree with Ray’s general sentiments about this product.
Thanks Matt. I’ve been very clear that for every statement I’ve made in these posts, I’ve included wording/screenshots of theirs that proves/disproves that point within the post.
The facts don’t matter if:
(a) Others with less journalistic integrity are looking for a good story
(b) The contingency lawyers believe there’s the prospect of a few $ to be earned by forcing an out of court settlement, and getting their commission thereon.
Tragic, but true. Been there…
Surely if Limits were to take action they would need to prove existence of the units and of the testing evidence. I would have thought if this existed they would have chucked examples at Ray to get more coverage and to help with their product.
Keep up the good work Ray.
Limits are a UK company so there will be no daft lawsuits. In fact, there’s no real need for evidence because this is a blog and Ray consistently reminds us it’s his opinion. There is literally nothing to go to a UK court with. Now, had they been a US company, there would already be a lawsuit I’m sure and they’d be suing for every penny for mental anguish 🙂
Ray, I agree 150% with your sentiments on this company but I echo Matt you need to tread very, very carefully. It isn’t just the factual statements but the increasing tone of no way will they make the end of the year and if they do you imply or outright state it will suck that makes me nervous. Of course you are right but you aren’t dealing with Garmin or TomTom but a bunch of yahoos who might conveniently try to pin their failures on a powerful industry blogger who doomed their future plans and get sue happy, because frankly yahoos do that kind of thing. You should always report on companies like this failing to reach their objectives but your usual dispassionate tone would serve you better, I have been following you for years and this is the first time it feels personal, even if you are totally in the right.
I am all for playing the devil’s advocate. I am a fan of doing it myself.
However, in the context of your blog, and how you usually keep yourself to factual reviews, I feel this post, and the previous one about LIMITS, are too much.
You may very well be right, and it is a scam, or it may be the case of LIMITS people being completely oblivious to the difficulties that are still ahead for them. But I think it doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter for an actual review, which is what we expect from your blog.
If there is no product, then there should be no news. If there’s an update, or if they miss a milestone, then I think the best place to mention LIMITS is in your “Week in Review” post.
Just something like “LIMITS Indiegogo project has missed milestone XYZ in their product schedule, and I haven’t seen any prototype yet.”. And that’s it. Just a factual piece of news, with no judgement or opinion.
Again, no matter how much you may be correct on this, this type of post is not what I expect from your blog.
Cheers, always a fan,
Rodrigo Valle Teixeira
Totally agree with your observations.
Others are so far up rainmakers back side its unbelievable.
American problem I am afraid.
So its ok for company to take $400k from customers and lead them the wrong way? Are we supposed to just sit back and let them do whatever they want with that money and not deliver what they said they would? Somebody has to hold them accountable and Ray is the only person who has enough reach that can do that.
On another topic….
Ray has product reviews AND a blog. If you search around the site, reviews are in the product review section and non product reviews are in the blog section. Everything on his site is his opinion…. if you don’t like it….. don’t read it….. simple as that. I’m far from a Ray worshiper as there are many things I don’t agree with him on (power meters especially).
Cote : (Side note: At this point, most would say: “I rest my case”, but I’m just getting warmed up. Which takes a lot when I’m currently sitting in the Arctic Circle.)
Luckily for them you weren’t in the caribbean…
5 minutes standing ovation for Ray! …even if I’m here alone in the office!!
Really well done!
If you had concerns about the Limits, you should look at the ZumZum bike that was funded on Kickstarter. Another heavily publicized projected in the cycling press, backed by Ex Pro MTB rider Steve Peat, but no sign of anything months after due date. It has all gone very quiet on this one, and their website has disappeared. Many sad kids still waiting for their bikes! link to kickstarter.com
You should have edited their email to comic sans font.. Pure nonsense!
Of course Ray is wrong! Every article he has ever written has been blatantly biased and full of factual inaccuracies. It’s well known that he picks on little companies and leaks pre-release data to benefit rival companies. And the Limits meter will be released to the nearly 2000 backers within a few weeks (Dec 2015) and will be both accurate, precise and compare favourably with competitors. That will show Ray up! …. Alternatively by Jan 1 2016, all of the above will be completed rubbish. Take your pick – I know where my betting money is going.
I think what the Limits company appear to have chosen not to take on board is that Ray has built his reputation on being “an ordinary guy, just like us, who has the time and knowledge to do the research and come to the same conclusions the rest of us likely would”. He then writes his views of something in a manner that is both as clear as if we had come to that conclusion ourself, and yet also with sufficient factual backing that we can draw our own conclusions if we wish. In the case of the Limits meter case, Ray has simply documented his thoughts and conclusions as he has done with all other reviews. Unfortunately in this case, he’s come to the same conclusion that many of his readers have (with access to the same information he has).
An earlier commenter suggested it was not Ray’s place to join all the dots for the reader – that simply reporting that the company had missed a milestone (or similar) was sufficient. I suggest that many readers disagree. What Ray does is precisely to take time and effort to research, data gather, test, confirm, chase, ponder and join the dots for his readers – most of us don’t have the time to do that on our own. What Ray has always been careful to do though is to provide sufficient data and substantiation that not only can the reader understand Ray’s conclusions, but also draw their own. I have never seen a comment from Ray that aggressively opposes any contrary conclusion that a reader has drawn from Ray’s own data.
I hope the Limits meter does turn out well in the end – competitive cheap power measurement is a benefit to everyone. It doesn’t even matter to me whether Ray’s misgivings turn out to be unfounded. What matters to me is that Ray reports it like he sees it based on the information available to him at the time. That he does the leg work to both join the dots for his readers and yet provide them with the information they need to draw their own conclusions. And that he does this without fear or favour. Ray represents “us” if each of us had the time and contacts to do our own research. As such, trying to suppress, mislead or manipulate Ray’s opinions on a product is the same as trying to do it directly to his readership. And his readership is the market for any potential product. Why, oh why, would a company want to pick a fight with it potential consumers?!
Extremely well-said, Malcolm.
Thanks Ray for the precisions.
They really are a bunch of …
The kind of exercice you have done must have been particularly unpleasant, but you managed it well with no anger at all.
My only problem with this post is that you didn’t end it with, “Mic drop.” and maybe the corresponding GIF.
I would trust Ray 100% over this company. The type of response they provided shows what type of company they are. You won that one.
Ha, what a joke. I prefer “no LIMITS” anyway! 😉
Good job as always Ray!
“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.” -Macbeth
Hi Ray –
In the letter from Limits – they state that you boast: “Not to toot my own horn, but I can pretty much cause any given product in this space to live or die”
Did you really state this? I searched the previous post and could not find it… so just wondering if that was factually true.
Sorry to waste more of your time on this. I don’t have a dog in this fight, but appreciate your reporting on LIMITS.
FWIW, I would never buy a powermeter that wasn’t from one of the accepted market leaders because it is something that is hard to get right in the first generation.
That text was part of a longer response to a comment (in the comments section) someone had left on why they should bother to respond to just a blogger (an older post). I probably could have phrased it differently.
Agreed you probably could have phrased it differently… but in context your comment makes more sense.
Shannon, here it is: link to dcrainmaker.com
Let’s talk about REAL powermeters!!! When is the C1 review going to be complete? 🙂
Soon! I’ve actually had really solid results on a slew of new units, including the C1 and the 4iiii Precision V2 (for lack of better term for the updated generation of units). Like, mind-blowingly beautiful results.
And since we’ve come to this subject: can you give an update on the Favero bePRO Power Meter? Will there be an in-depth review on it shortly? In your Queue it states that you will start testing it from the end of July.
Looking forward to it (together with the C1 review.
On topic: Nice piece on the (non-existing??) LIMITS power meter.
I published the bePRO In-Depth review back in early September: link to dcrainmaker.com
Good call on making a pointer from The Queue, totally forgot about that post.
My bad, I actually read that review…
Note to self: “C’mon pay attention…”
Wow, really looking forward to hearing more about the 4iiii. I’m a big fan of the Viiiiva, and am on the fence about the Precision.
^^^ Very much looking forward to updates on 4iii. Not only because they’re a home team (Go Canadian innovation!) but because they appear willing to help push overall price deflation. I just need a “bit” more price movement before a power meter purchase crosses into the “D/S-1” category…
Well, now all we have to do is wait. In six weeks, even using the most generous definition of “December 2015,” we’ll get to see what they come up with. As a backer yourself, Ray, I’m looking forward to hearing your product review (only if and when you have a product to review, of course).
ps: thanks for the opportunity to kick a little back. Speaking for myself, I know I’ve had well more than $20 worth of value from your writing over the years.
Well done, Ray. This whole thing makes me so angry and I’m not even a backer of the Limits campaign. I think you showed remarkable restraint in dealing with a company that behaves quite similarly to a petulant child. Based on everything I have read it is very difficult to categorize their entire enterprise as anything other than a scam. Bravo on not letting their rhetoric distract you.
The fact the attachment was called Rainmaker4.docx is interesting to me. I wonder what the first three looked like?
Too bad he printed to PDF instead of posting the original .docx format and we could have found out. As Ray surely knows, there are ways to recover “hidden text” in a word document that hasn’t been properly scrubbed.
Now that you are reporting on the electronics industry for Triathlon sports full time, this is EXACTLY the kind of growth I would like to see. I want to know what new products are coming down the line and whether you think (based on your extensive research and tech background) whether the new products have a chance to be disruptive in the marketplace. Analogous to Limits, your reporting on the 4iiii precision was fair and balanced and it’s sounds like the company kept you in the loop (although you could have called them out more on all the delays).
Please do more than reviews (and food and travels) in your new role. Report on the industry, as you have done, but much more. Take the emotion out of it and don’t get too cozy with Garmin or any other player. You have done us a service on LIMITS. Let them prove you wrong with an actual product.
Many thanks, Jeff
I feel that you are in a position of power and are abusing it.
You are an individual that runs a company. If a fledgling start up company does not want to share info with you then to bad. Move onto your next personal money maker. Watch your head does not get stuck in the door as you go through.
I’m using my power to call attention to the fact that nearly 2,000 people were misled by reasonably clear lies. Simple as that.
Really? I am glad that DC Rainmaker is around and i’m glad that he called out a company that is scamming triathletes and cyclists. Great job Ray!
It’s obvious that Alan Davidson is either a LIMITS-paid shrill or he has absolutely no clue what he was talking about.
So far the LIMITS powermeter appears to be nothing but vaporware. I love LIMITS’ October 26 blog update with the title “A DEFINING TIME IN LIMITS DEVELOPMENT PROGRESS”. In that post, they claimed that day was a “major and highly anticipated milestone for LIMITS”. It claimed their COO “took LIMITS outside for its maiden voyage”. And yet when you look at the three photos posted, all three photos showing whom i assume to be the COO on a bike with an iPad attached to the handlebar. In two of the photos, they even zoomed in on the iPad. Not one, i repeat, NOT ONE photo shows the actual LIMITS power meter. Unless LIMITS is in the business of making iPad handlebar mounts (who in his right mind would mount an iPad on his bike?), why would you tell everyone about LIMITS’ “maiden voyage” and not include a single photo showing the actual product being tested? LIMITS either has the most incompetent PR staff or this LIMITS power meter is still a vaporware. Looking at LIMITS’ recent responses to legitimate criticism, perhaps both.
I had missed this comment too: “Yet by contrast you also criticised our decision to purchase and evaluate competing power meters. There seems to be no pleasing you whatever we do.”
I’m guessing that they’re reading these comments. If they were being fair, I believe that the criticism was about the timing, rather than the purchase. Proudly announcing that you’ve started to do competitive research after already completing most of your design cycle is not reassuring, guys.
Indeed. But to be clear, I specifically criticized their purchase of a product that anyone with basic power meter experience would have realized couldn’t technically be used together.
I could see some value in having one around, for disassembly if nothing else, at the early stages. I bet you could learn a lot about not just how they solved the problems you are solving, but how they solved problems that you didn’t think of until you noticed that they’d had to solve them.
I’d hope that by now someone would have a good, reliable way of doing automated PM testing, possibly rentable in lab-hours, instead of just running it against 3-4 others and seeing what the reported consensus was. I’m not sure how you’d build such a jig, mind you, but I’ve always been on the software side of the world rather than the hardware side.
I’ve often thought about doing automated testing, and building a rig. I’ve seen the rigs from Quarq, Power2Max, Wahoo, and a few others that they’ve built. Heck, a few companies have also offered to share their rig plans. It’s super-tempting.
These rigs are great for quickly testing the basics in what is effectively a ‘sterile’ condition. But they’re less great at things like cobbles, slight changes in how one applies power throughout a ride (this tripped up 4iiii for example). It doesn’t directly solve temperature shifts, though I’ve considered building (down the road) a temperature chamber that would allow me to automate tests across a wide range of temperature shifts, which is a common failure point.
That’d actually be applicable to more than just power meters, but also things like optical HR sensor accuracy varies quite a bit with temperature because of blood flood.
Well, looks like there’s egg on my face. link to limits.technology from 20 August says that they already have one – and they announced it a week before they bought the comparative products. So there’s that, for whatever its worth.
I’m curious, does anyone else think the rig in that photo looks more like it’s built to test suspension, and built by somebody else (Scott, for instance..)?
Oh, apparently they are in fact for sale to test cycle fatigue…
link to etrace-uk.com
As soon as you start testing power meters on a rig VW will start making power meters.
Interesting, Dave! That makes more sense, too, since it appears from the photo as if the pedals are in-line with each other in the forward position. I didn’t even consider that they might just be posting some random stock image.
I guess that could cover “pedal impact”, as (to be fair) they didn’t imply that they were testing for accuracy in that post, I just assumed that some kind of a testing jig would be useful.
That’s the problem though, isn’t it. All of their posts are done using implication rather than statement. We’ve started testing, here is a test rig. They never said what they were testing or whether they are using that rig or even if they have the rig in the photo. They don’t need electronics to test the physical strength of the parts so maybe they were testing for mtbf of hardware. If that’s the case though, why not just say it and get the users excited about how reliable the hardware is?
Actually, a quick run through Google Image search and it shows up as a Frame Fatigue testing machine…
link to testingmachine.com.tw
Thx Ray. Miss MS yet?
If you’re bored it’s quite fun to go to the http://mpoweruk.com site, pick a random page and a random sentence, and the google to see where else it appears… And as quoted on the site “The Electropaedia is written and maintained by Barrie Lawson.”
Well they certainly did not spend any of that money on letterhead….
It’s always amazing the lengths some liars will go to the profess they aren’t liars. My Dad always says “sometimes when you see an opportunity to keep your mouth shut, jump on it” A fraud is a fraud. Good catch.
I can’t imagine a world in which we don’t have access to this kind of information you just provide us.
Let’s battle against this kind of information control LIMITS and others are trying to impose on us!!!
Just put this comment at their Indiegogo campaing.
I invite others to do the same:
“Fabio Campos less than a minute ago
Just to be clear:
I supported you but don’t harass people!!!
We like to see divergent opinions!!!
The letter you made DC Rainmaker publish only diminished the respect we have for your company (you must have a very poor comunication support).”
Dear LIMITS: why would I want a power meter I could not race with? That is exactly what I would use a power meter for. Apparently you don’t know how power meters are even used at this point.
“LIMITS is a training tool not for racing” (in the above response on the their question page)
Why are you so keen to shoot down Limits, are you affiliated with any cycle sponsor (particularly a power meter maker), or do you just have a totally negative view of everybody who is trying to do something new. If nobody goes out and tries to move things forward we will all be paying thousands of dollars forever for powermeters, let’s give the guys a chance and then we can all shoot them down IF they fail. Maybe we will be congratulating them however, and waiting to see how fast the big established manufacturers can respond to a brilliant piece of technology.
Regarding many of the other comments, it is sad to see how many sceptics there are and how negative the whole world seems to be.
Welcome, I take it you’re new around here. I’ll let you do you’re own research into how I operate.
I often praise any company that’s trying to do new stuff – and in fact, I’ve noted numerous times what I think the concept of LIMITS is actually quite cool. I think using that area of the bike for a power meter is a brilliant idea (Q-factor concerns aside).
However, that doesn’t change the fact that they lied in their campaign, nor does it change my concerns on what the final product will look like next month when they say they’ll ship.
As for spending thousands of power meters, there’s no need to do that. There’s already entrants in the market today that do so quite accurately at sub-$400 and $600 price points.
Why do they take/have the time to write a letter like that? They have NOTHING to do…!
They have taken an interesting approach to the issue since I never read the original post they are so concerned about (since I wasn’t interested in the product to begin with). Shhhhh, let’s not tell them about how podcasts work either (since that is where I first heard about all of this).
Well done, you hand was forced and they are doing a fine job of defaming their own character. It’s too bad, seems to have had promise.
Well done. Keep up the great work. I find your reviews very helpful and always check them out before I consider adding any new gear to my cycling arsenal.
Well, I guess LIMITS is getting a bunch of media attention like they were hoping for. Maybe just not the best kind…
Unlike many others, I actually find this incredibly entertaining. I know you’re bored of it, but I’m glad you’re using the soapbox you have to call out lying liars that lie. There aren’t a lot of regulations that govern this stuff, so the only way to keep it from proliferating is calling out bad or dishonest actors.
Crikey! Surely the only people who have ANY right to be concerned are those who parted with their cash, as I gladly did.
I’m thoroughly looking forward to receiving my LIMITS PM next month. And if I have to wait a little longer I’ll live without it as I’ve been doing since parting with my money in April.
How can a tiny startup have a hope in hell of competing with the “big boys” if its technology is freely disseminated? The R&D budgets of those companies would be able to fund a copy LIMITS ideas in a heartbeat!
So good luck LIMITS. And if you haven’t parted with your cash, keep your nose out of my business. It’s unhelpful, unwanted and you’re welcome to feel smug that you saved £180 if LIMITS don’t deliver. But if they do (and I have every confidence that they will) I trust you’ll enjoy the virtual egg on your face. I doubt that you’ll be doing much commenting then though.
And I’ll bet I’ll still be overtaking you on my Brompton whilst you struggle on your best bike. Only difference is, I’d have the option to fit my LIMITS PM on the Bromoton as well!!
Umm, I’m a backer as well. I paid too. So I too am hoping they give me a functional product next month as promised.
“How can a tiny startup have a hope in hell of competing with the “big boys” if its technology is freely disseminated?”
Patents. And for your information, Ray publishing more information would only add to the body of evidence that you got there first when taking the “big boys” to court for copying ideas. Hiding in your garage actually gives the “big boys” time to get out ahead and claim they were first which would destroy your tiny company. This is 2016, the Internets are not big and scary anymore 🙂
I am a Limits funder as well. If, in December, I receive a working unit, I’ll do my Happy Dance. I may even order a few more just for good measure. If not, my faith in humanity will go on, except for Scottish people! (Kidding)
I am not a backer of the Limits project. Hence, the complete back and forth is pretty amusing to me although I would prefer to see more in depth reviews on your website – apple watch, Garmin Epix, Powertap C1, 4iiii precision (not a rant; I completely understand your POV for this post).
However, in light of this project (and I would imagine several other failed crowdfunded projects), shouldn’t there be a conversation about better protection for the consumer on crowd sourcing platforms in terms of accountability to the consumer.
Yes, I’d love to get back to getting reviews out. Hopefully you’ll see the fruits of that within the next 12 or so hours.
As for protection of crowd funded projects, it’s a tough line to walk. I think Kickstarter is taking the right direction in terms of requiring prototypes and prohibiting computer generated imagery. Indiegogo does neither, as they’re a bit of the wild-west. Except consumers don’t understand that.
I’d like to see Indiegogo perhaps have a two-tier system where a Tier1 has much the same restrictions as Kickstarter, and thus is afforded more visibility. Whereas a Tier2 product is deemed more risky. I’m sure someone smarter than I can come up with prettier terms.
I also think for both levels having a bit of a physical vetting process wouldn’t be impossible. Similar to what companies do for certifications (i.e. ANT+ or BLE certification). Obviously, in a product that’s tough. But it’d be totally possible for companies that want to launch to present before a panel and the panel gives a feasibility rating and why. That’d be super-easy to do, and the number of tech projects simply isn’t that large in the grand scheme of things. If a company can’t afford to fly to a handful of locals (i.e. SF, NY, London, etc..) for these vettings, then honestly they wouldn’t have the funding to produce a product.
All of these could be ‘optional’ things that would allow projects to raise their trust level. And for those that lack it, it would be a way for consumers to better understand the risk.
Finally, I don’t believe that Kickstarter (or any other platform) should guarantee consumers funds in these. As I think that would ultimately give companies a way out. Instead, I want the heat applied directly to the company, by the consumers.
Thanks for the detailed response.
I am glad I am not a backer here. Given the PR ineptitude at display here, as a backer I would be worried about future customer support (assuming the product is tangible and at some level, works).
Looking forward to more in-depth reviews and updates on Thanksgiving & Black Friday deals.
Just realised as I read that letter – you if and The Girl ever have a kid you have to call him/her Shaker
link to youtube.com
Awesome! Just awesome. Thank you!
In the interest of more information, the question that I had asked on their page for which I received the quoted email is here – not a trick question or anything.
And yes, their main Indiegogo page is still claiming “as reviewed by”. Le sigh.
I need to stop looking at this now.
And that my friends is why I follow this site & support it. No fake reviews or analysis. Just an honest representation.
Perhaps “No Limits” would be a more appropriate brand name for this one.
“Limits is a training tool, not for racing”
Wait, what? That statement alone suggests they are widely ignorant about how their product would be used, when/if it ever takes material form.
Anyone who trains and races with power knows that race data is the most valuable kind of data. How many pro bikes have their power meters removed for race day? Zero.
I wonder if you realize you have just given them a fall guy. If they are unable to bring their product to market, they can now claim that they were sabotaged by an industry insider, or a self-important blogger, or however they choose to characterize you.
Based on their current marketing dept performance, I predict they will blame their personal failures on the flap of a butterfly’s wings in China.
Cease and Desist, Butterfly. Cease and Desist.
How someone smart enough to get himself into a position of being the ‘net go-to guy on fitness product reviews can stumble headlong into a mess entirely of his own creation I have no idea.
Two reputations are likely to be tarnished here; those of LIMITS and of DC Rainmaker. It’s not only your blog correspondents who are watching this carefully, it’s the fitness industry.
@RH: I fail to see how Ray’s stellar reputation will be tarnished in anyway, In fact, Ray has gained himself some admiration from me for being totally honest and frank.
With respect, you clearly don’t know how the industry works.
Can you explain how the industry works and how Ray’s reputation will be tarnished? Serious question.
Yes, of course. I’m going to post here my current position, my role in an investigation of LIMITS some months back, my conclusions, the name of the company I was working for, and give extensive detail on the how’s and why’s I know this little incident is being watched very carefully by a large number of parties not directly involved in this saga but intimately involved in the world of electronic fitness products.
Dear god, grow up.
And no, my initials are not ‘RH’. And no, I do not and have never worked for LIMITS.
I originally posted on this matter in the sincere hope that Ray would pull his post before things went down the path we’re seeing. Not because I wanted to protect LIMITS but because Ray offers genuine insight into the value of products ON THE MARKET. Except in this instance he ripped a company that may fully deserve ripping BEFORE they’d met their stated delivery date. Would it have hurt to have waited until Jan 1st?
I would hate to see him mired in unnecessary controversy or to have new companies limiting his access to potentially innovative products for fear he may ‘do a LIMITS’ if they fail to deliver everything they promise.
Now do you understand? It’s not rocket science.
+1 for this being a serious question.
does Garmin or Polar or Power2Max or whomever take the side of the company giving Ray zero data equaling Vaporware – or do they side with the general public (and Ray) who simply want this to work and to see it really working. In the real world?
I fail to see how a serious, professional company could take issues with this. Long time readers have seen Ray eat his word from time to time when companies have come through – and given him hands on experiences with their products.
RH – I’m a real person, frequent poster and reader – and I’d like you to elaborate
Compromise my professional position to score points with random people commenting on a blog? You’re mistaking me for someone else…
Believe whatever you like. You will anyway. I’m out.
So basically you dropped in to have a moan, aren’t prepared to substantiate your expert insider views (which may well be valid) and then leave. Fair enough, but you aren’t going to convince anyone that your view point is valid is you are not willing to substantiate what you say. So why say it then?
I think that approach is similar to what some Limits backers fear the company is doing to them as well.
As for whether Ray should hold off on commenting on progress or lack thereof before Jan 1. Ray was an initial backer of the project. He, like the other 2000 people has an interest in seeing the project both produce a viable product and hit their self imposed deadlines. Like any one of those 2000 people, he is entitled to feel either sceptical or enthusiastic as the milestones and deadlines are reached. Its likely his attitude is influenced by the degree of progress he can see as well as how the company manages expectations of its backers.
As for why he shouldn’t just keep his thoughts to himself until Jan 1, even if he is increasingly sceptical of the company’s ability to deliver? I expect you noticed the new round of crowdsourced funding that was recently announced right? The Limits company hopes to add new backers (and their money) to the existing 2000 who are already waiting expectantly for their product in a few weeks time. To me it would seem at least as decent to warn potential new backers of his concerns as it would be to keep quiet.
“I originally posted on this matter in the sincere hope that Ray would pull his post…”
Clearly, you don’t understand how Ray, the internet, or, *gasp*, the industry work.
Ray, thanks for writing this. Your post above is just one more example of why your site is pretty much my sole source of sport tech information. You’re unbiased, truthful and *very* clear in your writing.
The level of incompetence here is absolutely staggering. Forget about the product itself for a moment and consider only the PR/marketing nightmare they’ve created and then perpetuated here. They could’ve chosen to be annoyed and maybe even motivated by your initial post, keeping their mouths shut and heads down, working toward their deadline. Or, they could have responded to you privately. But….they thought the smarter move was to demand publication of an aggressive, defensive, litigious response in YOUR SPACE?!? Really? THAT’s their move? A miscalculation of rather epic proportion, I’d say. Barrie needs some PR guidance, because with this kind of ineptitude on display, the question of their actual product (phantom or otherwise) becomes almost secondary. As you mentioned – they don’t appear to understand how the internets work. How am I supposed to believe they know much else?
I’ve done a few crowdfunded type projects (4iiii, Pico, Rapido Pump Head, Trail LED), and none of them met their timetable. But they all explained in advance, with plausible reasons. And we’re run by people with specific product experience. Still a crap shoot though.
I trust that even if they pissed you off when/if they release a product you will post a factual review and this is why I love this blog! Now let’s wait and see that product!
Yup, and that’s the great thing about power meter comparison data – it’s fairly black and white. I can obviously provide thoughts on whether something is durable/etc, but ultimately when it comes to showing data from 3-4 PM’s it’s fairly straight forward. Plus I provide the original files for anyone who wishes to do their own analysis.
Ray – Very entertaining post, and I have every confidence that you will be proven correct soon.
That said it seems there is a very (very) small chance there is a real product here that is being mismanaged by a ‘Chairmen’ with no PR or business sense. That they could provide data but have chosen to be combative because they didn’t like your initial comments. Obviously this is unlikely, because besides what you have pointed out, their fundamental misunderstanding of the market (ex. not used for racing? wtf) or the importance of your opinion in this space tells me that isn’t the case.
It’s also possible this didn’t start out as an intentional scam, but became one once they realized they were over their head and flush with cash.
I think there is a real market opportunity for a DCR style blog analyzing crowd-funded technology projects. I personally have not invested in any, partly because of the inherent riskiness you have made me aware of over the last year or two, but for those willing to take the risk having an outside source provide opinion on the feasibility, producibility, and timeline of different projects has serious potential. You mentioned a two-tiered system to Indiegogo as a possibility, but I think an unbiased independent rating system (akin to your analysis on sports tech) would be more beneficial. The difficulty would obviously be gaining traction as the go to site (maybe you can provide some insight). In fact, I would jump on this idea right now if I thought I had the technical know how to analyze the projects myself.
Anyway, all that said I’m not sure why you are receiving some push back in the comments. Great work, always appreciate your insight.
ps, you do have the ability to kill a project in this space but might want to keep that to yourself going forward 🙂
To LIMITS: Doth protest too much?
I hope those who are living in hope that LIMITS will deliver are rewarded. However, do you think a company that is less than 45 days (or even 6 months) from allegedly delivering a viable product would resort to a scorched earth tactic of sending a threatening letter? Not a chance.
This company is desperate for legitimacy and Ray, who has many readers and supporters, has carefully and objectively exposed them. He’s spoiled their party and they’re not happy campers. But instead of delivering a product or some data they throw a tantrum. That’s the sign of a company in deep trouble. If they think suing Ray will win them more backers and support from current backers (you want your money spent on lawyers?) they’re kidding themselves.
Suspect companies — to date LIMITS has not shown me anything other than being suspect — are run by folks who are marginal operators and always find a way to blame others when they fail. If/when LIMITS fails it is setting the table to blame Ray for its demise. Only a few will believe that and you know who they are.
Kudos to Ray for handling this in a cool and professional manner.
Anyone see the colossal failure of ZANO on Kickstarter? Worth a look.
Thanks for this information and exposing this company.
I just wanted to let you know that there is a typo,
“Turns out, they don’t have anyone on staff with power meter experiance.”
“experiance” should be “experience”
Frankly, this was extremely entertaining/interesting and glad you posted what you did.
Somewhat ironic that the “featured campaigns” email I just received from Indiegogo has the Stages campaign as the first link!
Stages? Jeez, of course I meant LIMITS…don’t post before coffee…
(Quoting 2unlimited, circa 1993)…No no. No no no no, no no no no..there’s no limits!!!!! They weren’t psychic or could foresee the future, but it appears they were right…
2unlimited also had a track named ‘The Power Age’.
I think this proves, beyond all reasonable doubt, that LIMITS were at the very forefront of the 90’s Eurodance scene…
Talk about digging your own grave,
I guess his letter was not well thought out, he contradicted his company (or at least it´s campaign) on several key points.
I had not heard of this power-meter, since those are way too expensive for me to acquire (and for that reason I don´t usually keep up with the news on those). That being said, lying to your potential customers is highly unethical, even if you are able to produce the results you are promising (which after reading your posts I doubt).
Guess you’d better start an indiegogocampaign to get your legal costs funded?
To be honest I’d have preferred it if you simply posted their letter with the heading “The response from LIMITS”.
You’ve had your say, they’ve had theirs and let your readers decide. Truthfully, as someone who is quite new to your blog this is starting to feel like you have a personal vendetta against them.
UK company info is readily available and searchable. If you look for the chairman’s name, you get some company called Alphastrut Ltd in Edinburgh. Wonder if this is the guy? Would have been nice if such detail were more readily available on their site and not so obfuscated… based on thr balance sheet, you’d have to think it is looking bleak.
To add to Apoch’s comment, some Americans may not be aware the extent to which private company information is publicly available in the UK (historic financials, capitalization, directors, etc) from the official registrar, Companies House.
I also find it quite strange that the Companies House registrar for Limits Technology Ltd does not list Barrie Lawson as Chairman or Director. According to Companies House (which is the registrar of record), Limits only has one director (the CEO, Kenneth Hamilton Norton, who is resident in China?). Furthermore, it was odd that the legal name for Limits was not readily found on the correspondence or Limit’s website. For reference, Limits Technology Ltd company number is 499585. This would be another red flag for me.
As a UK taxpayer, I am interested in what milestone Limits met to be able to draw Scottish Enterprise funding but a cursory search didn’t reveal anything.
Ray, one thing I forgot to ask in my earlier post: Why are you saying they “forced you to” post this? I understand they demanded it in the email, and I’m glad you did post it, but I don’t understand why you felt the obligation to. There certainly can’t be a legal way for them to force you to put something on your own site. Just curious since I would imagine there would be no repercussions as a result of ignoring them.
> “The messages in the video, including all the comments by the cycling team, were all about the value or utility of power meters in general and not an endorsement of LIMITS in particular. There was never any claim or even implication, that a LIMITS power meter had ever been used on a bike by the racing team or anyone else.
That’s bull. When I first watched that video, I came away with the STRONG impression they were riding on at least a prototype.
What is so laughable is some commenters and LIMITS stating that Ray’s posts may result in the product not being released and making LIMITS the victim. Limits has collected a lot of money. If two posts on a blog is going to prevent them from releasing a product then they themselves are not ready for prime time (like their product possibly). Its not about just having a mature product, but also about having a mature business team behind the product. If they can’t take Ray’s criticism, do you think they will be able to even provide you good customer support? Stop living in fear of criticism, but embrace it, learn from it and move forward.
It sounds like DC rainmaker spat his dummy out when he wasn’t given special access to the limits data. DC get over yourself.
Long time reader, first time poster!
It worries me that so many people are cheerleading you and your thoughts. Right now there’s no product to critique, yet it seems you benefit from clickbait about a small start up, one of which I also paid cash to.
Surely for your integrity, of which I thought you had lots, you’d just wait till there was a product.
As for time lines, remember Garmin Vector Pedals? 2 years wait from suggested deadline!
1. He isn’t criticizing the product (since it doesn’t exist yet). He is criticizing the company and the statements they have made.
2. You didn’t have to pay 2 years ahead of time for your Vector and hope it was delivered and actually worked. Also, Garmin didn’t continually misrepresent (lie?) about the status of their project.
3. Wouldn’t he *lack* integrity if he didn’t say anything about this? When Limits was first announced, lots and lots of his readers asked him his opinion before they put their money. I would be disappointed if he didn’t weigh in, especially if there was weird stuff going on with Limits.
4. Out of curiosity, would you put your money in to Limits today if you hadn’t already? Or just wait to see if/when it ships and if it actually works (and is reliable)?
@Jayson Bryant: If Ray was lacking integrity, he would have kept his mouth shut about the lies being propagated by LIMITS.
Awww snap. Got ’em coach! Thank you ray for the truth.
I had been saving up some money for their power meter along with some other upgrades but last post made me unsure and this one sums up their credibility completely. Even if they manage to get something out I won’t be giving them my money after seeing these threats.
Instead I just ordered Powertap P1’s which are much more expensive but I will gladly support companies that are transparent and fair to its customers.
Is there some way road bike components could be ordered through your site? I’d gladly do it if that meant that you generated some income and i’m sure others would too considering the effort you put into this.
Check out the Clever Training link on the sidebar which will not only give DCR some kickback but also save you 10%!
There seems to be a lot of LIMiTs employees or fanboys suddenly making comments on here – and it’s pretty obvious who they are.
Yes the likes of 4iii and even Garmin miss product deadlines and continue to do so but at least they were transparent. Do you really think a month before release any other company cannot share at least some raw data or a picture of a prototype unit?! Get in the real world people.
It is not defamatory if it is true.
Does this have the hallmarks of a product that at best will not deliver as advertised and on time – Yes. Or at worst a scam – yeah, it is getting close to that, at some point LIMITS need to show the public some progress, ideally a functioning unit. Especially when they claim that they will start shipping in a few weeks. This is not how the world works. If you are trying to sell something you put it into the public domain so people can comment thereby generating more interest and sales – LIMIT are definitely going against the grain here. Fishy.
I can imagine having to try and resolve a product problem or heaven forbid make a warranty claim with this company…
After reading it all, comments included, I do think a lesson is here for Ray, although I fully support the response that was done. In future, something like this, I think just posting bullets from them, and simple, factual, counterpoints, would reduce both the negative comments (some of which have a little merit, some of which are obviously either uninformed, or possibly Limits people directly, LOL), and avoid the need for multiple comment-response cycles.
Stuff like “They said >> “companies typically don’t want to hand over development technology”. Counterpoint: Garmin, Polar, 4iiis…. all have done so”.
You pretty much have the point/counterpoint nailed, I think what has invited both additional involvement, and critical responses, is the additional commentary and discourse. Although all is valid, it would both simplify, and strengthen, your points (and remove you from a lot of the critiques) to just simply point/counterpoint, and as a few mentioned, leave it to the readers to say “yeah, they are full of bull” etc. It’s actually stronger I feel, that way. And also avoids the whole “DC Rainmaker single-handedly killed a half-million dollar invested comapny” stuff. No-opinion point/counterpoint can’t be considered an attack, or a bias, it’s just stating facts. The opinions can then be hashed out by the public in the comments ad infinitum, but you wouldn’t have much need to respond or interact other than maybe any clarification points, as the public would arrive at the logical conclusions overall.
Just thoughts for the “next time” something like this happens take them for what they are worth.
I am a backer of a Kickstarter campaign by Bragi called The Dash and while their delivery of product has slipped over a year for my investment of $200, they have been unbelievably transparent through the process with the backers and I fully believe will deliver a high quality product as they promised. link to kickstarter.com
That is a good example. While they are late, it is clear they have a working product/prototype that has been used by several people outside the company. The updates have been frequent and factual about the status even if it is bad news.
I would recommend that people read the Chairman’s response to the original blog Post.
Given the nature of the venture I find Limits credible and the critiques here unfair. They are trying to disrupt the existing players and provide a product at a radically different price point. It is not reasonable for them to give evaluation products to either competitors or this blog. They can do that at release.
I wish them the best and hope people here join me in feeling the reports here are slanted and unfair. It’s not OK to knock down such a company before they can release their product. It’s worse of they are actually libellous.crowd funded ventures.
I am a crowdfunder of limits as I have been of pebble watch. You take a risk with these things but I’ve found the communication clear. I haven’t seen them miss milestones since I pledged monies.
I am hoping that they succeed and bring affordable power meters to markets. I previously bought a stages and it simply didn’t work for me despite sending it back and multiple trips to the bike shop.
Barrie Lawson has never been mentioned by Limits as being part of the team. Had you heard of him before this letter?
It’s also not in his linkedin page that he’s part of this…
Ray, always enjoyed your blog but your language and tone on this product is emotional rather than objective, not to mention speculative, in that the promised delivery date is still in the future.
The company repeatedly lied, that’s a fact, not a speculation.
When exposed they accused Ray of defamation, and still he was able to remain calm and objective (even if a bit emotional in the tone…)
Kudos to Ray.
Whether they can deliver is speculation. The claims they have made during development have been at least deceptive, at worst out right lies.
If they don’t have the money for R&D on this powermeter then they certainly don’t have the money to pursue any type of litigation against you. Their actions are nothing more than a failed scare tactic hoping you’d magically remove the truth from the Interwebs so that it doesn’t harm them from securing more funds from unsuspecting investors. It would seem the ball is now in their court to create product and try to work with you instead of against you.
So so sad… I was looking at Limits when it 1st came out, but I waited until Ray’s 1st post about it and he made a good argument for not jumping in right away… and then the next day I remembered Campy and Shimano have very very specific rules for pedals that attach to their cranks, and I am 90% sure that Limits is way outside Campy rules. It’s very likely that using Limits may void you $2,000 crank warranty.
Still I was going give them the befit of doubt, but after how they have behaved toward Ray, it never going to happen. How they addressed Ray’s posts are going to be exactly how they handle customer service issues.
Good work mate, can’t help wishing they spent a little less resources on Legal and instead directed it to actual product development.
What have they spent on legal?
I want to thank you for your willingness to express your concerns regarding LIMITS specifically, but also for leveraging your influence in this space to make a stand on the behalf of consumers that trust and value your opinion, who otherwise would have no megaphone.
Personally, I would like to encourage you to continue to do so; you are uniquely, if not singularly, qualified and positioned to serve as a form of gatekeeper into this space, and I think that as long as you do so judiciously and fairly, that is a role you should exercise. In fact, part of me believes that it is the responsibility of individuals who have insight, comprehensive understanding, and influence within any field/domain (not just fitness tech) to self-regulate and make a reasonable attempt and preventing irresponsible and dubious people/organizations/companies etc. from taking advantage of consumers. Regarding the extent to which you have historically remained fair and as objective as possible; well, there is little room for doubt. I would be more concerned if you did not bring this situation to the forefront, as it appears to be something that could have negative financial implications for 1.5k people.
For those who lament how Ray has managed this current situation with LIMITS, you are entitled to your opinions; however, I think it behooves you to consider Ray’s track record before passing judgement. Given his historical objectivity, and an absolute paucity of reviews/blogs/comments etc. that come across as personal agenda’s against any manufacturer of fitness technology, I think this occurrence speaks volumes to the magnitude of LIMITS’ faults. It must have taken a lot (as evidenced by the absurdity of LIMITS’ responses and behaviors), for Ray to have taken the tone he did.
At the end of the day, it seems like he is taking the ultimate stance to protect consumers, both those who have already invested, and those who may have been considering investment, from what for all intents and purposes appears to be at best an inept and ultimately doomed-to-fail company, and at worst a fraudulent dissimulator.
What a load of bobbins!
Full disclosure, I have invested in Limits so clearly I want what I have paid for but I am as concerned as any backer about the lack of real information. I was also aware of the risks and spent 2 months deciding whether to back or not. If I got it wrong then so be it, it’s my money and my choice.
What I will say however is.
Where does it say that any new product in this field has to get DC Rainmakers approval before going to market?
Why should Limits not have a right to reply against Ray’s post? As per my earlier post I believe it should have been left to DC Rainmakers readers to form their own opinions. Instead he has felt the need to comment on every point.
DC Rainmaker has built his reputation (as far as I can tell) on reviewing products. There currently is no product so why is he getting involved?
Would DC Rainmaker be so quick to slate a corporate giant like Shimano. A quick Google suggests that he had to buy the Shimano CM-1000 action cam? Why would they not supply a beta version? And why didn’t he write a post slating this decision?
Don’t forget that this is how DC Rainmaker is making a living and. Dont be so niave to think he is doing it solely so we the consumer doesn’t get ripped off. He is doing it to pay the mortgage!
I do value DC Rainmakers opinion and I wouldn’t buy a RELEASED fitness product without first checking out his review but I truly believe he has overstepped his remit here. He needs to remain as a product reviewer and not try to become some sort of consumer superhero protecting us all from possibly poor investments.
The proof as they say will be in the pudding and LIMITS now need to step up and release a product (to be clear they have always slated Dec 2015 as a release date). Once (if) this happens then DC Rainmaker needs to review it fairly (good or bad) and then let it go and if by some miracle it is a good product and accurate then also offer a formal apology.
To be really clear, since a number of folks seem to be missing the point. My specific concern here in this post is:
– They’ve lied from the beginning that their cycling team was using the product (and even gathering data from it). That isn’t true. It never was, because per their own admission in the letter, they didn’t have a product then.
As far as not providing a prototype to me, I actually never said they *had* to do that. In fact, in my last post I noted that they could pick any reputable media outlet to do such a test (I even gave a list). I noted significant concern however that their first test ride was late October, for a delivery just over a month away. Power meter history has shown that’s a recipe for disaster, even in the most experienced of companies.
That’s fine, let it play out then. Don’t get me wrong, I’m currently thinking my money would have been better under the mattress but I’m a glass half full type of person.
You may have never said that they don’t have to supply a prototype but by writing it, and given your significant following, you have implied it as an issue and this (I believe) is where a lot of the negative comments are coming from. You clearly have a lot of influence on the industry but you need to be careful with that influence. Why does Spiderman keep springing to mind?
When a company has been caught in obvious lies, it should be nobodies position to keep quiet, especially since these guys were still collecting money. They were actively recruiting new backers. You and I would tell our friends if something smelled fishy, Ray just has a bigger platform.
So far as him commenting on each point; isn’t that what differentiates his reviews from the fluff? Extreme thoroughness.
@Ray: This so-called first test ride (by its COO) was accompanied by three photos of the said COO, with two of the photos zoomed in on a tablet mounted the handlebar. The LIMITS power meter is not found in any of the photo. Unless LIMITS has switched its pedal-based power meter to a tablet-based power meter, using these photos to describe this monumental first ride is just mind-boggling.
link to limits.technology
To be fair, I do believe I see a LIMITS pod on that bike. If you look at his left cycling shoe, it’s out further from the crank than normal, causing a fairly large gap in there – which I assume is the pod.
As you noted, it would have been sorta helpful had they zoomed in on that aspect rather than the iPad mount.
But for now I’ll assume that they rode with the pods that day (whether they were accurate, enabled, etc…) is a whole different story.
In response to several of your points:
“Where does it say that any new product in this field has to get DC Rainmakers approval before going to market?”
– Nowhere does it say that, nor was that a claim that I was attempting to make. What I intended to convey is that in every field, including fitness technology, there are individuals (in this case Ray) who have both the experience and means to draw attention to individuals/companies/organizations etc. that are suspect in their practices. Ray has a platform from which he is able to disseminate his opinion on matters pertaining to not only products released, but the companies releasing them. An opinion that many people have come to trust. I am not saying that he should have the unilateral decision making power to prevent something to come to market, but he should exercise his ability to inform people of potential problems, which could ultimately dictate the success/failure of a product.
“Why should Limits not have a right to reply against Ray’s post? As per my earlier post I believe it should have been left to DC Rainmakers readers to form their own opinions. Instead he has felt the need to comment on every point.”
– Not sure what your are getting at. I never mentioned LIMITS’ right to respond to Ray’s post. They have every right to; however, my focus was on the manner in which they replied. You have been critical of Ray’s response, but seem unaffected by how LIMIT responded, an unusual omission.
“DC Rainmaker has built his reputation (as far as I can tell) on reviewing products. There currently is no product so why is he getting involved?”
– As far as I am able to tell Ray has built a reputation by providing information. The focus of that information varies; yes many times it is product reviews, other times its DIY, sometimes its offering advice as it pertains to training, preparation, sometimes it is just personal experiences with his travels, etc. To suggest that only Ray’s product reviews have a claim to legitimacy or validity, and as such should be the only type of information that he provides to his readers is frankly a misapprehension. Interesting that you should comment on your desire to draw your own conclusions. Ray’s job and way of paying the mortgage as you point out, is in fact to draw in as much information as possible and provide an informed impression based on that advice. That is what he has done here. I would bet that you have been happy to allow Ray to draw conclusions about many things for you.
“Would DC Rainmaker be so quick to slate a corporate giant like Shimano. A quick Google suggests that he had to buy the Shimano CM-1000 action cam? Why would they not supply a beta version? And why didn’t he write a post slating this decision?”
– I am not willing to presume how Ray would respond to a situation like this with Shimano. Similarly, I cannot comment as to why Shimano did not provide the CM-1000 to him, as a beta or finished version. I think that your missing the fundamental part of this discussion; LIMITS didn’t just not provide access to their technology (which is their inherent right), but they have made self-contradictory claims and statements that draws suspicion to the veracity of their claims regarding their preparedness for product release. Moreover, those untrustworthy claims should rightly cast doubt on the fidelity of the rest of their operations. I don’t care if LIMITS releases 2 years late, I don’t care if they have experienced hiccups in R & D that will result in changes to the product; what I care about is transparency. Many companies have delays in production and release; not as many, intentionally or unintentionally, engender a sense of ambiguity and obfuscation that makes it difficult for investors and other consumers to stay abreast of the current progress of their tech.
“Don’t forget that this is how DC Rainmaker is making a living and. Dont be so niave to think he is doing it solely so we the consumer doesn’t get ripped off. He is doing it to pay the mortgage!”
– I am fully aware of the financial gain the Ray receives for his work; he probably doesn’t get reimbursed as much as he should. So no need to disabuse me of any naive notions that Ray’s sole motivation to protect consumers; I hope it isn’t because that would make him a pretty limited entrepreneur. However, those two concepts are not mutually exclusive. By virtue of his career, which consists of painstakingly testing and reviewing tech for consumers benefit, he in a way is protecting consumers from making “poor investments” as you noted in your second to last paragraph. He just happens to get paid for it.
While I think Limits is complete vapor ware, they haven’t lied. They’ve misinformed and obfuscated. No where did they say anything about the teams using limits for power but just commented on how the form factor effected the qfactor.
A good read for both views. I’d say the burden of proof is on LIMITS to deliver.
In re-reading the comments from both LIMITS post there are quite a few people, myself included, who are concerned about you. You started out humble and have grown incredibly over the past few years. You do great work and deserve all of the success you have achieved.
The concern is that this fame may be having an effect on how you see your relationship to industry and your expectations on how industry should treat you. Your success has resulted in a slight loss of humbleness. I suspect that those who have posted concerns about your tone in the LIMITS posts are older, such as myself, and have the many scars that life inflicts on those who take wrong turns. The world is a complex web and seemingly innocent actions can have long term unexpected consequences. A Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu wrote in 300BC.
If you wish to improve your wisdom
And shame the ignorant,
To cultivate your character
And outshine others;
A light will shine around you
As if you had swallowed the sun and the moon:
You will not avoid calamity.
Your objective in describing the LIMITS situation was noble but I am concerned that it will not end well and may have consequences which could diminish the DC RAINMAKER brand.
There is a way out. You have LIMITS’s phone number and address. You could give them a call and see if they would be willing to accept a visit from YOU.
DC RAINMAKER visits LIMITS and reports on what is going on in a BBC news style objective report. That would be a great ending!
I’m more than happy to make the journey up to their location, at my expense, should they wish to provide an opportunity to ride a bike equipped with LIMITS and at least one other power meter.
They read all the comments here, so I’m sure they’re aware of what is an open door to any company to have such a meeting. I often visit companies (all on my own dime) for such tests.
Why do you assume they read all the comments here? Is that not what Max is trying to say?
Because almost everything that came from the letter wasn’t actually written in any specific post content, but rather pulled from the comments sections (my responses).
Ray – Please continue to provide the objective reporting that you do so well, and so voluminously. The way that you explain every nuance of a product is, for this reader at least, exactly the way that I appreciate you explaining the nuance of a release-gone-bad.
The only way that the “tone” of the LIMITS post is different from any other posts is that it is mostly negative rather than positive. If people expect you to be effusive when something is going well but reticent when things are going poorly, I’m glad to see that you’re neutral and simply call them as you see them.
Keep up the good work, and if you ever find yourself with a free minute in Austin, please accept a drink (and/or taco) on behalf of the years of your good work I’ve personally benefited from.
ps: someone above implied that your reputation might suffer from this. My personal opinions of their points aside, following their tone recommendation I’d say that the it is “doubtful” that the very companies who have spent years working on bringing competitive products to market would look unfavorably on a review exposing someone who claims to be able to produce products for half the price in a third of the time and yet doesn’t have a demonstrable prototype 5 weeks before their shipping deadline, but that’s just my opinion.
Due to the fact that all the negative comments are coming from your readers, based on your post?
People are welcome to their opinion of my posts here. Certainly not everyone will like it when I push back on a company that’s misled people, or perhaps like my tone. And that’s also fine. I can’t please 100% of the interwebs, and I don’t plan on it anytime soon.
The comments they culled of mine, were mostly questions/clarifications people had that I responded to. That’s totally within their rights, and that’s fine by me. I’m not one to delete comments/posts/etc, regardless of who wrote them*.
(*Obvious exceptions: SPAM, when someone accidentally types their private information in the wrong box, etc…)
My concern is why you are pushing back so much? Their own timetable suggests that they are not due to release the product for another month yet you have already slated the product, the company and by definition the individuals who are working on the product. WHY? Because of a few lies told in a marketing campaign?
I will say again, I have invested and have concerns about progress but clearly want it too work. Why not just wait until they release something and then review it properly. That, in my opinion, is what you should be concentrating on.
You and I see those lies differently. When a company says they have a product, and says their cycling team is using it – that implies they are far further along than they are. Quite significantly further along. In reality, three weeks ago was the first time anyone took it outside. Quite a big difference from 6+ months ago when they said they were actively using it and training with it.
And again, in the history of power meters, no company has ever gone from zero experience to a product, and then turned around in just over 4-5 weeks from first outdoor adventure to shipping a functional unit to consumers. Never.
But at least we agree on one thing: They lied.
Yes, we agree that they have not exactly been truthful with their marketing but then I’m waiting for a new VW to be delivered so let’s not go there.
What does the history of other power meter projects have to do with anything? This is not other power meter projects. Judge them on what they do (or don’t) release in December.
@Jon Hancock: The history of other power meter projects has everything to do with this. LIMITS’ Indiegogo’s funding campaign is based on a promise that backers of the project would receive a power meter by December. If LIMITS were to tell potential backers that the LIMITS power meter didn’t exist and realistically, based on the history of other power meter projects, they wouldn’t get getting an actual device until two years from now, do you think they would have that many backers?
That’s indeed the point. There was a power meter!
In all of the posts and updates they made NOWHERE there is any sign of the measurement of power.
They now have prototpyes of a pod.
They now have a pcb that can measure temp and cadance (i hope) and send it over ANT and BTL.
These are very simple items which is “just” putting together the software library’s from the different semiconductor manufacturers.
They basically took the evaluation boards and some design notes and poured them in their desired form factor.
They did design a housing to put it in and it looks ok.
But if you gave me $200.000 beginning this year i would have had it in july (yes i know what i’m talking about)
The heart of a power meter is to measue “power”.
when evaluating or prototyping an item to measure force from one side of a bolt to the other end which has to be converted to power at the end, you don’t need any of the shown progresses they made. You start building and minimizing this part on your workbench and doing thousands of measurements of varoius samples until you get that part right.
I believe they have no idea about this (the heart) part of their desing.
This is backed up by buying powermeters half way this year. Until then no one has used or seen a power meter before.
I have seen some strange design choices which i would have avoided to start with because of manufacturing process and/or long time reability.
I beleive in december all of you will see proof (even with a video) of a working pod that transmits data, cadense and temperature but NOT with accurate or even real power.
To me the real disturbing part is they are way behind and for some reason they will not admit that. It could have to to with subsidies they receive i don’t know.
What we know now is that they started lying from the beginning and that is unacceptable, it can be delayed for long time because of design problems, but lying, NO.
It’s because of that part i believe i will never have a Limits power meter on my bike.
Interesting discussion all around.
It seems Limits have made a rookie mistake by mocking up a product that doesn’t exist yet and pretending that it does. And they’ve doubled their error by being aggressive after they were called out for it. Methinks their marketing arm got a bit ahead of the product development arm, which might not be all that uncommon amongst start-ups that are trying to present a positive image.
As an Indegogo investor in their product, I am also concerned that their time-line is “optimistic”. Truthfully, I am awaiting their first “we are a wee bit delayed” email. And actually, I’d be ok with that.
I’d rather wait until May for a product that actually works, than get a paper-weight in December.
(Snow doesn’t melt here until May anyway…)
LIMITS’s response has made clear you’re doing a good job Ray. Keep going!
I’ve had so many people threaten to sue me in business I’ve lost track. My official response now is “big deal” and then I turn it over to my lawyer.
Haven’t lost yet. The threat of legal action is so overused these days. Most people are blowhards.
In their defense of not completely lying, and parsing their online wording, the so-called “usage” of the device is only in relation to the effect of the Q-factor. Easy enough to just have a chunk of do-nothing metal to mimic the size and shape of the product. The alpha product could very well be only that chunk of metal. Therefor not a lie. A gross exaggeration and mis-infomation campaign, but not an outright lie.
And yeah, I have too much experience in reading between the lines of BS.
“The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”. Anything else is…?
If PR was held to those standards, there wouldn’t be much left to read. 😉
You win. Emotional or not, you’re right. And when you’re right, you’re right.
The letter from Barrie Lawson of LIMITS is worth reading in detail. In it, he states that “deliveries will start in December”. No wiggle room here. No “project timeline”, no “planning to” or “expect to”. Just the definitive “will”. So, that leaves only two possibilities, either:
a) Ray’s analysis and characterization of the company are completely correct; or
b) LIMITS actually does have a product ready to go and is just being very secretive about it until they ship it.
Myself, I’m not in a position to say which it is; only that the answer, one way or another, inevitably has to be revealed soon. If it turns out that it’s b), the follow-on could be interesting.
Their wiggle room will be dispatching ONE in December, probably not working or accurate, but “starting delivery”, probably to themselves…..
Rest assured they aren’t spending much on legal. No decent lawyer in his/her right mind would allow that overstated, convoluted gibberish to be sent. There is a reason most cease and desist letter are short and sweet and this is exactly why. You provide your adversary with every opportunity to carve up whatever you say…
I’m a longtime follower in this space, but a first time poster (other than giveaways).
As a lawyer (not that it matters), I really appreciate Ray’s response; I think most people would cower if a company essentially accused them of making libelous statement(s). I know I would. In fact, I’m sure that was the intent behind LIMITS’ letter: to silence or have a chilling effect on Ray’s criticism + comments.
For those of you who are disappointed in Ray’s response, I’d strongly recommend reading LIMITS’ letter. I believe you’ll find LIMITS provoked this response when they urged Ray to produce “any credible evidence of deliberate lies, deceit and scams…”
Ask and you shall receive.
I agree that Ray’s tone might be a bit combative, but overall I trust his judgement. I’m going to wait the 5 weeks and see if anything shows up. I expect it will be a letter saying there has been a delay for some reason. I’m still hopeful though that a descent product eventually will be at my door.
I’ve been really grumpy in past posts here at DCR about products and vendors that provided less than stellar results, and even took Ray to task several times for not being more critical where I felt it was due. Alas, each time he was level headed and kept a balanced perspective – yes, dang it, he was right – grrr, I hate that when it happens.
When Ray tells me to run, it is highly likely I’ll run. Feel free to loiter if you like 😉
Ray’s body of work on this site speaks for itself. I and many other people value his opinion — hence part of his success. The more you read and understand Ray, you will know that he’s not one for seeking attention or to bring down a company. He simply states the truth. For the Limits team — you guys keep digging yourself into a bigger hole. Why not befriend someone that could help your company vs making your company look foolish!
Well done Ray. Its a shame that LIMITS can’t put that energy into a real product. Thank you for your fact based approach to assessing innovative new products, and unfortunately in this case a readily apparent SCAM.
I just wish you were a lot more critical of the some of the products you review, Ray.
Well played sir!
Suggest anyone trying to launch a product such consider taking a basic business course and doing some “stakeholder analysis”. Takes as little as five minutes. Helps prevents things blowing up like this!
I have always perceived you as an especially kind, likable guy; a trusted friend who I can go to for fitness tech advice.
Your harsh words against LIMITS changed that perception for me. I saw a different Ray, one who I trust less. Don’t lower yourself to the level of those you wish to correct. What goes around comes around. I hope you take this to heart.
Glad you and your loved ones are safe in Paris.
Great response Ray, and entirely in line with what the situation required. These comments about your “tone” are unfounded; it was what was called for. Please keep up the great work!
Thank you Ray, we appreciate your hard work!!!!
link to gizmodo.com
If I was them, I would have sent you a mail and said: watch this space…
(if they were still on time)
if not, I would have said: Yes we’re running a couple of days/weeks/months behind, but we are still looking good for a launch.
Lets wait and see what happends
What annoys me is they got money out of the Scottish government. Surely they must have had someone review the plans etc?
So glad I didn’t invest. Powertap C1 rings for me.
Keep at them and others like them Ray.
> Surely they must have had someone review the plans etc?
You ever heard of the “Kids Company?”. Doesn’t seem too hard to get money out of the UK administration.
Of the 2 products i’ve bought from crowdfunding, neither of them have been any good
a clock was a year late, and you could tell they skipped an element of product testing to rush it out
and a book was 18 months late, a book which was billed as pretty much written in the kickstarter preamble.
I shan’t be doing any crowdfunding again
I am someone, like others who follow Ray, who has invested in a start up and I can tell you that these guys have really got this one wrong. I invested in the BSX INSIGHT, which Ray has also reviewed and been both critical and positive about. In their case they had a prototype device which could be viewed from the get go. They gave regular updates with pictures and video’s of the device being tested. They produced academic papers to show how the device would analysis blood lactate levels etc. Ok, so was the device delivered on time? Nope. Did it do everything they said it would do? Nope. Have we initial investors had to pay for a Generation 2 device that filled the missing gaps in the original product? Yes and it sucks but to be fair it was a small price to pay and so far my Gen 2 device is looking good. The moral here is that even though it didn’t work as expected first time round if you are open and honest and yes soak up some flak people will stick with you.
I always had faith there was a product as I watched it develop. If LIMITS have a working product then lets see it, lets hear how the testing is going. BSX even allowed the testers to comment on the beta version! do they really think a competitor will come to market ahead of them between now and December if they show us what they are going to ship?
I backed the project early on as a bit of a punt and the crazy optimist in me keeps hoping that limits was actually far more developed than they’ve been letting on and just stage managing a slow build towards a great crescendo.
However I think had that been the case they would have come out all guns blazing with a product by now as a giant “FU” to Ray (no offence meant to DCR).
The fact that they’re not even hinting at slippages is really odd as I can’t fathom how they can deliver an even 90% accurate power meter by January 1st from where they are now unless they have a rabbit sat in the hat and itching to leap out.
I hope it’s a success I really do, both personally and for the market space. I’m not sure if the relationship is irredeemably broken between Limits and Ray but I’d like to think if it does arrive he’ll review it fairly and objectively – and I think he will.
Where Ray could really stick the boot in is if they do ultimately release a good product and Ray just doesn’t publish a review. They certainly couldn’t blame him for publishing a review if the product appears and doesn’t cut the mustard.
I just hope, as others have noted, that they don’t use this incident as an excuse for not delivering on time / at all.
Final point – some have commented that Ray has perhaps let his perfect persona drop a little during this little exchange. I think there is some truth to that but the end of the day he thinks he’s about to lose his backer money (and a large %age of backers are probably also his readers), his integrity is being questioned and he’s being threatened. In the same boat I don’t think I’d have have been half as calm in my response.
Ray, good work on your original piece and a brave and professional followup to the company threat.
I have valued your work for a number of years and this is just more of the same.
Contact me if you ever need crowd funding.
It would seem the LIMITS team would be better served spending a bit more time in their development lab and bit less time creating multiple personas to attack Ray in this comments section!
Keep up the good work Ray, solid!
What I see is allegations from both sides with a lot of salt.
The one being a blogger, making noise, *hint hint* generates more clicks for him, the other not really giving all the info requested, and we at this point don’t know (really) the state of production, and timeline of release.
Having said that, both of you are just making yourselves look uneducated folk, and I feel sorry for reading DC rainmaker in the past and also investing into Limits.
“And I wouldn’t have, had the company not forced me to post their letter”. Using this as an excuse for your post without doing the other things they have asked you to do seems very selective to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a lot of faith in that company either…
Reply to post 152.
I’m not being paid to write here and, as a rule, I try never to do anything work-related without being paid. So this is my final, FINAL comment.
There’s a bigger picture here which most seem to be missing. As I’m in an expansive mood this afternoon, permit me to enlighten you.
There is a growing school of thought within some areas of the industry that Ray, having decided to devote himself full time to the DC Rainmaker endeavour, wanted to make an impact by posting an unusually aggressive post – siding, of course, with his readers, the consumer – on an easy target. In other words, this was a carefully designed exercise intended to raise his profile as a fearless advocate for consumers.
Ray is turning the DC Rainmaker brand into a business, which is A Very Long Way from where it started. All businesses need to promote themselves.
Normally, all publicity is good publicity, though it can appear negative initially. Even LIMITS have benefited from this situation – their product is now known and discussed in far wider circles than it was 10 days ago. So is the DC Rainmaker blog.
So this is good for LIMITS, for Ray and for the consumer, right? Well, up to a point, yes.
I think it’s fair to suggest that Ray has a comfortable relationship with some manufacturers, a little less comfortable with others. And – trust me on this – a number of individuals have started to question whether Ray’s, ‘I can make or break a product’ comment (paraphrasing ‘cos I can’t be bothered to look up his precise words) represent an ego drifting out of control.
Speaking professionally, it’s incredibly difficult to assess how much influence Ray actually has over the purchasing decisions of the ‘opinion leaders’ in the biking / run / tri field. But let me assure you, he does have influence.
Now imagine, just for a second, that you’re Gamin. Do you give a flying f**k about what Ray says about product X? Yes, you do, just a little. But whatever Ray says it’s not going to materially affect your sales. You will still sell vast quantities of product X because your brand reputation has been established via multiple products over a number of years. To be honest, you worry more about consumer reviews on Amazon, but you still pay attention to / flatter Ray because he does have influence.
Now pretend you’re LIMITS or any new or small scale manufacturer selling or proposing to sell a single line fitness product. Does Ray’s review have you by the ba**s? Absolutely, it does. You either do everything he asks of you or you keep him as far away from your product as possible until you’re convinced it’s perfect.
As an independent not-for-profit reviewer we could largely depend on the DC Rainmaker blog to offer real-world buying advice. As a blog which is now the main source of Ray’s income, the opportunities for ‘influences’ on Ray’s impartiality increase exponentially.
Will he fall prey to such pressures? I have no idea. I do know, however, that most companies will attempt to influence product reviews, using techniques ranging from the benign to the barely legal, to present their product in the most favourable light.
I also know that there are those in the industry who are beginning to feel that Ray is slightly too close to some companies and that his influence, once a force for good, has just slipped past it’s sell-by date.
Some years ago there was a little known blog, ‘Running and Rambling’, which had an impact on the running shoe industry which far exceeded either the authors or most readers knowledge. The blogger in question eventually quit to spend more time with his family, however his influence on the industry was powerful, real (and still resonates) simply because he didn’t know he had it.
Can you monetise influence? And if you do monetise influence will that affect the integrity of your opinions? I guess we’re going to find out…
What a load of crap. Limits are either at best struggling and lying about it when being open and honest would win them more sympathisers, or at worst deliberately scamming people. I don’t know which and I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt but their pathetic response so far makes me think the latter. I have invested in Limits, more for a punt really. Do I expect to get a fully working accurate product in the next 6 weeks? Not a chance. Do I wish I had known they were blatantly lying about the state of their product in the original marketing videos/bumf? Yes I do as it would have probably led me to avoid.
Wherever their intentions, they obviously misled people in their original campaign and have done nothing to give me confidence in them since. They clearly have staff on here making comments against Ray – that is pretty obvious. I just wish they’d spend more time developing their product and less time covering their backs.
And for people attacking Ray – get over yourselves. I for one am glad someone is bothering to look at it and tell the truth rather than the pathetic copy and paste lazy journalism we get from the likes of Bikeradar et al.
I for one have made a number of purchasing decisions on the back of advice from the DCR blog and will continue to do so. Keep up the good work.
I don’t know how the industry works and thinks, so i don’t have an opinion.
But i have an opinion on this part of your comment:
I think it’s fair to suggest that Ray has a comfortable relationship with some manufacturers, a little less comfortable with others. And – trust me on this – a number of individuals have started to question whether Ray’s, ‘I can make or break a product’ comment (paraphrasing ‘cos I can’t be bothered to look up his precise words) represent an ego drifting out of control.
So my comment is this:
A few weeks ago, ray posted:
” I’m featured in Runner’s World Magazine’s 50 Most Influential People in Running”
(link to dcrainmaker.com)
I posted comment 52.
I got a personal response from ray that showed to me that he was offended.
That response validates the “ego drifting out of control” part of your comment.
Personally i consider this blog as ONE of MANY review sources.
I give more faith and attention to the users in forums or product review in e-shops than ray’s reviews
because i believe that a person that does many reviews for hobby or now as a profession,
can over time develop various types of relationships with various companies that make his reviews
But in information gathering, product description and product photographer, ray rules!
Just to be clear, here’s what you said on that post:
“…50 Most Influential People in Running…is there anything more insignificant than that ?”
To which, I simply responded with:
I did this because you had commented multiple times before, and never seemed to be abrasive, and wasn’t sure if perhaps you made a typo and wanted to correct it. That’s all.
I earlier wrote “Fair enough, but you aren’t going to convince anyone that your view point is valid if you are not willing to substantiate what you say”. You’ve responded – fair play to you. I don’t have to agree with your conclusions, but I’ll give you the respect you deserve for putting forward a logical case for your point of view. That’s all I hoped for from you (or expect from Ray, or Limits for that matter).
Seems to me like Ray is just “one of those guys” (link to dcrainmaker.com). I assume he doesn’t have any monetary interest in the Parisian dining scene, he just didn’t like the meal and how it was presented and he blogged about it?
Also seems like he used to a work for a company (or industry) that probably oversold and under-delivered some of the time and he had to go fix it.
There was a guy in the Indoor Cycling world name Jeff Wimmer, who tragically died a few years back. He was affectionately known as a “wrench” and was probably one of the best in the business. He used to sell new and refurbished spin and indoor cycling bikes online and out of his warehouse. He would take apart every bike from every manufacturer, new or used and rebuild and custom tune. He was on just about everyone’s speed dial in that world because they respected what he had to say about current runs and future designs. They probably also secretly didn’t like him very much on their business side, because he kept them accountable, sometimes quite verbally on his Youtube channel. He would show me a part on the bike and say they switched factories mid-run and that the new part would last half the time of the original. He would then call the company (who sometimes didn’t even know it had been switched out) and try to get them to switch it back. If they didn’t, he would do a video on it. He was constantly doing this and the 70 bikes we got from him lasted for years with very little maintenance. Sometimes his delivery was a little harsh, but the point is, he was a watchdog for an industry that sometimes oversells and under-delivers. Our new batch of bikes without Jeff was a horrible experience. Bikes poorly assembled and installed, plastic pieces that have broken after a few months, a major defect out of the factory, that we (our customers) caught. These were top of the line bikes! There is nobody that took his place and I think the industry and end users are the paying for it.
Not sure of Ray’s of motivation or end game, which I hope and think is altruist and not ego-driven, petty or vindictive, but I do like having a “watchdog” in this industry, so I don’t have more money pits or time sucks and can get out and enjoy, err… suffer the time I spend on my bike.
FUD – fear, uncertainty and doubt.
Thanks for the profession conspiracy theorist insight into the massive scam that Ray dreamt up. Wooboy.
I’ve cautiously stayed out of the fray here and elsewhere on this topic but I can’t let this comment stand unanswered.
You’re claiming one of two things:
* Companies are frustrated about bloggers and their inability to control the PR narrative.
* Ray is behaving impartial towards LIMITS.
If it’s the former: Dude, it’s 2015, this is Earned Media 101. Blogs have been around for a decade. And I’m sure companies have griped about this as far back Consumer Reports first issue – SEVENTY NINE YEARS ago. Earned media giveth, and earned media taketh away.
If it’s the latter… you’ve just attacked Rays ethics and character. You’re going to need to bring more substantial evidence than random theorizing over your third pint at the pub.
Look, I get it. Over the years I’ve had my share of poor reviews too. My response has always been to improve my product. It literally wouldn’t even occur to me to respond this way, and certainly not to attack the messenger. Which is probably why I’ll always be a better coder than biz dev guy.
If this is a comm misstep that’s forgivable. Simple solution: If you’re in doubt of how a message is going to play out on the internet, quickly run it by your 25 year old niece.
If this is a case of a exec team with a broken moral compass, that is more troubling. And that is the big dark orange flag waving, especially in terms of how they’ll treat customers, and support issues, and longevity and where they’ll be in 5, 10, 15 years.
We’ll get an answer soon enough.
Been some really interesting reading from the original update post through to this page on limits response.
Before I start, I really help they succeed; both for shaking up the pricing within the PM market and for all the people that backed them. When I found Limits I was also very tempted to back them thinking this looks like a good option for a PM. However, I was very skeptical of their timeframes (before reading DCR initial post on Limits) and the reliability of the product. I have seen on friends bikes the following issues: Garmin issue with pods, Stages with connectivity issues and Powertap pedals giving up within a couple of months (not saying any of these are common issues; just what I have seen). I therefore thought that if there are sometimes issues from some of the big companies I would prefer to wait and see how it turns out given the complexity of a PM.
I too was taken in by the video and the statement that Spoke’s Racing team were reviewing the units. That made it sound like they were along way further into the development. I understand their reply within their letter in regards to the video and it is good they admit to it being misleading though this is arguably an understatement. After thinking about size of battery and how it would place within the unit given central axis is reserved for pedal axle it is clear in the video this unit can’t be anything more than a dummy unit. Can see the latest images show an external battery now.
However, the statement that it is reviewed by Spoke’s racing team – what has been reviewed then?
Their reply to Richard about alpha units is also misleading – I can only assume that an alpha unit was the metal shell / casing that was tested and no power data was ever obtained?
Have a look at the photos of the units:
link to dcrainmaker.com
That pedal doesn’t look tightened to me. Appreciate doesn’t prove anything but appears odd
link to indiegogo.com
The image showing the unit here – that depth of 8mm allen (hex for those the wrong side of the pond) key is very shallow – can see folk rounding it if not careful. I assume this PM will only be compatible with pedals that have flats for a spanner or require a 6mm allen key. Website says no limitations but you do get road pedals that require 8mm allen keys.
I snapped a pedal axle once before (impact loading from street riding – not road riding) and looking at how thin the unit is to minimize q factor, it looks like it must be quite a thin amount of material left once taking into account the drilling and tapping for the pedal thread. I know they mentioned previously regarding testing this so hoping I’m wrong and this isn’t an issue.
I was very surprised by Limits letter to Ray’s post and the first thing that struck me (which others have commented on) is the presentation of their letter; no header, no justified formatting of text. I would have expected Limits to try and reassure people within the comments and definitely made that the subject of their letter. DCR is arguably the most visited site when it comes to PM’s so you would have thought trying to provide him with updates or review samples would be a good marketing approach – most of the PM’s I wouldn’t even have heard of, if it wasn’t for his site.
The secrecy they are claiming to keep for their product is understandable but I’m sure Ray would accommodate not releasing certain details if they asked him not to. However the level of secrecy seems very odd and:
• Photos of an assembled unit I wouldn’t expect to give away trade secrets (not really much different to what they currently show on website).
• The release of the PCB design months back I would expect to show far more of the design – not so much from the components (can see the chips are blacked out) maybe but from the layout and placing of the strain gauges; I may be wrong here.
• The release of limited data from testing surely can’t reveal trade secrets – a simple graph overlay of their power output vs. a competitor. Fair enough not to release the actual data file.
• The letter Barry Lawson wrote states a patent was filed in August 2014. Having submitted my own patent application I know that it is required to disclose a large amount of the design (this after all is what you are trying to protect) for other patent holders to voice any violations. During this time period your product is classed as patent pending and is protected (as much as that can stand for given the money required to fight in court). When the pending period is up (if I remember correct it is 1 year so should be filed now subject to no objections) you then pay to lodge the patent for a given country / countries. I have been unable to find anything online regarding a power meter relevant to Limits design – have a look here for the information Shimano had to release for their patent:
link to bikerumor.com
Or powertap (if I’m not mistaken):
link to google.com
Someone have a look and see if they can find anything I have missed
To be shipping units by end of December as Barry Lawson states I would have thought would mean production is well underway but yet there seems to be no evidence of any testing yet?
I’ve really tried not to be negative. I can see Ray’s post has started to get a bit heated and different to his normal writing style but even trying to have an open view when reading it looks bleak. I would love Limits to reply with details of their patent application or some form of evidence that they have a unit that has been tested. If Ray was so wrong, then you would expect them to try and put things straight – a simple photo would win back a lot of trust. Missing trade shows or not attending all the days strikes me as very odd given the stand costs for these events. I really don’t believe this is a scam; my money would be on behind schedule but don’t think anyone would grumble if they admitted this or said they were having an issue with one area of another for example.
Let’s hope we are all proven wrong and they ship this year
The way I see it is very simple:
If they don’t delivery by Jan 1st, F them.
If they did come up with a working product(may has many flaws etc.) then Ray jumped the gun and please shut up.
Until then, everyone slow down and give LIMIT 6 more weeks.
As an outsider looking in all I can say is that for having a dedicated resource handling Marketing on their LIMITS team they are doing an incredibly poor job – I mean a really poor job considering they have experience in this area. Shame as both parties could have walked away from this satisfied – and 2,000 backers would be less stressed right now.
Rule #1 – The Customer is always right
The vast majority of you on here have WAY too much time on your hands. Some are dishing out so much hero worship for Ray you just need to go get a room or take a cold shower. (One of you even admits to not cycling or being at all interested in power meters and yet Ray has made your morning! WTF?!?!?)
I’ve invested in Limits and am interested to see how it’s progressing. I’ll be disappointed if nothing comes of it, but I have respect for entrepreneurial spirit and am excited to be part of it. I’m glad they shared a date of delivery of some kind, but have never expected to receive anything on time. It goes with the territory.
They are real people who are taking real risks and must have made sacrifices that we’ll never fully know about, so how about we cut them some slack and see how they do?
I enjoy Ray’s reviews and of course he’s entitled to his opinion, but this is not a rich multinational corporation. Even if they were based in fact, his initial criticisms were too strong in tone and too personal, so he could expect nothing less than a defensive reply back from the guy who’s living this product.
I’m all for ‘outing’ unscrupulous companies. Ray will say that’s what he’s doing but I think it’s highly unfair to suggest Limits fall into that category just yet.
Ray – You really need to put an end to this. Find a way to sort it out. Call them or do whatever it takes to end this. I am a great supporter of you and your site and want you to succeed but I feel that things have gone too far.
A sense of perspective – LIMITS is a small group of guys working out of a converted artist studio in a Scottish seaside location. DC RAINMAKER is a very intelligent successful blogger located in the basement of the CupCakery studio in Paris. The point is that both are not corporate giants. DC RAINMAKER is very successful, LIMITS may or may not be successful.
In reading the response letter it is hard to argue with the following:
*** You will forgive us for being cautious about our technology when you boast:
*** “not to toot my own horn, but I can pretty much cause any given product in this space to live or die”
*** Anyone claiming to have the power of life or death over somebody needs to act with scrupulous fairness. Decisions need to be based on concrete evidence – not opinions, and judgement should not be rushed. Your one sided reporting of the LIMITS company, our development programme and our crowd funding campaign seem to be the result of pique based on our reluctance to provide you with privileged access to our confidential data before the product was fully ready. This is an unfair abuse of a powerful position.
I can’t argue with this. LIMITS needs to deliver a power meter but they don’t need to follow your agenda. Will LIMITS succeed – maybe. Will they be late – probably. Are they a scam – probably not.
Sort it out Ray and then move on.
Very nicely put Max
Agree. Tone is totally not Ray and not cool. Something is amiss here.
Firstly, I want to mention that I have neither affiliation nor any financial interests in Limits. Also, I have read your posts for the past few years and have found many of them thorough and helpful. I was, however, disappointed to read your latest post in your thread on the upcoming Limits power meter, which I felt was unprofessional, was unnecessarily antagonistic and editorial, and lacked objectivity. It’s not clear to me why you would go to such effort to discredit a product you have never tested, let alone seen, which is still under development. As far as I can tell, Limits is a small start-up consisting of five or so employees whose goal is to provide an affordable power meter with a practical design, and the development schedule has yet to miss any of the announced milestones or production dates. I would have hoped you would be encouraging to a newcomer to the field developing a promising product, and that you would wait until you were able to test the product before posting such an opinion (or at least wait until the production fell behind schedule). To be honest, I agree with some of the replies that your ego may be getting the better of you here, or worse, perhaps that a competitor with deeper pockets has provided incentive for you to damage this product’s chances of success even before its release (I hope this isn’t the case, but the tone of your post made me wonder). Given the small number of employees, is it such a surprise that their booth could have been unattended when you happened to stop by at Eurobike? This seems inconsequential. Similarly, it seems understandable and excusable that, unlike the established larger equipment manufacturers, a small company might not provide a blogger such as yourself with a product before its release (again, ego getting in the way of objectivity). At this point it’s not clear whether the product will meet its claimed production dates, nor whether it will even function as claimed, but it seems only fair at this stage that Limits deserves to be given a chance to present their product before it is discredited by reviewers.
It’s not clear to you why he would call them out on the lies in their marketing material? Because potential customers (including himself and many of his readers) have invested almost half a million dollars in what they we’re lead to believe was already a functional product which was already at the testing stage. When there are such blatant inconsistencies in a company’s story, it’s his right as a backer, and responsibility as a blogger, to call them out on it.
And you’re correct that they’re within their rights to not send out a pre-production test unit (or allow Ray to visit their head quarters), but you have to wonder why they wouldn’t want to? Ray has done so with many emerging power meter companies at the development stage – essentially acting as a free consultant with some very salient feedback. I’m sure he would have no qualms about signing any NDAs required, if it resulted in a better end product for himself and the other backers.
Well this thing seems to have blown up…. I have no dog in the fight, did not sign up for the LIMITS power meter as I did not find the risk/benefit alluring at the time and I definitely don’t see it alluring now.
We can all argue whether Ray’s post was appropriate or well worded or if it was editorial and less factual but the fact remains that LIMITS made false claims in their original fundraiser and they still have yet to provide Ray, or anyone else with any tangible result. And this is all that matters and at which Ray pointed the finger, rightfully so.
This product would not have seen the light of day on Kickstarter without a working prototype. I voted with my money, go Ray, go!
You evidently are an indisputable and recognized authority in your domain, a master for everything testing and reviewing sport tech.
However, and with all due respect, I personally think that you should stay in this area. There is no point arguing there with LIMITS, just wait for them to provide you with a working unit, then factually review it with your expertise and experience.
Your post won’t change anything for the backers, and your role is much more valuable to the whole community than to being the one who defines what’s right or wrong, what is the truth or what is a lie… Respectfully, and keep the good job going on.
I can understand where some people are coming from with the “please post more reviews than attacks-on-limits blog posts Ray”: when you post roughly 1 article every 2 days (non-giveaway articles etc.), 2 articles regarding a lying Kickstarter-backed company and their probable vaporware in a week is a lot. Having said that, let’s remember DCR is a free, high quality website, so comments like that are a bit ungrateful in my opinion.
What I find shocking however, as a 100% neutral actor here, is the number of people criticizing Ray for seemingly “attacking a poor little start-up which is just doing the best it can”, “ripping them apart before giving them a chance to prove that they can deliver”. Have those commenters, assuming they are not Limits employees, really read those articles, and had a look at Limits’ communications? Struggling to make such an ambitious project happen is understandable, and frequent in Kickstarter projects: the constant lies and deception are not, and I can’t see how people can “side” with Limits there.
I’ve backed LIMITS, amount a few other crowd funded projects in the past. I already use my 4iiii precision and love it so I have no problems with the smaller guys. I think Ray’s comments here about how they made people feel as if there was a working sample, have a ring of truth to them, but any sensible backer understood this was all an idea at the time of backing. The comments Ray used above to claim they made it appear as if they had a working sample, specifically in response to the Q factor questions, and clearly they had a bit of plastic to represent their power meter that was used in videos. That bit of plastic would be sufficient to know if they have created a Q factor problem with their location choice of the power meter. When used with another power meter, they probably learned a few nifty things few would have had the deep desire to delve into about Q factor, efficiency and comfort.
So the smoking gun about a “real” power meter, those quotes aren’t. I enjoy the blog and have bought a few things from the links to support it.
I believe the most likely scenario is that LIMITS will be a few months (1-3) late, and worst case scenario is 6-9 months. I don’t believe that them being a total illusion or “scam” is on the table.
Well done! As in “toast” I’d say. Limits indeed as in totally limited to imagery.
It’s interesting that he states “We showed dummy products in the Indiegogo video and at Eurobike and at the T3 awards. No claims were ever made in the video, or elsewhere, that working products with this capability were available.”,
In link to cyclingweekly.co.uk they state that; “Norton says it weighs 47g, is accurate to ±2 per cent and the cro-moly housing is waterproof to a depth of 1.3m”.
I’m unsure how you have a weight, and performance data, without a working prototype. Even stranger is how they knew the final weight prior to modifying the form factor.
I hope they pull this off like a lot of people, but I think there’s too many uncertainties mounting to maintain my confidence in the product, delivery or team.
Is there any way of getting your money back from this if it is a scam? I’m not sure I want mine now anyway. As a Uk taxpayer I’m pretty cheesed off this at best misleading, at worst scam of a company has been given money by the govt.
I also wonder if you traced the isp address from the commenters attacking Ray on here how many of them would be from one corner of Scotland. What a joke of a company they are starting to look like.
I do not believe LIMITS is posting in the comments, there’s too much variability in writing styles, IP addresses, and other attributes.
That said, the majority of people defending LIMITS in the comments are from the greater UK. Though that’s likely more due to having more interested local backers.
I am one of the people who have been disappointed with the tone of the LIMITS articles but I am not a defender of LIMITS.
The majority of the critical posts to your LIMITS articles have been with your tone, your approach to the reporting. The critical posts did not defend LIMITS, rather they called you out on your reporting.
Some of the critical posters took considerable effort to write an opinion and my impression was that their intention was not to defend LIMITS but to provide reader feedback on how your tone has affected them. You are after all writing for us and we have pushed back.
You are embarking on a new adventure with DC RAINMAKER and I personally wish you the best of luck. It is not an easy transition from hobby to professional blogger and I hope that you will use the negative comments constructively as you move forward.
I look forward to reading more of your great reviews and lifestyle blogs.
Ok, this is funny:
“You are after all writing for us and we have pushed back.”
Last time I checked, there are no agreement that Ray would write for my pleasure. I believe that we follow him because WE like HIS thorough reviews.
Ray, just keep on being yourself and REPORT WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT TO. Some reviews are of great interest to me, and some I really don’t give a sh** about. But, I am sure your internet metrics will show that.
Keep keeping it real!
There is some confusion. Everyone wants Ray to keep it real. He does great work which is very interesting and valuable.
The reality is that Ray has transitioned from writing for himself and a few friends to a professional blogger. My intent in saying:
“You are after all writing for us and we have pushed back.”
was that the WE are the people who wrote critical comments and the WRITING FOR US comes from his description of DC RAINMAKER in his ANT Symposium – How to Launch a Product. In this technical/self-marketing video presentation, Ray makes it clear that he has always been focused on writing for the consumer and not for any other group. This is what makes his work outstanding.
The sole purpose of my post was to clarify that most people who posted critical reviews did so in a way which provided feedback. It is up to Ray to use it or not. The key was that the critical reviews did not defend LIMITS but called out Ray on a writing style, and some inappropriate comments, which some of us felt were not appropriate.
Thanks Max, I certainly appreciate all the feedback on tone, and I’ll be mindful of the (mixed) feedback down the road, should the situation warrant. Though interestingly, some that were upset at me on the first post said my tone was quite calm on the second.
But let me be super clear (mostly to others), I’m going to write on pretty much whatever the heck topics I want. If folks don’t like that, I’m sorry. If companies don’t like that, than don’t lie and mislead consumers. There’s a ton of awesome companies to write about, and the number of companies contacting me that have come out of the woodwork in the last few days has been impressive (big and small). I’m sure I’ve scared away one or two, and that’s fine. Eventually, if the product is of interest to me I’ll review it. I’ll buy it and try it out – like so many other products I review.
My site here is, and always has been, for writing whatever I want about whatever I want. I’m sorry if some people have forgotten that, or never realized that. Yes, I write my reviews for consumers, and not to please an industry. But, I write about what I want (usually roughly based on consumer interest). But I’m not just here to write review after review, day after day. Again, if that’s what you come here for – that’s great. But that’s not what I’m here for.
Hi Ray! Please do not let all the negative comments influence you! We DO wanna read your OPINION. There is too much neither here nor there information around. The facts themselves are precious little to most of us that’s the exact reason we need a specialist’s opinion that we trust. When a blog wants to cater to everyone they end up addressing no-one in particular. All I can say is I wish there were more reviews like yours on any subject! Go Champ!!
I also wanna read your opinion that’s why I come to the site and read the posts which may interest me. If people don’t want to read they can go to another source.
I find it odd that some of the negative comments here insist that Ray should “stick to product reviews.” Yes, Ray is best known for his in-depth product reviews that go from unboxing, to walking through every step of setup and use, to performance analysis. But, he also has an established history of highlighting products that are in the pipeline and his level of optimism/skepticism for its success, whether it be start-up power meters (shoe-based power meter, crank spindle-based power meter – don’t remember the specific brand names) or cameras or lights. He frequently provides updates on where product development sits as well as release schedules, and in the process gives these companies free press that inevitably exposes them to potential new investors and future customers. If I remember correctly, his coverage of Stages’ development, and their delays/issues was quite extensive, and the hype around stages built for months as a result.
It sounds like he has tried to afford this same opportunity for free press to LIMITS while volunteering to sign requisite NDAs. I mean, they could have made him sign an NDA that prevented him from publishing any details and he could write a simple post saying “I saw it, it’s working,” and orders would probably start pouring in. He wanted to give them press. Turning down that free press, while giving non-answers to basic questions and giving vague updates raises red flags. If they’re this close to shipping, you’d think we’d at least see some teaser product packaging; the design and artwork for such would need to have been completed a while ago…
Coming to this late and not had the chance to read all over the various comments. One thing which does strike a chord though and would make me nervous had a backed (which I haven’t) is in relation to the test rig image in use in the press release.
A very quick and simple Google image search of the source image brought up this link;
link to testingmachine.com.tw
Which purports to be of a frame fatigue testing rig. Now, I don’t know how genuine this company is either and have not intention of doing that. However, there is one very small but important difference between the image used on the LIMITS page and that on the one linked above. Spot it? Check out the box on the right. On the LIMITS page it has been crudely Paintbrushed over the “Chun Yen” name plate. Why would you do this other than a fairly simple attempt to hide the source of the image?
I think they were just trying to minimize distraction on the same image, which I’m ok with.
It’s good that they have or ordered one, as both that and their other test machine they posted stock photos of would be important for fatigue testing.
I don’t know if the system refereed to here would be calibrated enough or configurable for a set wattage. Perhaps there are some specs out there somewhere for it.
All of the PM companies I’ve visited in the past have made their own custom accuracy testing rigs.
I get that reason actually, fair point. Still strikes me as odd not having a photo of the actual rig in situ if it is just an off the shelf test rig purchased from Taiwan though, its not as if there is anything to protect against as you would want in relation to custom rigs. As for the calibration and configuration, I guess only the manufacturer would know…
“not to toot my own horn, but I can pretty much cause any given product in this space to live or die”
WOW… can we call you God from now on Ray….. King of the Power Meters and serious “athlete”…. now you are a free man hopefully you can get those times down….
First, I’m really glad Ray put together these posts on Limits. Most press coverage in the crowd funding space is completely uncritical despite the highly variable and uncertain nature of the products. The reticence press outlets neglect to offer critical opinions of projects has directly contributed to the naiveté of consumers buying (investing) in the space. That said, I understand writers being unwilling to question a project at initial stages of a campaign, more than a year from delivery, which is generally Ray’s take.
In this case the precipitating event was Limits going back to the well and soliciting more orders a month from their supposed delivery date, despite the many indicators that they will not be able to deliver on time. At that point, consumers are essentially buying a product. The delivery time, in theory, is about the same as pre-orders for Garmin 235 units. That is a strong contrast with Kickstart projects with delivery dates a year or more away. Ray, along with many others here, has far more experience in engineering and product design than I do, but even my limited experience tells me there is absolutely no way they can go from first tests to shipping hundreds of units in a month.
I also wanted to comment on the quote Limits used from Ray’s blog, not to call out Ray, but to clarify for people who may not be regular readers: “Not to toot my own horn, but I can pretty much cause any given product in this space to live or die.” I think Ray saying he could cause a product to live or die misrepresents his place in the industry and why people read the blog; I’m guessing this was in a moment of anger at this obviously inept management team and was obviously cherry picked to make him look bad. I read Ray’s blog because each review is a completely accurate, comprehensive, and unflinching review of the product (yet somehow avoids inducing narcolepsy). Ultimately products live or die because they meet consumer expectations and needs or they don’t. Ray simply makes that process more efficient by giving us, the consumers, all the information we want on day one.
The quoted statement seems to imply that if Ray give a poor review to a good product he could cause it to fail (or vice-versa); to the contrary, the value of Ray’s opinion to the rest of us lies in our confidence that he would never do that. For people who have never tried to get a reliable review of sports technology or equipment that sounds like a small thing. Unfortunately the world is filled with bloggers and magazine reviewers alike who get free samples of 500$ devices from Garmin, Suunto, New Balance, or Nike and feel obligated to regurgitate press releases to keep the gravy train coming. Ray’s steadfast independence is what makes the site worth reading.
Thanks, Ray, for the hard work. Carry on, looking forward to some of the upcoming reviews. Best of luck with the new endeavors.
I don’t normally read the comments in so much detail but this post (and the last) have been so compelling. I’m just posting in support of these articles and what they mean. Normally I wouldn’t make such a pointless comment (or a comment at all) but in light of all the negative posts, I feel it’s worth showing some support. Keep it up.
PS. I live a few miles away from them, disappointed to see a local company make such a hash of things.
Shame on limits. If they wanted to defend themselves, there are so many great options that would have produced better results. They could have:
a) Invited Ray to visit their headquarters and see their products
b) Provided any data from their products to any media outlet
c) Provided a beta product (and an NDA) to Ray for evaluation
d) invested their time in finishing the product, and delivering it on time
Limits needs a lesson on winning by innovating, not by sending out legal threats / harsh letters
Has anyone managed to find any trace of their patent online. This must have allowed a degree of design data to be published.
People aren’t forced to read this blog. If you don’t like it, go away, and don’t read it! Vote with your clicks and eyeballs. I believe the majority of the people reading this site are rational/logical and see which side holds water.
I know you won’t find a better site with better information in this space than DC rainmaker.
Limits is a scam.
Thanks DC for exposing them.
If you were taken, I’m really sorry.
If you are from the UK and feel compelled to defend these slobs, I’m sorry as well.
I’d be interested to understand what the relationship between LIMITS and CHEEVC is too having looked at their accounts filed on Companies House. Guessing there has to be something as Barrie Lawson is listed as a shareholder.
What’s quite interesting is to read some of the comments from power meter users at the time of the crowd funding launch (and before Ray’s first blog about LIMITS on April 23). These from Slowtwitch.
> The fact that they quote accuracy in terms of strain gauges (4) and offer global shipping by adding $10 is indicative of both technical and business deficiencies.
> They will make a few hundred units, ship to early backers, the units will not quite work correctly, they will ask for more money to fix the problems, they won’t get the money, then they will disappear. This is assuming anything gets released at all.
> It’s completely vaporware so it doesn’t really matter, I’d be shocked if they manage to deliver anything other than some fancy pedal spacers. They have no prototype, no experience developing power meters, they’re using flexible funding which means they get the money even if they don’t reach their goal, and yet they’re saying they’ll deliver a revolutionary power meter in a matter of months… I’d put money down on ocean front property in AZ before sending these people a dime…
> No one in their right mind would fund them based on what they’ve done so far… which is nothing but make a video and website. Don’t they need to at least make a prototype and test it?
> Having watched all the new power meter entrants closely since 2006, I find this one to be one of the more entertaining launches / starts. I too will be shocked to see if anything comes of this based on their initial approach… I’d also guess that none of the entrants over the past 10 years started a successful power meter business for only $100,000.
> They plan to do in seven months what has taken THE BEST in the industry 3 years. The newcomers have historically takeen 5 years.
Ray was positively upbeat in comparison at the time. Compare also to sites like Road.cc with “Only a few days left to bag a $279 power meter” type headlines. BTW Ray is 100% right to highlight concerns with Limits given that they were recently asking for more cash/taking orders on a device no-one has seen. Whatever the details he provided balance to the mainstream cycling media’s relatively uncritical view of Limits.
The way some are misinterpreting the events and the facts laid out here is pure scary.
Some people have a really skewed perception of reality.
All the people saying “Give them the benefit of the doubt”, while the company in question has met none of the criteria necessary to bring the product to market is really naive. If an employee misses every single deadline, chances are he’s going to miss the next one as well.
Accepting something for what it is and cutting our losses early is really not in human character, we much prefer to live in denial.
Kudos to DC for calling them out, he potentially put his reputation in line to do this, I’m confident it was the right call though.
The fact that DC mentions Limits could use any outlet they want to produce proof of the device shows me he is still a balanced person that is not on a power trip.
But let’s assume all this power has really gone to DC’s head for a moment, even a little bit.
Fact is we need consumer watchdogs, people who are impervious to corporate bullying and unable to impose an embargo upon for fear of losing sales, i would go even further and say yes, they DO need to be powerful. Has DC crossed a line when he decided to go full time? Impossibly too early to know, time will tell.
So far DC is doing a good job, as the readers we need to watchdog him while he watchdogs others, this control mechanism can work.
Unfortunately some comments here make me wonder how good a watchdog we readers can really be.
First I fully support Ray and those that don’t why are you on this site, to “troll”?
This type of reporting/blogging is expected and wanted and why I come to this site. If others feel different that’s their choice but I suggest you shouldn’t be on this site to start as it’s just not what your looking for.
I’m off to show my support at Clever Training. Needless to say LIMITS won’t get my support.
Not sure if someone already comments on this. But I’m pretty sure even if limits was real that it wouldnt work with most pedals. A lot of pedals need an 8mm allen key from the back. It does not appear you can use this type of pedal with Limits. Even though they say it works with all pedals.
DCRainmaker, you have lost all perspective on this one, shameful assassination of a startup.
Have been a very long time reader of this blog but no more.
I sincerely hope Limits have the last laugh and you have to go get another job.
As silly as this may be – I’m genuinely curious. Putting aside some aspect of tone you don’t like, which part of my post is factually incorrect?
A) They claimed/stated in April (and still currently on their page) that the team has been riding it (in an effort to gain supporters and peoples money).
B) They then stated in their letter to me that the team never rode it previously, because said product didn’t exist.
Am I missing something?
If you were a “very long time reader of this blog”, i seriously doubt you would stop reading this blog because of Ray’s two posts on LIMITS. The only thing Ray assassinated was the lies propagated by LIMITS.
An interesting Limits marketing decision to play the patent card late in the game, I could not find it, but if they have a patent at least it would show something real. I teach start ups, what a great case study of when marketing overreach probably kills any chance of success
Agreed – the patent application should show something and I’m been unable to find it either. Also for it to be patent pending puts it in a protected state which should mean they could then disclose information rather than state they don’t want to show anything.
If it was filed in August 2014 as Barry Lawson said then it should have concluded its pending status now and be filed fully (subject to Limits paying the additional filing fees).
link to newsweek.com
Worth a read. Completely unrelated or a potential outcome here. Only time will tell. And that was on Kickstarter
Please stay true to your values and review style !
that’s why 100k athletes go to your site….
Don’t get intimidated by anyone…if you see a “issue” post it
Keep up the good work !!!
I almost contributed to the limits indiegogo campaign but became reluctant as a consequence of your comments. Thanks for that and look forward to see what excuses they will come up with when they don’t start delivery to their backers in December. On their website I found another piece of inconsistency under FAQ related to Qfactor > “”LIMITS has been used by a number of the Spokes Racing Team and Club Members generating positive feedback with many of the cyclists reporting an improvement in foot position leading to an improvement in comfort, especially over longer rides. “” so another example where they state the product has been tested which they contradict themselves in their replies to you.
In any case I am still hesitating which power meter to buy but your reviews are extremely useful. By the way for your US readers you have these 10% discounts when buying through certain parties. Now that you are Europe based it would be nice to see a similar arrangement with some European resellers.
In fairness to Limits they could have tested the qfactor issue with a dummy unit – like in the video
Now for those who think that Ray is off base in his comments, here is an estimate of the people who have been promised Limits power meters who have an interest in this and who might be injured in the case that Limits fails to produce, this taken from the Indiegogo site itself which Limits is using for the crowdsourcing/marketing campagn:
as of today at approximately noon (US Central):
4 persons ordered 4 Team (4 power meters) units at $949
71 persons ordered 2 Coach (2 power meters) units at $499
233 persons, no now it is 234, no 235 now, persons ordered Silver units at $279
256 persons, no, now it is 257 persons ordered Black units at $289
In addition, 347 paid $10 for International Shipping
and 22 paid $10 as a Thank You
What is unusual is that (as reported on the web link to indiegogo.com), that totals 547 Backers (including many readers of this blog) who Indiegogo reports as being promised Perks and the total reported for those Backers is only $182,533 as of this moment (but you can see it is changing every hour). Yet, to date, the same source reports Total raised of $433,523, so there are a lot more Backers than are reported on this page. These may be assumed to be backers who paid into the Limits crowdsourcing campaign either for Perks or simply contributed and for which those Perks are now at an unavailable price point (it was $179 around April, 2015 when announced).
If that can be assumed, then we can estimate the total number of people who have ordered one or more of these Limits power meters to date:
Number of potential unreported Backers (i.e. contributors who could have been promised Perks) = 1,954 Backers
567 ordered one or more power meter Perks
22 ordered “Thank You” Perks
equals 589 Backers promised some sort of Perk
and 567 Backers promised, as reported, 650 Limits power meters
With 1,954 Backers reported – 589 Backers (above) = 1,365 Backers unreported (as promised Perks)
That is a lot of money unreported as having been promised Perks, specifically
$433,523 reported total contributions – $182,533 reported contributions to Backers promised Perks = $250,990!
Taking the reported 589 reported backers promised currently offered Perks from the reported total 1,954 backers gives us 1,012 UNREPORTED backers. Assume that every one of the UNREPORTED Backers were promised the Limits power meter at the initial offering price of $179.
Using that number we can arrive at the still unreported amount being:
$182,533 contributed by Backers promised Perks as reported as of today
Add to that 1,012 x $179 power meter Perk = contributed by Backers we assume were promised power meters at $179 = $244,335
leaving still unreported contributions of: $250,533 – $244,335 = $6,655
which we can assume was promised as:
665 Backers may have ordering International Shipping at $10. That estimate of 665 Backers for Intl. Shipping is:
52% of the estimated 1,012 unreported Backers at the initial offering price of $179 are estimated to have also ordered shipping.
We find that this correlates quite well with the number of Reported Backers promised International shipping:
347 which is 53% of the reported 567 Backers promised units.
These are numbers that are Indiegogo / InDemand website numbers. They are not conjecture but reported publicly.
SO THAT GIVES US AN ESTIMATE OF THE NUMBER OF PERSONS ORDERING/BEING PROMISED LIMITS POWER METERS BASED ON THE MARKETING DATA PUBLICLY AVAILABLE (AS OF THIS DATE):
1,580 REPORTED INDIVIDUAL BACKERS PAYING IN AND BEING PROMISED POWER METERS
1,662 POWER METERS PROMISED (ESTIMATE)
That, my friends, is a lot of promises and a lot of money. And as witnessed today, those numbers are increasing.
Having said this, I also have seen some pictures posted on the Limits website which show some parts having been fabricated for the purposes of dimensional or stress testing.
Those pictures indicate to me, at best, that Limits is strongest at images and words at this time. For everyone concerned, I sure hope that this turns out to be a fantastic success and that this is a “missed turn” in the road.
But, as the those who are criticizing Ray, I say that unless you have some evidence that the Limits marketing has some tangible hardware today that is being actually used to generate actual power data as indicated online in various places, or that the promises that have been made on the Limits, YouTube and Indiegogo websites are backed up with something other than parts in pictures that could have cost $1,000 to have been fabricated (they are promises as defined on the Indiegogo Rules), then shame on you for criticizing Ray.
And, Ray, you are absolutely entitled to use your “bully pulpit” as you wish and I applaud you for calling out what you perceive in your professional experience to be BS when it is given.
And, in case Limits is just a day late and a dollar short at this moment, it should be admitting where it is. We would all appreciate that.
Lastly, in my looking around on the Limits blog, I saw that Limits offered a promotion of a discount for getting others to order the Limits products through the campaign. A common enough marketing plan, but it might be afoul of the Indiegogo contract?
Not a lawyer, but I am not even sure where a Scottish company would sue an American publishing out of France. That aside, a lawsuit from Limits could be a landmine for themselves. I can only imagine how the discovery phase would go for them. If certain facts are discovered there that would indicate they did mislead people, that could result in regulatory/criminal action against them. Let alone the fact that suing DCR would pretty much guarantee some pretty massive erosion of their future customer base. The fact that you received the letter from the chairman vs some firm on retainer does say a lot too.
*sits down, grabs popcorn
Fantastic post as usual Ray. Thank you for being an honest voice for the consumers. Certainly the tone here is harsh and justifiably so. No data equals no proof. Bravo.
Here’s an interesting article from CNET about an item pulled from Kickstarter. Maybe some parallels here to draw from (with the exception that Indiegogo hasn’t pulled LIMITS):
link to cnet.com
Yeah, the key difference in Kickstarter requires a prototype, whereas Indiegogo doesn’t. Really, I’m not sure what you’d have to do to get kicked off Indiegogo.
Are you sure that Lance isn’t their PR advisor?
I’ll be succinct.
F the haters, keep doing God’s work, we, the consumers, are behind you.
Thanks! You saved my money!
link to cyclingweekly.co.uk
December deadline will not be met:
link to cyclingweekly.co.uk
Wow, and right in the letter that they sent Ray they stated:
“As outlined in the Indiegogo prospectus deliveries will start in December and will continue into Q1 2016 as the production builds up.”
Yet another lie!
Randy, how is that ‘another lie’ when it’s in the future? The date hasn’t happened, yet you sound as if it’s come and gone already.
They just announced they will send working test units to backers in December, and delivery will continue on a first come first served basis through January to March. To me, this is a pleasant surprise, but some think it’s scandalous. Am I missing something?
(I have no affiliation to Limits. I guess I’m just a glass-half-full kind of guy and want to see them succeed. Some here give the impression they would relish Limits failing!)
Ray described the project timescales as challenging (or words to that effect). For them to deliver something at all in December can only be seen as positive despite the misleading marketing up front.
Alex, Nope as rjdennis stated units going out to independent reviewers at the end of December with “initial supporters” starting to receive them at the end of January.
Be nice to see them mend bridges with Ray and send him a test unit.
Also wish them well as it can only help to have more companies in the game driving the price down :).
Alex..deliveries not to backers but to testers, and interesting strategy to go to manufacturing before the results of testing come in(if that is actually what they are doing)..r
An odd choice not to have testing in the timeline to begin with.
The idea that they’d hold up backer shipments seems to indicate that they expect to find issues from their testers that they won’t simply be able to fix with a firmware update after the fact. Considering that apparently until last week they weren’t even planning to do 3rd party testing at all, that’s an odd position for them to take.
A nickel says that they find something during testing that requires “tweaking” to the units already assembled, but they totally have them and they’ll ship them out real soon now. ps: order now for February.
Forgot to add – LIMITS, please prove me wrong! Let absolutely any impartial 3rd party ride on your prototype for a half hour tomorrow! Ship some units soon!
Well, I think the hardware is the “easy” part of this. The challenge is the firmware/software side of it. To be a glass half full guy, I will give them the benefit that the hardware is ready. At the same time, given the short dev cycle, it is hard to feel confident that it can withstand the weather, dirt, stress, and other abuse to last several years.
On the “half empty” side, it seems like this “peer review” is outsourcing a lot of the testing to people who have a lot more experience than they do. To echo Ray’s big concern, to think that “2-3 weeks” of testing will allow them to fix any issues that come up is crazy. Look how long Brim and 4iiii have taken. There are so many edge cases to deal with that require a lot of work and empirical testing to fix.
My guess is that they will ship sometime in late January/February and it will sort of work. It won’t be as rock solid as their other competitors and Limits will try to fix it for a certain amount of time. Maybe that will be good enough for most users given the price. I don’t think it is a lasting business model, especially as other PMs are really solid and are continuing to come down in price.
Of course, I could be totally wrong (and would love to be!)
LIMITS has now pushed out delivery schedule.
link to cyclingweekly.co.uk
It’s on the Cycling Weekly website today that Limits have announced a 1 month delay in shipping.
It also sound like the author of the article is following Ray’s lead and followed up the line “they have a unit” with the comment “however they didn’t actually say if it was a working unit.”
On the plus side I’ve just had confirmation my Powerpod will be shipping from Friday.
Is there any support in the industry (not startups) for protecting the consumers rights, as you advocate for here, from any company over promising with PR (I’m really thinking Polar-V800 roll-out, but now it seems industry standard to release initial products and “imply” future capabilities while using purchasers as part of the development team)? Maybe something like a money back/discount guarantee if specific timelines are not met? Other market forces?
Is there anybody who is really stepping up here?
Thanks for calling it like you see it. I support your decision and value your informed and experienced judgement.
I doubt those on the company side want that unfortunately, they’d probably prefer less oversight.
That said, I think the Zano stuff on Kickstarter may be just the right amount of “Holy crap” moment to kick off things a bit (I’m also/was a backer there too). I think Kickstarter might finally be prodded into actually doing something, as opposed to just taking their cut and pretending to be pseudo-non-corp.
@SteveT you said a very important thing about V800 roll-out. Actually, I was quite surprised Ray called up Limits just before things became self-evident, at the same time being rather quiet about Polar. IMO what Polar’s doing is not that much different than what Limits is doing. The only difference is, though several months late, but they actually released a few of promised features. But at the same time not all of these features are production quality (e.g. swimming support, missing pause data and offset timestamps in exported files). So if Limits release anything that will output any data and say they’ll fix it later, to me they’ll be on the same page as Polar is today…
Just one more thing about protecting consumer rights: from my point of view, crowdfunding support for startups is very much different than getting something from an established company. Startup projects present an inherent risk of failure, and backers should evaluate it before putting their money on the table. For sure if it turns out to be a scam, it should be prosecuted. But if it just fails, it fails.
If there is too much protection, people will stop evaluating the risk, projects with zero chances of success will start getting the money, and the whole concept of crowdfunding will collapse.
I’d say the substantial difference between Polar and LIMITS:
A) Polar showed a functional product at launch
B) Polar was actually fairly upfront early on, on where the product had gaps (at launch)
C) Polar didn’t start selling the product for quite some time.
Now, that doesn’t take away from Polar’s various delays on features (even if they have been upfront about them), but comparing them to LIMITS is like comparing grapes to watermelons.
I get your point. I thought more in a way of splitting V800 in the half that was done (and worth a fraction of original price) and the half that was promised to be done, with established timeline (worth the rest of the price). So my thinking concerned the other part, where we’ve not seen any progress for months. Can we make apples out of grapes then ;)?
Take a look at the KickStarter response to Zano scam posted yesterday on TechCrunch that probably directly applies to Limits and Indiegogo:
link to techcrunch.com
My belief (and Ray’s recent activity has nothing to do with it) is that this entire thing is a work of fiction.
Some of the official Indeogogo updates are actually written bad kind of english grammar you get in scam mails/websites.
Every single one of the entire set of Indeogogo updates (61 so far) are completely empty of any proof they have anything real other than a peice of metal that can be go between the pedal and crank.
And with half of their Indeogogo updates they conveniently seem to re-open a new funding source to start even more money coming in! (Last one is “200 Blacks now available in March, pleasy hurry, limited stocks will be available”).
Each instance of this pressured “selling” technique (although there is no actual product being sold!) from them strengthens my belief that they will be taking as much money as possible from the general public with as many “delays” as they can get away with (now the first one has been announced) before they finally collapse.
That might go on for years though if the money keeps rolling in!
Unfortunately I have to agree. As I stated earlier I really hope they do succeed in bringing a quality product to market as it can only be good for the industry as a whole.
However what baffles me is the lack of any high quality pictures of a completed unit or output of data they are getting from the power meter. I would think you would want to post some pictures of such to promote the product at this stage of the game. Lets hope they do have a viable product and they are only inept at marketing.
long time listener first time caller… anyone criticizing DCR for calling them out is an idiot. Indiegogo is one step above Nigerian email scams. When I first took a look at the Limits power meter it was obvious in my mind that they were trying to be deceptive as to where they stood in development of it.
The simple fact that some of the people commenting have pointed out that they were mislead as to how far along limits was in the development process is proof that DCR should have criticized them. Why should people not speak up when they see a project with blatant issues trying to raise money from people?
If you want to discuss this with me feel free to call me on my Arubixs phone link to indiegogo.com
This in the comments section from Limits Marketing Manager:
“Ioanna Kontoliou Campaigner 1 day ago
We apologize for any inconvenience the change in our timeline may cause. Our goal is to deliver the best product possible and peer review from respect people within the industry will help us mitigate any potential risk.”
“Our goal is to deliver the best product possible and peer review from respect people within the industry will help us mitigate any potential risk.”
Yet more wilfully deceptive marketing bull from Ms Kontoliou! To my mind, the developer’s associate in his local cycling club (the same one used in the original marketing video) does not amount to “peer review from respect[ed] people within the industry”. (See link below.) Surely Ray is the perfect man for this particular job!
link to cyclingweekly.co.uk
The items supposedly coming ‘in a few weeks’ are also said to be ‘pre-production samples’. (Cycling Weekly uses the word ‘prototypes’.) I wonder just what sort of functionality these prototypes will have, and how long it will take to go from these to producing fully-developed consumer versions?
FWIW, CW confirmed that LIMITS will only have pre-production units in mid-December, and that they’re only going to be used for in-house testing. Well, technically by the LIMITS-sponsored cycling team that’s been featured on the Indiegogo site since day one and who just signed a three year sponsorship deal, so you do the math. link to cyclingweekly.co.uk
Whoo hoo (Ironic) they’ve got the packaging according to their latest update… whatever next?
Also curious how they’ve had 2 “maiden” outdoor rides…
So assuming its real (which I don’t), scrutinizing their every word (which is required on their deliberately misleading posts) …
They do say on the later post “until now outdoor tests have been short runs on prototypes…”, and in their earlier post they say it was their “technical team” that took it outdoors 4 months ago (presumably for a “short burst”).
However the photo that accompanies the picture is clearly labeled (in bold!) “Our Maiden Voyage”, and shows a picture not of their technical team on a bike, but Gordon himself and clearly not on a “short burst” run, as he’s in the middle of no-where, in full cycling kit).
So they are definetly posting photos and titles which bear no relevance to the text, and text which is quite “cleverly” worded allowing them explain anyway any questions raised if you haven’t pick up on every single detail or correlated one bit of misleading info with another.
Initally it may seem like simply bad PR or even just deliberately misleading information to keep funds coming in as people think the project is nearing completion (dangling the carrot!), but its more subtle/cunning than that, as they have an escape route out to explain why one bit of misleading information is not really misleading at all.
I expect at some point they’ll say the real world “peer review” testing has gone badly (even though they claim their own testing had good results), which will knock estimated delivery back a few more months, and open yet another funding campain when the “200 blacks” is reached.
Two weeks after saying they would be available for testing within two weeks nobody appears to have completed a test outside the company (cough, cough)
link to cyclingweekly.co.uk
They’ve now posted a power/cadence graph comparing SRM to LIMITs. No idea how geniuine that is, given their record to date, I am still immensly suspicious… I could have generted a graph like that with MSPaint in 5 mins. Just another update to keep the crowd quiet?
Presumably though, you would at least have generated a graph that didn’t indicate a ~100W difference between your product and the “industry standard”?
As I have mentioned, these are clever people, you have to look and read everything very closely to see in-between the lines of their “updates”.
I believe their soul intention is taking as much money as possible and never producing or suppling an end result… Posting a graph which was accurate to 1 or 2% would give them less reasons for delaying the product.or they could claim those results were not reproduable on the “production run” I guess.
A graph that is 100 watts out, gives them an easy series of future “update” to say they are still working on accuracy and that gives them easy reasons for more delays.
I notice that since that graph was posted, they have never posted an improved graph to say they cured the accuracy issues, but are now talking about production runs and repeatablility.
It’s all bollocks.
more fakery. not sure if their latest tweet comes through.posted below
LIMITS made its first appearance in public at @SpokesRT launch event link to t.co pic.twitter.com/gaadKSsWn4— LIMITS (@Limitscycling) January 18, 2016
why isnt that real?
Seems that the ‘test’ bike was also fitted with a stages unit and was mounted on a Wahoo Kickr, and there is no evidence that the readings displayed on the head unit didn’t come from these, with the LIMITS just been a dummy unit.
Why are they not telling the facts? Why are they putting out pictures? Because SALES OF LIMITS POWER METERS continues unabated.
Since my last look of the Indiegogo.com website on 12/2/15, according to their crowdfunding statistics (as reported), Limits has pocketed another $27,871 in “PERKS” as the sales are defined by Indiegogo. Note,that Limits is only selling perks, not actual power meters in exchange for your hard-earned, after-taxes money. The additional 129 “Supporters” are promised these perks when (and if) they become available. These folks do not have any remedy if it does not work out, do they Ray?
Every day since 12/2/15, with their pretty photos and indefinite text, they have pocketed $547 and promised another couple of folks (supporters) delivery of their Black model sometime in March, 2016.
I sure hope this works out…
There would be another problem for limits, if they ever present a working product. The Retail price will be 399 $ for a single powermeter. There will be nearly the price of a watteam or a bepro.
More mumbo-jumbo to updates in the last 24hrs, the fictional product inevitably “delayed” (zero suprises there), but still they take Perks money.
What was it Gordon said, the “answer is to deliver the product”. Lol, no the answer is to keep dreaming up more mumbo-jumbo updates and live it large of the cash.
Just wait till the current Perk is full… They’ll have to dream up another excuse for a Perk together with a few more mumbo-jumbo updates…
Could they realistically have redesigned the battery from Oct 15, to the shots they are showing for the much deeper smaller battery now?
Am I the only one who thinks there’s very little internals to the Limits design too compared to the competition out there, where does the strain gauge go?
I am no expert at all, but from the pictures in a previous post you can get an idea how the product is built up:
link to limits.technology
If you look carefully, the actual strain gauges are glued tot the metal inner core on top of which the PCB sits. The gauges are those tiny thin metal strips with thin wires. The four holes in the PCB correspond to the 4 “bumps” on the metal core.
About the battery: I’m only guessing that they used a temporary holder to program/test the PCB. I for one am happy with the smaller diameter battery otherwise the unit would have increased the Q factor even more.
Let’s hope they will show some actual data on power soon.
It seems to have already certified the product: link to thisisant.com
Note that the ANT+ Certification test only validates that the communication stack complies with ANT+ rules. It doesn’t speak to anything about accuracy/validity of a unit (they don’t test that). Said differently: Dynastream (ANT+) provides code samples and such for how to communicate with each device profile (i.e. power meter, cadence sensor, etc…), so basically as long as you don’t hose up copy/paste, it’ll pass the certification test.
I thought it was interesting that LIMITS provided an old image of their product to ANT+ (for the product directory), versus the current look/shape (which is larger). Also note that ANT+ actually does NOT require they touch the tested product in order to certify. That can be done with software logs sent to them, or ‘remote certification’. Meaning that a unit may have never gone to ANT+. We don’t know how they selected to certify (sending a unit in, or remote).
From the Limit Indiegogo site, March 18, 2016 1030 US CDT:
We plan to provide samples to independent reviewers within the next 14 days and ship the first batch of supporters units at the beginning of April.”
So, the story of this device continues. Will DC Rainmaker be given a sample of the first batch to test? Will it be around the end of the month of March as most recently stated above? Will the stress crack issue found be fixed? Will the 2300 people who bought one or more of these be delivered a functional product and when? Will it worked as elaborately advertised?
any news and reviews to the Limits Power Meter?
I read on facebook that the product will now be produced and shipped???
As of 5/9/16, here is the latest comments on the Indiegogo website from backers (who are allowed to post); the backers are getting more restless about the marketing campaign and the lack of any tangible product to date. Ray, I don’t guess you have been sent a pre-production unit to test?
link to indiegogo.com
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2 days ago
Can you give us an update on delivery dates?
Whilst I understand that a start-up takes a lot of time, communication is ignored at your peril, as you can see by the negative comments you are starting to receive.
Even if the news isn’t great, let people know so that their expectations are managed.
Paul van Wijk
3 days ago
Any news?, any updates? and i do not mean updates about productionlines.
3 days ago
“To those of you asking us to re-open the crowdfunding campaign, please know that your interest has been addressed.” — who is asking you to reopen the crowdfunding campaign? By which communications channel? You are ignoring all concerns and requests for updates via the IGG project page and you haven’t responded to anything on Facebook. How are they able to get through to you while us backers’ concerns are ignored and we’re spoon-fed non-information?
7 days ago
Agreed! What’s going on – more communication would be appreciated other than contributors
10 days ago
Does anyone other than us contributors read this?
11 days ago
Dcrainmaker saw the writing on the wall. if this comes true it will be next season before anyone can use this pm.
13 days ago
ETA on delivery?
13 days ago
D E L I V E R Y ?
hope there’s no more this and that.
Youngchi Hideharu Kim
14 days ago
Thank you for the update.
But don’t avoid telling shipping status, which everyone is interested in.
14 days ago
So, I’m confused. Does this, “we’ve now entered production phase and will be shortly moving into shipping” mean that it has been evaluated by “independent” testers? If so, can we learn who they were and what the results have been? By this I mean more than just some additional graphs….actual reviews.
I do not have a unit, nor have I had any communications with them since the exchange noted in this post.
As I’ve said numerous times before, I’m happy to publish all raw data from a bike with multiple power meters on it, once they (or someone else) ships me a unit. As a paid backer, eventually I’m entitled to a unit.
Forgetting this supposed independant review stage LIMITs are going to have (or already having??), do you know which backer # you were?
Did you back very early in the campaign and so should be part of the say the first 100 theoretical “products” that have been/are being assembled and tested/dispatched regardless as to your status as a trusted independant reviewer.
I don’t know what backer number I am, I don’t see any obvious spot where it’s listed. I backed on Apr 21st, 2015, with an expected delivery date of Dec 15th, 2015. I’m not clear exactly what day the campaign started last April.
Today I saw on the FB the following message from Limits:
link to limits.technology
A personal message from LIMITS creators
Dear LIMITS friends,
We are deeply sorry that we’ve fallen further behind schedule and we didn’t manage to start shipping in April, as projected in our last update, but moving from pilot builds to ramp up led to an unacceptable yield hit during the bonding process.
We understand that you’d expected us to immediately notify you about the situation but we were really hoping to overcome this issue quickly. We also feel terrible that some of you have expressed disappointment about not having addressed this since our last update but we were convinced that we’d quickly address this and bring good news to you.
The issue we encountered was a significant yield hit when we moved from the controlled pilot builds to volume ramp up due to an issue with the clamping jigs and adhesive overflow. It would be easy to continue to build out product and ship what was yielded but poor yields need to be addressed to ensure there are no latent issues in the yielded product.
We have always been driven by our desire to contribute to the cycling community and show our appreciation with creating LIMITS. We’re aware that the project has taken considerably more time than originally anticipated and we might have been slow in communication but we are committed to deliver this product to you and we promise that we will make things right.
We have spent the last two weeks stripping back and working through every step of the bonding process identifying two significant issues, bond clamp jig not operating as expected and bonding process resulting in an overflow of adhesive. The clamp issue we have addressed and have put in a temporary solution for the adhesive overflow which resulted in a 100% yield from today’s build, a step in the right direction! All yielded product is on its way back to the UK where we will run final tests before releasing to backers!
Please bare with us as we’re working hard to resolve these issues. We really appreciate your support and will keep you posted.
See, there’s the problem. When nudists build powermeters. ” Please bare with us as we’re working hard…”
“We have spent the last two weeks stripping […]” 😉