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Old 11-19-07, 02:00 PM   #1
Jessica
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'A' bike failure... repair?

well, I am too heavy for my toy, and the aluminum tubing failed. I am thinking of asking my dad (one of those "he can fix anything" people) to replace the broken parts with steel... It was really nice as a back up for travel, but did not survive the test drives...
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Old 11-19-07, 02:06 PM   #2
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What "parts" failed, exactly? Frame tubing should not have failed, pretty much under any circumstance, save for jumping a hardtail off a 7-foot drop.

What brand/model bike is it?
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Old 11-19-07, 03:26 PM   #3
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well, I am too heavy for my toy, and the aluminum tubing failed. I am thinking of asking my dad (one of those "he can fix anything" people) to replace the broken parts with steel... .
Unfortunately, Steel can NOT be welded to Aluminum.

The frame is shot. Maybe you can salvage the components (wheels, deraileurs (shifters) , brakes, pedals and crankset.)

You didn't say how much you weigh, but I would recommend a steel alloy frame next time , such as 4130 Chrome-Molybdenum, also-known-as "CroMo", and it should be oversized tubing.

If you want a second opinion, please include a photograph of the damage. And tell us how much you weigh.
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Old 11-19-07, 04:04 PM   #4
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You have an A-bike? Wow! So, how stable was it, to ride? I really wish to know. That's an interesting little gadget.
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Old 11-19-07, 04:06 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, Steel can NOT be welded to Aluminum.

The frame is shot. Maybe you can salvage the components (wheels, deraileurs (shifters) , brakes, pedals and crankset.)

You didn't say how much you weigh, but I would recommend a steel alloy frame next time , such as 4130 Chrome-Molybdenum, also-known-as "CroMo", and it should be oversized tubing.

If you want a second opinion, please include a photograph of the damage. And tell us how much you weigh.
Those components will be no use to him, eccept on another A-bike. They are heavily custom.
This is an A-bike:
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Old 11-19-07, 06:30 PM   #6
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well, I am too heavy for my toy, and the aluminum tubing failed. I am thinking of asking my dad (one of those "he can fix anything" people) to replace the broken parts with steel... It was really nice as a back up for travel, but did not survive the test drives...
That bike isn't nearly as sturdy as some others, and it was meant for short trips.

If you want a back up for travel, there are other folders that will be sturdier, more reliable and better riding (much better for distance riding, if that happens to be in the cards for you).

There is a forum for folding bikes here on bikeforums.net; people there could help guide you if you are interested in exploring other possibilities.
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Old 11-19-07, 07:50 PM   #7
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Those components will be no use to him, eccept on another A-bike. They are heavily custom.
This is an A-bike:
Oh, I'm sorry. I thought the OP meant "Al" , as in "Aluminum".

I have seen a number of photographs showing "metal fatigue" in folding bikes.
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Old 11-19-07, 08:02 PM   #8
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That A-bike is one expensive bike.
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Old 11-19-07, 08:54 PM   #9
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Your profile indicates a Bicycle(s): walmart beater. If you have the receipt take it back to a Walmart. The frame should not break. They should replace the bike.
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Old 11-19-07, 09:28 PM   #10
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Your profile indicates a Bicycle(s): walmart beater. If you have the receipt take it back to a Walmart. The frame should not break. They should replace the bike.
The 'a' bike is anything but a walmart bike.
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Old 11-19-07, 09:57 PM   #11
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I'd like to try to ride it, at least once in my life. I'm pretty sure I'd hate it, but it would be very interesting to try.

Well, who knows, it might be practical for cities, for short trips (3 Km top).
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Old 11-20-07, 09:32 AM   #12
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yeah, it was really twitchy steering, and very little momentum to maintain a steady course.
Hadn't updated my profile in a while, I ride a dahon boardwalk now... put 2000 miles on it!
If I can repair it, it will mean *replacing* tubing, not repairing tubing, and I will have to come up with some way of making the seat stay where it is supposed to, as the plastic part that did that broke, too. expensive lesson, but it is funny looking, and maybe salvagable.....
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Old 11-20-07, 04:10 PM   #13
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I think that thing's pretty cool, but restoration is disproportionately expensive to buying parts because you don't benefit from mass production. If you love the thing (and it looks pretty cool to me), figure out what you need and replace it with stock. If your dad's a welder, he should be able to get what you need.

I realize it's a touchy subject, but how much do you weigh? This might be a case of the design having too tight a spec.

Dahon makes neat stuff, too. Between them and Bike Friday, I could spend a lot of money saving trunk space.
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Old 11-21-07, 04:49 AM   #14
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Give it to your father to tinker with. It's amazing how resourceful people can be when "experts" aren't involved.

I suppose it depends on where the tubing break occurred, but it could be internally sleeved with a steel or alloy rod or tubing, epoxied into place. Even if it broke at a join, expoxy might work, or if your dad has access to a MIG welder... well there is another solution.

The plastic bits also could probably be refabricated in metal instead of plastic. It might not have the adjustablility or foldability it used to have when undamaged, but you can only find out by experimenting. And if the experiment fails, you are no worse off (and won't have far to fall!)... but if it succeeds, you'll be back riding it again, and the expense will be worthwhile, even if only for the Wow factor.
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Old 11-21-07, 06:11 AM   #15
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yeah, it was really twitchy steering, and very little momentum to maintain a steady course.
Hadn't updated my profile in a while, I ride a dahon boardwalk now... put 2000 miles on it!
If I can repair it, it will mean *replacing* tubing, not repairing tubing, and I will have to come up with some way of making the seat stay where it is supposed to, as the plastic part that did that broke, too. expensive lesson, but it is funny looking, and maybe salvagable.....
The Boardwalk is, what I call, starting to be a bike. But the only folding bike I would ride is the Dahon Jack. I'm not skilled enough for bikes with small wheels. No, really.
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Old 11-21-07, 06:12 AM   #16
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Give it to your father to tinker with. It's amazing how resourceful people can be when "experts" aren't involved.

I suppose it depends on where the tubing break occurred, but it could be internally sleeved with a steel or alloy rod or tubing, epoxied into place. Even if it broke at a join, expoxy might work, or if your dad has access to a MIG welder... well there is another solution.

The plastic bits also could probably be refabricated in metal instead of plastic. It might not have the adjustablility or foldability it used to have when undamaged, but you can only find out by experimenting. And if the experiment fails, you are no worse off (and won't have far to fall!)... but if it succeeds, you'll be back riding it again, and the expense will be worthwhile, even if only for the Wow factor.
Seconded, especially the internal sleeving with a steel tube.
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Old 11-21-07, 09:56 AM   #17
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well, I am too heavy for my toy, and the aluminum tubing failed. I am thinking of asking my dad (one of those "he can fix anything" people) to replace the broken parts with steel... It was really nice as a back up for travel, but did not survive the test drives...
It seems to me that you should be able to take it back to the place where you purchased it, or e-mail the manufacturer. They should have a website out there. You can't possibly be the only person with a repair problem for that bike.
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Old 11-21-07, 06:37 PM   #18
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when I said I am too heavy, I was not exaggerating. I am a member of the Clydesdale/Athena forum. (nuff said...) The place I purchased it from has not responded to any email from me, and has responded to my rating disatisfactory by saying they never received an email to respond to. sooooo, I will not be purchasing from this company again. It is not the fault of the maker or the seller that I am too large. But it may be that (like on my Dahon) I can upgrade the equipment to meet my needs.
I have been commuting for more than 2 years, and it seems I will not likely lose more weight due to my cycling... So upgrading equipment is just part of my reality.
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