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Old 12-11-06, 08:39 PM   #1
gbcb
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Mayday! Mayday!

Had a near-catastrophic failure on my ride in to work this morning. My Dahon's handlebar stem was, despite my having checked it the previous night, not properly secured. When trying to sprint from a stop at a traffic light, it gave way and I found myself flat on my back in front of a line of accelerating mopeds and motor scooters. I managed to duck out of the way in time, and there was no damage to the bike or to me -- but it certainly woke me up! Anyone else have something like this happen?
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Old 12-11-06, 09:09 PM   #2
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Well, I've never had mine spontaneously de-latch....

It's a good idea to check the hinges frequently on Dahons, as folding the bike loosens them. They should be tight enough to give some, but not a lot, of resistance when you close them. You should also use locktite to hold the screws in place.
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Old 12-11-06, 09:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbcb
Had a near-catastrophic failure on my ride in to work this morning. My Dahon's handlebar stem was, despite my having checked it the previous night, not properly secured. When trying to sprint from a stop at a traffic light, it gave way and I found myself flat on my back in front of a line of accelerating mopeds and motor scooters. I managed to duck out of the way in time, and there was no damage to the bike or to me -- but it certainly woke me up! Anyone else have something like this happen?

I have a Dahon stem on my Downtube Mini so I'm interested to know more...

Did your stem fail or was the locking mechanism not engaged to prevent it from inadvertant folding? What do you recommend to avoid this?

I'm glad that you are ok... sounds like it was a scary event!
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Old 12-12-06, 03:25 AM   #4
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The stem didn't fail. It was the locking mechanism that wasn't properly engaged. It had seemed a bit loose the night before, so I adjusted it. Now that I think of it, after the readjustment I didn't get the firm "locking" feeling (sort of a muffled click) that you normally get -- but it felt tight, so I didn't think much of it. Now I know that the click is all-important! Also, I have been riding without that little plastic ring that provides a backup to the stem lock mechanism (broke off within weeks of the bike's purchase). It's high time I got that replaced...

To give a bit more information, this is an older Boardwalk -- I'm not sure if the stem / locking mechanism has been changed on the Boardwalk for this year. Anyway, it's a different design from that on my parents' Speed P8s.

It wasn't actually too scary, but I certainly let out a few choice words as I went down. I had been in my hard-core bike commuter mode -- messenger bag and all, sprinting from the light -- so I suppose I had it coming. Anyway, had a good laugh about it with the traffic guard!
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Old 12-12-06, 07:24 AM   #5
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I'm sorry, I know this is a serious post and question, but this is too funny.

My OCD has come true .
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Old 12-12-06, 09:41 AM   #6
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I am so sorry it happened in the first place ..... but it looks you have a good head on your shoulder and brush it off, even see the humor in it. Very good attitude !

I am picturing "the event" in rather dramatic form with thousands of oil burning/ smoke belching 2 stroke mopeds all accelearting at the same time leaving just inches from you body while passing ......

good enough for a nightmare ...


The Handlsestem on the newer boardwalks ( 2005 and younger has indeed been changed ) still not a bad idea to get some kind of "locking"device around your lever . I have seen some interesting velcro contraptions which should work well ... another plus of these is that you could use them to hold the bike together when its folded ( in lieu of a magnetic latch found on the more expensive dahons )

all the best and no more Mayday please
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Old 12-12-06, 10:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by brakemeister
I am so sorry it happened in the first place ..... but it looks you have a good head on your shoulder and brush it off, even see the humor in it. Very good attitude !

I am picturing "the event" in rather dramatic form with thousands of oil burning/ smoke belching 2 stroke mopeds all accelearting at the same time leaving just inches from you body while passing ......

good enough for a nightmare ...


The Handlsestem on the newer boardwalks ( 2005 and younger has indeed been changed ) still not a bad idea to get some kind of "locking"device around your lever . I have seen some interesting velcro contraptions which should work well ... another plus of these is that you could use them to hold the bike together when its folded ( in lieu of a magnetic latch found on the more expensive dahons )

all the best and no more Mayday please
Thor
Thanks for the kind words! I think it helps to have a sense of humor to ride a folder in the first place (no disrespect intended to any folders, since I think they're the best thing since foldable bread).

Since your mental image of "the event" is much more exciting than the actual event, I will do nothing to correct it. That velcro thing sounds like a winner -- much better than my ideas of taping or tying. I'm too tired to look for them right now, but will keep that in mind for the future. I'll try to keep Maydays to a minimum from now on
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Old 12-13-06, 04:20 PM   #8
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Wow, gbcb, glad you are OK!

If that happened to me in SoCAL, I'd be traction for SUV's! I always double check the latch before riding my unfolded folder!

Too bad some kind of automatic safety backup latch can't be invented. Who here has a mechanical engineering degree?

Oh wait! I have two! Now I know what to do tonight!

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Old 12-13-06, 09:35 PM   #9
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The folding 'mast' style steering tubes have been a problem on many bikes. Check the Dahon board. They have also been a problem on Birdy where they were recalled.
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Old 12-14-06, 04:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by eubi
Wow, gbcb, glad you are OK!

If that happened to me in SoCAL, I'd be traction for SUV's! I always double check the latch before riding my unfolded folder!

Too bad some kind of automatic safety backup latch can't be invented. Who here has a mechanical engineering degree?

Oh wait! I have two! Now I know what to do tonight!

Thanks, eubi .

At least if you're traction for SUVs, you die serving some kind of purpose . How's that new latch design coming?
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Old 12-14-06, 04:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by geo8rge
The folding 'mast' style steering tubes have been a problem on many bikes. Check the Dahon board. They have also been a problem on Birdy where they were recalled.
Thanks, I'll look into that.
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Old 12-14-06, 10:10 AM   #12
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I was about to crank out of the saddle of my Dahon when I remembered this thread and sat back down.
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Old 12-14-06, 06:26 PM   #13
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I was about to crank out of the saddle of my Dahon when I remembered this thread and sat back down.
Sorry to be a killjoy...

I'd say there's nothing to be concerned about as long as you check your stem before riding.
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