I have a dahon frame and had been riding it for about 300 miles with no problems. The 'rebar' (not the joint with the clasp, but the part that adds structural integrity to the frame) has a black insert in the male part of the joint that looks like a bagel - ie it has a hole in the middle. The female part has no black plastic bits - its just bare aluminium. The black insert looks like some type of hard blown-plastic. This insert has worn more at the 6 o'clock position than elsewhere and this appears to have exposed some aluminium in the female part of the joint. This is causing some nasty sounding grating to come from the rebar as one aluminium part rubs on the other.
I was hoping that someone could tell me if it is possible to replace the black insert. Then tell me if its possible for a non-professional to do this, and if so where I can get the black insert from and how to fit it.
I've tried this and it seems to work - which is obviously good. Does anyone know if this just stops the noise or actually stops the wearing as well? It seems odd to me that something so unrobust could solve a problem such as this.
I think what happens is, the frame twists a bit during pedalling, especially when standing. The rebar suffers sideways movement wrt its 2 parts, and the faces rub a tiny bit. Over time dust builds up and the smallest of movements can make a surprisingly loud noise. The paper would limit movement or "lubricate". I would expect the paper to have to be replaced every now and again.