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Thread: Birdy Frame

  1. #1
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Birdy Frame

    I don't think that this is dangerous, and it doesn't go through the frame, but it is spreading. My bike is dying at 20,000 miles. I have seen $4,000 frames crack, so I guess this shouldn't be so strange, especially since it has been abused by TSA on multiple flights.

    Anyone out there have a frame they want to get rid of? Also, the frame has been changed a fair amount since 1995. This is a 2005 frame. Anyone know if they are all compatible with the rear swingarms? Or do those have to be replaced as well.
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  2. #2
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    Where on the bike is the crack?
    I can't spot a place on my bike that looks like the photo.

  3. #3
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Sorry, it's one of those vague body shots. If you have a monoqoque frame, you don't even have this bit. It is the area right around the seat quick release lever on the old style frame.

    I think that they did away with this on newer frames to better accommodate the rear folding rack. But it is the most effective seat post holder upper out there.

    I do not think that anyone else would ever develop such a crack. It's not at a stress point on the frame and is not in any way dangerous. I'm going to keep riding until it cracks all the way through.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chop!'s Avatar
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    Get in touch with Riese & Mueller, they seem to be very good at righting any defects that appear, mention that you've been chatting to a lot of other Birdy riders online. Say you love the bike but are a bit dismayed that such a high quality bike should fail after only 3 years. They may well sort it for you.
    When my steering stem snapped off, they replaced the broken stem & arranged for Avon Valley Cycles in Bath to fix it FOC.

    Good luck!
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  5. #5
    jur
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    That sucks.
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    I'm not so sure that this is a low stress point. The crack will be there for a reason.

    If the seatpost is fully extended and the rider is 200lb (eg me), then with weight on the seat, the post would tend to pivot on the top rear of the rising tube and as the clamp is on the front just below this, leverage would apply a lot of force where the front of the seatpost contacts the clamp. With inpact loads as you go over bumps, I can imagine this being enough to separate a weld it is less than perfect

    I think that the clamping mechanism on the monocoque Birdy makes a lot more sense.
    It looks as though your bike may have enough rising tube above the horizontal tube to change to the new clamp style. It might make sense to try this if you can't get the frame replaced.

    David
    Last edited by energyandair; 03-22-09 at 09:25 PM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chop! View Post
    Say you love the bike but are a bit dismayed that such a high quality bike should fail after only 3 years.
    When I bought my Carryme I was told it comes with a 3 year warranty on the frame. Although we all know Pacific makes the Birdy, to my untrained eye that close up of your Birdy frame looks like it was probably made on the same assembly line (same powdercoat too).

    Since the Birdy has now been adopted under the Pacific brand name you might try talking to Ken at alternativevehicles.com about warranty or parts.

  8. #8
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. Rad-innovations asked me to send some info on the bike, so maybe they will replace the frame. If they don't, I will be in Germany this summer and will take it to the factory.

    There are indeed two unique forms of stress on that weld. One is created by downward pressure of the ride and the other created by horizontal pressure of the clamp pressing against the seat tube. This clamp is very effective at keeping the seat post in place, but it does seem like an expensive and unnecessary addition to the frame.

    Engergyandair, did you ever check out that f'light suitcase?

  9. #9
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Chop, you and one other person (a 1990s Elox) had broken stems on the old style stem. I noticed that you machined your frame to accommodate a disk brake. Did they give you any grief for that? (Just curious. I haven't touched my frame.)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pm124 View Post
    Engergyandair, did you ever check out that f'light suitcase?
    Yes I bought the 31" Flite suitecase. It seems well designed and my Birdy fits in quite easily

    Unfortunately the additional Birdy I was planning on buying in SF has been sold to someone else so I'm no longer sure if I'll bring mine down to SF or not.

    I'll see if our old KHS folder will fit into a Flite. If so, I might buy a second suitcase if the store still has any.

    David

  11. #11
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Just a quick follow up. I went to Germany for a vacation to show an authorized dealer the crack. The dealer was amazing, but Riess and Muller said that it had to go through Rad-Innovations, the US distributor. They did note that the warranty in Germany is life long.

    Rad-Innovations, meanwhile, were bizarre. They said that it was a "third-hand bike." By this, they meant that they had sold it to the dealer, who then sold it to me. They called the dealer, who is the incredibly reputable J Gaerlan, a "collector." The bike was indeed a demo bike, but that should not matter.

    The long and short of it is that I do think that a bike with a stated 2 year warranty with 20,000 miles on it at 3 years is a legit denial. That is the contract, after all. But to insult the dealer and make outlandish claims is a bit over-the-top. Anyway, I would not recommend doing business with them.

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