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Old 10-15-12, 11:08 AM   #76
tcs
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I think it's fair that they are doing a redesign as well, as one of the flaws of the original design, even when built to spec, was that the two-part design could conceal damage/breakage, which led to the poorly supplied part to become damaged over time without anyone noticing.
This would only be a problem if their original design when built with correctly supplied material will also fail.

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I'm thinking it would be not too hard to tell a single fabricated piece versus two welded together. Wouldn't there be weld marks?
Without disassembling the bike, maybe not. BF themselves say the weld marks may not show through. It's for reasons like that professional manufacturers (the ones who life-cycle test new designs before selling them to the public) visibly mark safety recall related replacement parts.
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Old 10-15-12, 01:04 PM   #77
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Well since they just re thought the stepped tube from a sleeved together 2 piece combination ,
to a thicker tube turned down, but one piece ,
this month.. last 40 days..

if you have a Tikit bike in the house now,

rather than on order .. it will be the prior build type. [logically]
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Old 10-16-12, 10:10 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
This would only be a problem if their original design when built with correctly supplied material will also fail.
The point is that you can't tell if it's good material or not by simple inspection. A tikit with the old stem can't be resold, nor ridden with reassurance.

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Without disassembling the bike, maybe not. BF themselves say the weld marks may not show through. It's for reasons like that professional manufacturers (the ones who life-cycle test new designs before selling them to the public) visibly mark safety recall related replacement parts.
Where did BF say this? I've looked at a lot of tikits lately. And have yet to see one where the weld marks weren't totally obvious on folding the stem and looking inside.
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Old 10-16-12, 12:05 PM   #79
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This would only be a problem if their original design when built with correctly supplied material will also fail.
That's the thing. It will fail, a fact everyone should be certain about. You simply cannot engineer something to never fail. You can only engineer it such that failure is to occur outside a set of operating conditions and measured stress, and you can engineer things to fail progressively or show warning signs when progressive failure is occurring.

Even with the correctly supplied tubing, it is important to have the warning indicators because the company cannot control the conditions of what will happen to the bike and things may happen to the bike that fall outside the design spec -- maybe it'll accidentally get dropped off a cliff or run over by a car and still be usable. With the old design, even with properly spec'd materials, the big downside is that imminent failure will not be apparent to the user.
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Old 10-17-12, 07:02 AM   #80
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Following your link, I read: "As you look into the headtube through the stem plate, inspect the area around the inner edge and the weld. You might notice that the weld does not appear in all cases to go completely around the stem. It does go completely around, it just isn't always visible from this perspective."
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Old 10-17-12, 07:12 AM   #81
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With the old design, even with properly spec'd materials, the big downside is that imminent failure will not be apparent to the user.
So you agree with me that the original BikeFriday tikit stem design is flawed. The tubing supplier issue seems to be a red herring.
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Old 10-17-12, 09:00 AM   #82
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So you agree with me that the original BikeFriday tikit stem design is flawed. The tubing supplier issue seems to be a red herring.
No, that's an unfair conclusion/characterization. "Flawed" can mean a variety of things... a design for any product can be flawed from an aesthetic standpoint, ergonomic standpoint, comfort standpoint, among many others that are irrelevant to whether a recall is required or whether users are at significant risk of harm. However, the context suggests that though the word "flawed" could apply here, you're using it in a way that judges Bike Friday (significant harm context).

I'm not a risk standards guy or anything, but there's a huge difference between comparing the risk between a design flaw that results in actual failure of the part (which is not the case here), or a design flaw that increases risk to the user because in the .1% of circumstances outside of design spec (external damage to the bike, an elephant riding the bike, whatever) that could lead to failure (through no fault of the mfr.) that the design could be improved to better communicate imminent failure.
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Old 10-17-12, 11:07 AM   #83
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So you agree with me that the original BikeFriday tikit stem design is flawed. The tubing supplier issue seems to be a red herring.
If this would be a supplier issue they would change the supplier, not redesigning the part.

On the other hand, I don't expect them to be perfect, we are all human, and they seem to handle this mistake very well.
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Old 10-17-12, 01:33 PM   #84
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I develop QC programs for projects and implement them. If I identify a problem or one is brought to my attention the ensuing process is not simply about fixing the initial issue. You want to solve the immediate problem and since you are spending the time/effort on the issue you want to add as much value to the expenditure as possible.

In the case of this stem issue it seems that BF is trying to do all of the following:

- prevent any accidents
- limit liability in the short and long terms
- correct the safety issue
- make a corrected Tikit easy to identify
- improve the design to prevent any future problems
- address the PR aspect of the problem

Regardless of how much arm chair engineering or lawyering folks do in this forum the only people that know how each part of the puzzle fits together are the ones sitting around the table at BF reviewing the data. BF is pretty open about things so if you've got a question that's on your mind I would give them a call and ask them.

I have no inside info on the stem mast situation, but in the past when I have seen BF respond to warranty issues or customer requests they have been open and fair - actually more than fair.

That's just my experience. I wouldn't trade my Tikit for any other folding bike. I'm glad I bought it back in 2007 and my GF is saving up to buying herself a pink Tikit.
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Old 10-18-12, 07:03 AM   #85
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I'm not a risk standards guy or anything, but there's a huge difference between comparing the risk between a design flaw that results in actual failure of the part (which is not the case here)...
If you have some evidence that the original design (built with correctly specified tubing) was ever life cycle tested and its performance satisfied BikeFriday, please bring it forward. Short of such evidence, your assertion that the field failures are not related to an inadequate design is speculative.

The loads and stresses of "safety" bicycles have been studied for ~120 years and are well defined in the industry. Since this is the second frame crack/break issue & safety recall with the tikit in three and a half years and both problems were discovered by multiple customers, it's clear that BikeFriday did not adequately test their unique design prior to offering it for sale and I am speculating they didn't shock and vibration test it at all.

Last edited by tcs; 10-18-12 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 10-18-12, 06:21 PM   #86
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Nice to see this thread has deteriorated into outlandish claims.
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Old 10-20-12, 10:05 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Following your link, I read: "As you look into the headtube through the stem plate, inspect the area around the inner edge and the weld. You might notice that the weld does not appear in all cases to go completely around the stem. It does go completely around, it just isn't always visible from this perspective."
Your claim is that BF said that the weld marks would not be visible on some stems. This quote does not support your claim.
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Old 10-20-12, 12:13 PM   #88
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I develop QC programs for projects and implement them. If I identify a problem or one is brought to my attention the ensuing process is not simply about fixing the initial issue. You want to solve the immediate problem and since you are spending the time/effort on the issue you want to add as much value to the expenditure as possible.

In the case of this stem issue it seems that BF is trying to do all of the following:

- prevent any accidents
- limit liability in the short and long terms
- correct the safety issue
- make a corrected Tikit easy to identify
- improve the design to prevent any future problems
- address the PR aspect of the problem

Regardless of how much arm chair engineering or lawyering folks do in this forum the only people that know how each part of the puzzle fits together are the ones sitting around the table at BF reviewing the data. BF is pretty open about things so if you've got a question that's on your mind I would give them a call and ask them.

I have no inside info on the stem mast situation, but in the past when I have seen BF respond to warranty issues or customer requests they have been open and fair - actually more than fair.

That's just my experience. I wouldn't trade my Tikit for any other folding bike. I'm glad I bought it back in 2007 and my GF is saving up to buying herself a pink Tikit.
Well said! +1 I love my Brompton in the same way you do your Tikit. The difference with you Vik you have always been passionate about your bike and not disrespected others. I've seen many pics of your Tikit and your experiences with it is a very tasteful bike you have.
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Old 11-05-12, 12:49 PM   #89
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If you have some evidence that the original design (built with correctly specified tubing) was ever life cycle tested and its performance satisfied BikeFriday, please bring it forward. Short of such evidence, your assertion that the field failures are not related to an inadequate design is speculative.
You've nailed this one on the head. They would have made reference to this [norms testing] had it been done. They would not have needed to build a jig just after if this had been done. They should address this, IMO. They have not addressed this, apparently.

There are several audiences for the lack of testing : public [affected clients], public - potential, government, and insurers. I'm sure any underwriter would have worded that designs need compliance testing, if not one off design. So, ... instead of losing $400k on 4000 replacement stems ($100 a pop minimum replacement cost), why not use materials as an explanation ? I'm not speaking directly for this case, but what any manufacturer might do in risk assessment, given potential of lack of original testing. The PE reviewing this did not give comment on a priori context.

They're handling this well - clearly, it's just unfortunate these costs will be passed into future bikes for lack of what appears to be forethought. People that have been injured, which is apparently explanation for escalation to consumer protection bureau , that's another issue..
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