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  1. #1
    Good Ship Ruffles
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    Brompton Frame Hinges

    Hi,

    My Brompton is now two and a half years old and used every day.

    On the free service, about nine months after I bought it, 'On Your Bike' found the folding frame hinge pins worn and sent it back for them to be replaced. Excellent service I thought.

    Seems likely that it needs doing again. Don't want the thing to collapse on me. But how much play is too much? I believe it has to go back to the factory so presumably expensive?

    Also, if the pins wear, does the frame eventually wear out as well? Or do they use larger pins?

    Rob.
    Last edited by GoodShipRuffles; 11-05-13 at 05:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Still Pedaling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoodShipRuffles View Post
    Hi,

    My Brompton is now two and a half years old and used every day.

    On the free service, about nine months after I bought it, 'On Your Bike' found the folding frame hinge pins worn and sent it back for them to be replaced. Excellent service I thought.

    Seems likely that it needs doing again. Don't want the thing to collapse on me. But how much play is too much? I believe it has to go back to the factory so presumably expensive?

    Also, if the pins wear, does the frame eventually wear out as well? Or do they use larger pins?

    Rob.
    Are you folding it and unfolding every day? What about maintenance? Do you ride a lot in rainy weather, and do you clean the bike regularly? We had one individual post regarding the hinges rusting because he didn't clean and dry off the bike properly after being in the rain. Let us know what conditions you ride in and how, if any, you maintain the bike after when its wet.
    "It's best to remain silent and be thought the fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt" -- Mark Twain

  3. #3
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    Hi Rob,

    My Brompton's top tube hinge broke about a month ago (see my post history for photos). I bought the bike used about 4&1/2 years ago on Craigslist. I suspect part of the problem was I wasn't tightening the clamp enough.

    Brompton's tech told me to replace the frame, but with labor+tax (in NYC) that would probably be $1,000ish. Didn't want to spend that to resuscitate, so I rolled the dice and hired a welder. The result was not satisfactory.

    Thing is, I was riding it in traffic when it broke, and that freaked my wife out so much that she is now dead set against me buying another. I commute every day in NYC, so she has enough to worry about. So I have retreated at the Battle of Brompton Hinge.

    Anyhoo, I suggest you tighten your clamps firmly and that any play is too much. You should talk directly to the Brompton techs about your situation.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Good Ship Ruffles
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    Never dry the bike. Continuous use stops it rusting. It gets a scrub down before I have to maintain it - but only to keep me clean(er). Hinges are well oiled and still oily.

    The clamps are always tightened. But only finger tight. I tend to wipe a little oil on the clamp faces so that they don't stick.

    As the frame flexes there's bound to be a little movement on the hinge. This will be the source of wear rather than unfolding. It gets folded up four times a day.

    I'll take it back to the shop and see if the mechanic thinks it needs doing. Hard to assess unless you service Bromptons every day. There are a LOT of Bromptons in London!

    Re: the failed frame. Looks to me as though the hinge hole was drilled off centre. It had cracked before failing judging by the partial corrosion. Anyway I would be amazed if Brompton didn't fix under warranty even if you're not the original owner. Premium price - premium service!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Still Pedaling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoodShipRuffles View Post
    Never dry the bike. Continuous use stops it rusting. It gets a scrub down before I have to maintain it - but only to keep me clean(er). Hinges are well oiled and still oily.

    The clamps are always tightened. But only finger tight. I tend to wipe a little oil on the clamp faces so that they don't stick.

    As the frame flexes there's bound to be a little movement on the hinge. This will be the source of wear rather than unfolding. It gets folded up four times a day.

    I'll take it back to the shop and see if the mechanic thinks it needs doing. Hard to assess unless you service Bromptons every day. There are a LOT of Bromptons in London!

    Re: the failed frame. Looks to me as though the hinge hole was drilled off centre. It had cracked before failing judging by the partial corrosion. Anyway I would be amazed if Brompton didn't fix under warranty even if you're not the original owner. Premium price - premium service!
    I will admit that this has got me a little concerned. I've had my Brompton a couple of months now and I'm out on it just about every day. I'm not concerned about rusting as I live in a desert climate. Very dry with hardly any rain, well compared to most places around the world. When it does rain, I simply don't go out if I don't need to, and I'm likely not going to need to unless a sneaky rain cloud makes its appearance while I'm out riding. In effect then, my bike gets folded and unfolded about 2 to 3 times a day. I snug up the clamps, but not over tight. I'm wondering, then, if I should simply leave the bike unfolded until it needs to be folded. I can leave the bike in the house without having to fold it up. If I do that, would the hinges last longer? I can't afford to replace an expensive bike like this in two years, or for that matter, have it repaired.

    Cheers
    Wayne
    "It's best to remain silent and be thought the fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt" -- Mark Twain

  6. #6
    Good Ship Ruffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Still Pedaling View Post
    I will admit that this has got me a little concerned. I've had my Brompton a couple of months now and I'm out on it just about every day. I'm not concerned about rusting as I live in a desert climate. Very dry with hardly any rain, well compared to most places around the world. When it does rain, I simply don't go out if I don't need to, and I'm likely not going to need to unless a sneaky rain cloud makes its appearance while I'm out riding. In effect then, my bike gets folded and unfolded about 2 to 3 times a day. I snug up the clamps, but not over tight. I'm wondering, then, if I should simply leave the bike unfolded until it needs to be folded. I can leave the bike in the house without having to fold it up. If I do that, would the hinges last longer? I can't afford to replace an expensive bike like this in two years, or for that matter, have it repaired.

    Cheers
    Wayne
    IMO it's never going to wear out through just folding the bike. I find the vibration from riding fast on London streets is enough to wear the paint off the spare batteries in my bag! Downside of the small wheels I guess...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Still Pedaling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoodShipRuffles View Post
    IMO it's never going to wear out through just folding the bike. I find the vibration from riding fast on London streets is enough to wear the paint off the spare batteries in my bag! Downside of the small wheels I guess...
    I can certainly see that as being a problem. I have encountered a few streets where I ride that are not smooth at all. They just didn't want to spend the time and money to roll them thoroughly enough when resurfacing them. The vibrations riding over those roads are horrendous to say the least. I'll be staying away from roads like that for sure. Well I sure hope that you get your issues sorted. It must be very frustrating. One good thing, the manufacturer is in your home town.

    Cheers
    Wayne
    "It's best to remain silent and be thought the fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt" -- Mark Twain

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Not fast, not in London , so I'm good ..

    Wayne, Can visit the Relocated, London Bridge. it down there somewhere.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Still Pedaling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Not fast, not in London , so I'm good ..

    Wayne, Can visit the Relocated, London Bridge. it down there somewhere.
    I've visited the London Bridge on a number of occasions. Just a pile of sand, a large water whole and a bridge (LB). Oh, less I forget -- the usual tourist wallet sucking devices -- overly expensive hotels, restaurants and junky trinket shops. The last time I went there was in July about 18 years ago when my daughter came to visit. She wanted so much to see the bridge, so I obliged. It so happened to be the hottest day recorded there -- 127 degrees (I believe). Get out of the car, a moment of shock , jump back in the car and hightail it out of there. Lake Havasu City is a big waste of time. But, if you really want to see the bridge, and you have some extra money to burn, they will be more than happy to take it from you. You leave with an empty wallet, a few snaps of a lonely bridge and a horrible sun burn. (the only smiley that looks like a sunburn)
    "It's best to remain silent and be thought the fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt" -- Mark Twain

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    good you are sampling Desert life on the border, for me , I'll tell you about the winter rains here.

    the bridge, here, Is over 4 miles long and connects 2 states. It's painted Green.

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