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Bummed about my Brompton BB recalls and 5mm

Old 07-15-19, 12:26 PM
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Dark Arrow
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Bummed about my Brompton BB recalls and 5mm

Hi All

Last week I purchased a new Brompton from my LBS. The tag and receipt states 2016 model of which I thought I was buying. It didn't have a rack but no worries I thought I would buy an after market one.
I tried to register my Brompton tonight and my serial number was not accepted. The website kept stating to put in a valid serial number and that bikes older than 2016 could not be registered. Hmm I looked at a website post where someone stated that the first 2 digits of the serial number are the year it was made. Mine is 14123XXXXX which would suggest 2014. The website also stated my serial number was under recall for a BB issue. Not feeling too happy about my little red Brommie at the moment. Then to pour salt on my wounds there is some issue with rear racks about 5mm and 6mm bolts of which I'm still confused. Venting I guess but I've ridden this bike prolly close to 70ks already and I'm happy with the bike but not buying one so old, especially now that I have to deal with a recall and figuring out if/how to put a rear rack on.

Any suggestions on a good rear rack?

Are the 5mm bolts only on the rollers I have or is it where the rack stays mount to the frame as well?
I'm guessing any rack will fit but they all have 6mm mounting for the rack wheels and my frame mounted wheels are 5mm. Is this correct? or is my frame bolts for the rack 5mm as well ?


Bummed Brompton owner

Bear

Last edited by Dark Arrow; 07-15-19 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 07-15-19, 02:17 PM
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According to your serial number the bike was made in December 2014. This does no harm, but some things have changed over the last years, so I would expect the bike to have been considerably cheaper than a current model. Main things that have changed are the stem and the handlebars on M- and H-Models and shifters, roller wheels and the rack on all models. Personally I like the new shifters and the newer version of the stem/handlebar combo is a bit stiffer due to the lower bars, offers a bit more room and the shifters are now below the bars and look better. Maybe desirable but in no way a deal breaker as long as the price is right.
Regarding the rack and the roller wheels: Along with the new rack new roller wheels were invented in 2015. What has also changed is the bolt size for the wheels on the rack. As you do not have a rack you can simply retrofit the current one (which includes the current wheels). No problem in that respect. Personally I favor the factory rack. I also favor the new rack and the new roller wheels over the older version, so the retrofit would for me be an advantage in comparison to an old factory fit. I just don't understand why you did not ask your dealer to do it for you (and to keep the rear mudguard of the original L-Version) - would have saved a small amount of dollars and been good (or in fact rather normal) service by the dealer.

BB recall is no big issue - maybe it has been already carried out. Brompton should know as the dealers have to write them the frame numbers of the bikes that got serviced. The new bottom bracked is by Thune, the older one by *** * - so it is easy to see if they have been changed. I cannot imagine a dealer selling a Brompton under recall w/o having changed the bottom bracket. This would be exceptionally bad service. You can however judge on the change from the outside: On the old *** bottom bracket the plastic nut that holds it in place has a classical *** form, looking a little bit like a flower (removal tool grips on the outside of the plastic), with the new bottom bracket the removal tool grips on the inner part of the nut which looks a little bit like a star.

If if has not been carried out yet it is no drama: Officially it has ended recently but the new bottom bracket costs just 15€ and the change takes less than 10 mins. Plus I would expect the dealer to do the change on his own cost if he is a legitimate Brompton dealer as he should have done the change on his own already a while ago.

* the auto-censorship in this forum is just ridiculous - *** is by no means dirty language but a traditional German brand that has existed since 1872. The paranoia in this forum hinders the forum on fulfiling it's purpose as it is not possible to talk about technical stuff correctly due to auto-censorship. This is the brand we are talking about:



Edit: I give up - useless forum: Brand name: censored. Wikipedia-Link: censored. Logo: Censored. Totally hilarious. You obviously cannot get the correct information through this forum - I suggest to complain with the moderation or to switch to a different forum where the admins know their job and value the content they claim to be the purpose of the forum...

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Old 07-15-19, 04:10 PM
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You just have to get creative with things they censor. I can't use the actual name of my bike, a p@k1t, here without it being bleeped. Find a creative way to spell it out...
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Old 07-15-19, 05:24 PM
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Was this sold as new or used? Serial number starting with 14 means it was manufactured in 2014. The dealer telling you it's a 2016 model may mean that was when it was sold. And that's the year the warranty starts; regardless of when it was manufactured. If that's the case; it's to your advantage since you're still under factory warranty.
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Old 07-15-19, 07:34 PM
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If your tag and receipt says it's a 2016 model, but you actually received a 2014 model, there might be a case for being able to return the item for a full refund due to misrepresentation at the time of sale. Check your local and national laws pertaining to disclosure and return options if the item is not as originally described.

You said you bought it at your LBS. Chances are your LBS is a Brompton dealer, because otherwise they would not be licensed to sell used or new Brommies. I'd start with the LBS. Tell the owner your concerns about misrepresentation and ask for a refund. Seriously.

If you get pushback on that, go straight to Brompton corporate. They don't want their dealers involved in misrepresented sales.

Let us know how it plays out if at all possible. I'd like to know how the LBS will explain this one.
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Old 07-16-19, 07:15 AM
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Update

Well the bike looked new when I bought it. Knowing it was not the latest model I was ok with it as it was at the time. I called my shop today and they were very friendly and apologized stating they thought the bike was a 2016 model but assured me it was new and I would receive the same warranty as anyone else. They wanted me to send them pictures of the BB as it was their belief that all of their BBs had been changed out of in stock bikes at the time. But since they thought it was a 2016 and it is a 2014 they wanted me to check as my LBS is 50 odd ks away to save me the trip if not needed. My BB has already been changed out so that is not an issue. I like the bike and I've been commuting with it this week and I've got probably close to 80ks on it now. Here that model Brompton goes for $2400 new. I got mine for $2000 which I think is a reasonable deal or did for a 2016 model. I'm not sure if it is a good deal on a 2014 model though most used ones I've seen sell for give or take $100 2 grand. I probably should have got the rear rack when I bought the bike but I like the look of some of the aftermarket racks more and was hoping to find something a bit more sturdy. I bought the T bag which is more than ample for my commuting needs but think down the road I might travel a bit with the Brommie and a rear rack would be nice.

Bear
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Old 07-16-19, 07:22 AM
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The question isn't whether you will receive the same warranty, or about the replacement BB, it's about misrepresentation of selling an older model as new. If I were the LBS owner, I'd be horrified at what went down (telling you a bike was a '16 when in fact it was a '14) and would be rushing to replace it.

The fact that they're not rushing to replace it means they have you exactly where they want you - on the fence, because you like the bike, but don't want to go through the hassle of returning it. I'd still be upset with them and Brompton, and I'd be on the horn to Brommie if the LBS doesn't want to fix this. But that's just me.
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Old 07-16-19, 08:38 AM
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I'd be relaxed. If the price is more or less in the range what you'd have paid for a used bike of that age it sounds like a fair if not good deal to me. Regarding the wrongly lined out age: Mistakes happen and those kind of mistakes typically happens with Brompton dealers that do not sell loads of Bromptons and thus are not deeply into the model history. In between 2014 and 2016 there have been no relevant changes on the Brompton and yous is from Dec 2014, thus probably already a 2015 model year. Relevant changes have happened in 2013 (rims, cranks, brake levers etc.) - those are obvously on your bike. The next bigger set of changes (apart from the rear carrier that you do not have anyway) happened in 2017 with stems, bars and shifters - you would not have those with a 2016 model anyway. So in my eyes a 2014 bike is in no way worse or woth less than a 2016. The bottom bracket has been exchanged. The warranty starts with the sales date, no matter when the bike was build.

In fact the only thing that happened was that the seller made a mistake regarding the build date but in your case it does neither make a technical difference nor has it any effects. Full list of changes in 2015 and 2016 (apart from special editions, accessories and colors:

2015:
minimally different surface pattern on the saddle
slightly different material and surface pattern of the mud flap on the front whee.
height-limitation insert for the seatpost

2016:
new bell
new rear carrier
new roller wheels

So nothing relevant that you would miss. You do not have a rack and the roller wheels and height insert are easy and cheap to retrofit by yourself in case you want them. If your Brompton dealer is a really nice chap he might just throw them in for free as an excuse for the error and post these parts to you. I would be relaxed - if you liked the bike before so much that you bought it why would you suddenly not like it any more now just because it turned out to be two years older than you thought initially? The bike has not changed. And would you do the same with your girlfriend or wife?
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Old 07-16-19, 09:40 AM
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In terms of resale, does the age of a bike affect value? Just as cars depreciate with time, I would expect this 2014 bike to sell for less than a 2016. Seems to me the dealer should offer some sort of price-adjustment. If the price paid was appropriate for a 2016, now that the dealer knows it is a 2014, some correction seems due (either a price adjustment or some accessories or future service costs). The bike itself may not be any different but the resale will be, thus the value is diminished.
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Old 07-16-19, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
In terms of resale, does the age of a bike affect value?
It does, but only to minimal amount. It is more of a generation thing: Mk2, Mk3, Mk4 until 2013, Mk4 after 2013 and in future possibly Mk4 after 2017. In first 2 years there is a more recognizable loss in value, from then on a minimal one that comes more or less to a halt after a couple of years. For most buyers a "used Brompton" seems to be equal to another one, no matter of age or featureset. Which leads to old and very old bikes often to be massively overpriced for waht they deliver in terms of features and maintainance status in comparison to newer bikes. But as basically any MK4 bike is a good choice and any post-2013 bike an even better one a brandnew bike of an older model year for a cheaper price is economically the best buy.

Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Just as cars depreciate with time, I would expect this 2014 bike to sell for less than a 2016. Seems to me the dealer should offer some sort of price-adjustment. If the price paid was appropriate for a 2016, now that the dealer knows it is a 2014, some correction seems due (either a price adjustment or some accessories or future service costs). The bike itself may not be any different but the resale will be, thus the value is diminished.
If one would be greedy one could look up in older price lists what the list price was back in 2014. Typically in most years the price for a new Bromptons rises by a small margin. So a greedy person could use the official 2014 price as the baseline and then take a depreviation from that. Personally I consider this technically correct but a not very helpful attitude in terms of relationship with the dealer. And as the OP was willing to pay the price for the bike and even after it turned out to be a 2014 model the price for a brand new bike is around what a used 2014 model w/o warranty but with signs of usage would cost - where's the problem? BTW: Due to the price increase of Bromptons I could easily sell my late 2008 Brompton for the price I paid for it brand new in early 2009. Would not work with my 2015 model that I bought in 2015 for minimally below list price. Would also work with my 2010 model that I bought brand new in 2017 at a reduced price.
The OP saved 20% off the list price and he lives in Australia. I've no idea of the Brompton market there. Here you often get 10% off during winter season for stock models. Sometimes more if relevant changes come up in the new model year. But only for a limited period and not with every dealer. And Australia is lacking winter as far as I know. So his 20% seem to be more or less ok for my taste and as far as I can judge. Here in Germany a used 2014 model would be cheaper than 20% off list but a new one would maybe not.

Last edited by berlinonaut; 07-16-19 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 07-16-19, 02:22 PM
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It's the integrity of that LBS that I'm questioning.

If they sold me a new bike represented as a 2016, but it really turned out to be a 2014, one of two things is going on: Honest mistake, or they wanted to sell that bike badly enough to misrepresent it.

If it's an honest mistake, they should be all over making it right for you. If it's the latter, well......
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Old 07-16-19, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
It's the integrity of that LBS that I'm questioning.(...)

If it's an honest mistake, they should be all over making it right for you.
And what exactly would you expect to "make it right for you"? Especially given the fact that there are no relevant differences between 2014 and 2016 and even the resale value used is comparable?
And - out of curiosity - do you deal with clients and have you been in a similar situation yourself?
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Old 07-16-19, 02:48 PM
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Old 07-16-19, 02:52 PM
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I hope it was an honest mistake by the shop. In all fairness I rode 2019, 2017, versions and this one and still bought this one. I didn't order it online and get something I wasn't expecting. Still slightly disappointed but as long as I'm taken care of and have warranty I'll be right.
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Old 07-16-19, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by berlinonaut View Post
And what exactly would you expect to "make it right for you"? Especially given the fact that there are no relevant differences between 2014 and 2016 and even the resale value used is comparable?
And - out of curiosity - do you deal with clients and have you been in a similar situation yourself?
Making it right would be a new 2016 if that's what I was being sold originally. Newer than '16 wouldn't hurt. Full refund is the next option.

I've been in similar situations on both sides. As a seller, if anything were ever brought back to my attention that I missed, my attitude was, if I ever want further business from anyone again, I make it right immediately and without question. I don't make the customer go through hoops if it's on me. Not my MO.

All people make mistakes, all businesses makes mistakes. What really differentiates people and businesses is how they respond to their own mistakes.
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Old 07-16-19, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post

All people make mistakes, all businesses makes mistakes. What really differentiates people and businesses is how they respond to their own mistakes.

Good words my friend
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Old 07-16-19, 08:20 PM
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I have 45+ years in customer service management - in every instance where we made a misrepresentation to a customer, we made some attempt to correct it. If we could not correct it after the fact, then we made some other accommodation - if for no other reason that that is how we would want to be treated. Whether it is giving the customer some product (which only cost us about half the retail value) or providing some added service, it's an important acknowledgement of the customer and their importance. Making a mistake like this and just shrugging it off because it doesn't appear to make a big difference is poor customer relations, imo. I personally would not go back to that shop. If you're promised one thing but get another, it doesn't create confidence if they don't handle it well.
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