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Just fell off my Brompton, what next?

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Just fell off my Brompton, what next?

Old 05-20-22, 11:08 PM
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mlau
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Just fell off my Brompton, what next?

Dear Fellow foldies,

I was biking back to my office when my Brompton snagged onto a crack on the sidewalk, and I fell off the thing.

Aside from a sprained wrist and a bruised ego, I noticed that my bike started handling pretty weird.

The handbags are bent, and the frame catch doesn't work anymore. Is it just a simple manner of getting new handlebars and a new frame catch? or adjusting a frame catch?

Also, are Bromptons surprisingly fragile?

I've fallen off other bikes, but never had a

distorted handlebar as a result.
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Old 05-21-22, 02:26 AM
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Sorry for your accident. I can see the bent handlebars. What do you mean by the frame catch? The part that catches the stem?
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Old 05-21-22, 05:35 AM
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Wish you’re fine! Do you have a local bike shop to check on the bike?
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Old 05-21-22, 06:42 AM
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With the information you provided, we cannot make definite statements but can make probabilistic. Most likely it is just the alu handlebar that got bent and its distortion interferes with the latching of the folded handlebars. The latter could be tested by loosening the handlebar, so it is free not too interfere. If there is still a problem with the latching, the less likely distortion of the stem could have occurred, raising complexity and costs for the fix.
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Old 05-21-22, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by mlau View Post
Are Bromptons surprisingly fragile?
Nope.
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Old 05-21-22, 08:07 AM
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Dont like to write this but maybe a "bent"?
You may not even have to lock it
Just having a little fun so dont take me serious.
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Old 05-21-22, 06:40 PM
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Aside from a sprained left wrist and bruised ego...I'm fine.

By not holding together, I mainly mean the front fork/frame catch. It doesn't hold secure.

Main reason for this thread is because I'm heavily thinking of buying a Brompton for my future wife. I don't want her to get injured off it due to faulty engineering.

I'd met a lovely couple in their 70's with matching Bromptons about the age of mine.

Also, I was thinking of Jur's tips.
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Old 05-21-22, 07:40 PM
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Did the catch work before? Let a Brompton dealer check it out.
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Old 05-21-22, 10:22 PM
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Rats Dude... You Fell!!!

Ok now... just as we learned when we were kids... Don't cry. Gather yourself up, wipe away the sniffles, and get ta fixing it. After all your bike is hurt and its your fault.

No... Really I am so glad you are all right. Many times a simple little fall can be catastrophic...
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No matter where your at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)
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Old 05-21-22, 10:31 PM
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Small wheels means small falls. Hurts much more from a taller height. Glad you are okay. Always get your frame checked after an accident. Steel is strong but you can get hairline cracks and other damage not easily seen. Best if you get a Brommie dealership to do it if you have one locally. They probably would not even charge to check it out and give you an estimate of any needed repairs. But the other thing about small wheels is they are less secure over uneven terrain and metal grates and ridges in cement than a bigger wheel.
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Old 05-21-22, 10:57 PM
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Well, when parishioners considering marriage visited their pastor (Pat Connor - book author), seeking advice, he asked them the seemingly unrelated question whether their prospective spouse had many friends. With my best wishes for the marriage plans, I very much hope that the seemingly unrelated assigning of blame for the damage to the bike does not transcribe similarly there.
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Old 05-22-22, 03:37 AM
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This math doesn't work. The rider is the same height from the ground. If anything, bigger wheels may roll over an obstacle that would stop small wheels, leading to less crashes.

Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Small wheels means small falls. Hurts much more from a taller height. Glad you are okay. Always get your frame checked after an accident. Steel is strong but you can get hairline cracks and other damage not easily seen. Best if you get a Brommie dealership to do it if you have one locally. They probably would not even charge to check it out and give you an estimate of any needed repairs. But the other thing about small wheels is they are less secure over uneven terrain and metal grates and ridges in cement than a bigger wheel.
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Old 05-22-22, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
This math doesn't work. The rider is the same height from the ground. If anything, bigger wheels may roll over an obstacle that would stop small wheels, leading to less crashes.
Not my real world experience at all, but you do you, lol.

Last edited by linberl; 05-22-22 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 05-23-22, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
Well, when parishioners considering marriage visited their pastor (Pat Connor - book author), seeking advice, he asked them the seemingly unrelated question whether their prospective spouse had many friends. With my best wishes for the marriage plans, I very much hope that the seemingly unrelated assigning of blame for the damage to the bike does not transcribe similarly there.

FWIW, I'm not blaming the bike for my fall. I'm the rider after all....
I tend to take a systems approach towards problem solving.

In this case, what are some factors that could have lead to the fall?
- Smaller wheels/bike- Ruling that out here
- Poor visibility/lighting. (I just had a helmet mounted o-light, so could see about 10+ yards ahead of me, but not right in front...since my basket was in the way).
I rode the same path this morning with my full sized touring bike, and found there was a very nasty pothole right about where I fell.
- Riding on sidewalk instead of the road.
Dumb decision, but most likely cause of the fall. Alameda doesn't tend to have potholes in the streets, and very rarely on sidewalks.

My main reason for starting this thread isn't to blame my bike.

Rather, I'd like to trouble shoot things before I buy a bike for my fiancé.
I don't particularly mind getting hurt, but wouldn't forgive myself if my fiancé is hurt due to some stupid decision I make.

I'm going to try and take a look at my bike after work, and see if there was something minor that I didn't maintain....or damages that need to be addressed for safe riding.
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Old 05-23-22, 01:47 PM
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Thinking about things, I'd like to have a dual lighting system for both Bromptons....something about fork level, and another maybe helmet mount?

Some guy on ****** seams to recommend the Cateye Volt 400 along with the fork mount.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...A1BHT86ZBDA0WR

Not sure if you have a recommendation for a rear light?
FWIW, I'm making sure that both bike helmets have rear lights on them.
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Old 05-23-22, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mlau View Post
Rather, I'd like to trouble shoot things before I buy a bike for my fiancé.
I don't particularly mind getting hurt, but wouldn't forgive myself if my fiancé is hurt due to some stupid decision I make.

I'm going to try and take a look at my bike after work, and see if there was something minor that I didn't maintain....or damages that need to be addressed for safe riding.
I do not think you need to worry about the manufacturing of the bike. Brompton is very well designed and manufactured with a reasonable balance between the employed materials and what they need to withstand. Still you may fall so unfortunately that the handlebars do to not turn one or the other way and the impact is taken directly by the elongated alu tube with the result that you got. Most common reasons for such falls, with no warnings, are cracks that near parallel to the direction of bike motion. The usual remedy is to turn the wheel so that it attacks the crack at an angle. The pothole you would likely feel with the bike, but of course it is also possible.

Last edited by 2_i; 05-23-22 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 05-23-22, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
I do not think you need to worry about the manufacturing of the bike. Brompton is very well designed and manufactured with a reasonable balance between the employed materials and what they need to withstand. Still you may fall so unfortunately that the handlebars do to not turn one or the other way and the impact is taken directly by the elongated alu tube with the result that you got. Most common reasons for such falls, with no warnings, are cracks that near parallel to the direction of bike motion. The usual remedy is to turn the wheel so that it attacks the crack at an angle. The pothole you would likely feel with the bike, but of course it is also possible.

Okay, so just to double check-- learning points:
1. Bromptons are well made bikes
2. Be sure to have good lighting options when riding in the dark.
3. Potholes are bad.

What should I check for on my bike?

FWIW, the fork/handlebar ended up twisting about 270 degrees.
It took a bit of work to untwist things so it was ridable again.

Just checking, because I'm sure there's someone way smarter than me at these things.
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Old 05-23-22, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mlau View Post
Okay, so just to double check-- learning points:
1. Bromptons are well made bikes
2. Be sure to have good lighting options when riding in the dark.
3. Potholes are bad.

What should I check for on my bike?

FWIW, the fork/handlebar ended up twisting about 270 degrees.
It took a bit of work to untwist things so it was ridable again.

Just checking, because I'm sure there's someone way smarter than me at these things.
I would not trust aluminum handlebars that got bent and were straightened back. Of course, when they are rotated in the stem clamp and rotated back without any bending, that is fine. However, aluminum works too close to its failure point in the handlebar role and when you deform the handlebars cold and straighten them back you pretty much set them up for failure. When they fail, the mishap may be well worse than so far. You should just get new handlebars.

Otherwise, in riding adjust the speed to the visibility and any other adverse factors. You may be successful riding under dim conditions, but then you need to be very if not very very slow.
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Old 05-23-22, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
I would not trust aluminum handlebars that got bent and were straightened back. Of course, when they are rotated in the stem clamp and rotated back without any bending, that is fine. However, aluminum works too close to its failure point in the handlebar role and when you deform the handlebars cold and straighten them back you pretty much set them up for failure. When they fail, the mishap may be well worse than so far. You should just get new handlebars.

Otherwise, in riding adjust the speed to the visibility and any other adverse factors. You may be successful riding under dim conditions, but then you need to be very if not very very slow.

Just to clarify, I didn't straighten the handlebar back.....just the entire wheel/fork/handlebar thing got twisted about 270 degrees or so and got stuck.
I had to twist it back, and the fork/wheel/handlebar thing popped back into place.

Do I need anything else aside from the handlebars?

I have a new handlebar on order from Perennial cycles.
Until I replace it, I'll be benching my Brompton in the short term.
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Old 05-23-22, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mlau View Post
just the entire wheel/fork/handlebar thing got twisted about 270 degrees or so and got stuck.
I had to twist it back, and the fork/wheel/handlebar thing popped back into place.

Do I need anything else aside from the handlebars?
How are we to know? Something does not sound right. It sounds like the stem riser twisted the quill wedge in headset. When you unfold the stem riser you will see a bolt head. Loosen it about a 1/4-inch. Then using a rubber mallet or hammer with a block of wood, knock it down. That should loosen the wedge. Fold the handlebars into the handlebar catch on the fork. Now tighten the wedge bolt pretty tight. You want it tight, but if you over do it you mess up the head tube. If you have no damage, your front wheel and new handlebar should be in their correct alignment.
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Old 05-23-22, 07:44 PM
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Just to let you know, you crashed. If you just up fell off, I would stop cycling. That could mean you have some type of health and balance problems.
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Old 05-25-22, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
How are we to know? Something does not sound right. It sounds like the stem riser twisted the quill wedge in headset. When you unfold the stem riser you will see a bolt head. Loosen it about a 1/4-inch. Then using a rubber mallet or hammer with a block of wood, knock it down. That should loosen the wedge. Fold the handlebars into the handlebar catch on the fork. Now tighten the wedge bolt pretty tight. You want it tight, but if you over do it you mess up the head tube. If you have no damage, your front wheel and new handlebar should be in their correct alignment.

Thanks for the tip!

I am working on the bike tonight. The new handlebar came in the mail. The old one is going out with recycling.
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Old 05-25-22, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
Just to let you know, you crashed. If you just up fell off, I would stop cycling. That could mean you have some type of health and balance problems.
Yup.

Not sure how to change the title of the thread?

Also, it was a pretty low speed crash.
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Old 05-25-22, 11:23 PM
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Man. First time in a while coming home before sundown.

Got the replacement handlebars on.

I've got to say...I admire the little bend backwards on the bar. It fits just the right angle to optimize the fold...but is subtle enough that I never realized it was there previously.

Pretty exhausted, but glad to get that part done.


Now, I just need to figure out why my front fender stay hook isn't holding on. I think so it's simply bent out of place, but not sure how to bend it back.
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Old 05-26-22, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mlau View Post
Man. First time in a while coming home before sundown.

Got the replacement handlebars on.

I've got to say...I admire the little bend backwards on the bar. It fits just the right angle to optimize the fold...but is subtle enough that I never realized it was there previously.

Pretty exhausted, but glad to get that part done.


Now, I just need to figure out why my front fender stay hook isn't holding on. I think so it's simply bent out of place, but not sure how to bend it back.
Pics, front and side of hook.

Last edited by Schwinnsta; 05-26-22 at 04:07 AM.
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