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Unsafe at Any Speed? The Bike Friday SatRday Mach II

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Unsafe at Any Speed? The Bike Friday SatRday Mach II

Old 11-08-14, 11:30 AM
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pm124
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Unsafe at Any Speed? The Bike Friday SatRday Mach II

This was the second frame failure on this bike and third accident due to mechanical problems. The company has been wonderfully helpful at addressing any problems. I am not the original owner, and they still sent me replacement parts. The bike has 780 miles on it. Yesterday, it just broke in half, causing the 3rd accident.

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Old 11-08-14, 11:36 AM
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None of the accidents resulted in serious injury. Not even a scratch yesterday, though I was about to undertake a rapid descent. The first accident resulted in a valve stem going into my calf, but nothing much beyond that. This might be a better thread for the bent forum, but it is a folding bike. Anyone have similar problems with a SatRday?
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Old 11-08-14, 11:43 AM
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Somebody call Ralph Nader. Stat!!
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Old 11-08-14, 03:35 PM
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It came to light during the tikit debacle that BikeFriday doesn't subject their unique designs to instrumented lifetime tests before releasing them to the public. Glad you haven't been seriously hurt.

I test rode a SatRday years ago. I noticed the front wheel could easily flop around backwards while the bike was at rest, crossing the steering rod. An unsuspecting rider could (and one almost did before I stopped her) hop on a SatRday and take off with reversed steering.

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Old 11-08-14, 04:10 PM
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NB they can make it right again , at the factory .. nothing but gawking to do here..

Little more wall thickness ought to do it. might add a ounce or 2.

Loop wheels on one of those would be slick..

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-08-14 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 11-08-14, 05:56 PM
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That bike went through two design iterations, then was abandoned. If Bike Friday is in any mood to compensate you for your repeated mishaps, grab a Pocket or NWT from them and be happy. And safe!
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Old 11-08-14, 06:50 PM
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1st failure of that piece Ive read about.

you'd have to ask directly to really know. my suspicion is the tikits and the rest take up so many man-hours to make
and would still outsell the Sat-r- day a thousand to 1..
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Old 11-08-14, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
1st failure of that piece Ive read about.

you'd have to ask directly to really know. my suspicion is the tikits and the rest take up so many man-hours to make
and would still outsell the Sat-r- day a thousand to 1..
I think you're right. The photos I've seen of the fold point to a complex process resulting in not much reduction in size, so the point of the exercise is lost. In my opinion recumbents just aren't a good candidate for folding.
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Old 11-09-14, 07:43 AM
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That isn't going to look good on a resume.
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Old 11-09-14, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
1st failure of that piece Ive read about.

you'd have to ask directly to really know. my suspicion is the tikits and the rest take up so many man-hours to make
and would still outsell the Sat-r- day a thousand to 1..
It may turn out to be a rare failure on a less common Bike Friday model but it is a catastrophic failure nonetheless.

+1 on Joe Remi's advice. Get an alternative model and scrap this bike. Bike Friday have a good reputation for addressing issues and not sticking their head in the ground.

Last edited by mulleady; 11-09-14 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 11-09-14, 09:42 AM
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The German 'grashopper' by HP VeloTechnik is likely vastly superior.
HP Velotechnik - Products - Grasshopper fx (recumbent)

inquire about a full refund+ like buy back..
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Old 11-09-14, 11:21 AM
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Thanks everyone. Bike Friday is a great company. I will let you know what they decide to do once they return my email during the work week. I have heard a number of other owners with various problems. The only one that seems to be a consistent problem is the seat supports breaking.
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Old 11-09-14, 11:26 AM
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This is the seat support that broke on me a month ago. The replaced it with high quality steel supports very quickly.
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Old 11-09-14, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by pm124 View Post
This was the second frame failure on this bike and third accident due to mechanical problems. The company has been wonderfully helpful at addressing any problems. I am not the original owner, and they still sent me replacement parts. The bike has 780 miles on it. Yesterday, it just broke in half, causing the 3rd accident.

It's one thing to be nice and helpful, but what's the point if it keeps breaking and unsafe?

' seems like the NWT is the best BF design. ' don't here much failure on them.
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Old 11-09-14, 01:44 PM
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One wonders if they have an actual engineer who does the design work. There are some things which only engineers are allowed to design, like bridges. Illegal for anyone else. Safety and so on. Bicycles that are sold to the public probably falls in the same category.
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Old 11-09-14, 02:01 PM
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If I were a manager or exec at Bike Friday I would be falling all over myself to send you a new bike ASAP with a pre-paid shipping label so you could return that one for destruction. Much cheaper than defending a lawsuit if you were to be seriously injured.
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Old 11-09-14, 02:21 PM
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But venting and posting a few pix, on this forum is no substitute for actually contacting the company .. no indication that was done ..

I only can pat You top of the head and say there ,there, now and "oh that is such a Shame".



Making that portion out of 3/16" wall thick tube would be stronger.
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Old 11-09-14, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by pm124 View Post
Thanks everyone. Bike Friday is a great company. I will let you know what they decide to do once they return my email during the work week. I have heard a number of other owners with various problems. The only one that seems to be a consistent problem is the seat supports breaking.
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
But venting and posting a few pix, on this forum is no substitute for actually contacting the company .. no indication that was done ..

I only can pat You top of the head and say there ,there, now and "oh that is such a Shame".



Making that portion out of 3/16" wall thick tube would be stronger.
Fietsbob does post number 12 say something you don't understand? It was posted three hours before your comment. I love how you are such a BF fan boi but sometimes it gets to be a little much and your condescending comments don't really add anything to the conversation.

To the OP, I am glad he posted, I am glad he replies to the comments on the board. He is yet once to actually make a negative comment but states what has broken. Can't see a problem with that. I hope they take the bike back and that you can move onto something you will feel safe riding.
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Old 11-09-14, 03:00 PM
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Hello all, yes I did reach out to them and will let you all know what they say. I agree that besides this bike and the Ticket, they have a good track record. They have also been great about managing the problems that have come up thus far.
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Old 11-09-14, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
1st failure of that piece Ive read about.
Maybe you weren't paying attention:
Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
That bike went through two design iterations, then was abandoned.
I also remember an owner over in the Commuting forum talking about an issue with this bike. The OP does not seem to be in a unique situation.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
But venting and posting a few pix, on this forum is no substitute for actually contacting the company .. no indication that was done ..
Again,let's pay attention:
Originally Posted by pm124 View Post
The company has been wonderfully helpful at addressing any problems. I am not the original owner, and they still sent me replacement parts.
Pretty obvious that he's been in contact with the company. And I read nothing that sounds like venting. In fact,I'm amazed at the OP's tone,I'd be lighting them up if I was dealing with multiple frame failures. We get it,you really like BF. But that's no reason to give someone static because they dared to show the company isn't perfect.

pm124,I'll +1 on trying to get a different model frameset.
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Old 11-09-14, 04:38 PM
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glad you got to talk with HQ.
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Old 11-11-14, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jur View Post
One wonders if they have an actual engineer who does the design work.
Rob English has a Masters in mechanical engineering from Cambridge, in addition to being a bike speed record holder. Though I think the Sat-R-Day predated him.

[Note: Rob got in a very, very bad crash earlier this year and is unlikely to return to work any time soon]
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Old 11-12-14, 10:58 AM
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Hanz Scholz has referred to himself as an engineer in the context of talking about materials and design. What it means is open to interpretation.

I think that the movement from the first SatRDay to the second design had nothing to do with structural failures rather than moving from ERTO 349 to 406 wheels. Perhaps it also involved a move from a diamond design to a big monotube design. I believe they have made arguments why the monotube design is better; but more broadly I believe they try to use the same frame components over different bikes for efficiency and quality control purposes.

Personally, I never heard of a widespread flaw in their designs; I ride recumbents and talk to other bent-folks. I have seen references on bentrider.com to a person having the braces for the seat repaired.

Perhaps it would make sense for PM124 to send it back for an overhaul. They offer specials and given that his bike has had a few problems they might give you a really good deal.

Alternatively, you might still be able to find a Ice folding SWB. Linear is now offering a folding model. HP Velotechnik also offers a folding model with a good reputation.
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Old 11-12-14, 11:06 AM
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Oh ... from memory, Bike Friday wrote that discontinuing the SatRDay was only about applying limited resources to products that sold more ... the tikit to be specific. Anyway, the bikes have been around for a while. I personally would not be worried about it after an overhaul. I believe they normally strip it down and do a few tests on the frame.
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Old 11-12-14, 01:47 PM
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Hello--Actually, I haven't heard back with them since I emailed them pictures on Friday. They are hopefully just pondering. Will give a call follow up if I don't hear back. This was the sport. All Dura Ace. It rode like a dream. Albeit not nearly as fast as my Bacchetta, it was more fun to ride.

Doing some research, I have heard of a lot of broken seat stays/seat issues and a broken boom, but not much else has been posted online with respect to frame failures. I'm not even sure how many of these bikes were made, but this was among the first. I also owned one of the last of the batch. That bike felt a lot more solid, but that might have just been psychological--it was the tour version and was a lot heavier. ;0
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