Safety Warning: Do not ride your tikit

September 27, 2012

September 27, 2012

Dear Bike Friday tikit owners:

It is with much concern that I write to you today. We have found that your tikit could be dangerous to ride. I want to tell you in the strongest terms we recommend all Bike Friday tikit owners to stop riding their bicycles immediately, until we have fully determined which tikits are at risk.

We have learned that two tikit stems have broken. A stem break is a very serious issue. Should your stem break while you are riding it there is a high risk of losing control of your bike causing you to crash with serious injury or even death as a result.

In August, 2012, an owner of a Bike Friday tikit sustained injury when his front stem broke while riding. Earlier this month, in September, 2012, we learned of a second stem failure.

We received the first bike for inspection [the second is still unavailable to us] 10 days ago, and upon reviewing the results of that inspection we acknowledge the potential exists for front stems to crack, and ultimately break.

Because of that, we recommend you do not ride your tikit until we can conduct enough tests to isolate the problem, the extent of its potential for failure, and implement safeguards to make your tikit safe to ride again.

Please visit this link on our website to fill out a registration form so we can keep you updated as we work through this issue. We will  follow up this letter with information on how to inspect your tikit for potential problems.

We are very serious at Green Gear about this. Many of us are regular and extensive tikit users. I have ridden a tikit since the first weeks of production in spring 2007. I rode it to work daily and on tours — even doing several century rides on it until it was stolen last year. My wife and two of my daughters own and ride tikits regularly.

The tikit is an important transportation solution for my two daughters and neither owns an automobile, relying on their bike for most travel. I understand that this will also be true for many of you. I say this so you understand how deeply I apologize for the inconvenience this causes for you not to ride your tikit until we have come up with a safe solution for you.

At this time our engineers and designers have been working to replicate the problem so we can develop solutions. We have stems being tested around the clock. I promise we will share our findings as soon as we have enough information to draw conclusions and offer solutions. Until then, please do not ride your tikit and make sure you register your contact information with us.

This safety warning only affects Bike Friday 16-inch wheel tikits. We have suspended production and delivery of tikits. It does not affect any of our 20-inch Bike Fridays.

I appreciate your patience in this matter. We have nearly 4,000 Bike Friday tikits located around the world, and getting this important message to all tikit owners is our priority. I hope you can imagine the challenge for a company of 33 cycling enthusiasts here in Eugene.

Sincerely,

Alan Scholz, Co-Founder, Bike Friday

This is the tikit stem that failed that we have been able to inspect.

Entry filed under: News from the Factory. Tags: .

Making a Difference on a Friday 20-inch Bike Fridays are SAFE

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jolanda Riesen  |  September 28, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I ride a BF travel tikit DD24 since August 2009.

    Reply
    • 2. Raz  |  September 28, 2012 at 10:13 am

      We still recommend you do not ride it until we know more about the stem issues.

      Reply
  • 3. Ken Firestone  |  September 28, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Do all of the Tikits use the same stem part? Would replacing the stem with a different stem, perhaps a different design eliminate the problem for a bike with a replaced stem?

    Reply
    • 4. Raz  |  September 28, 2012 at 11:04 am

      Ken:
      Thanks for the questions. These are the questions we are working to resolve at this point. As soon as we have answers, we promise we will share them with you.

      Reply
  • 5. David  |  September 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I had the stem crack right under the lip of the folding hinge back in May. Didn’t break off, I noticed it before it reached that point.

    Reply
    • 6. Raz  |  September 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

      Please make sure that you register to get the updates. Someone will be contacting you soon to interview you about this incident. Thanks for letting us know. As we’ve said, this is an ongoing process.

      Reply
  • 7. David Bergen  |  September 28, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I have inspected Dori’s replacement Tikit and found no evidence of any metal fatigue or incipient cracking inside or outside of the stem between the clamp and hinge. I will inspect my Tikit when I return to where it is at the moment.

    Thank you for your positive actions in this situation. However I don’t understand why you didn’t e-mail the notice to all the owners in your database and also to the Yak! ? I heard of it from a posting on the Yak! by Alex Wetmore.

    Reply
    • 8. Raz  |  September 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      At this point we would still recommend that you do not ride your tikit, no matter what inspection might show. The fact is we just don’t know enough at this point. Our initial email went to ALL tikit owners in our database, and we’ve been working closely with our Bike Friday dealers past and present to notify all tikit owners in their databases. We are lucky to have such an active community that word spread much faster than we could do on our own. Contacting thousands of individuals all around the world is no easy task, but our emphasis was getting directly to those we can identify. Many owners have since been asked to have their emails removed from our database, so we are in the process of contacting them by other means. We appreciate everyone’s patience, and understanding that we are a small company with limited resources.

      Reply
  • 9. keith  |  October 1, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Off topic, but had Giant seat post snap off & I attempted to report it as a safety defect & no one cared. Er, well except me. Older Cypress model.

    Reply
  • 10. Jim Endicott  |  October 5, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Tikit purchased april 2007 from Urbane Cyclist shop, Toronto, ON, Canada. I have ridden it more than 9000 kilometres.

    Reply
  • 11. Dave Holladay  |  October 12, 2012 at 1:31 am

    The high stress on this area makes it especially a problem with compact folding bikes. All makes have had issues to resolve (or not) on bikes in service.

    The Tactic used an off-the peg hinge and latch with a stub & binder bolt to go inside the lower section (steereer tube & forks) I had 2 fail where the stub tube fractured at the weld to the lower hinge plate, and oly the bolt & binder wedge held the steering together. The same happens with the Micro under severe loading. And for all bikes with high handlebars relative to the top race. Even the Brompton has issues arsing from thie leverage.

    Specialist bikes require prudent observation and some knowledge of what signs to trigger an alert. Thee picture is not sufficiently detailed to see where this fracture started and how much had failed before the catastrophic failure of the remaining reduced section.

    Reply
  • 12. Ken Firestone  |  October 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    So what will actually be replaced? Just the new part as pictured? That part and the lower hinge? More?

    Reply
    • 13. Raz  |  October 15, 2012 at 9:26 am

      The entire stem will be replaced including the lower and upper hinges.

      Reply
  • 14. Ken Firestone  |  October 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    How difficult is the replacement? What is involved in changing the stems? I am debating if I should do it myself or bother the local BF dealer.

    Reply
  • 15. Pete Lee  |  October 18, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    @Alan: I was incredibly saddened to hear about this: I was visiting the website to re-ponder the purchase of a Tikit (which I’ve been coveting for years).

    Thank you for doing the right thing and putting the safety of your customers first. Fingers crossed that you find a good solution that reflects the superb standards of Bike Friday!

    Reply
    • 16. Raz  |  October 19, 2012 at 7:07 am

      Peter:
      I hope you see by all the updates that we have solved the issues. We have created a new design for the tikit stem that has surpassed all our expectations on safety tests, it was verified by an independent source and has approval of from the agency we needed most. More on that soon. But we are building tikits with the new stem and delivering them around the world. And we begun building the replacements for those in urgent need of getting back on their tikits.

      Reply

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