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tikit stem

tikit stem update 3.12.13

Dear Bike Friday tikit owners:

Let us begin by apologizing to those Bike Friday tikit owners who feel frustrated and upset over the long wait for their replacement stems.

We know that spring is quickly coming upon us, and with it the strong urge to get out and ride. We want to get you out on your Bike Friday tikit.

We are working on the solution as fast as we can without jeapardizing our future.

We knew this would be a monumental task for a small company such as ours, yet we confidently believe we can overcome the difficulties to deliver the type of customer service you have grown to know from Bike Friday.

The past few months have shown us what a difficult task we face. Even in our good years, the off-season can be an extremely challenging time for us. The tikit stem recall has amplified our challenges.

We continue to build and ship 50 to 90 tikit stem replacements every week, and more when we can. We have individually built and shipped 1,095 tikit stem replacements -- more than half of the requests submitted.

[In October we had more than 800 submissions with more than 60 percent of those listed as a priority 1 level. We continue to receive new submissions daily.]

Our expert staff custom builds each tikit stem by hand to match the color, fold type and upper stem type that will match your bike. Only a few individuals are trained to weld these custom parts, so we can't job them out to just anyone. This makes it quite time consuming to replace all our stems.

We are working on a system so a Priority Level 3 who has waited several months will receive their stem before a Priority Level 1 who just signed up last week.

If you find you have an urgent need for your stem replacement to be completed by a certain date for any reason, contact our Stem Replacement Team and we will work with you as best we can.

Thanks again for all your patience. You are a great group of people to work with.

Sincerely,
Alan Scholz
and the Bike Friday team

UPDATE CODE: 2020
 

tikit stem update 1.28.13

Dear Bike Friday tikit owners:

We have been working hard and steady on shipping tikit stem replacements since you heard from us last. Some of you have pointed out it has been too long. We apologize!

We continue to build and ship 50 to 90 tikit stem replacements every week, and more when we can. We have had 1,600 replacement forms submitted and we have shipped replacements for 840.

Many customers have asked why we have not shut down all production of bicycles to build tikit stem replacements full time with all of our staff.

The reason is that we want to continue to stay in business into the future so that we can continue to offer you service on your Bike Fridays as well as honor the lifetime warranty on your bike frame. In order to do that we must continue to build new bikes while also building the replacement stems.

Our expert staff custom builds each tikit stem by hand to match the color, fold type and upper stem type that will match your bike. Only a few people can weld these so we can't job them out to just anyone. This makes it quite time consuming to replace 1,600 stems.

We have updated the current priority system so a Priority Level 3 who has waited several months will receive their stem before a Priority Level 1 who just signed up last week. We apologize for not making this adjustment sooner.

If you find you have an urgent need for your stem replacement to be completed by a certain date for any reason, contact our Stem Replacement Team and we will work with you as best we can.

Thanks again for all your patience. You are a great group of people to work with.

Sincerely,
Alan Scholz
and the Bike Friday team

P.S. Please do not re-submit the tikit stem form if you have already filled it out once. If you have any questions about your stem please contact our Stem Replacement Team and we will work with you as best we can.

P.P.S. Many tikit owners who have received their new stems have written to us saying they are very happy and some have even experienced an improvement in their ride.

Bike Friday tikit owners email tikitowners@bikefriday.com

If you do not have Internet access, please feel free to call us (800.777.0258 or 541.687.0487)

tikit stem update 12.19.12

Dear Bike Friday tikit owners:

As the year draws to a close, some of you have asked for an update on our replacement program for our tikit stem recall.

We have received replies and replacement request forms from nearly 40% of about 3,800 tikit owners around the world.

From that group, we have completed the initial High Priority [Extremely Urgent -- 1] requests and are now working on second level priority requests as well as new High Priority requests as they arrive.

We have shipped more than 42% of the replacement stems requests we have received to date. It takes about 1 hour of production time to build a new stem.

Once again, we thank everyone for their patience and support during this recall.

If you have not already done so, please fill out the STEM REPLACEMENT FORM that you need to have to get a new stem as quick as possible. This is IN ADDITION to the registration for updates form and inspection survey we have previously asked you to fill out. Sorry for so many forms.

You can find all information pertaining to the stem issue at this link to our website.

If you know of any other tikit owners who may not be reading their e-mail please pass this message on to them. We want to find everyone!

Thank you again for your patience.

Alan Scholz, Co-Founder, Bike Friday

If you do not have Internet access, please feel free to call us (800.777.0258 or 541.687.0487)

Bike Friday tikit owners email tikitowners@bikefriday.com

tikit stem SAFETY WARNING, Update #6 [10.11.12]

The process for tikit
stem replacement

Dear Bike Friday tikit owners:

We know you are anxious to get back on your tikit. We have finalized the first steps of the replacement process.

We will build replacement stems for the 3,800 tikits spread around the world, and will work with each of you to see that your stem is replaced and you are back on your tikit as quickly as we can.

We will send the replacement stem directly to you or your Bike Friday dealer, your choice. We will reimburse tikit owners with a stipend for the labor cost of installing the replacement stem. tikit owners in the USA will be asked to send their defective stems back to us for disposal.

We can't express how deep our gratitude is for the continuing support and patience of all tikit owners. We were humbled by the response to our call for financing ideas to enable us to move faster with our process than we would be able to do otherwise. We are working on that while we continue to move ahead at best speed. Already several people have come forward so that our confidence is much improved.

We are making progress in lining up material and the additional manpower necessary to build replacement tikit stems.

One of the biggest challenges in the next phase will be deciding what order to replace the stems. Thank you to those who already have offered to wait while those in urgent need are taken care of first.

This form is somewhat extensive and detailed, as we do need all this information to implement each stem replacement. We also give you the opportunity to rate your level of urgency so we can make sure those who rely on their tikits everyday can be serviced as soon as possible.

Please fill out the STEM REPLACEMENT FORM that you need to have to get a new stem as quick as possible. This is IN ADDITION to the registration for updates form and inspection survey we have previously asked you to fill out. Sorry for so many forms.

If you know of any other tikit owners who may not be reading their e-mail please pass this message on to them. We want to find everyone!

Thank you again for your patience.

Alan Scholz, Co-Founder, Bike Friday

Bike Friday tikit owners email tikitowners@bikefriday.com

If you do not have Internet access, please feel free to call us (800.777.0258 or 541.687.0487)
 

ALERT CODE: 1949

 

 

[note: all updates will be emailed to tikit owners who have registered and will also appear here.]

tikit stem SAFETY WARNING, Update #5 [10.09.12]

Focus turns to tikit stem replacement

Dear Bike Friday tikit owners:

We want to get each and every one of you back on your tikit as soon as possible. You can imagine the challenges that still lie ahead.

Testing continues to support our confidence in the tikit stem solution. We have focused our attention on the next task: replacing each and every tikit stem out there.

We have begun ordering materials to start the process to replace nearly 4,000 tikit stems that have been built since we introduced the bike in 2007.

Since we are a small manufacturer with just 33 employees, we've begun making plans to line up the additional manpower necessary build replacement tikit stems while maintaining our daily commitments.

We have been lucky to have some former Bike Friday employees step forward to help, but a bulk of the workload will be performed as overtime hours. If there is a silver lining, it could be the timing. At least it isn't our busy summer months!

Over the course of the next several weeks our suppliers will begin delivering material to us. The financial requirements are large, and we have begun to look for possible investors. Any assistance you can offer in that search would be greatly appreciated.

Our first step will be to collect more information pertaining to the replacement of your tikit stem. We are in the process of creating that form.

If you have not already done so, we ask that you register as a tikit owner. Follow this link to our website to fill out a registration form. (No longer needed)If you need a stem please fill out the replacement form located in the article above.

If you do not have Internet access, please feel free to call us (800.777.0258 or 541.687.0487)

Alan Scholz, Co-Founder, Bike Friday

Bike Friday tikit owners email tikitowners@bikefriday.com
 

ALERT CODE: 1948

 

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tikit stem SAFETY WARNING, Update #4 [10.08.12]

tikit stem solution passes tests

ABOVE: The photo shows the redesigned steer tube of the tikit stem (on the left) we will use to replace steer tubes. Instead of two pieces (right) welded and brazed, it is machined as a single piece.

Dear Bike Friday tikit owners:

Let me begin by giving you my sincerest Thank You for the tremendous outpouring of support we have received from tikit owners during such a difficult time.

I'm pleased to be able to tell you that we have designed a solution for the tikit stem issues that exceeds the safety goals we were seeking.

We have created a machined steer tube that includes the stem collar as one piece.

The original design was created for specific steel tubing for the steer tube. Our research into this uncovered the fact that we were delivered tubing that did not meet our specifications. We were unaware of this change in delivery of our supplier. We are making changes to that process.

The new design moves all probable failure to where it was originally intended: the malleable cast Stainless Steel hinge. A failure would show looseness in the stem, and would bend well before it would break. We always design for safe failing, if failure does happen.

We are confident in this design, and plan to begin building tikits with it by the end of this week. We are hard at work to create our replacement program to get you back on your tikit as soon as possible. More on this tomorrow.

Here is a recap of what we've done since our last update.

After about 4-5 days of accelerated testing of the stem, we had our preliminary results of how it was failing and a close timeline of how long it would last on our destruction tester.

We then started testing upgraded designs. We realized one of the drawbacks of our original process was that we were not able to inspect it after the build. Variation in the hidden area inside the joint was a factor in the stress induced failure.

Our upgrade design machines the part as a single unit. This removes the area that cannot be inspected.

By Thursday evening we had a stem exceeding our goal time on the testing machine without signs of failure. We continued to run it until the tack welds in the malleable Stainless Steel area cracked.

We then tested another like it with the hinge not just tacked but fully welded to see if we could drive a failure into the joint below. In this test what failed finally was the top weld. Not a weld that we have seen as at risk.

Since we wanted to test the new joint fully we then made a test stem with an insert ring in the top weld zone to strengthen and stiffen it. We were trying to push all the stress into the original break zone, since we knew how the stem would fail in the hinge area: It would bend and get sloppy.

This last stem test started Friday afternoon. I checked it at midnight, and saw no change. I went into work the next morning fully expecting to get a time on its failure by then, but no. So I worked Saturday until the evening, and it was still going strong. I came in and checked again about midnight Saturday and went over all the settings and pressures, thinking maybe we had missed something. It was way beyond expectations by then.

I was feeling a bit odd about running it day and night now well into its second day. As a Green oriented company we try to shut things down at night. To continue this test the way our shop is set up I needed not only to leave the compressor running full but the lights on!

Sunday morning, and went on a ride with the local club. After a good 40 miles, checked in at the shop. It was still going!

Eventually, we had the machine stopped a couple of times, but the total cumulative time it went was 42 hours, plus or minus a few minutes. And to get that we had to stack the deck against it as the stem would have failed in several other (not at risk) joints well before the first 20 hours.

To bolster our confidence in our solution, Richard King, an independent engineer with experience in failure analysis and stress analysis visited Bike Friday and reviewed our testing procedures as well as our solution. He wrote a review that can be viewed here, on our website. In the meantime, we are confident we have found a solution. We will begin building tikits with this new stem this week.

You can find all information pertaining to the stem issue at this link to our website.

We are moving forward as swiftly as we can, and thank you again for your patience.

Alan Scholz, Co-Founder, Bike Friday

Bike Friday tikit owners email tikitowners@bikefriday.com

If you do not have Internet access, please feel free to call us (800.777.0258 or 541.687.0487)
 

ALERT CODE: 1947

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Bike Friday tikit stem SAFETY WARNING, Update #3 [10.03.12]:

ABOVE: The device we use for testing tikit stems.

Dear Bike Friday tikit owners:

Let me begin by giving you my sincerest Thank You for the tremendous outpouring of support we have received from tikit owners during such a difficult time.

We cannot express how much it means to us to have that support. It strengthens our resolve and keeps us going through these long hours.

If anything, the wait is the toughest part. I'd like to share with you the timetable we've experienced.

The first couple of days were devoted to recreating the stem break on our testing machine, and develop a baseline for testing new designs and builds by setting the machine to break the standard stems within a reasonable time for comparison.

Once we understood how the stems were breaking and cracking, we devoted the end of last week to designing solutions, which in and of itself is a long process. Once we had an alternative built, we began testing.

The first test went 10.5 hours on our testing device, where we exert 340 pounds of pressure at 8 inches of stem once every second. We made modifications, and the second test went 18 hours and 15 minutes [without failure]. We continue to test our solutions as we work to find the best final answer. But you can see how time extensive it is.

View Video of our stem testing device

We have received inspection results from nearly 100 tikit owners at the printing of this email, and have learned more about the issue.

We have found that there are several contributing factors to this issue, including materials that were delivered to us outside our required specifications.

Because of that, we continue to strongly recommend that you do not ride your Bike Friday tikit no matter what results you might have found in personally inspecting your bike. We just don't know the reliability of the stems we produced. You are at risk if you ride your tikit.

If you have not already done so, we ask that you register as a tikit owner. Follow this link to our website to fill out a registration form so we can keep you informed on this serious situation and contact you when we are ready to arrange implementing our solution. (No longer needed. If you need a stem replacement please fill out the replacement form located in newer article above.

You can find all information pertaining to the stem issue at this link to our website. We also ask that you spread the word and make certain that every Bike Friday tikit owner you know has been updated on our Safety Warning.

This safety warning only affects Bike Friday 16-inch wheel tikits, It does not affect any of our 20-inch Pocket Bike Fridays.

It has always been our goal to be a Golden Rule company. I do hope we will be able to meet the high expectations your praise sets.

Our continued goal is to make it possible to always have a good bike with you. We all believe in bicycles and bicycling.

I would like to respond to each of you, but if you do not hear from me personally it is because of time constraints from our focus to get both a solid and a fast fix for this. I am thinking of you as the test stems are destroyed on our test bench so they will not break again.

If you do not have Internet access, please feel free to call us (800.777.0258 or 541.687.0487)

 

Alan Scholz, Co-Founder, Bike Friday

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Bike Friday tikit stem SAFETY WARNING, Update #2 [10.01.12]

Dear Bike Friday tikit owners:

We are making progress toward understanding our tikit stem issues better, and have begun testing possible solutions.

We now know that there have been 5 complete breaks of our tikit stems out of the nearly 4,000 tikits we have sold. In addition, we have found that the issue is not isolated to older or heavily used tikits.

As a result, we continue to strongly recommend that you so not ride your Bike Friday tikit

If you have not already done so, we ask that you register as a tikit owner. Follow this link to our website to fill out a registration form so we can keep you informed on this serious situation.

We also ask that you spread the word and make certain that every Bike Friday tikit owner you know has been updated on our Safety Warning.

To help us conduct further research into this issue, we ask that all tikit owners inspect their tikit or have their tikit inspected.

By inspecting your tikit, you can help provide valuable information to assist us in finding solutions to this issue.

We have created step-by-step instructions along with a short video to help guide you in the process of inspecting your tikit.

The inspection should take less than 5 minutes, and all you need is a flashlight.<

If you feel that you cannot perform this inspection by yourself, Bike Friday will pay to have someone qualified look at your stem and determine if it has cracks.

No matter what the outcome of your inspection, we continue to recommend that you do not ride your tikit.

This safety warning only affects Bike Friday 16-inch wheel tikits, It does not affect any of our 20-inch Pocket Bike Fridays.

Follow this link to our website to see inspection instructions.

When you have completed your inspection, we ask that you fill out a longer tikit owners survey that will provide us with important information.

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience we have caused you. We value our relationship with you and are doing everything we can to find quick and safe solutions to this issue.

Alan Scholz, Co-Founder, Bike Friday

Below is a photo of a tikit stem with a crack. This tikit was built in May 2012. This problem is not limited to older tikits. Please do not ride your tikit.

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Bike Friday tikit stem SAFETY WARNING, Update #1 [09.28.12]:

Our continued research into the tikit stem issue has shown that we have documented instances where cracks in the stem show potential for the stem to break.

A review of our service warranty records since 2007 show that about 2.5 % of the nearly 4,000 tikits we have sold have experienced stem issues that could be related to this issue. We are in the process of contacting as many of those owners as we can to learn more about this issue.

Our interviews with those Bike Friday owners that we have been able to reach tell us that most of them experienced play or loosening of the stem, which led them to have their stem checked. Most instances have been after long periods of extended use. The two breaks in the stem were after 1.5 to 2 years of heavy usage.

Again, at this point, Bike Friday strongly recommends that you do not ride your tikit.

If you have not already done so, we ask that you register as a tikit owner [fill out the registration form if you haven't already] so we can keep you informed on this serious situation.

To help us conduct further research into this issue, we will ask that all tikit owners inspect their tikit or have their tikit inspected. [Instructions on how to inspect your tikit will come Monday.]

Our research into the issue has shown that failure of the stem should be visible to anyone inspecting the stem, and Bike Friday will create a video and step-by-step instructions to help you inspect your stem. We plan to have that information to you on Monday.

REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME OF YOUR INSPECTION, WE STILL RECOMMEND YOU DO NOT RIDE YOUR tikit.

If you feel that you cannot perform this inspection by yourself, Bike Friday will pay to have someone qualified look at your stem and determine if it has cracks.

At this time our engineers and designers have been able to replicate the problem, and we have begun working on  solutions. We have suspended production and delivery of tikits until we can come to conclusions on this issue. We are working to redesign the stem.

This safety warning only affects Bike Friday 16-inch wheel tikits, It does not affect any of our 20-inch Pocket Bike Fridays.

STEP-BY-STEP INSPECTION INSTRUCTIONS WILL COME MONDAY. We will update you with more information as it becomes available to us. We understand the implications of not being able to ride your tikit, and we appreciate your patience as we work through this issue.

Bike Friday tikit owners email [click on link]

If you do not have Internet access, please feel free to call us (800.777.0258 or 541.687.0487)

This photo is from the stem break that injured a Bike Friday owner.

This photo is from a tikit stem that has developed cracks and could potentially break.

VIEW ORIGINAL SAFETY WARNING

Design a Bike Friday Online