Bike Friday Tikit Stem Safety Inspection…

3 10 2012

Click to jump to the Tikit inspection protocol…

Bike Friday is advising owners that they should check their Tikit’s stem mast for cracks. You can click on the image above to jump to the web page with instructions for the required inspection protocol. You can register your Tikit at this link to ensure you receive info from Bike Friday about this issue.

Bike Friday is telling Tikit owners not to ride their bikes until the problem is fully investigated. That’s definitely the most cautious route and it makes sense for them given the potential liability costs of even one accident.

My understanding is that this problem has affected 5 bikes out of 4000 that have been made so far. Clearly a stem mast failure is serious, but it’s not common problem.

Personally I inspected my Tikit and I have no cracks so I’ll continue to ride my bike, but I’ll check the stem mast every week to ensure that no cracks start. To be clear that’s a personal risk assessment. I’m not recommending Tikit owners ride their bikes or suggesting it’s safe. If you choose to ride your Tikit you do so at your own risk.

I appreciate the head’s up from Bike Friday about this. I’m sure they’ll figure out what’s going on and resolve the issue fully for their customers. Sharon’s keen on getting a Tikit at some point and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another bike from Bike Friday.

I’ve been doing stupid stuff like this on my Tikit since 2007…

I have been unofficially torture testing my Tikit by riding down stairs and jumping off curbs since 2007. My stem mast hinge is in perfect shape. Again not a recommendation that you try the same stuff with your bike, but I just wanted to put things in perspective.


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4 responses

3 10 2012
Micheal Blue

Very unfortunate. I just ordered a tikit…to replace my Dahon. That Dahon ditched me when the steerer tube broke during a ride (fortunately at a very low speed so no damage to my body). With stems this long, the forces down at the head tube must be huge. Certainly the highest quality materials should be used for that. I’d happily go for a NWT if it would folder smaller…

3 10 2012
thelazyrando

@Micheal – BF will sort out the problem. At the moment we are talking about 5 bikes out of 4000 or 0.1 % failure. The Tikit is a great bike. I’d stick with it over the NWT for commuter use.

5 10 2012
Kemal

BF is showing an unusual level of candor over this issue.

A forensic metallurgist friend seems to think a crack rate of less than 3% is too low for it to be just fatigue failure. Defective steel caused by hydrogen embrittlment may be at the core of the issue.

I have two of these tikits with no cracks.

5 10 2012
thelazyrando

@Kemal – BF mentioned something vague about one cause possibly being the receipt of materials that were not as specified. Maybe they got a bunk order of steel tubing or hinge parts??

It certainly doesn’t seem to affect all Tikits so it will be interesting to see what the causal factors are when they have a full understanding of the problem.

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