A Cargo Crisis

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5 Responses

  1. Dave Holladay says:

    Having snapped 6 Brompton frame front ends and 2 rear ends (plus around 6 rear triangles) I can strongly advise that with a steel frame you take very seriously any squidgy steering and make sure that the front wheel and back wheel are running on the same track. With the rear frames, both with the early pre-reinforcing splay on the Y brace where it is brazed on to the main tube, 2 details 1) the paint coating lifted from the steel 2) the front wheel was rolling almost 1″ offset from the rear wheel, when the bike was being ridden in a straight line.

    The front frame collapses, all but one with the old pre auto-brazed hinge castings the severe change of section & likely HAZ effect around the hand brazing made this an especially weak area. Failure was rapid, totally catastrophic but always at low speed. The ‘new’ frame failure started from a small crack on the seam of the seamed tube, possibly made by the tube bending contractor with the seam in the wrong orientation. Now the main frames use seamless tube do this issue is unlikely to happen again.

    All speaks volumes for steel frames – dirty iron with perlite and hard grain boundaries. Unlike aluminium alloys – weak eutectic Cu-Al mixes – where once a crack gets moving it goes very fast. Hence my preference for steel ‘bars, and cranks.

  1. August 20, 2019

    […] considering buying a Babboe, especially a secondhand one, please do make sure you read the update, ‘A Cargo Crisis’. Also look up the safety warning issued by […]

  2. August 22, 2019

    […] The safety warning comes just days after Babboe City user and blogger Diane Farrell (aka Mummy's Gone A Cycle) wrote a blog about the problems she'd had with her Babboe City E-Cargo bike snapping in half whilst …. […]

  3. September 22, 2019

    […] Ideally I would like my seven year old to be riding his own bike to school. He did so while the cargo bike was broken. It was fine, but the parked cars along the cycle lanes and the attitudes of some of the school run […]

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