Warning on Rans Rad-Locs

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Hugh Johnson, Mar 23, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hugh Johnson

    Hugh Johnson Guest

    Today, at approximately 4 pm, I rode my new V-Rex into a WalMart parking lot, just passing through,
    taking a short-cut home (1 mile to go) after a leisurely 20-mile spin. For the second time ever, I
    hit a pot hole bad enough to knock my clip-on tail light out of its little homemade holder, so when
    I heard the light skittering across the pavement I turned around, dodged some traffic, scooped it
    up, put it in my pocket, and resolved to fix the flimsy holder when I got home. I had forgotten to
    downshift far enough to accelerate easily out of traffic again. I had to mash my pedals good and
    hard. That's when it happened.

    Suddenly, my seat slide back with a loud "SNAP!" Luckily, my feet hit the ground to break my fall,
    if only because I could no longer reach the pedals. I briskly walked the bike to safety, looked it
    over, and couldn't believe what I saw.

    The seat pan attaches to the urethene Rad-Loc assembly with a big hinge, the size of a door hinge
    but twice as wide. That hinge is made of thin aluminum. Mine is mangled almost beyond recognition.
    The metal is fatigued and ripped completely in two along the line of the screw holes that affix it
    to the bottom of the seat.

    Obviously, aluminum is nowhere near sturdy enough to tollerate the stress of my pedalstrokes -- and
    I'm no Hercules.

    I called Calhoun just a few minutes before their closing time, and they'll be closed all day
    tomorrow, so I won't get any service or satisfaciton until Tuesday. But I did find out that all
    Rad-Locs have the aluminum hinge, and I suspect that this is a common problem, else why would they
    have a drawer full of spare Rad-Locs?

    This is a new bike. It's a 2002, but I bought it just last month on closeout, and I've only put 160
    miles on it. I did wipe out on ice once, but it wasn't even bad enough to scuff the seat cover. In
    retrospect, I think there have been signs of metal fatigue for several days leading up to this. I've
    felt strange little "clunks" on occasions when I pedaled hard, which I thought were due to my wobbly
    underseat padlock bracket, but they were really "clunkier" than a mere wobbling weight. It never
    occurred to me to inspect the seat hinge. Why would it? Bikes are supposed to be built to ride!

    Has anyone else experienced a catastropic failure of this hinge? Does anyone else see signs of metal
    fatigue on their's? I'm hopping mad about this right now. The hinge is really, really, ridiculously
    under-engineered.
     
    Tags:


  2. John Riley

    John Riley Guest

    Hugh Johnson wrote: [...]
    > Has anyone else experienced a catastropic failure of this hinge? Does anyone else see signs of
    > metal fatigue on their's? I'm hopping mad about this right now. The hinge is really, really,
    > ridiculously under-engineered.

    This was discussed some last season. The first generation of these were subject to failure. IIRC
    heat treating was tried and that didn't help, so now there is a heavier, machined hinge available. I
    don't think it will be a problem to get this replaced NC.

    John Riley
     
  3. Mike Warner

    Mike Warner Guest

    John Riley wrote:

    >
    >
    > Hugh Johnson wrote: [...]
    >> Has anyone else experienced a catastropic failure of this hinge? Does anyone else see signs of
    >> metal fatigue on their's? I'm hopping mad about this right now. The hinge is really, really,
    >> ridiculously under-engineered.
    >
    > This was discussed some last season. The first generation of these were subject to failure. IIRC
    > heat treating was tried and that didn't help, so now there is a heavier, machined hinge available.
    > I don't think it will be a problem to get this replaced NC.
    >
    > John Riley

    Yea, well this NEVER should have occurred. The part fails, rider hits his head, sues Rans, Rans is
    history. Sounds like typical corporate complacency. "Test it? Naaaaa. We just KNOW."

    mc
    --
    Replace "crap" with "warnerm" in my email addr
     
  4. Bentbiker

    Bentbiker Guest

    "sues RANS" this is why nobody wants to do business in our country, and maybe killed off Bikee. This
    country sucks when it comes to sueing. Shit happens, and if a company stands behind the repair, an
    didn't do something totally negligent that should be good enough. IF we ever lose a "RANS" type
    recumbent manufacturer, God help us all.

    Mike Warner wrote:
    > John Riley wrote:
    >
    >
    >>
    >>Hugh Johnson wrote: [...]
    >>
    >>>Has anyone else experienced a catastropic failure of this hinge? Does anyone else see signs of
    >>>metal fatigue on their's? I'm hopping mad about this right now. The hinge is really, really,
    >>>ridiculously under-engineered.
    >>
    >>This was discussed some last season. The first generation of these were subject to failure. IIRC
    >>heat treating was tried and that didn't help, so now there is a heavier, machined hinge available.
    >>I don't think it will be a problem to get this replaced NC.
    >>
    >>John Riley
    >
    >
    > Yea, well this NEVER should have occurred. The part fails, rider hits his head, sues Rans, Rans is
    > history. Sounds like typical corporate complacency. "Test it? Naaaaa. We just KNOW."
    >
    > mc
     
  5. Funny how everyone hates attorneys until they are the victim of negilgence. Then they seem to do a
    180 and the shark becomes their best friend...........
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...