Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:58 am


March 15, 2014 - 8:48am
orbit

Country: UK


That looks scary.

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:59 am


March 15, 2014 - 1:18pm
Nerv

Country: Belgium


wow... is it me does the weld look really weird/dull on the bottom? Not easy to say by just looking at a picture but totally not what I expected to see..

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:59 am


March 16, 2014 - 10:04pm
Plne

Country: New Zealand





I have to say the lack of communication from Tern is very disappointing. And, often, the discussion here seems to be missing the point: 3 bikes reported as failed from the same period. And we need to underline the fact that there are likely many more. Nothing specific has come from Tern about these bikes other than some general feel-good talk about how hard they test. And nothing has been said to the owners of the bikes that failed! In short, the point is that there has been no communication from Tern about the actual events that have occurred and what is being done.

Meanwhile, we have one of Tern's online dealers telling us Tern is the best and we don't need to worry about it, while providing little more than emotional bluster and anecdotal evidence to back up his assertions. And let's not forget Mr Dippel from Germany who thinks the entire discussion is 'American' and we should all just harden up and accept that our bikes might fall apart as we ride them. Thanks Frank; I'm sure that the two riders who said they were still recovering from the injuries that occurred when the bikes failed, will feel much better after your 'be a man' pep talk.

All in all a very frustrating thread. And a damn scary image of a bike that has simply snapped in half!

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:00 am


March 17, 2014 - 6:19pm
Steveroot

Country: USA



Plne wrote:

... the fact that there are likely many more.

Sorry, this is *not* a fact. We simply do not know how prevalent the problem is. However, as an hypothesis it merits testing, which presumably Tern has been doing even if the results are kept secret. Tern has initiated a recall in the past, so the observation that the present problem has not resulted in a recall gives some support to the opposing hypothesis that there are *not* many more defective frames.



Plne wrote:

And a damn scary image of a bike that has simply snapped in half!

That is a very impressive break. I don't think the entire joint snapped suddenly, though. Notice the darker color to the fracture face at the lower part of the joint, as contrasted to the rest of the fracture face which has a more aluminum alloy color to it. This is probably corrosion, indicating that the fracture was probably present for some time in that lower section before the rest of the joint failed suddenly. Although I'm not a mechanical engineer or a metallurgist, I suspect that the welded joint is under its greatest tensile stress at the bottom, so if a crack were to start that's the most likely place.

Why did the crack start? I don't know. But it appears that the fracture goes right through the body of the weld itself, not the interface between the weld and the frame. This suggests the possibility of a porous weld for some reason. This is the sort of thing manufacturers try to avoid, and I feel confident that Tern's manufacturing protocols keep this to a minimum or there would probably be more reports of problems. Could it be a systemic problem instead of a random, intermittent one? Probably. But the only reason this possibility has been suggested is that the three failures are all from the UK. It seems to me that the closeness of the serial numbers would also have a bearing on this, and those have not been reported to us here (as I indicated earlier, I'm not sure the Forum readers are entitled to this inforation, though it would be interesting).

Could these cracks have been detected before the frames failed? I would say *technically* it was likely to be possible, if an inspection had been done in the right place at the right time. I am in no way blaming the owners for not spotting these cracks. They would have had to look at the very bottom of the welded joint, probably with a magnifying glass. The black paint at that location wouldn't have made it any easier. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that many, many Link owners have been turning their bikes upside-down and looking at this joint; if there is a high prevalence of this problem, we should be hearing a report of it. I'm hoping not to hear any, though I would rather hear someone found a crack before it broke.

FWIW, I have turned my Verge over and scrutinized its frame joint welds and am not worried about it.

Steve

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:00 am


March 18, 2014 - 6:53pm
Plne

Country: New Zealand



Steve, your comment is fair. You are quite right that it is not 'a fact' that there are likely to be more than three bikes. Nor, however, is it a reasonable to assume that there are only three damaged bikes, which seems to be the assumption. It is far more reasonable to assume that if news of only three bikes has reached this forum and those three bikes seem oddly clustered together in terms of time and place then are likely many more out there.

The difficulty is that we have precious little data on anything. People are saying this thing and that thing without any actual data or stats to back the assertions up. All we know is that there are three bikes damaged and Tern is saying nothing on these bikes. I'm not even asking for firm conclusions, a progress report would do. And emotional blustering from those who have a vested interest in selling Tern bikes is totally counter-productive and off-putting.

It may well be a storm in a tea-cup and there are no issues, but how can we make that assessment in the absence of real information. People making claims about how good this or that is. Or how the weight of a Tern bike says something very excellent about Tern. And now, you tell me look at the color of that weld, clearly there was plenty of warning. I've checked mine and it's fine. Really? That's how you expect me to make my assessment on a potentially fatal flaw? On some guy in the Tern forum, making an assessment from an image, then telling us he's checked his own bike and it looks all good, so no need to worry. I'd need a bit more than that at this point, sorry.

Anyway, time to leave this. Best of luck to Tern. They've obviously been caught out here. I know they want to make good bikes and it may be they are. I don't feel confident about them on the evidence offered in this thread.

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:00 am


March 18, 2014 - 7:13pm
Plne

Country: New Zealand



Apologies Steve, you did say FWIW in regard to checking your own bike. I'm a bit exasperated by it all at this point. Tern should have taken the issue firmly in hand by now, communicated to those who have damaged bikes, and let the rest of us exactly what they're doing and when we can expect to hear their conclusions. What is going on here is pure speculation and only 'fun' for a few days at best.

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:01 am


March 19, 2014 - 8:30am
Re-tern



Country: UK



Looking at the photos uploaded by Lee detailing the failure on his D8; I would say that the failure on my D8 was almost identical visually except that the dulling area of the failed weld was smaller (approximately only 1/2"), again just at the bottom of the joint where the tensile stress is greatest and you would expect to see it.

Hopefully Tern will be polite enough to send us an outcome of their findings, once they finally get around to processing it.

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:01 am


March 19, 2014 - 10:46am
bugaboosun

Country: USA



Some people have commented on this thread that some small rate of defects is acceptable. While I would grant that is true for cosmetic defects, or even non-cosmetic defects such as a failure of a weld in the rear chainstay triangle, or cracks in the seatpost tube. In the rear triangle and the seatpost tube there is redundacy built into the design such the the failure will probably not be catestrophic. But for that vulnerable OCL joint, how can a small catestrophic failure rate be acceptable to anyone?



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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:02 am


March 25, 2014 - 11:00am
thor


Country: USA


waiting on the official Tern word
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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:03 am


March 20, 2014 - 9:48pm
Keith C. Johns


Country: USA

thor wrote:

The simple fact that Tern leaves this whole thread in a public forum, on their own forum, without any censorship, should tell the doubters something about the integrity of that company. Anybody can give me a link to a Trek or Specialized or or or or forum, where this would happen ?

Absolutely you are right there, Thor. We have to acknowledge the open nature of this forum and the company behind it. I note that even the parent company that this company sprang from, Dahon, does not yet have its own forum since that division. Kudos to Tern for this!

Having said this, I am speculating that everybody at Tern is so hard at work trying to solve this issue, among other industry pressures which are ongoing, that they simply haven't had a break to post here to keep us all up to date on this issue. But I want to agree with others here that the result is awkward Public Relations here on their own forum. Easily fixed, though. I want to suggest to Tern that it would be good PR just to give us a little update once in a while to assure everyone paying attention to this particular thread that they are in fact working on this issue and not turning their backs on it. Sometimes one drop of lube goes a long way to removing the squeal from a rusty bearing. And a direct note to each of the unfortunate folks who were on the receiving end of these failures would help smooth some ruffled feathers a bit, I suspect as well--even if the issue is not yet solved from the mechanical and metallurgical standpoint as of yet--just to state what we all want to believe, that Tern stands behind their products and those who purchase them.

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:03 am


March 21, 2014 - 11:05am
Re-tern



Country: UK

Thor,

Obviously your commercial interests are with Tern as you are a dealer, and I understand that you must be losing buiness with the nature of these threads. It appears your only method of defense it to get personal when you don't like the posts; however you should also get your facts right before you begin to slate others. You stated "....one poster claims his Brommy is lighter than the Tern.....laughable at best....". I don't like to prove you wrong (well I do actually as you called me liar), theTern Link D8 weighs 12.1kg, my Brompton S2L weighs only 10.7kg.....no offence, but this just makes you look like an idiot. You also say that "some folks post "facts" that are plainly wrong, does that mean their assumptions are wrong as well?"............in your case probablylaugh.

I think that most of the readers on here are concerned about the integrity of their bikes and have posted some very reasonable and valid points both for and against Terns folding bikes; and I personally loved mine, just up to the moment it snapped in half causing me considerable pain and anguish. It was like driving an Alfa Romeo, you could put up with the minor niggles and occasional breakdowns because it made you smile whenever you used it; however if the Alfa snapped in two whilst I was driving it, after only 13 months, I would want answers from th manufacturer.

That is all we are asking for; I have also lost out finacially here, Tern have my bike which I paid £400 for, they have furnished me with no answers whatsoever, and I have had to fork out for a brand new bike. Do you not think myself and the others who have had these incidents deserve to get some feedback, at least an email saying they are working on getting some answers and will get back one they do?



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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:03 am


March 21, 2014 - 1:26pm
orbit


Country: UK


Re Tern . if I was in your shoes I would be fuming.

Yes it is a good sign that Tern have a forum like this one. But I would have been happier if your bike and the other on this forum had stayed in one piece. As you say if you like a product you will put up will the little niggles and design quirks, but a product that completely fails on you as a person will destroy any confidence that you have.





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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:04 am


March 25, 2014 - 5:11am
Jonathan_J

Joined: 2014-03-25
Country: Israel



Hi Lee



Well just comming back from the hospital....

While riding my Tern Link D-8, on my way to work, I suddenly found my self crashing on the road. The bike snapped in two!!!The front weld by the folding.

I have cuts on hands, knees, elbows and shoulders. I ride my bike every day 20KM.



So I am the third person with a cracked bike!!!!!!

TERN this is a RE-CALL!!!



Jonathan

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:06 am


March 25, 2014 - 5:31am
Jonathan_J

Joined: 2014-03-25
Country: Israel


Here are my bike pictures





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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:07 am


March 25, 2014 - 7:28am
josh.hon
Offline
Team Tern

Country: Taiwan



Jonathan,

We’re incredibly sorry to hear about this and your injuries and will be in touch directly. Retern – if we have not been in touch directly then I apologize and we’ll rectify this – I thought we had been.

Obviously, any frame breakage is incredibly serious. Many of us are also riding our Tern’s every day. If we determine that there’s an issue, we’ll do the right thing. That said, we do have 100,000 + bikes out there and the truth is that they are ridden in all sorts of ways. We have to collect and analyze this data.

Meanwhile we’ll be in touch with everybody and work to make things right.

Josh

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:07 am


March 25, 2014 - 7:43am
Rager


Country: France



Firstly, terrible to hear of another frame failure, I hope you're soon on the mend.

Secondly, as a worried owner who also bought a D8 in 2013, frankly, I'm astounded by Josh's reply. PLEASE tell me I'm wrong, but it sounds like ''We've done nothing since the other frame failures''.

At the best, communication and the lack of information is very poor. The image - again, PLEASE tell me I'm wrong - is of a company that doesn't care and/or doesn't respond.

How do I know if my bike is similarly affected, part of the same batch???

PLEASE provide us with more information.

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:07 am


March 25, 2014 - 8:01am
k_kibbler

Country: Singapore

I must admit, now I'm a bit worried for my fiancé's D8, which we bought this past February. It's been fine so far, and most likely will continue to be, but more information and data would do much to reassure.

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:08 am


March 25, 2014 - 10:34am
Steveroot

Country: USA



Jonathan_J wrote:

So I am the third person with a cracked bike!!!!!!

Unfortunately, you are the fourth. The current list:

1) Lee Tibbetts 12/20/2013 (UK)

2) Re-Tern 1/27/2014 (UK)

3) adr 2/19/2014 (UK)

4) Jonathan_J 3/25/2014 (Israel)


Every reported failure increases, to a greater or lesser extent, the probability that more will be reported. There has been one report approximately every month for the last three months.

Steve

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:09 am

March 25, 2014 - 10:53am
Re-tern



Country: UK



Hi Jonathan,

I am sorry to hear that your frame has also snapped,  unfortunately I know how you feel. This is just not acceptable.

The fracture looks exactly the same again, I just spoke with Mark the UK Tern representative who stated the outcome of the tests on my bike would appear to be a defective weld, which was no suprise to me. I didn't get any information as to whether there will be are recall; however he did state he thought the three failure were made in the same factory, which they no longer use and that the welder probably didn't weld it correctly (not really a great answer but honest at least).

I am pleased they got back to me, and I appreciate their honesty about the failure; however I now hope they are going to react, especially as there has been another frame failure. (How many more before someone gets really hurt?)

James


Last edited by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:10 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:10 am


March 25, 2014 - 11:38am
moriah



Country: USA

I've been lurking, paying special attention to this thread as I recently acquired a 2013 Link D8. I can say without a doubt that Tern does care about it's customers and I know this first hand. The company, Tern, and their USA distributor, have gone out of their way to assist us with an issue with my D8 that the dealer didn't seem very interested in helping us with. We have enough experience to know that Tern and their USA distributor does in fact care about their customers, more so than some of the other big names out there. Of course I'm curious if my 2013 was made in the same factory, if there is any sequence to the serial numbers. However. I also believe that with some due deligence, by inspecting my frame and my welds and riding smart that I don't have to place my D8 in a corner until Tern comes out with an official statement, if they even are going to. Frames break, welds sometimes are shoddy, yes it's alarming to see three same year model frames brake in the same place but it's a bit premature to start screaming that Tern doesn't care about it's customers. As a customer I am confident that if an issue exists Tern, being the young company they are, with the image they are trying to present (and doing so successfully) and my first hand experience that this will be handled if it is indeed an issue.



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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:11 am


March 25, 2014 - 12:08pm
Re-tern



Country: UK



Hi Moriah,

I am not sure how "riding smart" will help you reduce the risk of your frame breaking! I didn't "ride stupid" on mine and I am sure none othe other users did either.

Good luck on Regular Inspections to ensure it doesn't break either; I used to do that too; you won't see the defect under the paint.

I also don't think that you leave yoor bike to collect dust if you trust its stuctural integrity; you take the calculated risk. As Josh Hon says they make 100,000+ bikes a year, so four frame failures is acceptable...............no?

You may change your views if it ever happened to you, but I hope for your sake that doesn't happen...........as it really hurts.

James


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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:12 am


March 25, 2014 - 12:41pm
Lee Tibbetts


Country: UK


Wow! Sorry to hear that another Tern bike has a catastrophic failure!

Jonathan, I hope you are ok and hope you are on the mend! I was really hoping that we wouldn't be seeing any more of these!

moriah wrote:

I also believe that with some due deligence, by inspecting my frame and my welds and riding smart that I don't have to place my D8 in a corner until Tern comes out with an official statement, if they even are going to. Frames break, welds sometimes are shoddy, yes it's alarming to see three same year model frames brake in the same place but it's a bit premature to start screaming that Tern doesn't care about it's customers.


Moriah, James (Re-Turn) is totally right.... I checked mine regularly, mine snapped, I ended up getting a brain scan and and still healing now!

Personally I'm not saying that Tern don't care about their customers (I don't think anyone here is screaming about it), we are just very concerned.... but they don't really get back to us, the customers. I've had a phone call from Mark (very nice guy) when the frame broke in December. However, I'm still waiting on results of my broken Link D8, which broke 4 months ago! I wish I knew the serial number so I could compare it with the other broken Terns. And yes maybe frames break... but SHOULDN'T on new bikes and not with such devastating results!





k_kibbler wrote:
I must admit, now I'm a bit worried for my fiancé's D8, which we bought this past February. It's been fine so far, and most likely will continue to be, but more information and data would do much to reassure.

All I can say is if you are going to ride your D8's (and why not?)......wear a good helmet, even elbow and knee pads (I've got shattered cartilage in my elbow now as a result of my Link D8 breaking) and FFS keep away from traffic!!!!!!! I narrowly missed being hit by cars as mine broke!!

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:13 am


March 25, 2014 - 12:45pm
moriah



Joined: 2013-09-24

James - you grossly misread what I wrote. No where in my post did I say that you or anyone else rode "stupid." My post touched upon my first hand experience with Tern and their USA distributor comapred to past experiences with other manufactureers and how I will go forward with the knowledge in this post. No more, no less.

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:13 am


March 25, 2014 - 8:53pm
bugaboosun


Country: USA


Conjecture from a lay person:

I am looking at Jonathan's last posted photo that shows the two halves of the broken joint held by his hand. In that photo It appears to my untrained eyes that the bottom reenforcement gusset on the front section of the frame may not have been butted up tightly against the OCL joint plate when it was welded. I can see where the welding materail intruded into the joint.

Additionally, it looks like the main tube was tacked to the plate by a small spot weld. The tack point is on the bulge in the cetner of the OCL joint plate. Is the main frame tube end normally notched to accomodate that bulge in the plate? If not, that contact point may have levered the gusset away from the OCL plate.

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Re: Tern Link D8 frame shearing in two

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:14 am


March 26, 2014 - 1:05am
Keith C. Johns


Offline

Country: USA


bugaboosun wrote:

Conjecture from a lay person:

I am looking at Jonathan's last posted photo that shows the two halves of the broken joint held by his hand. In that photo It appears to my untrained eyes that the bottom reenforcement gusset on the front section of the frame may not have been butted up tightly against the OCL joint plate when it was welded. I can see where the welding materail intruded into the joint.

Additionally, it looks like the main tube was tacked to the plate by a small spot weld. The tack point is on the bulge in the cetner of the OCL joint plate. Is the main frame tube end normally notched to accomodate that bulge in the plate? If not, that contact point may have levered the gusset away from the OCL plate.

Valid points observed. What I note is that the main tube was never welded all the way around; it was tacked to the gusset, and then only the outer perimeter of the two was welded in one step. I woud have thought that the main tube should have been welded fully around and then the gusset welded on top of that--adding to the strength rather than just substituting for its bottom curve.

May not be the whole story, but perhaps it is a start.

Thank you to Jonathan_J for those great pictures, and our sympathies for your injuries, too! Perhaps we can head off any more.

Also I want to thank Josh for stepping forward with some info. That there are over 100,000 Tern bikes out there does put these four into perspective. It looks more like a specific welding defect rather than a bad design at this point. Once that is established, perhaps a range of specific serial numbers can be listed to reassure everybody else that their bikes are not affected.

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