Back in May, this was the sad sight that greeted me when I took a closer look at my frame. I’d ridden through Edinburgh and thought I could feel the bike responding weirdly – luckily I spotted this crack before the bike gave way whilst riding. I’d heard that this was an issue with the older, short-wheelbase Bromptons, and that a 1% failure rate had sent the designers back to the drawing board. If so, I was one of the lucky one in a hundred!
I put out feelers on the internet, but this part is simply unobtainable (except by buying an ancient bike that will still cost more than a complete new frame – c £265). So having already spent far too much on the renovation job, there was only one thing for it – repair.
Once again, Henderson’s came up trumps. Having taken the bike back to Biketrax to have the hinge pins removed, I was able to take the cracked frame part on its own to Hendersons. There they cannibalised a bit of an old BMX frame, and welded it to the underside of my frame, to create a strong new section that would take the weld to the hinge. They then cleaned and resprayed the whole part.
I didn’t expect it to be pretty; but in fact it is hardly visible being on the underside; and the most important thing is I have confidence riding the bike, that it won’t collapse beneath me! Then it was back to Biketrax to have the hinges refitted, and the headset replaced, and I was back in business. Beti, my 1995 Brompton, lives on!
PS – it was nearly a case of ‘my grandfather’s axe’. The only part of the original bike is the frame, the rear fold clip, and the handlebar bolt – if I’d had to replace the frame… But I’ve heard that a bike’s soul resides in the frame, so I’m glad we repaired her.