Carry Freedom - losing wheels!

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n_lobnitz
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Re: Carry Freedom - losing wheels!

Postby n_lobnitz » 17 Sep 2009, 9:01pm

Checking axles
Checking quick release axles for loose buttons is relatively straight forward.
There are about 4,000 Y-Frames out there, this problem was specific to about 100 trailers, of which about 90 are accounted for.
1) Remove the axles from the trailer.
2) Hold the axle in one hand and with your finger press on the central pin at the ball end as hard as possible.
3) With your other hand try and twist the chrome cap anticlockwise.
If the cap is tight you should be able to feel the central pin twisting on your finger, if it is not then it will unscrew.
For a more reliable check you can depress the quick release button slightly, and pinch the protruding pin with a pair of plyers, this makes it clearer whether the push button is turning.
If you are in any doubt you can post the axles to me to check.

Braz
For reference I immediately offered to courier Micks trailer to me so I could fix it, for no charge. I am sending the spare axles and loctite down again for no charge. If Mick had got hold of me when the axles first came of I would have got spares to him the next day so he could continue his tour.

I am charging Mick for the new hitch design because it costs me money to manufacture them. Unless I charge for these I would quickly bankrupt myself and then be unable to offer anyone this improved hitch or anything else.

My customer service has been atrocious in the past, but in general I am a lot better at dealing quickly with peoples problems, and making sure there are less problems in the first place. I am slower than I would like, but that is simply because I have too much to do, and don't earn enough money for staff.

Fundamentally the Y-Frame and the Bob Yak are good at different things. The Yak is good off road, while the Y-Frame (or any two wheel trailer) is much more efficient on road and much better with heavy loads. If people are put of my trailers because of me I would rather they got a Radical Cyclone, or Burley flatbed. On road two wheel trailers are about 5% faster than panniers or a monowheel trailer carrying identical loads.

If I had been in Mick's situation I would have been livid. Fundamentally I am trying to sell things I would want to own, that I fall short of this is simply a measure of my limits.

Regards

Nick

http://www.Simple-City.com
http://www.paper-bicycle.com
http://www.CarryFreedom.com

Simple City, High Clunch Farm, Stewarton, Ayrshire, KA3 5JT, UK.

climo
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Re: Carry Freedom - losing wheels!

Postby climo » 18 Sep 2009, 8:55am

braz wrote:What a wonderful opportunity for Carry Freedom to show just how good their after sales service is - regrettably it seems, a missed opportunity. Difficult to contact, defensive when contact is made, blaming everyone except himself and his product, and to compound it all he knew that there were problems with a batch of trailers in any case! And the cheeky blighter's sending an Invoice with the spares!

That is simply unfair. I have 2 CF trailers, both good for different purposes, (although I'm likely to sell the City trailer as surplus to my needs) I think that they are both superb. Designed well and built well, with superb customer service.

I had issues with the older hitches (due mainly to operator error) which many other people including Mick didn't have, so Nick posted me a specially bought in chariot hitch FOC and promised a cut rate price if it worked. It didn't fit my rohloff axle so I returned it with no problem. Nick came up with the new hitch system & posted me one again FOC. It was and is superb. He has always been very helpful, knowledgeable and trusting.
It's the best customer service that I have experienced and contrasts with the other day when I was supplied with the wrong child stairgate by the major UK supplier who just "couldn't dispatch another due to stocktaking".
CF is a small but dedicated business with only one pair of hands and he very obviously works damn hard - he emailed me at 11pm one night. I've run a small company here in the UK and it's a life consuming task and you can't always respond immediately when someone calls, it's just not possible.

IMO, Mick's original posting, whilst understandable, should have waited until after a solution from CF had been sought. It has always performed well in the past and he is obviously very impressed with it.

Just for the record I have no connection whatsoever with CF.

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braz
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Re: Carry Freedom - losing wheels!

Postby braz » 18 Sep 2009, 1:08pm

Oh well, another can of worms! It is, however, quite illogical that just because other posters have the same product and have not had problems that they are so defensive in support of their trailer - when one cannot know what their reaction might have been if the problems had been theirs. And guys, before you jump into print do look at the actual timescale involved - just how long should one wait before feeling aggreived and unhappy?

Far more interesting is the post from the Carry Freedom manufacturer, who is now gaining some Brownie points for sorting things out - something that, in his own words, he was not the best at originally. Good for him for being so honest.

It seems to me that a lesson has been learnt - all credit for that - but there is no denying that none of us would have heard of the problem if the service had been better in the first instance. And yes, I'm in business too, so I also know all about response times!

And hopefully this will be the end of the matter!

regards to all, Braz.

gilesjuk
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Re: Carry Freedom - losing wheels!

Postby gilesjuk » 18 Sep 2009, 1:47pm

Another thumbs up from me. My CF city has been fine. Nothing lasts forever and wear and tear is inevitable. It is up to the user to evaluate if the trailer is mechanically sound or seek advice from someone who is more mechanically minded.

I paid for the new hitch design purely because [i] I heard there was one, [ii] I didn't really like the existing one and [iii] the new one is quieter. The only problem I've had with the new hitch (I've not needed to use the trailer that much) is when I banged my hand on the hitch while working on the bike and cut my hand, some filing to smooth off the edges ensured that won't happen again :) I would always recommend removing the hitch when working on the bike.

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Mick F
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Re: Carry Freedom - losing wheels!

Postby Mick F » 18 Sep 2009, 3:23pm

I had a long thread on "Touring etc" that had lots of interest. Forum members were coming out to meet me, we'd swapped phone numbers and I was going to ride with them. There were many suggestions about route choices and destinations too.

When my plans fell apart (like my trailer was doing), people wanted and needed to know. My trailer and bike are fairly famous, I know I've tons of posts on here, and I know my posts are read and my adventures followed. I'm a nice decent chap with no axes to grind, but I do wear my heart on my sleeve and I shoot from the hip.

Consequently, I had to say immediately that my trailer had failed me. Three years and over 5000 miles under our belts, with me spouting off at just about every opportunity of how good CF trailers are, and wondering why anybody in their right mind would use panniers! Have you tried carrying a concrete block in a pannier?

I started this thread off in the "Tech" section to talk about the axle problems. I contacted Nick at Carry Freedom as soon as I'd got over the weekend. Mrs Mick F and me didn't get back form Bridgwater until Sunday afternoon. I emailed CF on Monday morning when I got all my facts together and had calmed down a little. It's one thing to come on here and inform people of a potential problem, but another thing to get back to the manufacturer with FACTS and give them a chance to respond.

Nick at CF hasn't been kept in the dark, I've posted on here to keep everyone informed of developments, and there is no hidden agenda. I've been honest and open and pulled no punches.

I was very angry and disappointed. I'm settled now, and can see the way ahead quite clearly, but I know that when my trailer is back to full health, it will be too late this year for a shot at another tour. I'll have to make do with shopping trips! As I say, I'm very disappointed.

Nick has emailed me detailing what he's sending. He also has given me advice on how to secure the axles. Loctite is one thing that has been used to good effect for Royal Mail, and Nick also suggests that I could drill the chassis through the axles to secure them that way. I feel I'd like to do both - Loctite and bolts.

Watch this space to see how things develop, and I'm aiming to take TWO concrete blocks on a trial run.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Mick F
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Re: Carry Freedom - losing wheels!

Postby Mick F » 19 Sep 2009, 10:25am

Tigerbiten wrote:I wonder .......
If the axles are glued in place so they cannot rattle, will the trailer run quieter when empty ????
If so, I may do that.


Sorry, never addressed this question.

The wheels rattle, IMHO, because there needs to be a bit of end-float with the fixing of the axles in the normal way. The axles are pushed through the wheels and into the chassis, and you release the button, continuing to push inwards until the axles click. At that point the balls are allowed outwards and unless the button is pressed, the axle cannot pull out.

The wheel-nut on the outside is adjusted so that the wheel is held snugly, but it can only be adjusted when the axle is out. You adjust a bit at a time by trial and error until it's ok.

But here's the snag:
The axle has to fit properly. You have to make sure the balls are completely out. Consequently, the axle has to have some free-play for the wheel, so it rattles a bit. I've found that due to tolerances, if the axles are adjusted, they don't fit as well the other way round. Each axle has to be in its correct side. If you adjust the wheel-nut so the wheel doesn't rattle, you are never sure that the axle is in perfectly.

I'm going to Loctite and bolt mine. This will hold the axles solidly. It means that the wheel-nut can be adjusted quite tightly in position with the clamping load against the inners of the bearings.

I've experimented with my remaining axle and this idea seems very possible, so No Rattle for me!
Mick F. Cornwall

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DaveP
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Re: Carry Freedom - losing wheels!

Postby DaveP » 19 Sep 2009, 9:44pm

Its something of a change of direction Mick, but I've been thinking of asking a couple of questions for some time.
I suppose the basic question is "Does your trailer impose restrictions on leaning your bike over?" I find that I lean mine quite a bit these days when getting on or off.
The other one is "How traumatic was it when your wheel first came off? - Did it threaten your own stability or did it just start to hold you back?"
Trying to retain enough fitness to grow old disgracefully... That hasn't changed!

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Mick F
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Re: Carry Freedom - losing wheels!

Postby Mick F » 20 Sep 2009, 9:50am

Hi Dave,

1. No. The bike will lean right over to left or right to a normal degree, but not lie down. The hitch would be beyond it's limits with the bike at near horizontal. But normally, no problem at all.
I must add though, turning is a little restrictive, as when you're pushing your bike and turning sharp right the back wheel rubs/locks against the tow arm. Going left, there is no restriction.
Also, when pushing the bike from the left, as I always do, my right ankle clips the tow arm if I'm not careful. Hurts a bit!

2. Traumatic at the instant? No, not at all. Did it affect the bike or the handling? No. I never felt a thing. It didn't slow me to any noticeable degree, though I'm sure it must have done. It was the noise that alerted me, nothing else.
I was doing about 20mph, downhill, past a minor junction, and I heard a scraping noise close behind me. I turned round and was horrified to see a missing wheel. I stopped as soon as I could.
It was then that I was traumatised! I saw red. I was annoyed. I was concerned. I wasn't thinking straight. The first thing I did was to phone home, it helped to talk about it, but Mrs Mick F could do nothing, of course!

This is a screen shot of the area. Perhaps if people know the Taunton area, they will recognise the map. My track is coming in from the bottom left. You can see a "wiggle" where I stopped, and you can see how I had to negotiate a roundabout and traffic to get into the tyre place to use their hammer.
Taunton.jpg
Click for bigger views.
Mick F. Cornwall

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dkmwt
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Re: Carry Freedom - losing wheels!

Postby dkmwt » 20 Sep 2009, 10:54am

As some of you may know I have a Radical Cyclone. A similar thing happened to me while riding from the station to the racecourse at York last year. I was shifting along and hit a bump or something (can't remember now) and my LH wheel came off. The pins that Cunobelin was talking about in his post where still there. I had no more incidents on that York trip. I just didn't trust them any more so I replaced them with the original front axles from my trike that I had spare after fitting the QR axles with nylock nuts on the inside.
Cheers, Donald
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ICE B1 34/50 F Capreo 9/32 R.
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Mick F
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Re: Carry Freedom - losing wheels!

Postby Mick F » 20 Sep 2009, 11:36am

Hi Donald, hopefully you're A-OK now with your wheels! I will be too by the end of this week!

As an addition to my last:
DaveP wrote: "Does your trailer impose restrictions on leaning your bike over?"
Mick F wrote:The bike will lean right over to left or right to a normal degree, but not lie down. The hitch would be beyond it's limits with the bike at near horizontal.

Just been looking at the hitch system.

It's true that the hitch will move right down to 90deg (plus) in both directions, so it is designed to allow your bike to lie down, but in my experience, the hitch doesn't like it, and it takes some fiddling to get it to rise properly afterwards as it tends to jam. So I always resit the urge to go right over.

Saying that, the new hitch that CF have designed, I have no experience with whatsoever. Watch this space, as Nick is sending one with my package for the repairs. I will be more than happy to review the new hitch when I get on the road again!
Mick F. Cornwall

climo
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Re: Carry Freedom - losing wheels!

Postby climo » 20 Sep 2009, 12:24pm

Mick F wrote:The bike will lean right over to left or right to a normal degree, but not lie down. The hitch would be beyond it's limits with the bike at near horizontal.

The old hitch 'hook' would close up if you lay the bike down. There was a trick to avoid that.
The new hitch doesn't have any limitation and I just drop the bike whichever side is convenient. The new hitch is really strong and much better. It's now standard issue

toontra
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Re: Carry Freedom - losing wheels!

Postby toontra » 20 Sep 2009, 1:51pm

Mick F wrote:I will be more than happy to review the new hitch when I get on the road again!


That would be really useful Mick, especially with a couple of detail pics so I can decide whether to fork out the £15.

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Mick F
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Re: Carry Freedom - losing wheels!

Postby Mick F » 20 Sep 2009, 5:26pm

Will do.

Watch this space.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Mick F
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Re: Carry Freedom - losing wheels!

Postby Mick F » 22 Sep 2009, 5:58pm

The new hitch, the replacement axles and some Loctite arrived today.

I've spent a few hours fitting and drilling and Loctite-ing, and tomorrow morning I'll finish off the resurrection of my trailer. I intend repeating the trial I did last summer with a concrete block, but this time to show people I'm not a wuss, I'll take two concrete blocks.

I'll also include photos and info about the new hitch - in a new thread.

TTFN.
Mick.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Millhouse
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Re: Carry Freedom - losing wheels!

Postby Millhouse » 23 Sep 2009, 11:42am

I've ridden over 3000 miles towing a fully laden small Y frame carry freedom trailer. The old hitch caused me problems, the bike fell over a couple of times in high winds and closed the hook up. I contacted Nick at Carry Freedom, he quickly recognised the problem and supplied me with the new style hitch and replacement covers. I found him to be very helpful and responded quickly.
I have checked my wheels and axles and they seem to be secure and solid.
I recently went on a camping holiday in Hawes. I loaded up the trailer with a box with most of my kit in and strapped my tent and other equipment on the top of the box (about 30kg in total).
As I approached a sharp left hand bend, at speed, I moved to out to my right and dove into the bend, I was riding like the trailer wasn't attached. My manoever tipped the trailer over and sent me skidding down the road on my side. I have scrapes and cuts to my knee and elbow. The worst injury is a broken bone in my left wrist caused when my hand slammed onto the road. Fortunately I was wearing cycling gloves, they saved both my hands from being ripped to shreads.
I have ridden at speed before with the trailer attached no problems. The crash was caused by rider error, a little bit more care and attention needed, and loading the trailer incorrectly by making it top heavy.