Writing this regarding two bicycle models that was offered via workshop and online. Decided to do a precautionary recall on two models and I am sincerely sorry about this.
This is a precautionary recall and if you ride the bicycle as it was offered with mudguards, the bicycle is very safe to ride. Can guarantee that your safety was never compromised.
This precautionary recall only applies to two models and they are
http://iamfree.com/bicycles/matte-black-chromoly-city-bicycle (apply to bikes model: Paratrooper style bicycle sold between between 31 July 2016 - 11 March 2017)
http://iamfree.com/bicycles/i-am-free-girl-matte-black-chromoly-frame-step-through-bicycle (i am free girl apply to bikes sold between between 22 January 2017 to 09 September2017). i am free girl bikes sold after 1 December 2017 has new replacement fork.
The main reason for the recall is, found out that some customers of the above bicycles decided to remove the front mudguard bolt (mudguard bolt is located at the point where mudguard meets the fork). This mudguard mount bolt acts as a safety bolt. By removing that bolt may saved 30grams but by keeping it would acts as a safety bolt. Also these mudguards are really light weight. So for reasons that I cannot explain some customers remove the mudguards and that bolt. Also if the mudguards were removed and the bolt was left, still that safety bolt gets removed on a later day.
The above mentioned bikes has a lugged type fork. With lugged type, it users a method called brazing to join metal parts. This method has been used for hundreds of years and its quite common in bicycle manufacturing. So if in case there was any failure in the fork that mudguard bolt acts as the safety until you get an opportunity get the bike checked. This original fork has five safeties in built.
I can guarantee you that the fork is the only part of the above bikes that was manufactured by using brazing type. Brazing type is much expensive. Good material and skilled welders there is no functional difference between the brazing or TIG(tungsten inert gas) welding. Brazing looks good. Rest of the bike is welded in TIG welded.
Above two bicycle models are the only bicycles that was offered with lugged type fork. All the other bicycles are TIG welded and comes with the larger 1 -1/8" Threadless forks. With TIG welding, the welded joint is stronger than the parts it is welding. So those forks are fine. If the bike came with mudguards please keep them and if you remove them please keep the mudguard bolt/safety bolt.
The above bicycles were manufactured by one of the largest and reputable bicycle manufactures in China. I met up with the owner and as for him couple of two large Australian bicycle brands sources their bicycles from this company and I did checked up on this. Their main buyers are based in Europe. The above bicycles came from the same production line. Did lots of due diligence prior to sourcing from them.
Please refer to the image associated to this post regarding the new replacement fork.
With the new fork there is a new TIG welded mount that goes across the fork. Welded on the inside as well outside for extra strength. So even if owner of the bike decide to remove the front mudguard, the mudguard mount/ safety bolt the new mount would act as the safety incase forks joint fails.
This product recall costed a lot in terms of financially and also time wise. As a bicycle company iamfree.com take your safety very seriously and would not compromise your safety. Again I can guarantee that if you ride the bike as it is without any modifications you would be perfectly fine. I rode one of these bikes for around 7 months at least 6 days a week and each ride about one and a half hours. Also I rode above mentioned Paratrooper type bicycle this morning with the original forks in busy streets of Melbourne. I personally think it is a very good bike and as long you ride the bike as it was offered and do not modify it or remove any nuts and bolts it would be very good. If you have any doubts please refer to http://iamfree.com/owners_manual
At the workshop there are same amount of forks that matches to bikes that was sold so plenty of forks are available. It would take only about 1/2 hour or less to do the change and it is highly recommend that you change the fork of your bike. It is done free of charge. If you can do the replacement yourself would hand in a new fork free of charge.
Please bring in the bike as soon as possible. Workshop is open during the week 10am to 6:00pm (summer months). Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5:00pm. If that time is not convenient for you please nominate a time and I shall make sure that I'll be here. If you are around 20kms from Fitzroy happy to visit you and get this fork change over done free of charge(if so please give me a time before 9am and after 6:30pm).
If you have already sold the bike and know who to please let them know about this information. If you are interstate or country Victoria based please let know. I would mail the new fork. Fee for a fork change over at a bike shop should cost around $30 or $40. I would reimburse your fee up to $40 upon sending a copy of your receipt (interstate or country Victoria customers only).
If you have one of the above mentioned bicycles and does not have a receipt or you purchased the bicycle second hand. Please bring in the bicycle and shall install the fork free of charge. If you are based interstate and does not have a receipt can post the fork for $35 and you have to bear the cost of replacement.
Thank you very much for trusting an iamfree bicycle. This product recall is done in good faith. Knowing that it is the right thing to do and would not compromise anyones safety what so ever. I am very sorry about any inconveniences caused by this precautionary recall. Please reply this email or contact me on bellow listed numbers for any further clarifications.
anthony de silva