Why does the rear hinge need to be serviced?
Servicing the rear hinge is reasonably complex, but more importantly, it is very precise and safety-critical. Specific (and costly!) tooling is required, and if the job isn't done correctly there is a risk the bike won’t be safe to ride, or you will damage the bike. We always recommend this job is carried out by one of our trained mechanics in our dealer network.
The rear hinge - the join that allows the rear triangle and wheel to swing underneath the main frame to 'park' or fold the bike - consists of a steel spindle and bushings.
These bushings are a wearable part; the Nylon lubricates the spindle and allows it to rotate smoothly. Without them, all the contact would be steel-on-steel which would quickly wear out the frame, not to mention being incredibly noisy. As the bike is used, the Nylon wears away which eventually will necessitate their replacement. A worn rear hinge bushing is indicated by play in the rear end of the bike.
You can check for wear by rocking the rear of the triangle from side to side. Any movement or noise means that the rear hinge bushings need replacing. This can be done at your local Brompton dealer and is best booked in advance.
Please note that riding on worn bushings puts increased stress on the rear frame and retaining bolts so we recommend keeping an eye on your rear hinge.
How often will this need doing?
The time in which these bushings wear out varies enormously dependent on the amount of use, style of riding, rider weight/power output, number of folds, general cleanliness of the bike, etc.
For comparison: our resident test technician rides approximately 30 miles a day, 3 days a week on his Brompton and requires a rear hinge replacement service around every 4 months.
For most daily riders though, we expect this to be done as part of an annual main overhaul service. For sporadic users, it could be years before this work is required.
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