Not sure if this should go under “reports” or “problems”, but as I have a problem and I need it fixed NOW, I thought I’d put it here.
Last year I bought a Strida 5.0 at savedbybikes.com. It ran great for the first few months under light use. Then I began a daily 6km commute to school five days a week, which involves a lot of uphill climbing. It went well for a while, but then I decided to ride it during rainy weather multiple times. This was when the problems began. No one ever told me that the Strida would break down in rain.
First, the bike started to make a clicking noise while pedaling. I posted in this thread and Blackstridaaustria was very helpful in giving an answer. However, I have still not yet applied this fix, as the job is too complicated; I’m hoping that a bike shop can do this for me.
Second, the Strida’s freewheel stopped being silent. Before it was silent when it was cruising and when it was folded up and being wheeled around. Now it makes a clicking noise similar to a standard bike.
Third, the belt started to slip sometime in November. This affected mostly my acceleration, but it also made my Strida choke during uphill climbs, which greatly affected my daily commute. I e-mailed Mr. Inniss, the proprietor of savedbybikes.com, and he said it was more of a snubber adjustment issue than increasing the belt tension. He gave me some vague instructions (adjust the snubber) which I couldn’t do because I didn’t have the right equipment. I told him to come down and repair it for me, and I would even pay to have it fixed. He said he wouldn’t come down until another person in Toronto purchased a bike. Three months passed before that happened, but in the meantime over Christmas, I took the bicycle to Urbane Cyclist, a shop that specializes in commuter and folding bicycles. They moved the belt tension from middle to maximum, but said that my freewheel needed replacement. They couldn’t replace it for me because the Strida uses proprietary parts. I showed them the email about the snubber adjustment and they dismissed it.
By increasing belt tension, I noticed that it took more effort to pedal, but the slipping was mostly gone. This worked… for 2 weeks. Then the slipping came back, but the pedaling still took extra effort.
Finally, Mr. Inniss came down in February and serviced my Strida. He said that Urbane Cyclist “didn’t know what they were doing” and that by increasing belt tension to maximum, they stretched the belt. He said the freewheel was fine. He kept the belt tension at maximum (because it’d slip too much at lower tension due to the stretching), then adjusted the snubber inward. Unfortunately, even with the snubber pushed inward all the way, there was still a noticeable gap between the snubber and the the belt, which Mr. Inniss said was not normal. He told me that it wasn’t entirely fixed, and that I’d probably need a followup in Spring. But the slipping was reduced to a minimum. I noticed a Strida in the back of his car which was completely pimped out with the alloy freewheel and pedals. I inquired him about that, and he said that he his customers have never had a plastic freewheel go bad, and that the Strida was very durable. Apparently, my case was uncommon. Maybe I should’ve asked him to upgrade my Strida right there, but I didn’t.
Of course, with the amount of usage that my Strida gets, it was only a matter of time before it acted up again. The service fix lasted about 2.5 months, and now it’s slipping yet again, but with belt tension at max and the snubber pushed in all the way, what is there to do now? I emailed Mr. Inniss again a week ago, but as of this writing, he has not responded. Looking at savedbybikes.com now, I notice that he has no more Stridas for sale and that the site hasn’t been updated in a while. He’s gone AWOL.
I still need my Strida for most of my transportation needs, so my current makeshift fix is to wrap duct tape around the snubber, thus enlarging its circumference so that it can actually touch the belt. This has helped it somewhat, but as I have learned from above, it’s only a matter of time before this makeshift fix fails. I need a permanent solution.
So to recap: currently I have a stretched-out belt, the belt tension is at maximum so I have to exert more effort into pedaling, there is a clicking noise when I pedal, and the freewheel is no longer silent. And I can’t accelerate fast or go uphill at all.
This Strida was purchased on May 11 of last year, which means my 1-year warranty will expire in two weeks. My guess is that Mr. Inniss wants to run me out of my warranty, and then I’ll be shit out of luck.
It must be nice to live in Singapore, or Hong Kong, or Europe, where there’s actual support for the Strida. I can’t recommend that anyone in Canada purchase one if there’s only 1 lame-duck distributor who will only do a half-assed job of supporting his customers. Now I feel like I’ve been ripped off, having spent $750 on a bike that’s more fragile than a $100 Made in China bike from Canadian Tire. Maybe I should’ve just spent the extra money on a Bike Friday Tikit. At least the bike shops around here can service THAT.
Please tell me if there’s any hope for me to actually have my Strida serviced before the 1-year warranty is up. Thank you.
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