November 26, 2007

DT Checklist: Fixing Torn Bugaboo Foam?

H is for Holy Crap, we're gonna have another kid in a few weeks. My wife's now solidly in the Alien stage, where you can see her belly writhing from across the room. Superficially speaking, we're ready for the new kid [f/k/a the other kid, f/k/a kid2.0, f/k/a a wild weekend at Mohegan Sun while the kid visited grandma]. But as the boxes clear from our DC move a couple of weeks ago, the rather large list of to-do's is looking, well, rather larger than I thought.

So in a radical editorial shift, the posts here on Daddy Types will include a bit less shoppertainment and a bit more actual accounts of doing stuff. This is not a drill.

torn_bugaboo_corner.jpg

First up: fixing the Cameleon, which, in accordance with our ancient family tradition, will be the new kid's bassinet for the first few weeks.

Within a few days of leaving the box, the Bugaboo bumped into something, and the foam covering tore on the lower corner, right by the kid's feet. The position and angle of the tear make it invisible in daily use, which is partly why I never did anything about it. [Also, it felt really high maintenance to send back an entire seat assembly in order to fix a tiny, fingernail-sized tear. Also, though I'm sure Bugaboo doesn't dump their old parts into the wetlands habitat of endangered plovers, it kind of felt environmentally insensitive, too. Damn you, Al Gore!]

Almost two years on, of course, it now looks like the foam has split some more. What should I do? Glue and stabilize it? Fill it somehow? Replace it? Leave it? I should say we're considering selling the Cameleon and going back to our OG Frog. Should I replace it, then sell it? Sell it as is? To you experienced pre-owned Bugaboo buyers out there, is this no big deal, or is it exactly the kind of dealbreaking ghetto detail you look for?

18 Comments

so are you going to purchase a double stroller? I am in the market for one, not sure which one to buy.
1st born will be 22 months when 2nd born arrives.

As far as this repair goes, I would leave it, especially if it is not noticeable. Our strollers are in and out of the car several times a week and they just get beat up. I had to get over it real fast because it was driving me crazy. Polishing a stroller in the Nordstrom parking garage is a little crazy.

[The kid'll be 4; she can walk, or ride the Bugaboard, I figure. If they were closer together, we'd stack'em in a Phil & Teds. But let's get to what really matters: your Nordstrom offers stroller polishing?? -ed.]

fix it like a real man. two words for you:
duct tape

There's something about that silvery charm that'll draw in a new dad looking for a used bug. Or maybe not.

but really, I wouldn't worry about it. it looks small. If anything, I'd pick up some shoo-goo and dab the foam back on so it's not flapping around, and call it good enough to sell. if you do it right, it'll probably be hard to spot the tear. Or if not it'll make it less noticeable to the point where you can write it off as normal daily wear and tear. be sure to find a glue that doesn't eat up the foam since some of the glues are solvent based and might dissolve the foam, causing more problems.

[Aha, a perfect excuse to get the silver-canopied Nieman-Marcus anniversary edition. I'll duct tape it, swap out the canopies, and sell off the new one as a debadged N-M version. I'm sure I could get $1100 easy. -ed.]

@Tara:

We have a Jané Powertwin and love it (http://www.janeusa.com/powertwin.htm). It provides a better view for the kid in the back than a Phill&Ted's.

My only complaint is that it can be difficult to push on side slopes, but this is intrinsic to all 3-wheeled strollers.

I'm curious to know this, too. My son started gnawing on the bar, and chewed right through the foam in one place. For now, I've got a 'kiddy kaddy' on there to protect it (and make sure he doesn't ingest even more foam), but I plan on just stitching up some fleece or something that can fit snuggly.

Have you contacted Bugaboo customer service yet? I had two things break on mine waaaay past the warranty and only emailed in to ask how to fix/where could I get/pay for new parts. I received no reply, but maybe a week later I got an express delivery from the NL with the parts--they were very small items, but still impressive.

Trade it in for a gecko!

In a similar vein as duct tape, but probably a whole lot more attractive, you could try covering it in bicycle handlebar tape. Fizik makes a real nice faux-leather that isn't too soft to wrap over foam. They've got nice colors, too.

You should buy some sort of attachment to clip on where the tear is -- maybe a snack cup or sock monkey or something.

Or what about one of those cute hot coffee holders you can buy on Etsy? You know, instead of getting the cardboard ones from Starbucks you bring your own. They have velcro and are (mostly) cute.

Our '03 Frog had a little foam knick like that and several other teeny flaws, and it didn't stop me from getting $500 for it earlier this year.
Thanks Craigslist :)

I had the same experience that Polomo had - I called Bugaboo to ask how to fix the tears in my foam on the cross bar and they suggested I glue it back, but then promptly sent me a new cross bar.

I'd go for some kind of handlebar wrap from a bike shop to do a quickie fix...

I vote for duct or electrical tape to fix a simple cosmetic boo-boo. I respect people who actually repair their high-quality items that have gotten dinged around a whole lot more than people who just go out and buy something brand new. It seems the height of wastefulness to get a new stroller when yours is technically working just fine.

Am I making any sense? I'm also due in a few short weeks (long-distance high-five to your wife), so my brain doesn't work like it used to.

[yeah, I didn't mean to make it sound like we're thinking of selling it BECAUSE of the tiny little tear. That'd be ultralame, I agree. -ed.]

tara- we have a 3 wk old and a 20 mo old, and so far we love the phil and teds with the doubles attachment. the newborn is in 'bassinet' mode and the toddler is bouncin' around on top. they have a great sleeping unit that pulls out of the newborn section. plus the rain and sun covers cover both of them. and it will later convert to two toddlers. anyway, not to sound like the pr guy, but we are psyched on this thing. sorry to be off topic.

Two words : Duct tape.

Actually, our Bugaboo diaper bag (for Frog) straps ripped right off. I contact customer service and they UPS'd us a new one.
If that doesn't work, there's always Craiglist. Bugaboo's have a high resale.

Try to bond it with instant glue. Heard it works. If not, contact the bugaboo-service.
(I also like the frog best, but bugaboo stopped selling it with launching of cameleon/gecko. Now I regard bugaboo as a narcissistic, pseudo sophisticated, overpriced stroller for fine weather, reconfirmed by the decrepit bee. Well, as I said before I really like the frog, but then bugaboo only made footsteps backwards. My opinion...)

Didn't know you were expecting again. Congrats! And on the mentioned move - where did you move to/from?

Mike

[thanks, just a bigger place in DC. -ed.]

Please let us know what you get for 1.0 and 2.0 to transport. We are only @ week 12 for our 2.0 and I am starting to look for ideas. We have a Peg Perego but need more space. Our first will be about 26 mos at the birth of number 2. Kind of the same situation as your first poster. I'm a SAHD who just turned 40 on Monday.

[happy birthday! -ed.]

I know how small things broken on a $900 stroller can be a big deal. I found it interesting that people had success getting replacement parts since I had a bad experience calling bugaboo customer service directly. The customer service rep really wasn't very helpful and wanted us to fax the receipt, pictures, serial# before she seemed to even want to hear what our problem was (swivel wheels cap broken/lost).

I'm trying the email route and think you should do the same before #2 arrives.

btw. congrats from a long-time reader (first time commenter)

-Chris

Hi-
I got my Cameleon when they first came out, just over 2.5 years ago. I have a second child now (7 months) and so it is getting a lot of use again, with the addition of the buggy board, etc. Unfortunately, yesterday the handlebar broke - it falls to the floor! I had been having trouble reversing it (one of the catches felt stuck) but suddenly the catches work fine and I can reverse the bar - but I can no longer get it to stop in the correct position when the big wheels are in the back (which is the way i mainly use it). Because I need to use the buggy board for my toddler, i can't just reverse the seat and deal with having the big wheels in the front. Any ideas on how to fix the handlebar? I have emailed customer service and am awaiting a response...
Thanks

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