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13 Bicycle Manufacturers Recall Over 1 Million Bikes for Quick Release Problem

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced a new bicycle recall. A total of 13 bicycle manufacturers have together recalled about 1.3 million bikes in the U.S. along with 245,000 in Canada and about 9,000 in Mexico.

At issue are the quick release levers that hold the front wheels on the bikes. When improperly adjusted, these levers can open up to 180 degrees, where they may potentially come into contact with the front disc brake. If this happens, the bike may stop suddenly, risking injury to the rider.

Trek Recalls Bikes in April 2015 for Similar Quick Release Issue

This recall is for the same issue as a previous recall implemented by bicycle manufacturer Trek back in April 2015. At that time, Trek recalled nearly a million bikes with disc brakes because of faulty quick release levers. Though these levers have been on these bikes for over a decade, it wasn’t until Trek received three reports of injuries related to the releases lodging in the disc brake mechanism that they took action to recall and replace them.

In one of the injury reports, the rider was reportedly paralyzed because of the accident. A second rider, allegedly suffered a wrist injury, and a third alleged facial injuries.

Quick Release Levers Defectively Designed to Potentially Cause Crashes

The 13 manufacturers and the CPSC are working with the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSC) to coordinate the recall. It was the BPSC that reached out to suppliers after the Trek recall, when other companies began to discuss the need to replace these types of releases.

Many models of “higher end” bicycles come with a quick release lever on the wheels so that riders can remove and replace them easily, when they need to travel with their bikes or make adjustments to the tires. Some of these levers, however, can open up to 180 degrees. When placed on bikes with disc brakes, they can increase risk of accident and injury.

None of the manufacturers have admitted to any design defects in these releases. Instead, they claim that it’s only when the releases aren’t properly closed, adjusted, or positioned that they can cause problems. The fact is, however, that the releases can gradually open up due to wear and tear on the bike because of impact with obstacles or because they were never adjusted correctly in the first place.

Novice riders may also be unclear as to how to properly tighten and close the levers, a fact that could be remedied with improved instructions and very visible warnings about the dangers present when the releases are not closed as they should be.

Better still are other releases that are designed so they can never come into contact with the disc brake, whether they’re opened or closed. There are several of these releases available on the market today. Manufacturers chose not to use these on the bikes involved in the recall.

Consumers Warned to Get Bikes Fixed Immediately

The CPSC has warned consumers to stop using the bikes named in this recall, which includes brands like Diamondback, Giant, and Haro. (A full list of all affected bikes can be found at the CPSC recall site.) Bike owners should contact the recalling company to arrange for free installation of replacements. Consumers can find more answers at the recall site (quickreleaserecall.com).