In many parts of the world, bikes are the principal means of transportation. While used for that purpose in the U.S., they are also prominent players in recreation, exercise and sport. Last year, the estimated size of the U.S. bicycle market was $6.1 billion and the number of people who said they had been cycling in the previous 12 months totaled almost 60 million. Bicycles are big business, and when something goes wrong, the effect can be far-reaching.
Such is the case with the defective quick-release lever that has led to 13 bike manufacturers recalling 17 brands totaling more than 1.3 million bikes. On certain models, quick-release levers are installed to allow the front wheel to be rapidly removed. Many riders like the convenience of not needing an extra tool to take off the wheel to fix a flat tire, fit the bike into the trunk of a car or prevent theft. While they are easy to operate and more reliable than nutted axles, quick-release levers are one of the most commonly misadjusted bike parts. Novice cyclists tend to twist the lever like a screw rather than swinging it open or closed like a door. Done correctly, there should be some resistance when the lever is swung open or closed.
When improperly adjusted or left open, the quick-release levers that have been recalled can potentially come into contact with the front disc brake rotor and cause the wheel to suddenly stop or come off of the bike.
Several injuries have been reported, leading to the recall and the free installation of a replacement lever for affected consumers. The defective lever has been in use since 1998 on bikes ranging in price from $200 to $10,000.
The manufacturers/distributors subject to the recall and their corresponding brands are:
- Accell North America – Diamondback, Raleigh
- Advanced Sports International – Breezer, Fuji, SE
- Cycling Sports Group Inc. – Cannondale, GT
- Felt Racing LLC — Felt
- G. Joannou Cycle Co. Inc. — Jamis
- Giant Bicycle Inc. — Giant
- Haro Bikes — Haro
- LTP Sports Group Inc. — Norco
- Performance Bicycle Inc. — Access
- Quality Bicycle Products – Civia Cycles
- Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) — Novara
- Ridley Bikes — Ridley
- Specialized Bicycle Components Inc. – Specialized
If you aren’t sure whether your bike is part of the recall, check the front wheel assembly on the left side — the side opposite the chain. If you have a disc brake rotor (a metal disc attached to the hub to brake rather than the wheel’s rim), check the distance between it and the quick release lever when the lever is fully open. If there is less than 6 mm (about the width of a #2 pencil), then the bicycle is included. You can view an instructional video here.
If you have any questions about this topic, you can find out more by discussing it with one of the attorneys at The Mann Law Firm. We have over 50 years of experience helping people, and we can help you. Based in Macon, we proudly serve communities throughout Georgia. Contact us by calling (478) 742-3381 or using our online form.