On Tuesday, biking company Trek recalled nearly 1 million bikes after a traumatic incident that led to a rider becoming permanently paralyzed. The recall affects 900,000 Trek bikes in the United States, and another 98,000 bikes in Canada, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. So far, no other countries have been affected by the recall.
Trek recalled all models of bikes made in China and Taiwan between 2000 and 2015 that feature front disc brakes and a silver or black quick-release lever on the front wheel hub. That front quick-release lever can open more than 180 degrees — and that is where the problem lies, according to Trek and CPSC representatives.
In a notice released to the public on Tuesday, Trek explained:
If the quick release is improperly adjusted or left open on a bicycle which also has a front disc brake, the quick release lever can become caught in the front disc brake assembly. If this happens, the front wheel could separate or come to a sudden stop and the rider could lose control of the bicycle.
"Trek wants you to be safe," the bicycle company added. "You should always correctly adjust the quick release on your bicycle before you ride."
The affected bikes were sold at bicycle stores nationwide between September 1999 and April 2015, and range in retail price from $480 to $1,650, the CPSC states on its website. Now, Trek is requesting all owners of these bike models to stop riding immediately and call an authorized Trek retailer. The company said it will replace front-release lever on all affected bikes, free of charge. "Your safety is very important to us," the company emphasized.
The recall was initiated due to three serious incidents involving the quick-release lever, including one accident that resulted in quadriplegia. The rider was left permanently paralyzed with no movement of his arms or legs.
Another accident resulted in a fractured wrist, the CPSC states. A third incident caused facial injuries to a rider. These are the only accidents and injuries Trek is aware of, but both the company and the CPSC urge riders to report any injuries they've endured because of the bike's quick-release defect.
Although recalls of bicycles and their parts are actually pretty common in America, the reasons for the recalls may be quite alarming to bike enthusiasts. Just last week, the bicycle company Civia recalled roughly 1,000 aluminum fenders sold as aftermarket items after receiving a report of a rider suffering a cervical spine injury and nerve damage.
In December 2014, Felt Bicycles voluntarily recalled about 150 cyclo-cross bikes due to faulty, breakable frames. There were no reports of injuries at the time, but the company requested owners of the affected models — 2015 F65X and F85X — stop riding immediately and bring their bikes to an authorized retailer for a free inspection and repair. Images: Consumer Product Safety Commission (2)