Bicycle manufacturer Advanced Sports International has announced it is recalling at least 650 Fuji road bikes for a defect that reportedly can cause a component to slip while pedaling, increasing the risk of a fall.
As the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports, the issue has to do with the rear wheel freehub. For those who are unfamiliar with the various bicycle components, the hub is the center part of the bicycle wheel, that is affixed with axle, bearings and hub shell. A freehub bicycle is a specific type of design that incorporates a ratcheting mechanism. Freehubs have largely replaced freewheel designs in many mid-range and high-end bicycles. The primary benefit of the freehub/ freewheel system is that a rider can stop pedaling, even as the bike is still in motion.
The recent recall involves 2017 Fuji bicycles with Oval Concepts Rear Wheels, which come in numerous colors. There are two main hub models (numbers printed on the drive-side hub flange of the bikes – 3LLR and 3NVR), but a total of 14 different bike models – all Fuji. Thus far, the Pennsylvania-based importer/ distributor ASI has gotten four reports of the freehub slipping while the rider is pedaling. The good news is there haven’t been any crashes or injuries reported.
The reportedly defective bicycles were manufactured in Taiwan and China.
Distributor advised those who have these bikes to stop riding them immediately and contact the firm to obtain a replacement freehub body, which should eliminate the potential fall risk.
As our Boston bicycle lawyers can explain, these kinds of product defects can pose serious risk to the safety of riders. Often when we talk about bicycle injuries, we’re referring to those incurred in a collision with a motor vehicle. It’s true that this is how most cases of injury make it to our office.
What many don’t consider is that defective bicycles or bicycle parts can play a role in collisions with cars. Such issues can also be the sole cause of injury. Every component of a bicycle needs to be properly designed and manufactured in order for the bicycle to function as intended in reasonably foreseeable scenarios.
Product liability is the type of claim that would arise in cases where a defective component caused or contributed to a cyclist’s injury. In proving a product liability case, we note that in general there are three main kinds of product defects in bicycle crash cases. Those include:
- Design defect. This is when the defect can be traced to the design phase of the product.
- Manufacturing defect. This is when injury results because the manufacturer improperly made a certain component.
- Failure to warn defect. This is when there should have been an adequate warning on the bike at the time of sale regarding a known hazard – but there was not.
In some cases, we may also assert improper assembly. This occurs when a bike shop improperly assembles or a repair shop improperly maintains a bike, and a rider is injured as a result of this error. Such claims can be brought under numerous theories of product liability law.
If you are injured in a solo bicycle accident, it can be tempting to think it was totally your own fault. This may not necessarily be the case. So especially if you were seriously injured, it’s usually worth it to reach out to a bike injury attorney who can review the facts of your case and determine whether you may have grounds to assert a claim for damages.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Boston bicycle accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-789 BIKE (2453).