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Ritchey International has announced a voluntary recall affecting approximately 2,700 WCS rear wheels, sold both to the aftermarket and to OEM customers. The problem is that the rear freehub body, manufactured under license from American Classic, may slip or altogether cease engagement with the freehub pawls, causing the rider to lose all forward drive without any warning. The design of the Ritchey WCS rear hub has since been corrected and manufactured correctly to eliminate this potentially hazardous condition.
The recall is limited to Ritchey WCS rear wheels produced between Jan 2003 and the present. All Comp and Pro level wheels are NOT affected by this recall. The internal design of the rear cassette freehub is comprised of a loop spring, six pawls, and a clutch plate. When pedalling, the spring engages the clutch plate, which actuates the pawls into the teeth on the bottom of the freehub body.
The recall is based on two separate issues: a) the spring tip can break off without notice causing loss of all forward motion, b) the spring does not engage with the clutch plate properly, causing intermittent engagement. Older model WCS hubs are unaffected, visually differentiated as a low flange design whereas the model in question is a high flange design, as in the image above. All affected hubs have an outer flange diameter of 70 mm, or 60 mm diameter from centre hole to centre hole. Hubs with lower flange diameters are not affected by this recall.
The consumer or shop should call or email their authorised Ritchey Wheel Warranty Centre and return the wheel for service. Once service to affected hubs have been carried out, a 'TR Quality Assured' sticker will be applied to the rim.
All affected Ritchey WCS wheels that have this sticker are certified as having had the rear hub serviced and approved for usage. Ritchey International will pay for all shipping and repair costs. For more info, visit Ritchey's website at www.ritcheylogic.com/wcsrecall.
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