Are your mountain bike handlebars wider than 700mm? If your bike is relatively modern it's a safe bet they are, and if you're riding a Giant your steed may have been recalled. Not because they're going to crack, or break, but because of width.
A recall notice issued by Product Safety Australia named a number of Giant and Liv Mountain bikes spec’d with bars measuring over 700mm (27.6 inches), and also cites a lack of chain guard.
In an email to BikeRadar, Darren Rutherford the General Manager of Giant Bicycles Australia explained, "In Australia, the mandatory standard for pedal bicycles requires that certain types of bikes must not have handlebars that exceed a particular width (namely 700mm)."
He continued, "The mandatory standard was introduced in 1979 and there have been significant advances in bike technology and design since that time. It is hoped that aspects of the current mandatory standard will be amended in line with international standards."
Rutherford also made it clear that this recall was voluntary and Giant proactively contacted the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The brand does not believe these bikes present a safety issue, and sought to notify the public of the fact that they may not have been strictly in compliance with the mandatory standard.
As you’d be hard pressed to find a mountain bike with bars measuring less than 700mm now-a-days, Peter Bourke the General Manager of Bicycle Industries Australia explains there is an exclusion in the mandatory standard for ‘competition grade bicycles.’
“Bicycles which are designed, promoted, and supplied primarily for use in competition are excluded from this standard, and the bicycles that Giant have recalled appear not to fit under that exclusion,” Bourke said.
“The other aspect of the recall relates proliferation of 1x drivetrains,” he continued. “Previously the front derailleur was technically considered ‘chain protection’ and with 1x it’s no longer there.”
Wider bars and shorter stems, which increase leverage and work better with modern bike geometry, have been a popular trend and upgrade for mountain bikers for many years now. It's relatively standard to see new mountain bikes with 750mm or wider bars stock from the factory.
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The warning invites consumers to take offending bikes back to their local retailer to have bars narrowed.
As a result, the following Giant bikes have been tagged for return:
- 2015, 2016, 2017 Stance 2 – Handlebar width exceeds the maximum standard requirement.
- 2017 Embolden 2 – Handlebar width exceeds the maximum standard requirement.
- 2017 Tempt 1 – Bike is not fitted with a chain guard (all sizes) and the handlebar width exceeds the maximum standard (Small and Medium sized bicycles only).