Trek issues massive quick-release skewer recall

Improperly used skewer could jam in disc brake rotor

Trek today in cooperation with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of quick-release skewers commonly used on the company’s entry-level and mid-range bikes since 1999. 

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Approximately one million bikes sold in North America are affected (with many more globally), as the recall involves all models of Trek bicycles from model years 2000 through 2015 equipped with front disc brakes and a black or silver quick release lever on the front wheel hub that opens far enough to contact the disc brake (see Figures 1 and 2 below).  

Bicycles with front quick release levers that do not open a full 180 degrees from the closed position, are not included in this recall.

Affected customers will receive free replacement skewers, plus a £15 / US$20 / AU$20 coupon redeemable at any Trek dealer toward any Bontrager product through December 31, 2015.

Update: Trek has stated that the maximum number of bikes potentially affected within the EU stands at 690,000.

There is no problem with the recalled skewers when they’re properly installed. The safety issue only arises when the skewer is incorrectly used and left in the ‘open’ position. In addition to the injury potential that already comes with an improperly installed front wheel, the affected skewers have levers that can swing more than 180 degrees and potentially jam in the disc brake rotor, thus possibly ejecting the wheel and/or the rider.

Trek has received reports of three incidents, one resulting in quadriplegia and two with lesser injuries, according to the CPSC.

The affected bikes were sold in the US and Canada between 1999 and 2015 for between US$480 and US$1,650. Bikes from equivalent price ranges and time periods in other regional markets are affected too.

The affected skewers are fine when used properly; the issue arises when they’re left in the open position, where the levers can swing past center and potentially jam in disc brake rotors:
Affected skewers can potentially jam in disc brake rotors when incorrectly clamped

Although the recall affects a huge number of bicycles, Trek points out that the recalled skewers, known in the industry as QR11’s, are not a Bontrager product but rather a commodity item from a third-party vendor. The part may or may not be branded and appears in various colours and finishes. This likely means that other brands might also be impacted with additional recall notices on the way.

Affected bicycle owners are urged to contact their authorized Trek dealer as soon as possible or call the company’s safety and recall hotline in the US at 800-373-4594. Trek UK owners can contact Trek via its customer service line – 01908 360160.

Trek has issued a recall for faulty quick-release skewers used on many of its lower-end and mid-ranged models produced since 2008:

Although so far only Trek has issued a recall, the affected skewers are produced by a third party and commonly used so more recalls may be imminent

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Proper wheel installation and removal with a quick release without washers

Proper wheel installation and removal with a quick release with washers