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Shimano says Trek recall includes bikes equipped with its levers

Published May 14, 2015
Company says QRs are safe when used correctly.

IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — In a newsletter Shimano emailed Thursday to product managers, the component giant acknowledged that it makes quick release levers that open more than 180 degrees from the closed position and that these levers — while not the only ones used on these bikes — were included on disc-brake bikes recalled by Trek on April 21.

"Shimano's Quick Release levers made of aluminum do not open more than 180 degrees from the closed position. However, Shimano's Quick Release levers made of steel can open more than 180 degrees from the closed position, and Trek's recall includes bicycles equipped with Shimano's Quick Release levers," the statement read.

"Shimano's Quick Release levers made of steel do not pose any risk of injury when they are properly tightened and closed as instructed by Shimano in its instruction manuals and other materials such as a tag that accompanied the product," the letter said.

Koichi Tanaka, QC manager for Shimano, told BRAIN that Shimano felt compelled to release a statement after fielding questions from bike manufacturers who are investigating whether their bikes are impacted by the recalled QRs, which are widely spec'd in the industry.

Tanaka said Shimano has sold millions of the steel skewers for the past 15 years for bikes with disc brakes and hasn't had any reports about levers coming into contact with rotors.

"Based on not having any claims and numbers of skewers we've produced and sold, we felt that if our quick releases are used appropriately by consumers it's safe to use and we're confident that it's safe to be used by consumers," he added, noting that Shimano isn't issuing a recall.

Tanaka also noted that most bike brands at one point would have spec'd this type of skewer, whether it was from Shimano or another component brand. He said whether or not the skewer comes into contact with the rotor also depends on the fork dropout and design.

"If you have a thick suspension fork, the lever may go well beyond 180 but still not come in contact with the rotor," he said. "So you really have to look at it by individual models. The fork dropout and design — everything together is what may allow a lever to touch the rotor."

Tanaka said Shimano's user and dealer manuals (see below) advise that if the lever comes in contact with the rotor when closed, to install it on the opposite side of the rotor.

In the letter, Shimano also noted that the industry is working to develop a standard for quick releases, and that the company is cooperating with the industry's efforts. Tanaka said the standards organization ASTM has been discussing quick release standards and requirements in a working group for some time and that if a new or revised standard for QRs were to be implemented, Shimano would adhere to it.

Meanwhile, the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association has formed a committee, led by ASI president and CEO Pat Cunnane, to determine what steps the industry should or needs to take in light of the QR recall.

"The Trek recall has made everyone in the industry aware of this and the need for further understanding of it," Cunnane said.

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