For companies small or large, product recalls are an unfortunate but inevitable part of operation. Sure, they hope to avoid defects altogether, but sometimes faulty parts slip through the cracks. The latest one bit by the recall bug is Silicon Valley bicycle company Specialized, which recently recalled thousands of bikes over a faulty fork in its 2018 model Allez road bike. Globally, more than 13,000 bikes are affected.
Despite the scale of the recall, no crashes or injuries have yet been reported. This doesn’t mean none have occurred, but it’s worth pointing out that a single report of cracking in the fork officially jump-started the recall. However, the recall does state ominously that “the fork on the bicycle can break and cause the rider to lose control, posing a crash hazard.”
The specific bikes affected by shoddy forks are all 2018 Allez road racing bicycles, including the base model, Sport model, and Elite model. Each version’s composite fork has the brand name “Specialized” printed on its downtube, “Allez” on the bottom portion of each fork leg, and the word “Fact” printed on the inside of the left fork leg. To fix the issue, Specialized urges anyone with a recalled bike to contact an authorized retailer to receive free installation of a new fork.
“We’re happy to report that we’ve received approval for our fork recall and replacement program, and we’ve been working hard to source replacement forks to get you back riding as quickly as possible,” wrote Jon Goulet, Specialized’s director of global quality and rider care, in a mid February update on the recall. “Starting today, we will begin delivery of forks to your retailer, who will install the new fork on your bike at no cost to you.”
First caught in December, Specialized has provided monthly updates regarding not only the status of the recall but also the production plan for replacing the forks. In January, Goulet issued an update stating the brand would “expect being able to replace forks beginning in early February.” On February 15, Specialized received official approval of the recall and fork replacement program and began delivering replacements to retailers.
Specialized confirmed to Digital Trends the official global recall affected 13,373 bikes, 5,795 of which were located in the United States. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the government agency that oversees recalls, did not respond to our multiple attempts to contact it.
The CPSC’s site urges consumers with affected bikes to contact an Authorized Specialized Retailer directly or Specialized toll-free at 877-808-8154 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT Monday through Friday. Consumers can also email email@example.com.