This just in, thanks to an attentive reader of my blog : Mavic is recalling all its R-SYS front wheels made with carbon composite tubular spokes. This is not the first time Mavic is recalling wheels due to spoke issue. Back in 1995, over 1,100 Cosmic wheels were recalled due to serious hub and spoke problems.
This latest recall is effective as of January 5, 2009. I have documented the characteristic pattern of failure in these wheels in this post. You can also see more pictures of the failure in last year's Pace Bend Cat4/5 race in Texas. Other weaknesses in the product are also obvious. For example, Cog Snob noted in November 08 :
"The valve stem hole is a bit unprotected and can chafe the inner tube right at the valve stem. In less than two months I have had several valve stem failures due to this, a couple resulting in blow outs, and one that nearly caused me a nasty crash."
I'm happy that their designers have taken note of cases such as these on the web (if they have).
Mavic declares on their website :
"As part of its ongoing commitment to customer safety and satisfaction, Mavic has announced a voluntary recall of its R-SYS front wheels as a precautionary safety measure.
Mavic has identified that the carbon tubular spokes of the R-SYS front wheel may break during use in certain circumstances causing the rider to lose control and possibly fall, potentially sustaining injury.
All models of Mavic R-SYS front wheels are concerned (R-SYS, R-SYS test, R-SYS Premium), whether purchased separately or as part of a bicycle. The wheels must no longer be used."
Read more about the recall here. In exchange for your returned product, they'll give you a new redesigned wheel for free. I wonder how good the new ones will be.
I'm hearing some folks voicing the concern that this recall is not officially recognized in the U.S as yet. However, in France, the recall is in full effect. Can anyone confirm this?
Inspite of the front wheel recall, post recall wheels are also failing catastrophically, placing riders in series danger. Two recent instances of these failures are documented on :
1. Velonews's Ben Deleney experienced a shattering crash in a race due to a failure in the second generation front wheel. Read more here.
2. Bike Hugger's David Schloss experienced an R-Sys rear wheel failure, and seems to be furious. He feels lucky he wasn't riding at speed when this happened.