QR/Disc Brake Recall Affects Entire Bike Industry

April 22, 2015

Following on from the story last night first broken on our sister site Grit.cx here we’ve had a chat with TREK UK who have filled us in on more of the details behind this problem.



Firstly, the issue is with the type of Quick Release Skewer and NOT with any particular bike design. Indeed it is actually a particular design of QR that lies at the centre of this issue. The type of Skewer that opens beyond the 180 degree point is known as a QR11 type. This skewer is NOT made by Trek. It is in fact one of the most common types of skewer on the market and has been rebadged over the years by many bike brands including Shimano. It has been in production since 2000 and incredibly Trek have estimated that the number of TREK bikes that could potentially be affected in the EU alone is 692,000.

It’s also important to say that the QR11 type skewer is not defective in any way in of itself. It is simply the combination of this skewer with disc brakes that presents a danger. One simple solution, as we demonstrate in our video, is to simply clamp up your QR from the opposite side of your wheel, away from the disc and calliper.

We demonstrated the problem with a mountain bike and you can see that to a certain extent the design of the suspension form limits the danger as the QR lever can’t swing round and make contact with the calliper and in most cases the worst that will happen is that you will get a wobbly wheel and hear the ching of the lever bouncing off the disc. However, the risk is much MUCH greater with rigid forks where the QR lever poses a risk (as shown in the illustration) of spinning round and actually jamming between the calliper and the disc. If that happens the outcome will undoubtedly be catastrophic.

A QR11 Type skewer we found in a box under the bench just now. If you have one of these, bin it and get a better one.

The message is pretty clear though.

  1. This is not a problem restricted to TREK as many brands have used this QR11 over the years*
  2. Check any of your bikes that still use QR levers with discs and if you have one.
  3. Go buy a new QR that won’t kill you.
  4. Check you have done up your QR every ride because it’s a sensible thing to do anyway.

*Don’t be surprised if other companies start issuing recall notices very soon.

UPDATE! As pointed out by Brant below you should not rely on just swapping the QR round as that introduces a new risk of the QR undoing itself due to vibrations from riding. See this report here , written by long standing forumite and bike shop owner Ben Cooper of Kinetics, Glasgow.

UPDATE 2!Β According to the BIKEBIZ article here Trek have indicated that there have been three documented accidents with one ending in paralysis due to this particular model of QR making contact with a brake calliper.

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