Luescher Teknik’s comments on the ongoing TREK Recall

Luescher specifically raised the point that the cycling media is not throwing light on these issues. Is this another case of big Corporate throwing their weight on the media? Luescher is not the average punter in the comments section so surely this requires some introspection from the Cycling media in general.

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Pretty crazy the amount of issues over the past few years with Stems and Bars. If there’s any part of the bike I can think of that should be over-engineered for durability and sheer strength I’d want it to be the bar/stem/head tube area since a failure in that region usually occurs at high speed and results in 0 controllability.

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A lot of it is connected with the trend for fully internal cabling. Raoul was on a nerd alert podcast a while ago and thought that all this internal cabling was a terrible idea, I’d tend to agree with him.

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No adjustability up front: a Procrustean bed. When is this trend in integration going to crack (haha)?

I was at the Trek shop about a month ago, and an employee was actively pulling Emonda SLRs off the showroom floor. That’s when and how I found out about the recall. I don’t think it’s something you want to announce to the world if you can avoid it. I was lucky the employee was forthcoming.

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  • Ummm, that’s the entire reason for a recall in the first place. Notify existing users of a potential risk and what to do to prevent and/or correct it.

Sure, it sucks as a big company, to admit you screwed up and air it to the entire world.

  • But having someone die or be severely harmed from using said product… because they didn’t hear about, get notified or otherwise discover the risk they had in their hands… is far worse.
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Trek has informed every single owner of those bars and fitted a new stem/handlebar combo to the bikes until the new one piece design is coming in. They also provided each customer with a generous store credit to use. It’s a public recall so available for any cycling media to report on.

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Nah you do shout it from the roof tops. Cyclists are used to stuff not being made right, warrantying nearly new equipment because of a design or manufacturing flaw, and seemingly don’t care about poor tolerances or even questionable designs, that’s not much of a story. Now a bunch of people suffering major injury or death due to a poor design/manufacturing that story’s got some legs.

Based on complaints about lack of availability on the interwebs, 2021-22 shipments of those bikes is probably in the dozens. The president could probably have his assistant call each buyer personally.

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That covers original owners in most cases (assuming they registered and still have open connections via that original purchase process), but it misses any and all buyers of used bikes.
It may even miss those that buy the handlebars as a separate purchase for other bikes or retro-fitting existing Treks.

Those other purchase cases are why a wider net must be cast.

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As a friend with those bars (brand new, fitted to brand new bike) just found out by accident when he called his Trek store about an adapter for a Wahoo computer, I think that your statement is more hope than fact.

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Agreed. All good points.

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That makes good sense on a rational level. But I imagine there’s a standard protocol for handling these flavors of warranties practiced across various industries that works to contact those who need to know while attempting to avoid unnecessary exposure to the general public. Companies spend billions to protect their reputations and devise infinite strategies to control the way they’re seen in the public eye (think about the re-appropriation of product reviews from once impartial sources to company websites, and how trite and unhelpful they’ve become). My guess is that companies take practical steps to handle these issues responsibly while at the same time diluting news of them in the normal channels wherever possible. That just seems kind of natural, whether you think it’s right or wrong.

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Seems to be a recall in Australia but not (yet?) in the US.

One of the good things about the CPSC.gov website is that they include the number of recalled products on the recalled product’s page.

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(No idea how I got renamed from @John to @John2, there must’ve been someone more important that wanted John for themselves?)

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Well I can’t speak for all Trek stores obviously but I do know how it was handled in my store and our stores around the city. We put great effort in informing people, getting them in and getting new bars/stems fitted to their bikes.

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The original post expressed concern at the lack of coverage in cycling media of the issue and posited that it may be an example of undue corporate influence on said cycling media.

I cleave to the old saw that given a choice between something being a conspiracy and a #uck-up, always choose the latter as it’s easier to organise.

A slightly relevant parallel from the wine industry: although there is more good wine made now than at any previous time in history, there is still plenty of awful (and in particular, awfully overpriced)* wine around. On the other hand, you will never see a review of a bad wine in the press, it’s just considered bad form.

The attitude is that there’s plenty of good wine to talk about so why bother with the lousy ones. This isn’t some grand conspriracy between Big Oenology and the press, it’s just the way the system evolved. Yes, it’s cosy and convenient but it doesn’t involve conscious influence, partially because it doesn’t have to.

A while back, when every second red wine was bretty, I considered starting “The Bad Wine Blog” to act as a counterpoint. “The Bad Beer Blog” would be next priority but I could never work out a way to monetise either of them: obviously I would have to pay for the wines I reviewed and some of them are very expensive.

Therein lies the rub: it costs money to run media, that money mostly comes from advertising and positive news attracts advertisers so the cosy relationship evolves. I’m not Pangloss, I don’t think this is the best of all possible schemes but it is the one we have.

*I’m looking at you, Penfold’s.

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In case anyone was wondering what these failures actually look like, here’s an example of a speed concept failure. From my understanding Trek has not been overly proactive about rectifying the issue for clients.


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What higher-end Aus wines would you recommend instead?

I don’t think this is a fair comparison. Wine is a subjective “good or bad”, while a bike that has an engineering defect is nothing other than “bad”. Why did some outlets cover the Tarmac steering tube failure but not this? No idea, but kudos to Cyclingtips for discussing the Specialized failure (at least on Nerd alert) in depth.

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His own most probably!

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