This is one of those recalls that on the surface isn’t bad as it sounds, but with the worst case scenario in mind, it’s something that had to be fixed. The problem in question isn’t actually a problem if you use the quick release correctly. However, as many of us that have worked in shops have seen, quick releases aren’t always understood by the consumer and often come into the shop twisted shut without actually using the cam. That seems to be the issue here if the lever side of the QR is installed on the disc side of the bike. Since the lever extends past 180º in the open position, if you managed to ride a bike with the skewer in the open position it could become lodged in the disc rotor and cause a crash.

In spite of the fact that this is only a potential problem if the quick release is used incorrectly, Trek is taking preemptive measures to make sure it doesn’t result in any more injuries. The voluntary recall will provide dealers with replacement quick releases and Trek is even offering a $20 coupon for Bontrager product good until December, 2015 for any rider with an affected quick release.

Anyone who is unsure of how to properly use a quick release should check out the how-to video from Trek after the break…


  1. This is very well worded Zach! As someone who works in shops, I have to agree with you.
    The way this was worded from Trek too, it sounds like this isn’t just an issue with their bikes, but an issue with lower end skewers in the industry as a whole. I know that there will be the inevitable haters out there, but I like how Trek is stepping up here.

  2. What do you mean I don’t put diesel in my gas powered car? I’m pretty sure the three people who had this as a real life problem, probably touched the stove after their parents told them not to. Just to see what would happen.

    And no, “Trek stepping up” is allowing people to improperly install things on their bikes and force manufacturers to have to compensate for it.

    Let’s think for a second, $20 bucks to the customer, 5$ to the shop. I would imagine they’re giving the shops credit, so let’s assume $15 loss on every single person that gets a replacement skewer. Now let’s assuming a very, very low number of people actually go and get it replaced, say 100k people. That’s 1.5 million, up to 13.5 million dollars lost over this.

    I’ll tell you one thing, Trek won’t lose a dime over it. Expect 2016 bike prices to go up.

    Enjoy your recall!

  3. Why do mainstream bikes even use QR? They’re just like tubulars; niche products more likely to fail consumers than benefit them.

    Almost everyone benefits from bolt-ons instead. They’re lighter, better looking, and you can’t make too many mistakes.

  4. Sadly I have been to shops that are authorized for some of the very brands in question where their Monkey mechanic didn’t know how to tighten a QR. He was also under the impression the Cannonade Bad Boy I had with 700 tires had to be deflated to be removed :/

    No I am not making this up and it just goes to show the incompetence is on many levels. I am pretty sure the human race is doomed with the idiocy I see now of days.

    Ask me about the MTB I see with arrow bars daily also 😀

  5. “Now let’s assuming a very, very low number of people actually go and get it replaced, say 100k people. That’s 1.5 million, up to 13.5 million dollars lost over this.”

    I think your numbers are absurd. 100,000 riders of bikes with disc brakes are going to take this offer? Be serious.

  6. it isn’t simply a case of the consumer being uneducated about their bikes, and i stress uneducated and not stupid. it just takes that one time you’re in a rush to get out the door so you don’t look over your rig for an issue like this to land you in the hospital. it can happen to anyone and thank god trek isn’t a bike shop or we’d all suffer from it’s superiority.

  7. My kids brand new Rocky Mountain Vertex 24 came with squewers like this that had way too much throw in both directions. I had to dump them immediately. It throw was too short as well, or it could be the massive lawyer tabs, so getting it good and tight and not pushing it into the rotor or spokes is time consuming. I swear their was like 10 full turns to get the front wheel off with the qr open.

  8. Champs –
    The problem isn’t quick releases, it is poorly designed ones. There is no reason to allow the handle to swing more than 180 deg.

    If I came out with a pneumatic tire that blew up randomly at speeds above 25 mph, I wouldn’t say tires are bad, I’d say MY tire is bad.

  9. Not only that, but the lever has no place on the rotor side of the front wheel anyway. Even with a quality QR used properly by an informed rider, there’s no advantage to having the lever on the left. You’re more likely to get hand oils on the rotor when installing or removing the wheel, and you could potentially burn your hand trying to do a fast tire change after a hard stop.

  10. Didn’t Trek just have a recall on a bunch of skewers for dropout failures?????? I wonder if this is related to that.

    As Brendan mentioned above. Levers next to rotors is a bad idea.

  11. Twenty bucks and a new skewer just for not understanding how to operate a standard quick release?! Thank you Mr. Trek, that is most generous.

  12. Levers have been next to rotors on mountain bikes for 10 years with little issue.

    I don’t see the sea change required for idiots.

  13. A bolt-on or allen-head skewer is actually generating LESS clamping force than even the cheapest quick release, and is vastly more likely to loose itself in daily use. DT Swiss solved this with their RWS skewer, and of course, thru-axles fix this forever and ever.

  14. Really a testament to the growth of the cycling market. You’ve now got people out there who know nothing about their equipment. Trek showing great patience and foresight in highlighting this.

  15. Sounds like someone forgot to include a ‘how to operate your QR lever’ in their user manual. That, or they want to shift some Bontrager accessories

  16. @pilf [citation needed] on the clamping force claim.

    Recall makes sense. Bikes are operated by people who have zero knowledge about them. It’s a simple way to make this a little safer (for the riders, and for Trek).

  17. you guys are the most bitter and elitist group I’ve seen in a while. You’d think if you aren’t a trained bicycle mechanic you shouldn’t own a bicycle. Good on Trek for replacing this.

  18. Exactly right….it’s the (deleted) lawyers…QR’s have never been a problem on my TREK w Discs but then again I am COMPLETELY COMPETENT rider and I have always run my QR release opposite side of the rotor…..and it takes quit some strength to release….who would’ve thunk it?

  19. How is this not an issue for all the other companies using the same source for cheap-o QRs, forks, and low-end disk brakes…? Why is Trek the only company stepping up regarding this?

  20. @Jack. Actually, it was in the recall announcement. However, not to downplay any accident, but out of the close to 1,000,000 recalled bike, there is 1 supposed incidence (that we know of) that resulted in paralization due to the QR jammed in the brake. Then again, how many injuries are there from JUST RIDING A MOUNTAIN BIKE PERIOD? That’s the risk we take.

  21. @MikeC. This IS an issue for other manufacturers. No one has stepped up to admit it. I was in a Trek shop this morning and saw the issue in person. And sure enough the Cannondale sitting next to it had the same skewer and the same potential problem. I have a feeling Treks recall is only scratching the surface of what’s to come.

  22. OK. I always knew “biking is my life” types were snide and condescending…but really? We bought a Trex for my 9 year old last year. We need to have this manufacturing error fixed. I am not over-reacting. I am not angry with Trex. In fact, their response to this is why we bought a Trex. But you overly sanctimonious a**hats who think my 9 year old should know how to modify his bike to avoid serious injury need to take it down a notch. You want to know how “deeply” I want to understand the mechanics of my bike? I DON’T! And that doesn’t make me an idiot or any of the other names I see people calling folks like me….the *gasp* casual bike rider. We all have our interests and our strengths. If you want to feel superior over others because you understand bike riding more than the average person…you’re taking this WAY too seriously. There is a popular metaphor for a very simple (and supposedly safe) activity…it’s like riding a bike.

  23. Unless it was mentioned already (and I missed it) the QR issue is not exclusively a disc brake concern; even if it’s deployed on the opposite side of the wheel you have to consider the impact of the lever jamming into the spokes at high speed. Not a good situation either.

  24. So why don’t we ride with the skewers tightened properly or even just reverse the skewer to the other side? We have done that with disc bikes before. This recall makes no sense.

  25. THEN, Trek is kind enough to make us Trek dealers sell $20 worth of Bontrager products and only reimburse us $10. I am not in business to sell my products at a loss.

  26. JUST ONE MORE COMMENT AND I WILL SHUT UP – As a long time bike shop guy (since the mid-70’s) I am appalled and the number of recalls within this industry. I am curious what type of testing goes on with all bike manufacturers. I know many items are stress tested on machines but what about real-world testing with actual humans? I guess this is the price you have to pay from buying CHEAP CRAP FROM CHINA!

  27. To correct an earlier comment: if you the math, a bolt or nut clamps with at least an order of magnitude more than a quick release rod.

  28. If you can’t properly use a quick release… not only should you not ride a bike at all, you should also be taught how to wipe your rear and use a spoon not a butter knife when eating soup.

  29. Just to put this into context, because we often say any accident is “one too many”. Here in the USA there is a 1 in 18,000 chance you’ll be murdered and a 1 in 18,500 chance you’ll die in a car accident. If you take those odds, and inflate them to the magnitude of the affected bicycles, that would be 50,000 people injured by this recall. Maybe that means we should all be riding more bikes and buying less cars and guns?

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