A potentially dangerous fault with the carbon spokes on its R-SYS front wheel has lead to French wheel company, Mavic voluntarily recalling all of their R-SYS front wheels. Mavic will replace all of the affected wheels with a free of charge upgrade in March, in the meantime all those affected are being offered a free Mavic Aksium front to keep.
According to the Mavic statement (which you can read in full below) the tubular carbon front spokes on the R-SYS front wheel `'may break in certain circumstance" according to Mavic's Michel Lethenet, the main danger of breakage would come from "intrusion of any object in-between spokes".
He went on to explain that: "As these wheels are built around a totally new concept, the existing tests were not showing any defect of that type, even during the long term field tests."
Mavic then became aware of some cases of crashed wheels and after studying these wheels to see if there was a safety risk this they created a totally new test to "duplicate the event and closely study it."
"From the results, we took the decision to avoid any possible injury that may occur to anyone by voluntarily recalling every front R-Sys wheels from the market as a precautionary safety measure," says Lethenet.
HAs a response to these tests say Lethenet "Mavic has developed a new version of tubular carbon spokes (new carbon fibres structure and new design) with enhanced mechanical properties and impact behaviour. This spoke version has been approved through a new testing program in regard to identified constraints. In order to avoid any confusion, each spoke will bear a distinctive sign which will allow [users] to distinguish upgraded spokes from former ones."
New wheels with the upgraded spokes will be available to anyone with the exisiting Mavic R-SYS front wheel from March onwards. In the meantime all R-SYS users will be offered an Aksium front wheel to use now and which they can keep when they get their replacement R-SYS wheel.
Below is the statement announcing the re-call posted on the Mavic 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 and 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.
"Consumers should immediately return their front wheel to a Mavic dealer; and a new upgraded R-SYS front wheel will be delivered free of charge. This exchange will start from 31st of March 2009. Until this date, and to facilitate the continued use of your bicycle, Mavic will offer a set of Aksium wheel that customers will keep after they have received the replacement R-SYS front wheel."
For any further question, please ask your Mavic Dealer, or call the following number: 00 800 234 788 75
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.