Consumer safety agency issues warning about accident danger with carbon fiber road bicycles

by Charles Miller

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned consumers about the potential safety hazards of bicycles that are manufactured with carbon fiber parts. Several bike manufacturers have recalled carbon fiber road bikes in recent years due to carbon components manufactured in Taiwan or China that could be more susceptible to failure, placing cyclists at an increased risk of injury.

Unlike steel bicycles—which bend as they wear down, causing parts to fail gradually—carbon fiber road bikes often show little warning that there may be problems. When these bikes fail, they do so suddenly and catastrophically, causing carbon fiber parts to snap in two. The failure of major components on a carbon road bike—such as the bicycle frame or the fork at the front of the bike—can cause riders to fall, leading to serious injuries.

Some of the major bicycle manufacturers that have issued recall notices for carbon fiber bicycles in recent years include:

  • 2005 R2.5 Model Carbon Fiber Bicycles and Bicycle Frames sold by Cervélo Cycles
  • 2011 Felt F3, F4, F5 and F75 bicycles with carbon fiber frames and carbon fiber forks
  • 2012 Tarmac SL4, 2013 Tarmac SL4, 2013 Crux, and 2013 Secteur Disc bicycles sold by Specialized Bicycle Components

All three of these recall notices involved carbon fiber bicycle components that were manufactured in China or Taiwan. Because these components may not have been subjected to the same level of safety standards as products that were manufactured in the U.S., carbon fiber bicycles made in Taiwan or China could be more susceptible to design flaws that could cause the failure of the bicycle, including:

  • Invisible air pockets in the bicycle fork
  • Internal damage to the bicycle frame following a crash
  • Manufacturing defects in carbon steerer tubes
  • Chipped paint or gel coating that can increase stress on carbon bicycle frames

When poorly manufactured carbon fiber bikes fail, they can cause serious injury to the rider, especially if the bike is traveling at high speeds. Cracks in the bicycle’s fork can cause the rider to lose control of steering and fall. The failure of the bicycle frame or other parts can also lead to problems controlling the bike that can lead to an accident.

Personal Injury Cases at Heygood, Orr & Pearson

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a defective carbon fiber road bicycle, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by completing the free case evaluation form.


Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Results of other cases do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

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by Charles Miller

Charles Miller is a licensed attorney and a partner at Heygood, Orr & Pearson. Charles focuses his practice on areas of complex commercial litigation and personal injury litigation.