About The Trek Fork Failures

I will be transferring more information to this page as a journal of the whole affair - latest information at the bottom - with a quick status at the top. Much of this journal was written as it happened. A number of facts home come to light validating much of what I lay out below. I'll add editor's notes to highlight these points.
 Latest Update: Thursday June 10, 1:45PM
  1. VeloNews.com article is due to post very soon detailing the whole affair.
  2. I was notified that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has decided to pursue this and has assigned an investigator as of May 26. My sources tell me that CPSC has been in contact with Trek. 
  3. My information is that Trek has already changed the carbon lay up of the steer tube on newly shipped bikes since this saga began May 24. Apparently, they are going to claim that the existing tubes are safe as is. So at least we have gotten the new bikes in better shape. Now they need to deal with the other 6,000 + they have already shipped.

Part 1: My Handlebars Shear Off In A Race
On May 15, 2010 our team participated in the Poolesville Road Race. The race is known for a 1.5 mile section of dirt and gravel. On lap 4 the race was heating up. We made the steep decent to the sharp right turn to the gravel. I was at the front of the race. Two top riders moved up as well and as we entered the gravel and attacked. I came out of the saddle to accelerate and immediately felt the handle bars come off in my hands. I went straight down face, and knees first into the gravel. I was wearing a helmet camera.

Here is the video:
This is what the bike looked like afterwards (photos by Harry Fang):

And another shot I took:

My knees after the crash

PART 2: The Plot Thickens
This past weekend, May 23rd, several team mates participated in the Pro/1/2 criterium at Bike Jam in Baltimore, Md. Remember, this is one week after my bike's bars broke off at Poolesville. During the start of the race, my team mate's bars also broke off in his hands and he went down! He was extremely lucky that his bars came off that way. This criterium would have speeds of 30 + miles per hour and the course is technical and known for crashes. When your handle bars come off with no warning, you go down face first, period.

Look familiar? I paid for 9 bikes but Trek has only shipped us 7 bikes. This means that within the space of one week, 2 out of 7 (29%!) of our bikes have had a catastrophic failure that could result in very serious injury. I was in a mall with my Wife, checking my iPhone at JCrew. I see a post of the picture above from a spectator at the race on FaceBook. I was sick. I had no idea what condition our rider was in. He has a 2 year old Daughter. I could not believe that I was looking at nearly a mirror image of my crash.
Tuesday End Of Day Update - May 25, 2010
Consumer Product Safety Commission Incident Report Filed
Trek chose not to respond to me in any way nor did they make any public announcement or disclosure of this issue. I consulted my attorney on the release of this blog to the press. They are concerned that Trek could attack me legally for disclosing this although, clearly the information is true. So the strategy to compel Trek to act may change slightly. I may have to get the press interested verbally or off the record, then let them do the detective work.

What Trek has no control over, however, is my ability to report the steer tube failures to the CPSC. I had no plans to do so but with Trek's complete lack of communication to me or our team led me to do so at 3PM today, May 25, 2010. I outlined what I knew and implored them to contact Trek and act quickly as thousands of these bikes are out there. This is the way bike recalls work. In fact on the home page of Trek's web site, www.trekbikes.com, there is a current recall notice for another Trek bike which was published in cooperation with the CPSC.
Are Other Bikes Breaking Right Now?
A number of people know my Trek Madone failed and are on Facebook. Pictures have been posted and questions have been asked. Today I made reference to the issue, without going into specifics. Within minutes, I had a person say that they saw a failed Madone 6.9 at Wilmington GP this past Saturday. Remember, my team mate's Trek Madone's bars broke off the next day at Bike Jam. Then I got an email later in the afternoon saying that another elite amateur team that rides Trek is having multiple issues like this. That's just one afternoon of communication. What does this tell you? Does Trek really believe that they can write off my crash and my team mate's crash and not acknowledge that there is a real problem? CHECK THE COUNTER at the top of this page to see the time that has past since Trek admitted they know about this issue.