Bicycles are widely popular with all age groups as a form of transportation, enjoyment, or exercise. Types of bicycles available include mountain bikes, 10-speed bikes, and children’s bikes.
The majority of bicycle defects arise from faulty manufacturing and construction of the equipment or the bicycle frame. When a single bicycle part is defective, it can affect the entire bicycle, causing malfunctions or accidents that can result in a number of injuries. Bicycle accidents can lead to bruises, scrapes, broken bones, concussions, brain injuries, or even death. For children just learning to ride a bicycle, a defective part can lead to serious injuries.
Statistics show that children and young people are more affected by bicycle injuries and deaths than any other age group. While some bicycle accidents are not caused by defective bicycles, statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2008 reported that approximately 80 children under the age of 16 were killed in incidents connected to bicycles in recent years. Approximately half of children under the age of 15 who were hospitalized for bicycle-related injuries in 2003 were diagnosed with some form of traumatic brain injury. The CPSC suggests that a bicycle helmet and other protective safety gear are to be used by all cyclists.
In August 2006, Nirve Sports recalled approximately 120 Cannibal “Chopper” bicycles as a result of stem failure. The stem of the chopper bicycle can crack, presenting a fall hazard and a serious risk of injury to the rider. The affected bicycles are black matte with graphic designs and were sold nationwide at authorized retailers from December 2008 to April 2009. The bikes were manufactured in China.
In 2001, the Seattle Bike Supply of Kent, Washington, recalled approximately 1,400 children’s bicycles due to a problem with the height of the pedals. The pedals on the bicycle are too low and do not meet with federal bicycle standards. This defect can cause serious falls and injuries if a child loses control of the bicycle when a pedal scrapes the ground. One report was received of a 4-year old who fell from his bike as a result of losing control when the pedal struck the ground. All boys’ Torker Blaster 16-inch bikes with model-year 2001 are included in the recall. Torker Blaster bikes were available in red, black, chrome, or blue at bicycle stores nationwide from September 2000 to December 2000. In addition, the girls’ Sunflower 16-inch bikes in green, yellow, and pink were included in the manufacturer’s recall.
In 1992, Radio Flyer, Inc. recalled the #TR12 “Totally Rad Flyer Bicycle” and the #LM13 “Little Miss Flyer Bicycle” because they failed to meet with federal requirements for brakes. According to federal safety requirements, these bicycles should include both handbrakes and footbrakes. Both bikes, however, are equipped with only handbrakes. The bicycles were imported from Taiwan and sold in retail stores nationwide in May 1992. Stores where the bicycles were available include Mills Fleet Farm, Pay ‘N’ Save Drug, Toys “R” Us, and Bi-Mart Corporation. A surveillance program between the CPSC and U.S customs Service revealed the incompliance with federal standards.
In July 2001, Acetrike Bicycle Co. of Taiwan recalled approximately 38,800 children’s sidewalk bicycles because the frames could break and present a fall hazard. Four reports were received of frames breaking on these bicycles. Two young boys acquired abrasions, and a 5-year-old suffered a contusion. Date codes of April 2000 and earlier are located on the left, rear part of the bicycle frame. Models involved in this recall include girls’ models “Fairy Magic” (12-inch), “Secret Treasures” (16-inch), “Sweet Tweety” (12-inch), “Best Friends” (16-inch), and boys’ models “Rugrats” (16-inch), “Cool Taz" (12-inch), “MX 1800” (16-inch), “Mudslinger” (16-inch), “High Gear” (12-inch), “MX1200” (12-inch), and “Space Racer” (12-inch). These children’s bicycles were available from October 1999 to March 2001 at nationwide retailers such as Blain Supply, Meijers, Kay Bee Toys, and Wal-Mart, as well as other department stores, hardware stores, toy stores, and sporting goods stores.