Defective Bicycles Responsible for Preventable Injury and Death


Road accidents involving cyclists have been increasing in recent years. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation published a report that noted pedal-cyclist fatalities had increased by 12 percent year-on-year. Over 800 people were killed in bicycle traffic accidents in 2015, and around 45,000 injured. According to CDC data, fatal and non-fatal crash-related injuries to bicyclists results in lifetime medical costs and productivity losses of $10 billion per year.

Many of these bicycle accidents are caused by human error and misjudgment; however, many others were undoubtedly caused by bike defects, a reality for which manufacturers must held accountable.

After a serious injury on a bicycle, seek medical treatment, and collect medical records and medical expense reports. Take photos of injuries and the physical remains of your defective bicycle. It is important to preserve evidence in defective product cases. Preserve all evidence in the condition it was in at the time of the accident. Your attorney and experts can investigate the root cause of your bicycle accident and decide who to file lawsuits against. Do not post any photos on social media and do not send any evidence to anyone other than your legal counsel.

Bike accidents also occur daily in Ohio because of the negligence of motor vehicle drivers. Car and truck drivers may be liable for running cyclists off the road or cutting in front of a moving cyclist on the road.

Your product liability attorney will determine who is liable in your particular case. Product defect claims may involve design defects, manufacturing defects, failure to warn, when a product is sold without proper warnings or instructions. Those liable for a bicycle defect injury may include the following:

  • Manufacturers
  • Wholesalers
  • Distributors
  • Retailers
  • Repair shops
  • Municipalities
  • Negligent Motorists

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati Catastrophic Injury and Ohio product liability lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of consumer product liability and defective bicycle claims.


Defective Bicycles & Bike Malfunction Injury

Defective bicycles are routinely recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The safety agency has recalled millions of defective bicycles due to cracking frames, breaking forks, faulty chains, failing brakes, and for the following reasons:

  • Cracking during the manufacturing process
  • Use of improper materials
  • Defective Design
  • Negligent Installation
  • Fork failure
  • Faulty Chains
  • Pedals improperly attached—may loosen or fail
  • Faulty tires or tubes
  • Defective handlebars or Bike Stem
  • Faulty Seat Post
  • Defective carbon fiber frame
  • Seat saddle clamp failure
  • Improper wheel/fender clearance
  • Defective carbon fiber frames
  • Defective brakes
  • Faulty Frame Welds
  • Defective wheels
  • Defect on quick-release hubs on front wheels
  • Failure to meet other safety standards

Defective Bicycles & Road Accidents

In the majority of bicyclist deaths, the most serious injuries are to the head, highlighting the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. Hospital data shows that over 40 percent of cyclists suffer head injuries in all recorded accidents. However, helmet use has only been estimated to reduce the odds of head injury by 50 percent. The most serious injuries can include the following;


Defective Bicycle Recalls

Even the most expensive bicycles on the market, which can cost thousands of dollars, have defects that can endanger consumers. For example, in 2015 Trek initiated one of the largest bicycle recalls in U.S. history, even for its top line bicycles. The recall was for 900,000 bicycles sold in the U.S. after a 2014 incident in which a rider was paralyzed. A notice from the Consumer Product Safety Commission said there had been three incidents where riders were injured when an open quick release lever on the front wheel came in contact with the front disc brake.

This was part of the biggest recall in the history of the bicycle industry. It involves 1.5 million bikes, and 13 companies representing 17 bicycle brands. Bicycles dating back as far as 1998 were included in the recall. The companies included:

  • Cannondale
  • Diamondback
  • Fuji
  • Novara
  • Ridley
  • Breezer
  • Civia
  • Felt
  • Trek
  • Access
  • GT
  • Giant
  • Norco
  • Jamis
  • Haro
  • Raleigh
  • SE
  • Specialized

Other Bike Defect Recalls

  • In 2016, Cannondale recalled 28,000 bicycles with OPI stem/ steering tube assemblies that may fail.
  • In 2014, SRAM recalled an undisclosed number of bicycle brakes because the brake systems were reported to have failed, posing crash and injury risk. There were over 95 reports of brakes failing.
  • In 2012, Specialized recalled 12,000 bikes due to issues with the front fork breaking. Reports of injury included head trauma, facial fractures, and shoulder injuries.

Defective Bicycle Helmets

Defective bicycles and components pose serious injury threats to consumers in Ohio and nationwide. In the painful aftermath of a serious bicycle accident, victims are urged to contact a product liability and personal injury lawyer to discuss options of rightful compensation. If you and your attorney believe that a bike manufacturer should be held liable for injuries and damages, it may be prudent to consider legal action.

Adding to the woes of cycling consumers, defective bicycle helmets have also been recalled in large numbers in recent years. Manufactures that have recalled defective helmets include the following:

  • Schwinn
  • Rollerblade
  • Scott
  • Uvex
  • Triple 8—Little Tricky
  • Bell Exodus

Defective Bike Accident Lawsuits

If you have been injured in a bike accident and suspect it may have been due at least in part to a defect with the bicycle or helmet, it is critical to preserve the evidence and all parts. Take photos at the scene and contact an injury lawyer as soon as possible.

An experienced product liability lawyer can assist in evaluating the root cause of the failure. To build a compelling case, there must be evidence that the design of the bike was defective, a manufacturing defect existed, or the manufacturer was negligent in the manner in which the bike was tested or sold. The Lyon Firm works with design engineers and metallurgists to determine the root cause of the bike failure to trace the defect back to a design or manufacturing source.

Compensation may be awarded for incurred and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, as well as punitive damages against a manufacturer for conscious disregard for the safety of consumers.

helmet defect lawsuits

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a defective bicycle, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.