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  1. #26
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    Hush money. But lets be clear what the level is here. Specialized isn't just shipping out replacement forks as most forks are likely OK. Specialized has already determined this so they don't want to needlessly spend money and replace all questionable forks manufactured down the same assembly line during the same time frame.. An owner will have his new SL4 pride and joy tied up for a while. Bike needs to be taken to the lbs, fork removed, boxed and shipped back to Specialized where each fork will likely be X-rayed to deduce carbon layup/section integrity/any presence of cracking. A determination will be made to replace or not. This is a lot cheaper for Specialized then just sending out replacement forks which would be more expeditous for owners. But this time delay has a risk for Specialized as well in terms of time containment and/or making a misdiagnosis on a fork that is returned...once a recall is known to the public, law suits will be more prevalent. This is all part of the careful calculus.
    You obviously don't do a lot of shipping.

    The cost to ship a completely boxed bike is 10x what it costs to ship a fork. Beyond the liability calculations (which are real) depending on the expected rate of failure it might be cheaper to just ship all new forks. But...

    There is also the problem of actually producing enough forks to do a complete recall in a timely fashion. I've never made forks so I don't know what the capacity per day is for a fork mold, how many molds they own and how quickly they could produce enough forks to replace all the ones in question. I'm sure this calculation was done and factored in.

    My point is that some may be reading too much into HOW they are handling the recall and that there may be other factors involved.
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  2. #27
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    You obviously don't do a lot of shipping.

    The cost to ship a completely boxed bike is 10x what it costs to ship a fork. Beyond the liability calculations (which are real) depending on the expected rate of failure it might be cheaper to just ship all new forks. But...

    There is also the problem of actually producing enough forks to do a complete recall in a timely fashion. I've never made forks so I don't know what the capacity per day is for a fork mold, how many molds they own and how quickly they could produce enough forks to replace all the ones in question. I'm sure this calculation was done and factored in.

    My point is that some may be reading too much into HOW they are handling the recall and that there may be other factors involved.
    I have done a lot of shipping and even presided over shipping departments.
    Your shipping cost comments are moot. Every single bike affected by this recall will have its fork removed and shipped to Specialized, checked and then shipped back. As stated this calculus is all carefully planned. Indeed Specialized may not have to tool up for 12,000 replacement forks. But they know they will have to replace a subset...based upon a statistical guess of those or they wouldn't be participating in this recall. They likely even know the time period and lot of forks that are bad...just can't correlate this to bikes in the field and why the breadth of the recall.

    I know a lot about recalls. Fortune 100 companies have dedicated 'departments' which exist only to reduce revenue loss balancing liability versus recall and replacement. My observations are based upon what Specialized is doing..or not doing and nothing more.

  3. #28
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    I have no doubt that Specialized did the math, and figured that it would be more cost-effective to inspect the forks and replace as needed, rather than manufacture 12,000 forks. That would take a lot more time and would result in around 20,000 surplus forks.

    This doesn't mean Specialized are a pack of diabolical fiends trying to do the least possible for their customers. It's just business as usual.

    I don't believe this will have any effect on lawsuits. If someone is going to sue, they're going to sue.

    While I concur that it's a little bit inconvenient, I'm sure the owners will somehow manage to survive the trials and tribulations -- oh, the horror! -- of taking their bike to the shop for a week. And it's no different than, say, a Cannondale recall on Lefty forks, which were not user-serviceable and required taking the bike to an authorized retailer for repairs.

  4. #29
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    I have no doubt that Specialized did the math, and figured that it would be more cost-effective to inspect the forks and replace as needed, rather than manufacture 12,000 forks. That would take a lot more time and would result in around 20,000 surplus forks.

    This doesn't mean Specialized are a pack of diabolical fiends trying to do the least possible for their customers. It's just business as usual.

    I don't believe this will have any effect on lawsuits. If someone is going to sue, they're going to sue.

    While I concur that it's a little bit inconvenient, I'm sure the owners will somehow manage to survive the trials and tribulations -- oh, the horror! -- of taking their bike to the shop for a week. And it's no different than, say, a Cannondale recall on Lefty forks, which were not user-serviceable and required taking the bike to an authorized retailer for repairs.
    Diabolical in the sense of...business as usual...lol. They are trying to do the least for their customers as this saves them money.
    $100 is for store credit for their products. Some base buying decisions upon business practices. I don't. I buy what I think is the best bike and to me Specialized makes the best bikes. But it is what it is.
    PS: as to effect on lawsuits. Not so. Lawsuits can gather momentum. Recalls both promote and mitigate lawsuits.
    Nothing sinks a company faster than recalls. The ONLY reason a company implements a recall is to mitigate liability aka the cost of heavy court payouts. My only hope is nobody is hurt by this issue.
    Last edited by Campag4life; 01-29-13 at 11:43 AM.

  5. #30
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    Saw this picture of one of the failed forks/steerers posted on RBR. The guy broke his clavicle.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

  6. #31
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    Saw this picture of one of the failed forks/steerers posted on RBR. The guy broke his clavicle.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater
    Pretty remarkable. Would sure like to know the rider's weight and conditions for the break...hammering out of the saddle?...for example. We have all heard of forks breaking right at the headset interface...a stress riser. Location of Spesh relatively long internal expander could be a contributor based upon height of stem on steerer. In this case, the owner ran a fair amount of spacers...possibly worse case.
    Check out the Spesh expander below:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #32
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    Looks like the same number of spacers that it comes from the factory with so you would hope that's not a cause. The stem and bar are aftermarket but it's hard to imagine that being a contributing factor since it broke well below the stem.

    BTW, there was a picture of the rider posted in the hospital and he looked to be no more than 150-160lbs.
    Last edited by Dunbar; 01-29-13 at 01:20 PM.

  8. #33
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    I was a little surprised that the bottom of the expander was not visible in the photo, even given the large number of spacers. But in use you have a second stress riser at the headset bearing. Best case would maybe be a long expander that puts the base below the headset bearing -- unless that would cause some other issue at the headset.

  9. #34
    Senior Member Mike F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    Saw this picture of one of the failed forks/steerers posted on RBR. The guy broke his clavicle.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater
    The Specialized bike simply rejected the Bontrager stem Thank God the rider wasnt wearing a Bell helmet or his head would have popped off
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  10. #35
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by svtmike View Post
    I was a little surprised that the bottom of the expander was not visible in the photo, even given the large number of spacers. But in use you have a second stress riser at the headset bearing. Best case would maybe be a long expander that puts the base below the headset bearing -- unless that would cause some other issue at the headset.
    Me too. I didn't see it either. Begs the question if it was there. I am sure that Specialized has a legal leg to stand on if an owner doesn't elect to use the factory expander which is meant to reinforce the steerer at the bottom edge of stem clamp which is another known stress riser. I believe it is in fact why Specialized does not suggest running spacers on top of the stem because this changes the orientation of the expander relative to bottom edge of the stem clamp. I also agree that a very long expander would be best case...albeit add fractional weight...placing bottom edge of expander beneath the top of head tube.
    Last edited by Campag4life; 01-29-13 at 02:11 PM.

  11. #36
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    My first thoughts as well @Campag. The expander is no where to be seen.

    The question then becomes about why and more importantly who.

    Now I'm a bit confused regarding the recall. Was it a build failure of a manufacturing issue? The photo looks like the former but the recall suggests the later.
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  12. #37
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    As far as I know we do not even know if the fork that is pictured has anything to do with the recall or do we?

  13. #38
    Mr. Dopolina Bob Dopolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garysol1 View Post
    As far as I know we do not even know if the fork that is pictured has anything to do with the recall or do we?
    I assumed it was. Is this not the case?
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  14. #39
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
    I assumed it was. Is this not the case?
    I don't know but I find it hard to believe Specialized would initiate a recall over a fork breakage with so many questions as the one pictured unless there is more to the story........

  15. #40
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garysol1 View Post
    I don't know but I find it hard to believe Specialized would initiate a recall over a fork breakage with so many questions as the one pictured unless there is more to the story........
    You make a good point. Specialized wouldn't implement a recall based upon outliar failures from owners that remove their steerer expanders.
    I believe a point to be made however...is something called an interaction of contributing factors. If you have a weak design in combination with expander removed...perhaps in combination with strong rider...you have a perfect storm for failure.

    What typically happens is...from a guy that developed safety critical products:
    - Failures occur in the field which generally result in people getting hurt.
    - Failed parts are immediately procured.
    - Parts are evaluated on a microscopic level
    - Parts are compared to current manufacturing practices. Part failure can be a function of manufacturing defect or design defect. If design is problematic, tooling changes are enacted. Testing is devised to replicate failure mode.
    - Also, generally for safety critical product, products are sampled and tested from the production line. In this case they maybe even X-rayed at a high sample rate....sometimes even 100% as process control is improved upon.
    - Failed parts are attempted to correlate to a known mfg. time interval
    - Recall strategy is formulated
    - Recall implemented.

  16. #41
    Senior Member
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    Here's the specific recall:

    http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2013/...o-Fall-Hazard/

    Two incidents were reported, one involving a fall with facial lacerations requiring stitches. I think it's entirely unclear if the facebook pic is one of the two incidents.

  17. #42
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    I just bought the 2013 Tarmac Expert SL4 - or at least paid for most of it in advance. Delivery is in April but the lbs didn't say anything about "fork" problems. They did tell me my bike was in last week, which would have been weeks earlier than they said. However, after going over the receipts it turned out the bike was the Tarmac Expert M2. Not that I know a hell of a lot, but the Fact 8r frame and thge Fact 10r frame have to be different, as well as the group set, etc.

  18. #43
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasmedlicott View Post
    Not that I know a hell of a lot, but the Fact 8r frame and thge Fact 10r frame have to be different, as well as the group set, etc.
    All 2013 Tarmac SL4 bikes are in the recall, and that includes all "Expert" models.

    The shop ought to know to check the fork, but you should remind them anyway.

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    Thanks - I had originally ordered the Allez Race Rally and was going to have SRAM Force group set installed along with the COBL GOBL seat post. The bike shop said they couldn't get me that bike in a 61 but could make me a really good deal on the Tarmac SL4 Expert. 3k for the bike, down from their sale price of 3600.00. Then the wrong bike, now the wait - which I can do. Very reputable shop, I like all the people - just don't have the experience to know if I'm doing the right thing.

  20. #45
    Senior Member GoLoaf's Avatar
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    I picked this guy up last June. I'll be sad to know that it'll be spending some sad nights at the LBS, forkless and alone.


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    They've had pretty quick turn around with forks. Same day processing even.

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    our shop shipped in 5 Forks last friday, Had them back installed Wednesday

  23. #48
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darb85 View Post
    our shop shipped in 5 Forks last friday, Had them back installed Wednesday
    Darb...wonder if you could confirm something. My understanding is...Specialized 'fix' for this recall is...they are placing an 'insert' down and inside the steerer tube to reinforce suspect forks. Can you confirm this? I presume this can be determined by looking inside the repaired fork without expander installed. The question is...is this insert epoxied in place by Specialized?

  24. #49
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    I can confirm that the fix is an insert. We already had the first 2 forks back that we had sent in, one of which had the insert added, the other not. I'll have to take a look tomorrow when I'm at work as to the details of the insert. The good news is that even with shipping from Switzerland to the Netherlands and back again, the 2 forks took less than one week.

    Just before the recall announcement went out publicly, we were waiting on a bike ordered by a customer. It was delayed for an extra week due to awaiting a "security check" so it seems that even before Spec' made their press release, they were checking all forks on all new bikes before shipping them, and I believe they gave the checked bikes a small sticker on the underside of the fork. Therefore, if your new bike only just arrived at the shop then it will have been checked before being shipped to them.

  25. #50
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
    I can confirm that the fix is an insert. We already had the first 2 forks back that we had sent in, one of which had the insert added, the other not. I'll have to take a look tomorrow when I'm at work as to the details of the insert. The good news is that even with shipping from Switzerland to the Netherlands and back again, the 2 forks took less than one week.

    Just before the recall announcement went out publicly, we were waiting on a bike ordered by a customer. It was delayed for an extra week due to awaiting a "security check" so it seems that even before Spec' made their press release, they were checking all forks on all new bikes before shipping them, and I believe they gave the checked bikes a small sticker on the underside of the fork. Therefore, if your new bike only just arrived at the shop then it will have been checked before being shipped to them.
    Thanks for the update Chris. No doubt they are X-raying each fork. I guess what is surprising is...they are not inserting 'all' forks as a precaution. This suggests that the design itself isn't as flawed as the variation in carbon lay up in manufacturing. Likely with an X-ray they can see the difference in section thickness if it is present that is causing a weakness on a subset of forks.

    I would be interested in learning if the insert is epoxied in place. Perhaps the insert is pressed in...interference keeping it in place...but epoxy would make a bit more sense.

    There is liability issue....since Specialized is checking but isn't repairing all forks. God forbid if somebody suffers a fork failure (unlikely) if indeed they took their bike to the shop...fork was shipped to Specialized...and their fork broke upon return during a spirited ride.
    In this case, this owner could literally 'own' Specialized in court. To me, it is a slight gamble for Specialized not to reinforce every fork sent to them based upon this recall. Only thing I can surmise, is the difference in fork strength of good versus bad forks must be 'blatant'. Cost...is the consideration of not inserting all returned forks...which could end up VERY high cost for Specialized if their judgement is wrong.

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