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Faulty bicycle brake systems are recalled due to deadly potential

Voluntary recalls from the bicycle industry's two biggest parts companies involve faulty braking systems whose owners are presented with serious hazards while out riding. The two companies, Shimano and SRAM, are recalling thousands of hydraulic caliper and disc brakes and mechanical disc brakes. In the past, almost all bicycles were built with cable-actuated caliper rim brakes. Shimano's and SRAM's new, state-of-the-art braking systems were supposed to revolutionize bicycling; instead, these new brake users run the risk of serious injury when they're pedaling on the road or through the woods.

Shimano has recalled at least 6600 cable-actuated mechanical disc brakes due to potential failure. In addition to individual customers, they were also sold aftermarket to bicycle manufacturers like Raleigh, Volagi, BMC, Specialized, Shinola, and Ibis. 

SRAM has recalled at least 3500 hydraulic rim brakes and hydraulic disc brakes. This past December, SRAM released a statement telling anyone who was using these brakes on their bicycles to immediately stop. SRAM warned that in below freezing temperatures, its brakes can fail 100% and estimate that around 19,000 brake sets are likely affected.

The bicycles that these brakes supply can reach speeds of nearly fifty miles per hour. At speeds like that without functioning brakes, accidents can lead to devastating injuries and deaths at an alarming rate.

The technology of these new braking systems promised bicyclists higher speeds and longer brake life. Competition in the bike industry to make the lighter, longer lasting product is as intense as any other industry. As such, companies like SRAM and Shimano want to be the first to market new technology and rake in the profits. Although the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Society for Testing and Materials has set limits for bike design and analysis in the U.S., there are sometimes issues such as this that are not caught amidst inspection, or completely overlooked altogether. Within weeks of the product then hitting shelves, they are bought up by consumers and other companies alike, as well as imitated by businesses that are trying to come up with a similar product in order to capitalize on its popularity. This can be detrimental to consumers who will likely suffer the consequences of this corporate negligence.

When bicycle accidents take place, it is extremely important to analyze all influences in the bike's design, creation, and operation to conclude upon the origin of the problem.

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