Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chain Fail

SRAM, in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, has announced a voluntary recall of the SRAM 10-Speed Chain PowerLock connector links.
SRAM reports that the PowerLock outer connector plate could crack during installation or early use, causing the chain to separate and leading to loss of bicycle control and possible injury. For this reason, SRAM is recalling and replacing all affected SRAM 10-Speed Chain PowerLock connector links.
In a document issued Friday to SRAM dealers, the company detailed the safety issue, rate of occurrence, and how to identify recalled PowerLocks connector links. The company was careful to note that only 10-speed PowerLocks, not chains, are targeted in the recall.
PowerLocks stamped with “M” and “N” date codes are the targets of the recall. The date code letter is stamped onto the end of each PowerLock outer plate, near the pin. Affected PowerLock connecter links include:
• Individually packaged, aftermarket PowerLocks,• PowerLocks included with aftermarket chains, and• PowerLocks installed on SRAM chains on new bikes could all potentially be affected.
The date code letter is stamped on each of the 2 outer plates on a PowerLock, so both connector link outer plates need to be checked for affected “M” or “N” date codes.
SRAM noted that the safety issue (cracking of the outer plate) typically happens upon installation of the PowerLock or during first use. The company also noted that the issue was discovered internally at SRAM, and that the recall originated internally out of concern for quality and customer safety. SRAM is working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to initiate a full consumer recall, which will be soon announced to the public.
Cyclists with PowerLocks affected by the recall should stop riding immediately and return the affected chain to a SRAM dealer for confirmation of the date code and a free replacement PowerLock.
SRAM 8- and 9-speed chains and PowerLinks are not affected, nor are 10-speed chains. The defect is limited to 10-speed PowerLock connector links only, at a rate of roughly 2.5 connector plates out of 1000.

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