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Carbon Wheel Failure: Mavic R-SYS

Our client was injured by a wheel failure. Let us know if you've had problems with Mavic R-Sys wheels.

Bike Law North Carolina is currently handling a case in which a Mavic R-SYS wheel failed and injured our client. Our client was riding her bike in a charity bicycle ride. Her bike was equipped with a set of R-SYS wheels she received from Mavic as a replacement for the original R-SYS wheel. Mavic recalled the original R-SYS in early 2009. Our client’s bike was well cared-for and tuned-up shortly before the ride.

As our client descended a small hill on a smooth road, two of her spokes spontaneously broke, causing the rim to distort and then the entire wheel to collapse. She had just enough time to get to the side of the road but was thrown head first over the handlebars and received serious injuries.

The R-SYS wheel spokes are made of carbon fiber composite. Carbon fiber composite can and does fatigue. Due to the high cycle fatigue a bicycle wheel is subjected to in normal use, any very small defects in critical locations can slowly grow larger with time and not be detected without advanced nondestructive techniques. When the spokes in this particular wheel fail, the integrity of the entire wheel is compromised and results in its failure. Obviously, a catastrophic wheel failure can lead to a crash and very serious injuries or death.

I am looking for information regarding other failures of this wheel. If you are a rider whose R-SYS wheel has failed or bike shop owner or employee who knows about a failure, please contact me at [email protected] or 704-200-2009.

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