DurianRider is reporting on his YouTube Channel that Specialized will be issuing a fork recall for the Tarmac SL7 series of bikes. Documents purported to have been leaked from Specialized have been shown on the channel and judging by the drawings and the CAD system used to produce them, they look to be genuine.
It would appear that Specialized have been using a compression ring with no chamfer and this has cut into the fork steerer assembly and this in turn creates a stress raiser which is prime for a crack and catastrophic failure. It is not clear how many failures have occurred.
If the compression ring minus the chamfer is true then this would be heaping embarrassment on the Californian company. Compression ring design is a basic level of engineering that even a first year engineering student would know let alone a multi-million dollar company employing the finest minds in the industry.
In the video, Durianrider shows the perceived level of damage that Specialized indicates is acceptable. One Hambini viewer sent in an image of his Specialized Fork Steerer which shows shows extensive fretting. The compression ring is typically steel (sometimes aluminium) and are much harder than carbon. Hence any micro fretting produces a characteristic track which gets worse with increased vibration.
Specialized have been a boutique brand for many years and prided themselves on their “engineering”. They have long claimed multiple stiffness increases and mega watt savings from their “Win” tunnel. Marketing that the cycling press are keen to highlight.
Ironically, Specialized recently released the CRUX gravel bike. It did not take long for internet users to suss out that it was simply an Aethos with wider tire clearance and a $12k price tag. The marketing claiming 100,000 iterations was largely ripped to shreds.
User Photographs Circulating on Social Media
Further photographs are circulating around Instagram