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Product Liability Lawyer reviewing bicycle injury lawsuits for plaintiffs nationwide
Nationwide Success

Defective Bicycles Lawsuits

investigating cycling injury cases & bicycle recalls

Road accidents involving cyclists have been increasing in recent years. Even with cities across the U.S. adding cycling and bicycle lanes, the number of bicycle accidents have increased in recent years. According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), 783 cyclists were killed on the road in the United States in 2017. Negligent motorists and defective bicycles are the leading causes of cycling injury. 

Bicycle safety is imperative for all riders as road hazards can claim lives and thousands of Cycling Accidents occur each year. Bicycle safety is something not only cyclists should learn, but also an important aspect of driving vehicles in the modern era of sharing the road.

Of course bicycles have a right to share the road with much larger vehicles, though the risks are serious. All riders are placing themselves at risk, particularly negligent drivers are aggressive and cause a collision.

Many of these Cycling Accidents are caused by human error and misjudgment; however, many others were undoubtedly caused by bike defects, a reality for which manufacturers must held accountable.

After a serious injury on a bicycle, seek medical treatment, and collect medical records and medical expense reports. Take photos of injuries and the physical remains of your defective bicycle. It is important to preserve evidence in defective product cases.

Preserve all evidence in the condition it was in at the time of the accident. Your attorney and experts can investigate the root cause of your bicycle accident and decide who to file lawsuits against. Do not post any photos on social media and do not send any evidence to anyone other than your legal counsel.

Bike accidents also occur daily in Ohio because of the negligence of motor vehicle drivers. Car and truck drivers may be liable for running cyclists off the road or cutting in front of a moving cyclist on the road.

Your product liability attorney will determine who is liable in your particular case. Product defect claims may involve design defects, manufacturing defects, failure to warn, when a product is sold without proper warnings or instructions. Those liable for a bicycle defect injury may include the following:

  • Manufacturers
  • Wholesalers
  • Distributors
  • Retailers
  • Repair shops
  • Municipalities
  • Negligent Motorists

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Catastrophic Injury and product liability lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of consumer product liability and defective bicycle claims.

Defective Bicycles & Bike Malfunction Injury

Defective bicycles are routinely recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The safety agency has recalled millions of defective bicycles due to cracking frames, breaking forks, faulty chains, failing brakes, and for the following reasons:

  • Cracking during the manufacturing process
  • Use of improper materials
  • Defective Design
  • Negligent Installation
  • Fork failure
  • Faulty Chains
  • Pedals improperly attached—may loosen or fail
  • Faulty tires or tubes
  • Defective handlebars or Bike Stem
  • Faulty Seat Post
  • Defective carbon fiber frame
  • Seat saddle clamp failure
  • Improper wheel/fender clearance
  • Defective carbon fiber frames
  • Defective brakes
  • Faulty Frame Welds
  • Defective wheels
  • Defect on quick-release hubs on front wheels
  • Failure to meet other safety standards

Defective Bicycles & Road Accidents

In the majority of bicyclist deaths, the most serious injuries are to the head, highlighting the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. Hospital data shows that over 40 percent of cyclists suffer head injuries in all recorded accidents. However, helmet use has only been estimated to reduce the odds of head injury by 50 percent. The most serious injuries can include the following;

Defective Bicycles Recalled

Even the most expensive bicycles on the market, which can cost thousands of dollars, have defects that can endanger consumers. For example, in 2015 Trek initiated one of the largest bicycle recalls in U.S. history, even for its top-line bicycles.

The recall was for 900,000 bicycles sold in the U.S. after a 2014 incident in which a rider was paralyzed. A notice from the Consumer Product Safety Commission said there had been three incidents where riders were injured when an open quick release lever on the front wheel came in contact with the front disc brake.

This was part of the biggest recall in the history of the bicycle industry. It involves 1.5 million bikes, and 13 companies representing 17 bicycle brands. Bicycles dating back as far as 1998 were included in the recall. The companies included:

  • Cannondale
  • Diamondback
  • Fuji
  • Novara
  • Ridley
  • Breezer
  • Civia
  • Felt
  • Trek
  • Access
  • GT
  • Giant
  • Norco
  • Jamis
  • Haro
  • Raleigh
  • SE
  • Specialized


Other Bike Defect Recalls

  • In 2016, Cannondale recalled 28,000 bicycles with OPI stem/ steering tube assemblies that may fail.
  • In 2014, SRAM recalled an undisclosed number of bicycle brakes because the brake systems were reported to have failed, posing crash and injury risk. There were over 95 reports of brakes failing.
  • In 2012, Specialized recalled 12,000 bikes due to issues with the front fork breaking. Reports of injury included head trauma, facial fractures, and shoulder injuries.

Defective Bicycle Helmets

Defective bicycles and components pose serious injury threats to consumers in Ohio and nationwide. In the painful aftermath of a serious bicycle accident, victims are urged to contact a product liability and personal injury lawyer to discuss options of rightful compensation.

If you and your attorney believe that a bike manufacturer should be held liable for injuries and damages, it may be prudent to consider legal action.

Adding to the woes of cycling consumers, defective bicycle helmets have also been recalled in large numbers in recent years. Manufactures that have recalled helmets include the following:

  • Schwinn
  • Rollerblade
  • Scott
  • Uvex
  • Triple 8—Little Tricky
  • Bell Exodus

Defective Bike Accident Lawsuits

If you have been injured in a bike accident and suspect it may have been due at least in part to a defect with the bicycle or helmet, it is critical to preserve the evidence and all parts. Take photos at the scene and contact an injury lawyer as soon as possible.

An experienced product liability lawyer can assist in evaluating the root cause of the failure. To build a compelling case, there must be evidence that the design of the bike was defective, a manufacturing defect existed, or the manufacturer was negligent in the manner in which the bike was tested or sold.

The Lyon Firm works with design engineers and metallurgists to determine the root cause of the bike failure to trace the defect back to a design or manufacturing source.

Compensation may be awarded for incurred and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, as well as punitive damages against a manufacturer for conscious disregard for the safety of consumers.


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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon reviewing defective bicycles
A Voice for Those who have suffered

Why are these cases important?

Many product liability cases have had a positive impact on public health and safety, and we have witnessed improved lives and future injuries prevented as companies are forced to remove products and change designs and warnings as a result of litigation.


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Questions about Defective Bicycle Cases

Can I file a defective bicycle Lawsuit?

Plaintiffs may have a good case if a bike defect directly led to a serious injury. 

Product liability lawsuits often contain causes of action for strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. Strict liability applies to different factors than negligence-based claims.

In negligence cases, the actions of the defendant are the focus. In strict liability claims, the focus is on the condition of a product at the time it left the manufacturer. If a bicycle is determined to be defective, the company is liable for any foreseeable injuries that are in-part caused by the defective condition of the product.

How is a Bicycle Defined as Defective?

A bicycle is defective if it is unreasonably dangerous for its intended use. A legal cause of action can be based on several types of product defects. The following are Cincinnati product liability and strict liability claims available in Ohio and in most jurisdictions nationwide:

(1)  Manufacturing/ Construction Defect:

These issues arise where the bicycle is released from the factory in a manner that deviates from the intended design or specifications. The defect can be a result of using the wrong materials, including the wrong or completely foreign materials.

As a result of the deviation, the bicycle enters the market in an unreasonably dangerous condition and the consumer is exposed to or purchases a bike that is defective. Any personal injuries or economic loss that arise from the the defect are compensable under product liability law.

(2) Defective design and/or formulation:

Defective design product liability cases arise not because a mistake was made during the manufacturing process, but rather the original design of the bike is unreasonably dangerous. A “risk benefit analysis” is used to determine whether safer/less expensive alternative designs were available to the manufacturer.

Federal regulations set minimum standards for the design of many consumer products, and preemption defenses may preclude liability in some situations if the manufacturer follows and obtains federal approval for a product. 

(3) Failure to warn or inadequate warning or instruction associated with the product:

All consumer products come with necessary and appropriate warnings and instructions for use. If the lack of a warning makes the bicycle and use of the product unsafe, the manufacturer is liable for the failure to place the warning. 

(4) Misrepresentation:

The bicycle fails to conform to a representation or warranty. Warranty claims are more common in commercial and economic loss cases than in personal injury cases. In many States, The Product Liability Act does not apply to cases with only economic loss, because the Commercial Code provides recourse for breach of warranty.

The warranty may be written or implied based upon the products intended purpose and merchantability. 

How do you prove bike design defects?

Risks:  The following factors are considered under Ohio law when determining the risks associated with the design of a bicycle:  (1) the magnitude of the risk of injury; (2) ordinary consumer awareness of the risk for injury; (3) the likelihood of causing injury; (4) the violation of a private or public standard; and (5) the consumer’s expectation of the performance of the product and level of danger. Ohio Revised Code 2307.5 (B) Product Defective in Design or Formulation.

BenefitsThe following factors are considered under Ohio law when determining the benefits associated with product design: (1) the utility of the product; (2) availability of an alternative design; (3) the magnitude of risks associated with an alternative design. Ohio Revised Code 2307.5 (c)

What is a manufacturing defect?

A manufacturing defect is based on a defect that occurred during the manufacturing process. Many bicycle companies have been involved in this kind of product liability litigation in recent years.

Most manufacturing defect cases are based on a bicycle’s deviation from the intended specification, formula, performance standards, or design model. In such cases, it may be easy to determine the bike did not comply with the intended design.

The product may be recalled as a specific lot is identified as being non-compliant and defective. A product may be defective in manufacture or construction, materials and assembly, and a manufacturer or distributor may be subject to strict liability, even though it exercised all possible care.  Ohio Revised Code 2307.74.

What are some recent bicycle recalls?

BMC issued a recall for 2018 and 2019 Teammachine SLR01 Disc bikes.

Genesis issued a voluntary recall of select Day One models.

Salsa Cutthroat Bicycles and Forks were recalled due to the bicycle’s fork legs cracking or breaking, posing a fall hazard to the rider. About 600 Salsa Cycles were recalled after the company received seven reports of cracked forks. 

Discovering a Product Defect: Initial Steps
  1. Secure the product;
  2. Obtain a complete history from the client and any witnesses on the purchase, use and incident with the product
  3. Obtain all incident or accident reports and photographs;
  4. Obtain medical records of admission, EMS and first four days of hospital admission;
  5. Obtain any government agency via FOIA requests;
  6. Research any other similar incidents including lawsuits;
  7. Research any active recalls;
  8. Research any nuanced areas of law that the facts reveal;
  9. Consult with appropriate experts;
  10. Determine whether case merits filing a lawsuit
  11. Perform any product inspection or testing with appropriate protocols in place. 

Product Defect Settlements

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law.



(Pikeville, Kentucky): Confidential settlement for Plaintiff who suffered spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia due to defectively designed seat belt. Four passengers with three-point (lap/shoulder) belts walked away from the accident, and the only passenger wearing a two-point belt (lap only) suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury. The settlement assisted with home improvements to assist in daily living. GM entered federal bankruptcy during the process and no longer manufactures two-point lap belts for vehicles.



(Hillsboro, Ohio): Confidential Settlement for the family of elderly man who was catastrophically burned while operating a propane wall heater. The burns resulted in his unfortunate death. The heater, manufactured and sourced from China, was alleged to allow the flame to reach outside the grid area in violation of ANSI standards. The Defendant resolved the case following discovery and mediation. The recovered funds were paid to the victim’s surviving spouse and children. The company no longer manufactures this type of heater.