Voluntary Recall Notice on Key Components of Tarmac SL7 Road Bikes
Editor’s note: This story will be updated with more information from Specialized as it is released.
Bicycling confirmed the news with a Specialized representative, who said to expect an official statement on October 12.
According to the leaked recall notice, “harsh impacts” may cause the current headset components to damage the fork’s steerer tube, which allows you to steer your bike effectively. The notice also lays out the fix as well as the issue for affected customers.
The original expander plug in the SL7 steerer tube, used to preload the headset bearings, was very short (and thus lightweight). The new plug is much longer, to better support the steerer tube. Specialized has also redesigned the compression ring from a single piece to a two-piece design that adds a stainless steel sleeve in between the carbon steerer tube and slotted compression ring. Combined, the two changes will better support the steerer tube and keep any sharp edges from digging into the carbon.
The official recall notice is already posted on Specialized’s China website, along with diagrams of the old headset components and replacement parts.
Specialized first released the Tarmac SL7 in July of 2020. Specialized has not yet confirm the number of Tarmac SL7 bikes it has sold globally since then. But the Tarmac has always been one of the most popular performance road bikes (and for good reason, considering how fast and light it is) on the market, so this recall may affect a large number of riders.
Specialized is requesting that all Tarmac SL7 owners stop riding it immediately and bring the bike to their local retailer to receive updated headset components.
Neither the Tarmac SL6 nor the Venge models are affected by the recall. It’s unclear at this time if dealers will also be checking for existing steerer tube damage and if damaged forks will be replaced.