CPSC and Cannondale on Quick Releases and Disk Brakes

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by James Annan, Oct 27, 2003.

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  1. James Annan

    James Annan Guest

    I finally got the CPSC's official letter, which I had been promised for some time. The letter is
    almost the same as the draft I had been sent by email, but with some crucial differences. The letter
    itself was dated 2 Sept, which is the last day I got email from Mr DeMarco of CPSC (in which he did
    not mention the changes to the letter). In this email he mentions the letter being "signed off" by
    "supervisory staff" on 27 August so he certainly knew of the altered text and chose not to inform
    me. The letter was not posted until the 15th October - this date is important, it is just a couple
    of days after the ASTM meeting referred to.

    The letter was also CCed to Mark Laplant and David Campbell of Cannondale, presumably the "major
    manufacturer" who had been working with the CPSC on this issue.

    I replied to Mr DeMarco last week with the following letter. No response yet. Carlton Reid of
    Bikebiz has also asked for the Cannondale report and been rebuffed.


    Dear Mr DeMarco,

    Thank you for your letter detailing your response to the disk brake/quick release problem. The
    official copy finally arrived last week, some two months after you told me it was written and
    waiting to be mailed.

    There are some curious discrepancies between the text of the electronic draft you emailed on the
    24th August, and the final version that has just arrived.

    On the 24th August, you wrote via email:

    "However, the Commission has recommended that the ASTM Bicycle Committee, which meets in October
    2003, take this matter under advisement for further discussion, additional testing and problem

    The official letter is dated September 2 and marked "Overnight Mail". However it was not posted
    until the 15th October. It contains the somewhat more informative text:

    "However, the Commission has recommended that the ASTM Bicycle Committee, which next meets in
    October 2003 in Las Vegas, take this matter under advisement for further discussion, additional
    testing and problem examination. ASTM Committee meetings are open to the public and persons may
    contact the committee chair to be included on the agenda."

    This ASTM meeting was during Interbike, and took place just a couple of days before the letter was
    finally mailed.

    I find the discrepancy in content, and the lengthy delay between printing the letter, and posting
    it, most odd. I'd always prefer to assume a cock-up rather than a conspiracy but it seems difficult
    to avoid the conclusion that someone was keen to ensure that I did not find out about the ASTM
    meeting until it was too late for this information to be of any value. Of course I was hardly likely
    to travel to Las Vegas myself, but some other people who I know attended the Interbike show might
    have also been interested in the ASTM meeting.

    In any case, I would be most interested in seeing a copy of the report that Mark LaPlant of
    Cannondale apparently produced for you, demonstrating that a properly fastened QR cannot loosen off.
    As you must be well aware, this runs contrary to much experimental, theoretical and anecdotal
    evidence, so it must be a very interesting piece of research. Since his report was presented at the
    ASTM meeting, open to the public in theory if not in practice, I do not anticipate that he can have
    any objection to it being placed in the public domain, and look forward to your earliest response.


    James Annan


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