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Specialized set to issue stop-ride and recall on Tarmac SL7

Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7
(Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized is set to issue a stop-ride notice and voluntary recall on its Tarmac SL7 bikes. The brand will officially announce the news on 12 October and riders will be asked to cease riding the bike until they have taken it to a dealer to be fixed. 

In a statement, the brand has said: "We will be announcing a voluntary recall of Tarmac SL7 bicycles because harsh impacts may put extraordinary stress on headset components and may initiate a crack in the fork’s steerer tube."

The repair will involve an upgrade to the headset with the "addition of a new extended expander plug and an upgrade of the compression ring for riders that do not have one already."

Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7

The integrated cockpit on the Tarmac SL7 (Image credit: Specialized)

"We will be asking riders to stop riding their Tarmac SL7 and head to their local retailer and have these new parts installed," the statement continued. "Retailers worldwide have the parts in stock and installation will be a simple process."

When the Tarmac SL7 was launched, it not only replaced the outgoing Tarmac SL6 - which now exists in the lineup as the more budget-friendly model - but it also replaced the brand's Venge as it borrowed many of its aerodynamic considerations. It was launched in July 2020, so has been on the road for 15 months before this issue has come to light. 

Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7

On the Tarmac SL7, cables are routed through the handlebars, beneath the stem and into the headtube (Image credit: Specialized)

The statement continues with a warning: "As with any severe impact or accident, riders should always have their bike inspected at their local retailer," but Specialized is keen to reassure its customers, claiming that they can "rest assured that the Tarmac SL7 meets or exceeds all industry safety standards." Nonetheless, the issuing of such a notice is a clear sign of concern from the brand. 

Cyclingnews understands that the stop-ride and recall apply to both the Fact 10R and Fact 12R framesets, so will include the standard Specialized and S-Works models, but will not apply to the now-discontinued Venge, despite using a similar integrated cockpit design. 

"Only Tarmac SL7 models already on the road will need this improvement. Tarmac SL6 and previous models do not require any action, and all Tarmac SL7 currently in store and in the future will have these new components.“

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Josh Croxton

Josh has been with us as Senior Tech Writer since the summer of 2019 and throughout that time he's covered everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. On the bike, Josh has been riding and racing for over 15 years. He started out racing cross country in his teens back when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s, racing at a local and national level for Team Tor 2000. He's always keen to get his hands on the newest tech, and while he enjoys a good long road race, he's much more at home in a local criterium.