In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Ritchey Design has announced a voluntary recall affecting approximately 2000 WCS rear wheels, sold both as wheels separately and as original wheels on new bicycles. The problem is that the rear freehub body, manufactured under license from American Classic, may slip or altogether cease engagement with the freehub pawls, causing the rider to lose all forward drive without any warning. The design of the Ritchey WCS rear hub has since been corrected and manufactured correctly to eliminate this potentially hazardous condition.
This recall is limited to Ritchey WCS rear wheels produced between January 2003 and today. The models affected include: Protocol, Carbon Tubular/Clincher, WCS DS Road and WCS Mountain Rear Wheels. No Comp- or Pro-level wheels are affected by this recall.
The internal design of the rear cassette freehub is comprised of a loop spring, 6 pawls, and a clutch plate. When pedaling, the spring engages the clutch plate, which actuates the pawls into the teeth on the bottom of the freehub body. The recall is based on two separate issues: a) the spring tip can break off without notice causing loss of all forward motion; and b) the spring does not engage with the clutch plate properly, causing intermittent engagement. Older model WCS hubs are unaffected, visually differentiated as a low-flange design whereas the model in question is a high-flange design (photo).
To correctly identify the recalled hub: The flange diameter measures 60mm (measured from spoke-hole center to spoke-hole center); the hub body is straight between the flanges; and the hub is black, and has Ritchey WCS, Zero System, and TR logos. No other WCS rear hubs are this shape. Simply check the hub shell profile and the non-drive-side flange diameter. If it's got a straight hub body and 60mm flange diameter, this is the affected hub.
If you think you have an affected wheel, bring it by the shop to confirm that it's part of this recall. You can also contact Ritchey Design at 888-PROTOCL (776-8625), and return the wheel for repair. Or visit Ritchey's web site: www.ritcheylogic.com/wcsrecall