Giant have issued a voluntary recall of 2009 model year TCR Advanced SL bicycles and frames in the US, and dealers in the UK are being instructed to follow suit. Whether or not it's an actual product recall seems to be the subject of some debate, but the practical upshot is that if you own certain Advanced SL and SL bikes (not all bikes are affected) then you'll likely be offered a free inspection and replacement fork.
The official US product recall states, “This recall involves 2009 TCR Advanced SL Team, SL 0, SL 1, SL 2, and SL (ISP) model bicycles and frames in silver, charcoal, blue and red. Steerer tubes with B, N or P at the end of the serial number are not included in this recall. Other TCR model bicycles are not included in the recall.”
We spoke to Giant UK who told us, “Giant recieved a report that a TCR Advanced SL steerer tube cracked after hitting a pothole, with no injuries reported. Giant have investigated in order to put the safety of consumers first and in effect there is no product recall – however, Giant have voluntarily initiated a replacement program for potentially affected forks on TCR Advanced SL frames and bicycles. Dealers will be contacting any customers who are potentially affected directly in order to resolve any potential issues. In the UK the only models potentially affected are the TCR Advanced SL 2 and TCR Advanced SL frame”
So what should you do? In our opinion, your best bet is to contact your dealer and see where things stand: it sounds like Giant will be contacting them and probably sending out replacement forks, so make sure you're on the list. The US recall states that “Consumers should stop riding these bicycles immediately and contact an authorized Giant Bicycle dealer for a free inspection and replacement fork.” If there are issues with the fork steerer then this sounds like sensible advice.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.