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German bike brand Canyon has asked owners of its new Aeroad CF SLX and CFR aero road bikes to stop riding them following Tuesday’s incident at Le Samyn when a portion of Mathieu van der Poel’s handelbar broke and fell off during the race. Canyon-sponsored teams have discontinued riding and racing the Aeroad as well.
Van der Poel had not crashed during the race, so there was no obvious immediate cause to the failure.
The bar break was particularly notable because of the handlebar design of the bike: The new Aeroad CF SLX features a multi-part carbon bar that can adjust for width. There are two bolts on either side of the bar that, when removed, allow for the bar to be widened or narrowed.
Further, the ends of the bars can be pulled fully out for travel, allowing the hood and drop portion to hang down loosely.
When many race fans saw the portion of the broken bar dangling, they assumed that it was this width-adjustable portion that had failed.
In fact, the bar was broken near where the shifter clamps onto the bar.
Canyon did not comment in detailed manner on the failure, beyond issuing a statement that said the brand “immediately began analysis and testing to understand the cause of this incident.”
“Mathieu fortunately did not fall. We want to ensure with absolute certainty that no one comes to harm before we have fully understood the root cause,” Canyon founder Roman Arnold said in a statement.
To that end, Canyon is therefore asking all Aeroad customers to stop riding their bikes for the time being.
The affected handlebars, the CP0018 and CP0015, only come on the current Aeroad models CF SLX and CFR. The Aeroad CF SL model is not affected, nor are previous versions of the Aeroad, as they use another handlebar.
“We are doing everything we can to equip the affected Aeroad models as quickly as possible with a cockpit that meets both our and our customers’ demands for total quality and safety,”said Canyon CEO Armin Landgraf.