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The Helmet Update

Volume 24, #3 - May 4, 2006

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Trek Recalls Anthem C Elite and Anthem C Elite WSD Helmets

Summary: CPSC and Trek have issued a recall notice for 4,500 Trek Anthem C Elite and Anthem C Elite WSD helmets.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Trek have announced the recall of 4,500 Trek Anthem C Elite and Anthem C Elite WSD bicycle helmets for failure to meet impact standards. They were sold by Trek Dealers from October 2005 through May 2006.

The Anthem series is the top of Trek's line. The C model retails for $129, helping to explain why only 4,500 of the Anthem C had been sold. There are less expensive Anthems, some from prior years, and those were not recalled. The Anthem is a hyperventilated helmet with very large vents. When helmet designers compete to make the largest possible vents they also reduce the amount of impact foam in a helmet. The remaining foam has to be made very dense and hard to make up for that, and must be reinforced to prevent it from breaking up. The harder foam increases point loading on the skull, an undesirable effect that is not tested by any US helmet standard although the Australian bicycle helmet standard has a localized loading test.

Based on the results of other recalls, Trek is unlikely to get the majority of the helmets back. Even an owner who hears of the recall may ignore it if they like the helmet. Trek's advantage is that they sell only through dealers, and the dealers may be able to help get product back.

More info is on our Recalls page.

Consumer Reports had ratted Trek out: see this following newsletter.

The Helmet Update - Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute
Randy Swart, Editor
4611 Seventh Street South
Arlington, VA 22204-1419 USA
(703) 486-0100 (voice)
(703) 486-0576 (fax)