REI said it has recently become aware of a potential safety hazard involving the frame used on the 2003-2006 Novara Dirt Rider 20″ 5- and 6-Speed Bicycles. The company is working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to implement a full recall of all affected bicycles.
REI has received four reports of the aluminum alloy frame used for the Novara 20″ Dirt Rider 5- and 6-speed bicycles breaking below the head-tube gusset. Three reports involved the 2003 Dirt Rider 20″ 5 Speed and one involved the 2005 Dirt Rider 20″ 5 Speed. In all cases this resulted in a complete frame failure, separating the fork, head tube and handlebar away from the rest of the bike. All four failures resulted in crashes with one child sustaining a minor injury as a result.
Please be advised that this recall affects only the 2003-2006 model year multi-speed 20″ Dirt Rider Bicycles. Smaller Dirt Rider bicycles and the 20″ Single Speed use a steel frame that is not affected by this issue. The 24″ Dirt Rider, though aluminum, utilizes a frame of a different design. These bicycles can continue to be ridden with confidence.