Children's trailer bikes recalled because joint attaching to adult bike can fail

Thursday, April 25th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ InStep LLC is recalling about 4,300 Hitchhiker III Trailer Bikes designed for children because the joints that attach them to adult bicycles can fail, causing riders to lose control.

Failures of the universal joint system have been reported 10 times, and three people have been injured, the Consumer Products Safety Commission said Thursday. The injuries were contusions and abrasions.

The trailer bikes made by the Mendota Heights, Minn., company have a single wheel and are attached to the rear of full-size bicycles by a system of three bolts.

The voluntary recall covers NH300 model trailer bikes with the words ``Hitchhiker III'' printed in red on the trailer arm and the InStep logo on the bottom tube and the safety flag.

They were sold at retail stores nationwide, including Toys ``R'' Us, The Sports Authority and One Step Ahead, from February to May 2001. They cost from $80 to $110.

``We reviewed the hitch mechanism and we decided it could be built better, and actually built a better one, and that's why we're offering a new hitch,'' said company president Paul Kahmann.

Consumers should stop using the trailer bikes immediately. They can receive a free repair kit by contacting InStep at 1-800-242-6110 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday, or by logging on to the company's Web site at