US company Pacific Cycle has recalled two of its ebikes, the Ascent Cabrillo and Minaret, after an electrical fault was discovered that could pose a fire hazard while the bike's lithium-ion battery is charging. The wiring harness that manages the charging of the battery was not assembled correctly, which could cause it to overheat.
E-bike batteries are made up of cells, which consist of two electrodes with an electrolyte fluid in between. As the battery is charged or drained, electrons move from one electrode to the other.
The electrolyte solution is highly flammable, which isn't usually a problem, but if a cell is damaged or overheats, it can catch fire or explode, setting off a chain reaction as neighboring cells also overheat. Having witnessed it myself when a neighbor was using a third-party charger, I can confirm it looks and sounds very much like fireworks. For more details, check our our guide why e-bike fires happen, and how you can avoid them.
How to tell if your bike is affected
Around 1,700 bikes are affected, all of which were sold at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s from January to November 2023.
As our sister site Cycling Weekly explains, the Ascent Cabrillo model numbers affected are R7583BPS and R7585BPS and the Ascend Minaret model number is R7586BPS. You'll find your bike's model number printed on the service label, which is attached to the down tube.
You can check your bike by typing its serial number (which you'll find engraved on the bottom bracket) into the form on Pacific Cycle's recall page. If you receive the message 'recalled', you should "immediately stop using, and unplug, the recalled electric bikes and return the bikes to Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s to receive a full refund or replacement Ascend Cabrillo or Minaret electric bike."
If you see the message 'not recalled', you can continue using your e-bike as usual without worrying.
To avoid fires, only ever use the charger supplied by the manufacturer to charge your e-bike. If you suspect your battery has become damaged, or it's showing signs of wear, you should stop using it, and remove and dispose of it safely. Batteries thrown in the regular trash could be crushed, triggering a fire, so arrange for it to be collected or take it to a waste center equipped to deal with it properly.
Make sure that you have a fire alarm in the area where you charge your e-bike, and don't leave it charging in a hallway or blocking your escape route. If a fire does break out, call the emergency services immediately; don't try to tackle it yourself.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.