We recently discovered that we have shipped some 2008 SLE bars with a knot that is too small on the front line stopper ball and will allow the leash attachment to pull through the stopper.
Please note 3 things:
1) The 2008 SLE bar ships with an "Oh Sh!t" handle installed on this leash attachment point. Should the line slip through the stopper this handle will prevent the total loss of the line.
2) Not all 2008 SLE bars have this issue. It appears to be limitted to a select number. None the less, it is smart to check your bar.
3) If you have already experienced having the knot slip through the stopper please contact us for a free replacement front line leader and stopper ball with a properly tied knot.
The SLE Bar's Front Line Swivel Assembly features a Front Line Leash Attachment Point. This is the cause for concern as it would appear the knot used to hold the stopper ball in place is too small.
If you have any doubt as to the size of the knot or if this repair is needed go ahead and make the repair, it won't hurt!
FYI, my 2007 SLE bar has a similar issue, except that there is NO knot under the stopper ball. My stopper ball slid down over the course of a few months and totally enveloped the velcro tab. I only thought of it as an inconvenience until seeing this post. In my case, I have been riding with a leash attached to that point, so it couldn't have totally disconnected even if it eventually passed over the velcro tab. There does not appear to be room to tie a knot below the stopper ball, and the knot above it is too tight to undo. I will contact you independently of this to try and get a replacement. But I am posting here so that 2007 owners know to also check their setup.
Hmmmm... on second thought, I see that the knot that is now above my stopper ball was originally below it, but it slipped past the knot exactly as described in your post. Only the wadded up velcro held it in position. Again, this was an early 2007 OR SLE bar - not 2008.
Other than that, the bar design is great! Cleanest bar I've found that also includes nice things like a sliding stopper and a simple quick release.
You are correct. This issue affected some of our 2007 bars too. We thought we had sufficiently impressed upon our Chinese manufacturer the importance of this fix but they apparently allowed that lesson to fade and repeated the mistake again.
At that time we thought of switching to a ring to ring connection but thought against it because we had thought the issue was addressed and because we were concerned that if people were to attach a leash to this connection point there would be the opportunity for them to be confused and attach the leash to the wrong ring, which could be very dangerous. As such we stayed with the ball. Given that China can not seem to get this right though we have decided to go to a ring to ring connection and will modify our Oh Sh!t handle to include a leash attachment loop on the end of the handle, hopefully helping to avoid having a confused kiter leash off of the wrong ring.
There are always trade offs and concerns when it comes to bar design, safety and ease of use. I do agree with you though, I love our bar system for its simple and clean design.