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Old 12-21-05, 08:56 AM   #1
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Boys hurt on bikes sue Wal-Mart

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...G2LG1DML68.DTL

Boys hurt on bikes sue Wal-Mart, importer
Marin trial to focus on wheel clasp used on millions of cycles
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Old 12-21-05, 09:11 AM   #2
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Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price.
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Old 12-21-05, 09:28 AM   #3
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What can one say. This could get very complicated. I certainly wouldn't purchase a bike from WalMart, and their bikes probably are of questionable quality. However, if the boy had continuing problems before with the bike, and the wheel had come loose before, as stated in the news story, why did the parents continue to let him ride the bike?
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Old 12-21-05, 09:43 AM   #4
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I may not be a Wal-Mart fan, but I don't think this is their fault. If it happened on the way home after the pirchase i.e. first ride or so then maybe. It came loose before tells me they should have learned how to adjust it.

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Old 12-21-05, 09:43 AM   #5
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has anyone ever had a QR fail? It is such a simple device. Anyone have a failed QR mechinism? Sad but I think that it is that people dont know how to use the QR.
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Old 12-21-05, 09:57 AM   #6
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These people are complaining about proper instructions? Tighten QR as much as possible, if there's daylight between the fork dropouts and the QR nuts, you have to tighten more. I get the feeling these people would sue a ski manufacturer if their kid skied into a tree.

But the true moral of this article is don't buy bikes from walmart or anything for that matter. Walmart, American for cheap plastic crap.
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Old 12-21-05, 10:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGDub
These people are complaining about proper instructions? Tighten QR as much as possible, if there's daylight between the fork dropouts and the QR nuts, you have to tighten more. I get the feeling these people would sue a ski manufacturer if their kid skied into a tree.

But the true moral of this article is don't buy bikes from walmart or anything for that matter. Walmart, American for cheap plastic crap.
Not that I like walmart but 7 bikes out of 10 million is not such a bad record. With that few problems just better (cheeper) to pay out rather then send out 10 million manuals. one adult life = 250,000. You know where they would send these bikes if WM could not sell them here? To our continent buddies to the north. Like some toybox manufacturer did in the 80s-- Courts ruled that the toy box lid was not safe, so the sale was banned in the US. So they just sent them to Canada rather than pay the 8 bucks to fix each one. I wonder what the WTO would say about that?
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Old 12-21-05, 10:41 AM   #8
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I'd like to know what the plaintiff's theory of liability is. It sounds like its a failure to warn theory, that Wal-mart and the manufacturer failed to instruct the purchasers on the safe use of quick releases. I think we can all agree that if you don't properly use a quick release,even the best quick release will cause you to lose a wheel. I hate to admit it, but when I was a kid and first had a quick release bike, I didn't understand it worked with a cam action and I used a piece of pipe on the lever to turn it! When the skewer broke I realised I wasn't doing it right and got help.

If this is plaintiff's theory, it has very broad implications for all bicycle sellers/manufacturers, even mechanics! Essentially, all sellers, manufacturers, mechanics would have to warn users about QRs and how to properly use them or risk a lawsuit. This will probably lead to big warnings on forks and chainstays cautioning about QRs. For low end bikes sold to unsophisticated customers like those at Wal-Mart, its probably a good thing, but can you imagine big warnings on a $5k plus carbon fibre bike? CAUTION! PELIGRO! ATENCION! QUICK RELEASE!

The other theory would be that the QR is improperly designed or manufactured. In that case, liability would be based on the the theory that even if you use the QR properly, it won't hold the wheel. If its just a cheapo chinese QR that never works, then the implications won't be that great for other manufacturers.

I'd like to see what the expert witnesses have to say,as the case will likely be a battle of the experts.
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Old 12-21-05, 10:50 AM   #9
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I can just see it now... Back to non-QR for all bikes, with a warning sticker: "Axle nuts must be properly tightened before riding."

Then another suit, and the next version: "Axle nuts must be tightened to xx inch pounds before riding."

Then of course, "Axle nuts must be tightened to xx inch pounds with wheel's axle seated properly in the dropouts before riding."

Then....... well, you get the idea.

I couldn't believe it when I bought a bike a couple of years ago and it had a couple of really stupid warning stickers already.

Soon we will all pick a color of bike based in part on how well the color goes with the array of yellow warning stickers.
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Old 12-21-05, 11:19 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by dgregory57
I can just see it now... Back to non-QR for all bikes, with a warning sticker: "Axle nuts must be properly tightened before riding."

Then another suit, and the next version: "Axle nuts must be tightened to xx inch pounds before riding."

Then of course, "Axle nuts must be tightened to xx inch pounds with wheel's axle seated properly in the dropouts before riding."

Then....... well, you get the idea.
Sure, and all pricey high end bikes sold at toney LBS' would be exempt from such warnings because their customers are all dang bicycle genuises and would never do dumb things like those low class/low rent Walmart bicycle customers.
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Old 12-21-05, 11:27 AM   #11
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Sure, and all pricey high end bikes sold at toney LBS' would be exempt from such warnings because their customers are all dang bicycle genuises and would never do dumb things like those low class/low rent Walmart bicycle customers.
Or perhap the LBS takes the time to show the customer how such things work where as X-mart takes the time to show you to the register.

BTW you seem to be negative on just about everything... what is it you are "for."
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Old 12-21-05, 01:14 PM   #12
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Sure, and all pricey high end bikes sold at toney LBS' would be exempt from such warnings because their customers are all dang bicycle genuises and would never do dumb things like those low class/low rent Walmart bicycle customers.
Actually, almost every LBS I've ever been in takes the time to warn people new to QR's about proper use. In order to buy a bike in the LBS you 9 times out of ten talk to a sales rep. At walmart, you either grab one and walk it to the cashier or in extreme cases get a blue vested 10th grader to take it off the rack for you.
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Old 12-21-05, 01:25 PM   #13
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Also don't assume the wall-bike QR works as solidly or reliably as the QRs y'all are used to from the decent bikes you get at an LBS.

I don't understand why bike wheels have QR anyway. I've taken off my front wheel about 3x in the past year, so its saved me perhaps 15s total this year. Wow.

Al
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Old 12-21-05, 01:36 PM   #14
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Of course a bicylce from a LBS will be assembled properly, opposed to a a 7.00 per hour Walmart employee. However, I believe that almost all the new bicycles have a warning about securing the quick release pasted on all bikes. The parents should have some responsability in this.
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Old 12-21-05, 01:36 PM   #15
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- i like the term for fork/axle end indentations:

"Lawyers Lips"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

- shame about the kids though...

- this is one reason i *always* spin the wheels, clip in, and then do a short test spin before every ride...
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Old 12-21-05, 01:36 PM   #16
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Anybody who purchases anything from WalMart has already surrendered the moral high ground required to file a lawsuit against anybody.
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Old 12-21-05, 01:45 PM   #17
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We just got our kid his first bike at a Toys-r-Us which is still along the same lines. Its a disposable Mongoose bike, after he gets a little better at riding, he can get the kids Trek 220 MTB or KDR1000 he wants.

I however requested a boxed up bike and not a built one so I could lube everything and build it properly. The thing that scares me about this lawsuit is why kids are using QR's that don't understand how they work. You can only blame a manufacturer so much. My Airborne doesn't have a sticker on it about QR's, The instructions may have, I don't know. My son has had bike parts explained to him, he has a helmet, reflectors and lighting. I feel confident in him. Just handing your kid a bike without explaining things is bad parenting.
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Old 12-21-05, 01:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
Also don't assume the wall-bike QR works as solidly or reliably as the QRs y'all are used to from the decent bikes you get at an LBS.

I don't understand why bike wheels have QR anyway. I've taken off my front wheel about 3x in the past year, so its saved me perhaps 15s total this year. Wow.

Al
I'd be a very frustrated man without them. Just this past month, I've taken a wheel off at least 5 times. Plus it saves carrying a ratchet and a spanner with you on every ride in case you get a flat. Kids bikes used to not come with them, but as the failsafes (like the lawyer's lips) were added, it started becoming really hard for wheels to come off even when not completely tightened. For example, I once road 10km on some serious single track with my rear QR undone (I must've of caught it on something). I finally realized it was pretty loose when I started having shifting issues.
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Old 12-21-05, 02:01 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by GGDub
Plus it saves carrying a ratchet and a spanner with you on every ride in case you get a flat.
My rear wheel uses bolts. I carry a mini 15mm wrench with me and can release the wheel nearly as quickly as with a QR. When I get a new front wheel, it will be held on with bolts too.
Al

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Old 12-21-05, 02:24 PM   #20
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I don't understand why bike wheels have QR anyway. I've taken off my front wheel about 3x in the past year, so its saved me perhaps 15s total this year. Wow.

Al
I think it is in partial fulfillment of some riders' racer fantasies. I have QR on my EVOX bent, front wheel only. The rear is bolted on. BTW, there is a sticker near the front of the bike explaining that to be safe one need check the QR prior to setting out.
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Old 12-21-05, 02:34 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
My rear wheel uses bolts. I carry a mini 15mm wrench with me and can release the wheel nearly as quickly as with a QR. When I get a new front wheel, it will be held on with bolts too.
Al
Are you that worried about the QR or is it just cheaper to get a bolted skewer? Besides with the locking mechanism of QR, you should be able to get it on just as tight if not tighter than a bolt, especially with just a mini spanner.
And its not a fulfillment of racer fantasies. Its a serious convenience, I change wheels often due to weather conditions. I'm always repacking hubs since I ride all winter. Finally, I use a fork down rack on my car so I need to remove the front wheel because of that.
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Old 12-21-05, 02:48 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by GGDub
Are you that worried about the QR or is it just cheaper to get a bolted skewer? Besides with the locking mechanism of QR, you should be able to get it on just as tight if not tighter than a bolt, especially with just a mini spanner.
And its not a fulfillment of racer fantasies. Its a serious convenience, I change wheels often due to weather conditions. I'm always repacking hubs since I ride all winter. Finally, I use a fork down rack on my car so I need to remove the front wheel because of that.
Firstly, this is a really silly sub-thread. All in fun.
I have no worries about QR, no concern about costs. I want bolts on front to match the rear, thats all. My rear wheel has never slipped with hand wrench tightened bolts (and a LBS tightened QR has on my other bike). I just never found the benefit of QR. It eliminates the need for a tool, but doesn't eliminate the motions needed to remove wheel.
The idea of convience to remove wheel doesn't makes sense to me if one is repacking hubs. The repacking process would far outweigh the bolt problem.

Al
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Old 12-21-05, 02:51 PM   #23
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I don't understand why bike wheels have QR anyway.
If you haul your bike around with a roof-mounted carrier on your car, you'll have to take the front wheel off every time. That can be tedious with a wrench.
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Old 12-21-05, 02:59 PM   #24
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If you haul your bike around with a roof-mounted carrier on your car, you'll have to take the front wheel off every time. That can be tedious with a wrench.
Ahh, that makes sense.
But rarely if ever do I see kids wall mart bikes on a roof carrier.

Al
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Old 12-21-05, 03:10 PM   #25
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Or perhap the LBS takes the time to show the customer how such things work where as X-mart takes the time to show you to the register.

BTW you seem to be negative on just about everything... what is it you are "for."
I am for thinking with my head somewhere other than in the clouds or in a dark place..

How much LBS "instruction" is remembered two seconds after a child (or most adults ride) are out the door?

If an LBS was interested in children's welfare they would never sell a bike for a child/youth with QR wheels. Period. Dang the bogus LBS "instruction" rationale/excuse.

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