I had just finished a trail before a race the other day and was standing at the trail head talking to some folks. An acquaintance came up to me asking for help on his bike. The nearest bike shop was only a half hour's drive in the next town and even though the guy had plenty of time to get there and back he was reluctant to go get professional help.
I knew what was wrong with his bike because I had the same problem with my bike and so did a half dozen of my friends. A bolt on the lower suspension link was notorious for working it's way loose and into the small chainring. I told him what I knew about it and offered to loan him my tools to fix it. However, he made some comment about not ever wanting to have to do any of his own maintenance on his bike and asked if I would fix it for him.
Although I thought it odd that a grown man in his middle 50's would be afraid of tools I thought I'd try to help out a fellow mountain biker. Apparantly he had ridden for a while on the loose link bolt and stressed it because it snapped in-to when I went to tighten it. Although I didn't use a torque wrench I know I was not baring down on it past it's tolerance. I tightened it up to finger tight and just when I was applying some pressure it snapped.
At that point I strongly suggested that he make the drive to the bike shop where they could use an extractor to get the damaged bolt out. I strongly suggested that he not try to ride and especially try to race on it until it was fixed. As he put his bike back into his truck he said that he was going to try to race on it anyway! I once again told him that he was asking for frame damage and even body damage if he did. He ignored me and went his way.
Although he never said anything about being mad that I snapped the bolt off the incident has been kind of bothering me. I wasn't at the race the next day to see whether or not he had it fixed at a shop or whether or not he was silly enough to try to race on a damaged suspension.
Now I'm wondering if he were to race, crash, and damaged his bike or body if he could have a good case to sue me. Reguardless of that am I obligated to pay for the repairs on his bike?
What do you all think?