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Old 08-29-07, 09:14 PM   #1
RHCP87
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Poorly Assembled MTB - Almost Dept Store Lawsuit

I work at a camping/hiking store (not to be named, by me at least) in Canada that is attached to a department-type sporting goods store that sells bikes
most of the bikes are Nakamura, Diamondback (low end), K2, Arashi, and Iron Horse (mostly low end)

the bikes come with free assembly and 1 year of tune ups

this one person came in today that had purchased an Iron Horse Assault FR1 (hardtail) bike from us and took it on a ramp
well as he landed, one of the screws (im not sure of the actual name) that was holding in the fork came loose, and shot up, hitting him in the eye and tearing a few inches of skin with it (along the forehead)
with all due respect, he looked pretty messed up

I think he intended to sue the store, because the bike had been poorly assembled
personally i would never take a cheapo department store hardtail on a ramp, but still i could see why he was mad

however, it turns out that to purchase the bike, people must sign a waiver that pretty much states that the store is not responsible for any of those defects

the case (well, actually it never really even became a case, once he heard of the waiver he left) is settled
but i just wanted your opinions on this story, any suggestions, thoughts, or similar stories you have to share would be appreciated. if not, at least let this be a warning to you...
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Old 08-29-07, 09:35 PM   #2
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Sport Chek!!! I once had an Arashi bike from there........ it was junk
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Old 08-29-07, 09:38 PM   #3
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well, for me, sportchek is pretty much the only place u can get Ironhorse bikes. And if you find the right guys at sportchek, their service is alright.
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Old 08-29-07, 09:43 PM   #4
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I have 4 custom built bikes which were assembled by very competent bike mechanics with many years experience and on eack one of them I found a loose or under torqued bolt.

I watched the mechanic assemble two of the bikes and he was interrupted at least half-a-dozen times during the assemble. I'm responsible to check my bike before each ride.
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Old 08-29-07, 10:15 PM   #5
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The fork wouldn't have been sport checks problem, whatever company that makes the fork would explain that one. Likely RST, Sport check doesn't do anything other then bolting on the handlebars and front wheel, pedals and basic tune-up.
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Old 08-29-07, 11:00 PM   #6
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I have 4 custom built bikes which were assembled by very competent bike mechanics with many years experience and on eack one of them I found a loose or under torqued bolt.
Obviously they weren't very competent.
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Old 08-30-07, 12:23 AM   #7
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Obviously they weren't very competent.
com·pe·tent /ˈkɒmpɪtənt/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kom-pi-tuhnt] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective 1. having suitable or sufficient skill, knowledge, experience, etc., for some purpose; properly qualified: He is perfectly competent to manage the bank branch.
2. adequate but not exceptional.
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Old 08-30-07, 08:02 AM   #8
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That waiver will never stand up in court, but he should have checked that everything was tight before he rode it for the first time

A friend of mine almost died (4 broken ribs, collarbone, and a ruptured kidney) when his stem came loose on his steerer tube and his fromt wheel turned 90 degrees on a steep descent
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Old 08-30-07, 08:14 AM   #9
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A friend of mine almost died (4 broken ribs, collarbone, and a ruptured kidney) when his stem came loose on his steerer tube and his fromt wheel turned 90 degrees on a steep descent
Was it a dept. store bike?
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Old 08-30-07, 09:02 AM   #10
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yes, but a higher end MTB model
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Old 08-30-07, 09:14 AM   #11
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com·pe·tent /ˈkɒmpɪtənt/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kom-pi-tuhnt] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective 1. having suitable or sufficient skill, knowledge, experience, etc., for some purpose; properly qualified: He is perfectly competent to manage the bank branch.
2. adequate but not exceptional.
Main Entry: 2very
Function: adverb
1 : in actual fact : TRULY <the very best store in town> <told the very same story>
2 : to a high degree : EXCEEDINGLY <very hot> <didn't hurt very much>


When someone is described as "very competent", we can assume that they don't make simple mistakes, like not tightening a bolt.
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Old 08-30-07, 09:18 AM   #12
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yes, but a higher end MTB model
that was put together by a stock boy
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Old 08-30-07, 09:33 AM   #13
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...his stem came loose on his steerer tube and his fromt wheel turned 90 degrees on a steep descent
This is a scary thought that goes through my mind every now and then (usually when I'm bombing a hill at 40mph).
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Old 08-30-07, 09:18 PM   #14
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that waiver doesn't mean crap to lawyers
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Old 08-31-07, 12:22 AM   #15
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It doesn't mean crap to lawyers, but it would be nice if it meant something to CONSUMERS.

Imagine you got a slip of paper with your new car that said "We may or may not have installed all the seatbelt bolts, but that's your problem." Would that inspire confidence? (Incidentally, my buddy's RX-8 was just plain MISSING the bolt attaching one of the rear seat buckles. There were swirl marks where the socket tried to attach the bolt, but the threads in the frame were still full of paint, never a bolt there.)

Department stores sell bike shaped objects. If they aren't willing to stand behind the soundness of their product, it is pretty telling. Obviously, mistakes are made, some things are defective, but those should be the exceptions.

Any warnings against misuse and abuse (like taking a crummy 'MTB style' bike to a skate park and doing ramps) should be covered in the owner's manual. Asking customers to sign their rights away is pretty weak.
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Old 08-31-07, 02:56 PM   #16
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(well, actually it never really even became a case, once he heard of the waiver he left)
A shame - as everybody's said, waivers like that are never open and shut affairs.
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Old 08-31-07, 04:29 PM   #17
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they have the worst service. so much for the free tuneups. i had a nakamura (when i didnt know what a bike was) and the headset was loose. i told them and they said theyd fix it and all. all they did was set the 2 wheeled object out back and left it there until i came back. when i went home i went to my friends and he grabbed an allen key, turned it twice and the headset is still tight 4 years later (but i dont ride it)
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Old 08-31-07, 06:19 PM   #18
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they have the worst service. so much for the free tuneups. i had a nakamura (when i didnt know what a bike was) and the headset was loose. i told them and they said theyd fix it and all. all they did was set the 2 wheeled object out back and left it there until i came back. when i went home i went to my friends and he grabbed an allen key, turned it twice and the headset is still tight 4 years later (but i dont ride it)


I'd hate to ask, but couldn't you take a common sized Allen key and turned it twice?
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Old 08-31-07, 06:42 PM   #19
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I'd hate to ask, but couldn't you take a common sized Allen key and turned it twice?
ya, but i didnt have one, i lost it
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Old 09-01-07, 12:13 PM   #20
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I still dont see how a screw can rocket out of place
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Old 09-01-07, 01:54 PM   #21
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He signed a waiver
He bought it from a department store
They are not a shop and this is well known. There was one of the sportcheks in vancouver area that had a competant mechanic, beyond that, they are not.

I don't see the issue. If I were a judge I would have thrown it out as well. Also it does sound like a problem with the fork, which the mechanic would not have touched.
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Old 09-01-07, 06:50 PM   #22
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What I think is funny is that because a guy walked out of the store, the OP thinks the lawsuit has been avoided. They have pleanty of time to file a lawsuit.
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Old 09-02-07, 11:24 AM   #23
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that waiver doesn't mean crap to lawyers
You're in the US, not Canada. In my limited experience, and I do mean limited, those waivers are somewhat more enforcable in Canada.
But you are correct if that occurred in the US. That waiver wouldn't be worth its equivalent in toilet paper.
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