Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Damaged bike during test ride - what would you do?

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Damaged bike during test ride - what would you do?

Old 03-15-22, 10:03 AM
  #1  
Velogoth
Member
Thread Starter
 
Velogoth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 46

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 20 Posts
Damaged bike during test ride - what would you do?

I had a bit of a nightmare scenario on a recent craigslist purchase of a vintage bike. I'm curious to hear how other people would have handled this situation.

I arrived at this guy's house, and his wife was the only person there. She claimed to have no knowledge or interest in bikes, so I knew from the start I was going to be SOL trying to negotiate price. I was a little annoyed, but the seller and I had previously discussed his firm minimum price, which I had thought was a little on the low side anyway.

So I took the bike for a short test ride. Shame on me for not testing the shifting before riding (I did do my safety ABC check), because when I tried the DT shifter, the chain immediately dropped into the wheel. It broke 4-6 spokes and gouged up the hub pretty good. (I THINK it's salvageable with some filing and polishing.)

I was confused and upset in a lot of ways all at once.
1. I had just completely porked this rear wheel on a test ride.
2. They had me riding a very dangerous bike with no warning.
3. It was an older bike and I should have known to check the shifting.
4. I had never used a DT shifter before, did I do something wrong?
5. This was a CL meetup, so unless I bought the bike this was going to be a very complicated situation, and the seller wasn't even present.
6. I hadn't been planning to re-build this rear wheel, but I also wasn't THAT upset (this was an Ambrosio Elite rim that's famous for being a PITA to mount tires on).

I ended up just buying the bike at the agreed price, since that seemed the simplest solution, and I did really like the bike.
Velogoth is offline  
Old 03-15-22, 10:08 AM
  #2  
Iride01
MotuekaCascadeChinook
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,062

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4470 Post(s)
Liked 2,991 Times in 2,085 Posts
You broke it, you bought it. That's the right thing to do.

Unless there was specific talk before hand about responsibility and liability. Hopefully you weren't set up for it failing.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 03-15-22, 10:22 AM
  #3  
burnthesheep
Newbie racer
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 3,310

Bikes: Propel, red is faster

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1531 Post(s)
Liked 1,477 Times in 924 Posts
Personally, if I were selling or buying a bike from CL used I would provide or bring a simple fluid trainer and skewer. Ride it on the trainer for a minute while shifting the gears and braking. Then I would do the short test ride. This assures that there won't be an in-motion failure that could lead to worse issues, and the owner gets to see first hand any issues instead of it being a trust thing from the test ride.

Hindsight being 20/20, you did the right thing. It just stinks it happened to you, sorry to hear about that. I don't necessarily believe it was your fault at all, but know of no other good solution.
burnthesheep is offline  
Likes For burnthesheep:
Old 03-15-22, 10:41 AM
  #4  
soyabean
Senior Member
 
soyabean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 291
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 164 Post(s)
Liked 110 Times in 79 Posts
When someone is trying to pass off a broken bike to me, the only way I'll leave with it is on my lowball offer, or I don't and walk away with a smile.

My spidey senses also pop up red flags at times to ignore a deal. The OP gave an excellent scenario.

I'm never sad walking away empty handed, because it saved my valuable real estate back home for someone better.

Then I look for nearby fast food and take out something yummy to justify my trip out there.
soyabean is offline  
Likes For soyabean:
Old 03-15-22, 10:49 AM
  #5  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 5,350
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5091 Post(s)
Liked 7,448 Times in 3,233 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
You broke it, you bought it. That's the right thing to do.
Eh, not sure I agree. It takes no special skill to shift a bike -- so if it went awry, that was a pre-existing problem. Not the poster's fault.

But I suspect we're not talking about a huge amount of money, and the poster wanted the bike, so the outcome is probably fine.
Koyote is offline  
Likes For Koyote:
Old 03-15-22, 10:57 AM
  #6  
tomato coupe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,406

Bikes: Colnago, Van Dessel, Factor, Cervelo, Ritchey

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2137 Post(s)
Liked 3,583 Times in 1,464 Posts
Originally Posted by Velogoth View Post
I ended up just buying the bike at the agreed price, since that seemed the simplest solution, and I did really like the bike.
All is good then. Just pretend the malfunction occurred after you bought it, and consider it normal wear and tear.
tomato coupe is offline  
Old 03-15-22, 10:59 AM
  #7  
Velogoth
Member
Thread Starter
 
Velogoth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 46

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 20 Posts
Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Eh, not sure I agree. It takes no special skill to shift a bike -- so if it went awry, that was a pre-existing problem. Not the poster's fault.

But I suspect we're not talking about a huge amount of money, and the poster wanted the bike, so the outcome is probably fine.
It was a 1986 Miele Beta in good condition, very little wear on drivetrain & rims, just cosmetic paint dings; $250. Full Shimano 600 EX. I figured it was worth that in frame and parts, worst case.
Velogoth is offline  
Old 03-15-22, 11:05 AM
  #8  
Velogoth
Member
Thread Starter
 
Velogoth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 46

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 20 Posts
Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
All is good then. Just pretend the malfunction occurred after you bought it, and consider it normal wear and tear.
A wise response. Thanks.
Velogoth is offline  
Likes For Velogoth:
Old 03-15-22, 11:21 AM
  #9  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 13,361
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3557 Post(s)
Liked 946 Times in 659 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
You broke it, you bought it. That's the right thing to do.

Unless there was specific talk before hand about responsibility and liability. Hopefully you weren't set up for it failing.
njkayaker is offline  
Old 03-15-22, 11:25 AM
  #10  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 13,361
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3557 Post(s)
Liked 946 Times in 659 Posts
Originally Posted by Velogoth View Post
4. I had never used a DT shifter before, did I do something wrong?
The derailleur has stops (like any derailleur). The chain shouldn't go on the inside.

That doesn't mean you couldn't have taken a bit more care to make sure things were operating properly first. But not taking more care doesn't make it your fault.

It's moot anyway because you took the bike. Good luck with it.
njkayaker is offline  
Likes For njkayaker:
Old 03-15-22, 11:48 AM
  #11  
urbanknight
Over the hill
 
urbanknight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 23,305

Bikes: Giant Defy, Specialized Allez, Raleigh Pursuit tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 439 Post(s)
Liked 477 Times in 293 Posts
That's a tricky situation, and one where opinions and finger pointing can be abundant. In my opinion, if the item was being sold "as-is", it becomes the buyer's responsibility to inspect the item and be ginger in the handling of it. If it was described as "runs great" or "just tuned", then that falls on the seller who was either mistaken or dishonest.
__________________
It's like riding a bicycle
urbanknight is online now  
Likes For urbanknight:
Old 03-15-22, 11:52 AM
  #12  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 5,350
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5091 Post(s)
Liked 7,448 Times in 3,233 Posts
Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
That's a tricky situation, and one where opinions and finger pointing can be abundant. In my opinion, if the item was being sold "as-is", it becomes the buyer's responsibility to inspect the item and be ginger in the handling of it. If it was described as "runs great" or "just tuned", then that falls on the seller who was either mistaken or dishonest.
Let's re-contextualize the situation: suppose you are checking out a used car, and the motor blows while you are on the gentle test drive. Are you responsible for paying to have the engine rebuilt, or for buying the (now non-functioning) car?
Koyote is offline  
Likes For Koyote:
Old 03-15-22, 11:55 AM
  #13  
indyfabz
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 34,830
Mentioned: 202 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15909 Post(s)
Liked 10,155 Times in 4,950 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
You broke it, you bought it. That's the right thing to do.
I remember seeing a sign in gift shop that read "Nice to look at, nice to behold, but if you break it consider it sold."
indyfabz is offline  
Old 03-15-22, 11:57 AM
  #14  
soyabean
Senior Member
 
soyabean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 291
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 164 Post(s)
Liked 110 Times in 79 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Unless there was specific talk before hand about responsibility and liability.
Exactly.

I make this very clear to anyone test driving my bikes for sale. The buyer must agree completely, or they can't test it.

They are responsible if they crash or drop the bike. Yes, it has happened.

And if they didn't show up in their own car because they commuted over here, they must leave a deposit which is 100% of the sale price.
soyabean is offline  
Old 03-15-22, 12:13 PM
  #15  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 13,361
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3557 Post(s)
Liked 946 Times in 659 Posts
Originally Posted by soyabean View Post
They are responsible if they crash or drop the bike. Yes, it has happened.
??? The OP didn't crash or drop the bike.
njkayaker is offline  
Old 03-15-22, 12:16 PM
  #16  
Kapusta
Advanced Slacker
 
Kapusta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 5,600

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Surly Wednesday, Turner 5-Spot, Canfielld Tilt

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2504 Post(s)
Liked 2,137 Times in 1,195 Posts
I'd ask for a discount due to the messed up rear wheel.
Kapusta is offline  
Likes For Kapusta:
Old 03-15-22, 12:19 PM
  #17  
soyabean
Senior Member
 
soyabean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 291
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 164 Post(s)
Liked 110 Times in 79 Posts
Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
??? The OP didn't crash or drop the bike.
I was replying to Iride01 and I was talking about me.

Replies on threads can entice general discussion and need not be specific to the OP.
soyabean is offline  
Old 03-15-22, 12:21 PM
  #18  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 13,361
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3557 Post(s)
Liked 946 Times in 659 Posts
Originally Posted by soyabean View Post
I was replying to Iride01 and I was talking about me.

Replies on threads can entice general discussion and need not be specific to the OP.
Iride01 post didn't make much sense. He said the OP "broke it" (which doesn't exactly seem to be the case).
njkayaker is offline  
Likes For njkayaker:
Old 03-15-22, 12:22 PM
  #19  
soyabean
Senior Member
 
soyabean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 291
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 164 Post(s)
Liked 110 Times in 79 Posts
Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Iride01 post didn't make any sense.
Yes. And?
soyabean is offline  
Old 03-15-22, 12:24 PM
  #20  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 13,361
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3557 Post(s)
Liked 946 Times in 659 Posts
Originally Posted by soyabean View Post
Yes. And?
Your post agreed with it. So, your post, in the context of this thread, doesn't make much sense either. QED.
njkayaker is offline  
Likes For njkayaker:
Old 03-15-22, 12:28 PM
  #21  
soyabean
Senior Member
 
soyabean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 291
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 164 Post(s)
Liked 110 Times in 79 Posts
Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Your post agreed with it. So, your post, in the context of this thread, doesn't make much sense either. QED.
Good for you.
soyabean is offline  
Old 03-15-22, 12:31 PM
  #22  
Juan Foote
LBKA (formerly punkncat)
 
Juan Foote's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Jawja
Posts: 4,042

Bikes: Spec Roubaix SL4, GT Traffic 1.0

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1747 Post(s)
Liked 584 Times in 406 Posts
Good on you OP, that was the right thing to do.

In my own case, anything I list on CL or the like that is test ride/driveable, I specifically ask the interested party on arrival to give me the cash sales price and as post #2 succinctly put it "you break it, you bought it". I also do the same in reverse in that if I am at a sellers looking at something I always have them hold the cash while I test ride, or similarly have my wife there with cash in hand as security.

Sort of a shame that the simple proper setting of a limit screw could have eliminated this as a possibility, but also shame on you for not checking before the ride. Once again thought, kudos on doing the right thing.
Juan Foote is offline  
Likes For Juan Foote:
Old 03-15-22, 12:36 PM
  #23  
genejockey 
Klaatu..Verata..Necktie?
 
genejockey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 11,333

Bikes: Litespeed Ultimate, Ultegra; Canyon Endurace, 105; Battaglin MAX, Chorus; Bianchi 928 Veloce; Ritchey Road Logic, Dura Ace; Cannondale R500 RX100; Schwinn Circuit, Sante; Lotus Supreme, Dura Ace

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6215 Post(s)
Liked 6,572 Times in 3,369 Posts
I haven't done a test ride on any of the C&V bikes I've bought, but then they were all under $500 and I could tell by looking at them and measuring whether or not they'd fit, and since the first thing I'd be doing to them was tearing them down and rebuilding them, how well they were working at that moment is pretty much moot. Hell, one of them had a tire - possibly the ORIGINAL tire from 1982 - where the bead had popped off the rim!

Often C&V bikes are just pulled out of a garage and the tires inflated a bit. Owners might or might not check the brakes and shifting, and in the case of all but one of the C&V bikes I've bought in the last couple years, I wouldn't trust the bike to go and stop properly before I'd worked on it, and this incident highlights why.

In this case, if you want the bike, and the price is affordable for you, I'd just pay it. As my wife says, "Tuition in the school of life."
__________________
"Don't take life so serious-it ain't nohow permanent."

"Everybody's gotta be somewhere." - Eccles
genejockey is online now  
Likes For genejockey:
Old 03-15-22, 12:37 PM
  #24  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 5,350
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5091 Post(s)
Liked 7,448 Times in 3,233 Posts
Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
Sort of a shame that the simple proper setting of a limit screw could have eliminated this as a possibility, but also shame on you for not checking before the ride. Once again thought, kudos on doing the right thing.
I'm still not understanding why that is the OP's responsibility. By that logic, I should check the oil level in a used car before test driving it. Does anyone do that?
Koyote is offline  
Likes For Koyote:
Old 03-15-22, 12:38 PM
  #25  
njkayaker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 13,361
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3557 Post(s)
Liked 946 Times in 659 Posts
Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
Good on you OP, that was the right thing to do.

In my own case, anything I list on CL or the like that is test ride/driveable, I specifically ask the interested party on arrival to give me the cash sales price and as post #2 succinctly put it "you break it, you bought it". I also do the same in reverse in that if I am at a sellers looking at something I always have them hold the cash while I test ride, or similarly have my wife there with cash in hand as security.

Sort of a shame that the simple proper setting of a limit screw could have eliminated this as a possibility, but also shame on you for not checking before the ride. Once again thought, kudos on doing the right thing.
The OP's situation is a bit fuzzy. It's not clearly the OP's fault like "crashing or dropping" the bike would be.

But, for example, if a pedal broke off in careful testing and the seller pulled the "you broke it, you bought it" line, they would probably have to learn to breathe with a bike up their nose.

Last edited by njkayaker; 03-16-22 at 12:28 PM.
njkayaker is offline  
Likes For njkayaker:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.