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Blow out on a new bike, do I have a claim?(9 posts)

Blow out on a new bike, do I have a claim?Mad Matt
Sep 23, 2001 11:26 AM
Hi!

I have recently bought one of these:

http://www.specialized.com/2001/products/bike_finder/allez/a1_sport.html

The only different bit on mine is the forks, which are aluminium.

All went fine until today on its first run out. I got a few miles out when I heard a loud bang. Next thing I know I am on the deck with a nasty case of road rash and a rather trashed bike. The front tyre has a nasty hole in the middle of the sidewall.

So do I have a claim? The bike landed on its drive side and has damaged the rear mech the rear shifter is knackered and it badly gorged the other shifter as the bars flipped. Due to the damaged rear mech it doesn’t go!

I myself am relatively ok. I have lost a fair bit of skin and have a rather swollen right leg. However my shorts have had it!
re: doubtfulAkirasho
Sep 23, 2001 11:56 AM
... unless you can prove that the bike (wheel/tire in your case) was improperly or negligently assembled, then you've just had a brush with infinite possibilities. While rare, there is no law of man or nature that says you can't have a catastrophic blowout in the first few miles of a ride on a new rig...

Even if you prove negligence in the assembly of the wheel/tire, a bit of responsibility might fall on your shoulders... most bikes now come with a relatively silly manual which does more to release the maker of liabilites than actually tell you much about said bike. Most of these manuals suggest that you completely inspect the bike before every ride. The shop and maker would be quick to say that if you inspected it, it was ok and you hit a road hazard... and if you didn't inspect it... shame on you.

Glad you're relatively ok... sorry to hear about the bike... hope both are up and running soon.

We abide.

Remain In Light.
You could try...Rich Clark
Sep 23, 2001 12:31 PM
...the "poor, poor, pitiful me" approach at the bike shop. You know, "I don't know why this happened, but look at this. ::sniff:: Is there anything you can do to help me out here?"

It would be tough to prove that a blowout was due to a defective tire or improper mounting, and even more difficult to make a "collateral damage" claim stick. So being demanding and self-righteous (not that I'm suggesting you would be) could easily push the shop into a defensive posture that won't help you at all. Better to try to get them on your side and sympathetic.

At the very least you might get replacement parts at cost and free labor to install them. I think that would be fair, personally.

Glad to hear you're not more seriously injured. Front blowouts are potentially the worst kind of accident to have.

(It might help to make sure your injuries are very visible when you go to the bike shop.)

Good luck,
RichC
yes, butDog
Sep 23, 2001 12:43 PM
The seller of a product, in the U.S., at least, can be strictly liable for a defective product that causes damage or injury. No negligence need be proven.

But, in this case it likely would cost you far more to pursue it than what you'd get.

Additionally, in some states, even with a strict product liability suit, your fault can be compared to reduce your claim. They might, for instance, try to prove you over inflated the tire.

Dog
re: Blow out on a new bike, do I have a claim?jacques
Sep 23, 2001 12:52 PM
Forget it. You're a JRA. Bike shops know how to deal with JRAs - as in "I was Just Riding Along when the bike collapsed under me . . ."

Unless you can prove that you inspected your bike before every ride, inflated your tires to exact specs and did not ride through trash, you don't have a legal leg to stand on.

Better you approach your bike shop as a disappointed human being and not as a litagatious jerk.
Litigatious? Thanks for the new word. nmDon King
Sep 23, 2001 2:29 PM
nm
It's LITIGIOUSjtolleson
Sep 27, 2001 3:32 PM
Just hate to see someone use the wrong three-dollar word.
Think about it.Atombomber
Sep 23, 2001 4:17 PM
In your owner's manual, it is written to thouroughly check your bike before a ride. That means look at the tires for damage. There is a certain amount of responsibility that the rider must take, and not put blame on others. Did you put more air into the tires than written on them? Are you certain that no damage occured to the tire when transporting? Did you check that the tire was sound before you left on your ride? Bummer that it happened, but don't take anyone to court if you answered no to any of the questions. The legal costs by the companies involved just get tacked onto the bikes and parts, so the rest of us end up paying more.
When Life....grzy
Sep 24, 2001 9:06 AM
...hands you lemons, make street pizza. Or something like that. Hope you heal quickly.

Not much room for a claim. Do yourself a HUGE favor - don't ride specialized tires or tubes. Or even the super-duper light tubes. These products have proven themselves to have inherent risk. Some poeple don't mind, or have been lucky, the rest of us have been bitten and now shy away from their stuff. Stick with a munufactuer that actually makes the wheel goods themselves and puts their own name on the product. Specialized takes the low bid stuff made in the third world with dubious quality control and makes a tidy profit. They _expect_ you to buy more of their crap. Throw 'em for a loop and don't do it. Even if you found a sympathetic dealer 7 Specialized sales rep, do you really want another one of their tires?