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Fall during shop test ride due to loose headset/fork

Icm76Icm76 Posts: 21
edited June 2009 in Road buying advice
...only sustained minor injuries, grazes, swelling & soreness, but could've been extremely serious due to location on fast B road.

Anyone here been injured due to a poorly set up demo bike? I went out yesterday to try a few bikes and the first one I rode wasn't tightened up properly. Did a couple of gentle circuits of the car park then went for a short climb on the road. Only went 100-150m but when I tried to turn the bike around and come back, the headset completely loosened, the wheel flipped 90° from forward and I fell in the middle of the road.

I didn't create a fuss when I got back to the shop, just told them what happened and tried a few other bikes. Today though I'm feeling rather more annoyed, partly because my knee is actually quite sore now, and partly because if I hadn't been able to get up immediately I would've been hit by a fast moving car (road where I fell approaches a dual carriageway slip road)

I'm not sure what to do next, should I file a report with trading standards or anything like that? I'm sure I could use the incident as leverage for a discount, but I'm not sure I would want to buy now from that particular store.


  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    stem bolts not done up properly, the bike, if a demo should be pdi'd and if a new bike then they should have test ridden it before putting you out.

    As for liability, if you want to persue it, you'll need to get checked out asap and speak to a solicitor. I however wouldn't bother.
  • Something like this happened to a friend, he took his bike to his Local Bike Shop for a service and when they had finished they hadn't tightened his stem up properly.
    So, he takes it for a ride to see wheather anything needs improving suddenly his front wheel is pointing in a completely different direction to where he wants to go.

    well, he came off and wrecked his left brake lever, the LBS agreed that they were in the wrong and paid for a new one.

    so, getting compensation is completely your choice, if your some sort of athlete then you would have got comp insantly.

    you could always blackmail them into giving you a brilliant bike.
  • blu3catblu3cat Posts: 1,016
    you could always blackmail them into giving you a brilliant bike.

    hmmm, not sure I would want anything from the LBS that gave my a dodgy test ride bike though.
    "Bed is for sleepy people.
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  • Icm76Icm76 Posts: 21
    I can't imagine compensation would be much at all, solicitors and court sounds too extreme. Discount off a new bike may be appropriate, but I'm feeling a bit sour about buying from them anyway. It's just very careless on their part given the potential consequences.

    There is a daytime non urgent accident room near me, so I may pop in there later, but I'd feel like a right pillock because don't think there is anything wrong that won't be healed in a couple of weeks. I'd only go to make sure there is nothing serious about the swelling around my knee.
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    Really not good imo. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence into buying from this particular LBS though does it?
  • on-yer-bikeon-yer-bike Posts: 2,974
    Just after i bought my Wilier Izoard last year I was going down a bumpy hill and the handle bars suddenly came loose. The bolts were not much more than hand tight. I managed to stay on luckily.

    The LBS should have some kind of liabilty cover. If it was me and I was quite badly hurt I would sue.
  • Icm76Icm76 Posts: 21
    I did the sensible thing & got checked out at the minor injuries unit. 2 weeks avoiding strenuous activity and putting weight on the knee as much as possible, brufen for pain/swelling. See doc again if it doesn't heal as expected. Definitely can't go test ride anything else this week :x

    Overall my search for a new bike is pretty disappointing, local bike shops are all proving to be frustrating. All of them grumbled that they can't get bikes on order, generally quoting 4-5 weeks wait for new stock of '09 that isn't sold out, and indefinite wait on 2010 bikes.
      LBS 1 - just plain rude, completely ignored me while I was in there. LBS 2 - pushed really hard to sell me a bike I didn't like because it was in stock, and tried to persuade me to buy a frame size too big on other bikes (again ones that were in stock) LBS 3 - loose stem bolts, crashed
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