Halfords Bike Hell - Advice Please

000LM000

New Member
I know that I should have avoided Halfords after reading previous posts, I fully regret thinking "that won't happen to me".

I'm looking for some advice from those unfortunate enough to have been through this or similar themselves...

Bought a £1000 Boardman Team Carbon road bike through my employers Bike For Work scheme. Took the bike boxed, put it together myself (handlebars, wheel & seat), fully inspected the rest including bolts, screws etc. I also extensively tested the gears (derailieurs, alignment, chain, cables, etc) and brakes before even riding it. It was perfect, and perfect on my first 26 mile ride on the open road - I was very happy.
Then it all went wrong, 13 miles in to my second ride, travelling downhill at around 20mph when the rear wheel locked. I fell but on a quiet Sunday morning there were no cars and nothing more than cuts and bruises. The bike however was destroyed, the rear derailleur had detached and passed between the rear wheel and the frame. Frame cracked plus extensive damage to derailleur, cable, spokes and chain.

Bike returned, next 1.5 weeks not having my phone calls returned and finally I emailed the CEO and Chief Exec - now I think I'll get some where. No, Halfords are claiming it my fault:
"Inspection of your bike has not revealed any manufacturing defects to be present. We do however understand that on delivery of your new bike to our store, you advised our store team that they were not to carry out your bike build as you wanted to do this yourself and based on comments you have since made to our store team regarding this build and its set up, we do not believe the build was conducted correctly by you and this has subsequently caused the failure you have described. We therefore concur that our stores gesture of goodwill to reduce the cost of your repair from £745 to £430 is more than fair for damage that has been sustained to your bike which is not covered as a warranty issue and this offer will remain available to you."

And what is more, I can't take them to small claims court as they helpfully point out (or as it feels to me - hide behind):
"We advise this because a cycle to work scheme operates as a loan: the Employer is technically loaning the equipment to the Employee for a fixed-period of time and as such, you would not be able to issue any legal proceedings against Halfords as legislation that governs a cycle to work scheme states that your Employer must own the equipment."

I'm just amazed by the behaviour of this national retailer, taking full advantage of this situation to avoid an expensive repair on their substandard products.

I'm in the process of establishing contact with my employers Bike For Work team and I have asked Halfords what comments I made which led their shop staff to believe I didn't set up the bike correctly.

So, I'm looking for some help and advice from those who have suffered similar...
 
Sorry cant help you on the legal side of this, just interested to know how the rear mech detached itself as this seems key to the whole incident, component failure or loose bolt etc.
 

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
ianal but unless you're a suitable qualified and experienced cycle mechanic, and even then, you've probably not got a leg to stand on and would always be relying on the goodwill of the retailer to get any sort of recompense in a situation described where you've taken delivery of the bike as a box of bits, put it together yourself, and then something* has gone BANG second time out!

And thousands of happy owners would take issue with your description of Boardman bikes as substandard products.

*sounds to me like the rear mech has gone into the back wheel and there is not enough information in the OP to determine why.
 

KneesUp

Guru
I've had this happen to me once - it was a steel frame though, so it was repairable (although not by me - the LBS sent it away as I recall)

In my instance the rear dérailleur became entangled in the spokes, which pulled it around, stretching the lug it bolted to and tearing the mech apart. Again, in my case it was because I had neither tightened the cable in the mech properly, nor understood what the limit screws were for. Of course it ran fine for a while after I adjusted it, and failed under load when I was accelerating though some <cough> amber lights <cough> crossing the a dual carriageway on the way to school. No wonder my mum worried ...

I guess if the mount lug failed due to a manufacturing defect it could also allow the mechanism to get entangled with the wheel causing the results you mention, although I have no idea how you would demonstrate the lug failed before it all became a tangle of parts and carbon.

I wish you well.


EDIT - just thinking about this - I've always believed this to be right, but as I'm washing up I'm looking at my bike out the window as I haven't put it away yet, and it occurs to me that if the cable slipped it would have gone up the gears, so I've no idea why it went down. The limit screw must definitely have been badly adjusted though, unless the wheel just flexed loads for no reason I can think of and just 'collected' the mech?
 
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NorthernDave

Never used Über Member
You need an independent expert report on the bike, detailing what caused the failure. Once the cause is independently established you'll be better placed how to proceed.
I'm guessing this could be probably supplied via a LBS specializing in this type of bike and its likely to cost you to have a report like this done, but I'm sure others who are more knowledgeable will be able to advise further.
 

Arrowfoot

Veteran
Was the bike in the box when delivered had the drive already assembled i.e.. rear derailleur, chain etc all assembled? If so the liability sits with them as you only assembled the wheels, bars and seat. You should also get instruction to assemble the latter components within the box. That instruction sheet would be handy in any litigation.

Your employer should be able to guide you on how they can act for you.
 

buggi

Bird Saviour
Location
Solihull
If you really believe it is faulty and not down to your build, i would get the bike back pronto and take to an LBS for a proper inspection and independent report and take it from there. I would also get some preliminary legal advice but act fast as you don't want them covering up any evidence.

A lesson to us all, let the shop build it even if you then do a once over yourself after or take it to an LBS for a check over.
 

screenman

Legendary Member
I take it you torqued up the rear mech yourself. In the shop build they would or should have torqued every nut and bolt on the bike, hopefully doing it yourself you did the same.
 

GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
Was the bike in the box when delivered had the drive already assembled i.e.. rear derailleur, chain etc all assembled? If so the liability sits with them as you only assembled the wheels, bars and seat. You should also get instruction to assemble the latter components within the box. That instruction sheet would be handy in any litigation.

Your employer should be able to guide you on how they can act for you.
I disagree. Halford, or an LBS for that matter, will claim that but for the customers insistence, the bike would have had a full pre-delivery inspection, all the gears, brakes, etc., thoroughly checked over, limit screws, straightness of gear hangar checked, before being passed over to the customer, had they been allowed to build it up. Given that it is essentially thrown together in a factory in Taiwan. assembled and setup and operating correctly are two completely different things.

And any sensible employer is going to walk away from the issue, as a useless distraction, whilst insisting on the employee continuing with the payments.
 

cosmicbike

Perhaps This One.....
Moderator
Location
Egham
Both my Boardmans have been great...
The CX I bought home boxed, and when I collected it I signed a bit of paperwork saying that no liability for the 'build' sat with Halfords. If the rear mech went into the back wheel then its hanger failure, or incorrectly adjusted limits..
 
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