A NSW man has taken a bike shop to court for a refund on an almost $8000 bike he said was not of “acceptable quality”.
Since purchasing the electric mountain bike from Cheeky Bikes in 2021 for $7899, its motor had to be replaced three times, the customer said in his application to the Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
He also claimed the bike had other issues requiring repair and was therefore not fit for purpose, free from defects, durable or safe.
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Cheeky Bites, which traded under the company Olibob Pty Ltd, denied the man’s claims.
The company agreed the motor had been replaced three times, at no cost to the customer.
The first time the motor was replaced, it appeared to have been damaged as a result of water and dirt ingress, which appeared to be caused by riding in extreme conditions, the company said.
It also appeared the bike had not been properly cleaned and maintained.
The motor was replaced a second time under warranty following a sensor failure.
Before it was also replaced, the third motor was cleaned and had foreign matter removed, the company said.
No fault was detected at the time.
Months later, it was replaced after internal sensors were damaged, apparently by water ingress.
In its response to the customer’s claim, Olibob said the bike was fit for purpose and the issues arose due to “misuse, lack of maintenance and care, and an unauthorised and damaging modification by installing a bolt through the motor”.
In his application, the customer also claimed he was never informed that the bike was not recommended for riding in mud and water.
He said he never would have purchased it if he had been informed of that.
“If the bike cannot withstand riding in mud and water, then it is not fit for purpose, as it is an Enduro mountain bike,” he said, adding that he maintained and cleaned the bike, including the external parts of the motor.
On the other hand, Olibob said it recommends for all bikes to not be ridden in mud or water, because maintaining them becomes more expensive.
“The bike can be ridden in mud and water, but if one does so, then a lot more care is needed to maintain it, and the components will wear out much quicker. This includes the motor,” the company said.
The company also had the bike independently inspected, with reports provided to the court which confirmed the bike was functional.
“Signs of wear were apparent, which was to be expected of a bike that had done 1886km over 111 hours,” the company said of the reports.
“One report noted evidence of ‘poor rider technique placing high load and torque on the motor and drive train’.”
In her decision dismissing the bike buyer’s claim, General Member of the Tribunal Sharon Hanstein said she was not satisfied the issues with the motor were due to anything “other than the applicant’s failure to clean and maintain the bike to the required standard for the use to which he was putting the bike”.
“I am not satisfied there were any other significant issues with the bike that would result in it not being of acceptable quality,” she added.
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