There probably was a better way of handling this.
How would you have handled it?
There are a few discussions on this on Facebook. Not sure what to think about it. I think I side with Giant Halifax not selling the bike, but it’s unfortunate for the buyer that he didn’t get a bike. We all want people to share in the excitement we all do here when we get a new bike and get out riding.
It’s a lesson for both Giant and the buyer. The buyer should do more research or get some help to get a suitable bike. Of course, he could just walk into Canadian Tire and take a bike off the floor. Giant needs to look at its customer service. Surely there will be “clydesdale” riders looking for a bike again.
Shitty situation, but if they restrict sales to people based on their weight and the manufactures published weight limits they probably should call that out on their online sales platform and require the person to enter their weight as part of the transaction so the sale can’t be made in the first place.
Oh, I could say a thing or two about this. When I got back into riding in March 2020, my shopping experience was less than ideal at most shops. I was about 270 at the time (Started at about 295), and to even get a shop to take me seriously was difficult enough. Apparently big people don’t want to exercise, or certainly don’t want a nice bike. I had more than one shop make a joke of it—like “better dress light” and such, to stay under the limit. I knew what the limit was and it was actually wanting to ride that helped me drop that first 25 lbs. I totally understand why he may have wanted to buy now, even though he was over the limit (bikes are crazy hard to come by, obviously).
I will say this, I am so thankful for the boys at Banks Bikes in Wolfville. They’re the best and treated me like a person who wanted to ride a bike, and found me something that would work for me—I’ll never forget that. Now I’m lighter and fully-addicted to my bikes…they have my thanks and my money
Starting at the first conversation with the customer, where he tells the shop his weight, what would you have done? Genuinely curious because I’ve been seeing a lot of comments but no alternative responses.
It’s a shitty situation for both the shop and the customer, exacerbated by a poorly managed online purchase platform. If a manufacturer wants to cut out the bike shops and sell direct they are going to have to step up and fill the roll of the shop beyond click and ship.
I agree with you. I do wonder if Giant couldn’t have done a better job at maybe helping to find a bike that is safe for heavier riders. Perhaps he did, and it just wasn’t reported.
That said, I did some looking last evening and found very few offerings for riders at that weight. I’m sure they exist, but I doubt they’re in the price range he was looking for.
It is a shitty situation.
and also exacerbated by someone who decided to ‘take it to the media’. Probably not an ultimately helpful response.
Echoing other sentiments, it’s a shitty situation all around.
From an online shop perspective (I build such shops but don’t decide the business logic) - from where I sit, the shop really has 2 options here, unlocked by the addition of a rider weight field at point of purchase:
- Deny the purchase if the rider’s weight exceeds the manufacturer’s safe limit.
- This option is easily bypassed by a dishonest customer entering a value below the limit. If the rider truly has the attitude of “I won’t ride the bike until I’m the safe weight”, then why wouldn’t they go this route? There’s no scale attached to their computer that can verify this number.
- Educate the potential customer about the limit, have them sign a waiver, and proceed with the sale.
- This option isn’t perfect, and puts more responsibility on the shop owner. It also puts the owner in a dubious ethical situation, and like Barry was quoted in the article, he couldn’t live with knowing he enabled a severe rider injury by skirting safety limits.
I don’t know either party involved, and I can’t know exactly how the exchange went, but I want to believe that the shop wasn’t weight-shaming this individual and truly was concerned for their safety.
I also don’t know how this could have gone better. The article is bound to cause some knee-jerk reactions saying that the shop is weight shaming, but the information provided doesn’t support that at all.
It sounds more like a case of a disappointing transaction, and an unnecessary article written about it.
Hope the guy becomes a rider sooner rather than later and ultimately gets to his goal weight, despite the unfortunate transaction (edited for clarity).
Hypothetically speaking… offer to help the customer find a more suitable bike?
Maybe GH was willing to do that and didn’t get the chance?
Actually, I hope the guy can find a suitable bike and get out riding before his weight goals - don’t wait the 6 weeks - find a bike and get out now. The activity can only help achieve his health goals.
What would you think would be a suitable bike for someone over 300lbs - would a Freeride or Downhill mountain bike work for him? I was thinking a dirt jumper might be strong enough, but the geometry would be all wrong and it would need a really long seatpost.
That’s a better phrasing for sure. I worded mine poorly, the two don’t need to happen at the same time.
I have no clue about what kind of bike would be suitable. I have to imagine that suspension would help, and that rigid / brittle metals would be better. Again, completely guessing, but a steel full-sus MTB?
They probably would have crossed that bridge if given the chance. We don’t actually know how exactly the conversation played out as we only really have one side of the story.
Kona used to have the Hoss and some other over built bike. I’m sure giant has something. Or maybe not.
I can’t fathom being one year into a pandemic, bicycling being the one outdoor activity that is seeing an exponential growth, thousands of people new to the sport and therefore probably not your typical over fit cyclists, and an online purchasing platform does not take into account their own liability policy and buries it in an owners manual. I mean, it’s literally buried in the appendix of a GD owners manual. How fing greasy is that?
You probably shouldn’t read the Facebook comments.
Unfortunately I don’t see this ending well for Giant Bikes Halifax. Its been picked up as national news and their Google reviews are being brigaded. All of this because a dude didn’t bother reading the item description or take the expert advice from the shop owner. Instead he took his complaints to any media that would listen.
Yea, people aren’t always the best at being objective.
I don’t know Barry personally, but it’s truly hard for me to believe this is a shaming thing.
Anecdotal, but… I’ve taken part in Hit The Deck before, which Giant hosted, and there were riders there of all different shapes, sizes, orientations, and he and his staff were super kind to everyone.
I was trying to remember the name of that Kona bike! Thanks.
I looked at the Giant, Norco, and Kona bike manuals online. They all seem to use the 300lb rider weight limit for their bikes - some of them 355lbs including cargo. Not sure if Giant or any of the other big manufacturers build anything for heavier riders.
All weights specified in the manuals are for their intended use. I don’t think they say anything about weight limits if a bike is used less aggressively than its intended use - e.g. taking an All-mountain bike and then using it on a road - I would think that it would be able to support a heavier load if used less aggressively(?)