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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a tragic story about a little girl who was a passenger on a RadRunner ebike.

The girls rode it up a steep hill and turned around to ride down. The bike wobbled and they crashed. The little girl who died was wearing a Giro helmet, which was 'cracked' in the fall. She was knocked unconscious and died in the hospital a few days later.

The suit contends that both the bike and the helmet were defective.

While obviously tragic, I'm not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, Rad sells (or sold?) extremely heavy E-bikes with disc brakes and 9mm quick releases, which is fairly commonly known to be a bad idea. On the other hand, I'm not sure putting children that young on such a powerful and heavy bike was a wise idea from the parents perspective. The RadRunner manual manual specifically states the bike is intended to be use by those 18 and older.

I seriously doubt that Giro could be found at fault here, unless it is somehow determined that there was a manufacturing defect in the helmet. They manufacture their helmets in accordance with the appropriate safety standards, but there is no guarantee you won't be injured or killed wearing one.

FYI, as I understand it, both of the parents are lawyers.

I suspect this will end up with an out of court settlement with no admission of guilt from either party.

 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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Most of those bikes come w/ nutted axles, not q/r. But...they're heavy as hell and many times kids...I see them every day ridden by kids 12 and up...have a passenger on back. I've seen 3 kids on one. They constantly come in to the shop because the mechanical disc brakes have worn the (nearly always) rear pads and need adjustment. I can't believe that 1...parents buy kids that young what is basically an electric motorcycle, and 2 the local PD don't give a flying fuck about it at all. Kids ripping down sidewalks, wrong way on the street, most of the time with their helmet hanging on the bars. We won't touch the bike if it doesn't have an electric system we are certified to work on. If the brakes are hooked up to the motor, we won't touch it. Won't even fix a flat on most of them. It's only a matter of time til some kid gets killed in our area, I'm absolutely certain it'll happen. I'd say the parents in this case are completely liable for buying a 12 year old kid something like this. F'ing idiots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I've never ridden any Rad bike, but I've seen tons of them (they are local to me) and the bikes seem to be cheaply made. I see lots of complaints online in various forums about the quality of the components and having warranty issues.

Looking at the photos in these reviews, the bikes are... well, cheaply made (i mean, look at that fork?). The one thing everyone seems to agree on, they are cheap (budget friendly).

Here are some reviews. I have no idea which version these folks had.

Original RadRunner

RadRunner 2

RadRunner Plus (has a suspension fork, but still seems to have a QR).

These are Class 2 E-bikes (they are not Pedal Assist/Pedelecs - they have a THROTTLE, which, in my state it means they are NOT considered bicycles. They are technically Mopeds and should be licensed as such and not allowed on trails, etc... this rarely if ever happens - I see them on the MUT's all the time)

Edit to add this video overview showing passengers with an adult driving.

They look relatively small, but based on reviews, they actually weigh about 65lbs, which seems awfully heavy for a 11 year old girl to be riding (with a passenger).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Most of those bikes come w/ nutted axles, not q/r
Interesting, in the article they mentioned that the front QR came loose under braking, and they claim this is common.

From Bicycle Retailer article:
The lawsuit cites Rad Power Bikes' positive website reviews from adults who have written about buying Rad e-Bikes for their children. The suit also says the RadRunner operating manual states the model is for use by those 18 and over. "But this caution occurs in small print on Page 49 of a 57-page manual." The suit goes on to say Rad Power doesn't do anything else to warn customers about the risk to kids riding its bikes.

Design defects, the lawsuit alleges, include using disc brakes in conjunction with quick-release skewers, which it states can loosen during hard braking and cause the wheel to wobble and shake. "Even a single hard brake can cause this to happen, and it did happen here," according to the lawsuit. "Molly's friend was likely unable to stop the bike and lost control of the bike, because her hard pull on the front brake caused the wheel's quick release mechanism to unthread, loosening the wheel."

Another defect in the original RadRunner, according to the lawsuit, was its low trail number, the horizontal distance from where the front wheel touches the ground to where the steering axis intersects the ground. The lawsuit states the RadRunner's trail number was unusually low for road use and made the bike unstable at high speeds. The lawsuit did not reveal the number. The suit notes the RadRunner 2 model increased the trail number.
I know nothing about this type of hardware, but It's hard to imagine why they wouldn't put some beefy thru-axles on a 65lb bike (before riders even get on).
 

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These damn things aren't bicycles, they're toys, dangerous toys, and as long as parents buy and allow their children to play, not ride, play on them, this kind of thing can happen again.

Allowing a 12 year old and her friends to play with this isn't much different than giving marbles to a two year old.
 

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It does have quick release.
Wheel Bicycle Tire Bicycle wheel Bicycles--Equipment and supplies



Who would let their 11yro operate this UNSUPERVISED... with someone elses child?
So because it can ride up a steep hill, that automatically means it's safe to ride down it? :unsure:
Molly was riding behind her 11-year-old best friend who was operating the RadRunner e-bike
While descending a steep hill — which the lawsuit says the two girls would not have been able to ascend on a traditional bike — the e-bike began to "shake and wobble, causing the bike to crash."
.
The suit also says the RadRunner operating manual states the model is for use by those 18 and over. "But this caution occurs in small print on Page 49 of a 57-page manual."
Except they ignored the VERY FIRST PAGE. And all the repetitive warnings throughout.
It's impossible to actually read the manual and not comprehend this it would be extremely dangerous to just let an 11yro ride it. Let alone with a passenger.


Because it is impossible to anticipate every situation or condition which can occur while riding, this manual makes no representations about the safe use of bikes under all conditions. There are risks associated with the use of any bike which cannot be predicted or avoided and are the sole responsibility of the rider.

Page 3
NOTICE: A critical aspect of assembling your bike from Rad Power Bikes may include securing the front wheel and will include checking the tightness of the front wheel quick release and of the rear wheel axle nuts. All bikes from Rad Power Bikes use a quick release front wheel mounting mechanism and the rear wheel is bolted on. These mechanisms may become loose or unsecured during shipment or over time. The torque and security of all wheel mounting hardware should be inspected upon arrival and on a regular basis. Both wheels need to be properly secured before operating your bike.

Safety Check Before Each Ride
Always check the condition of your bike before you ride in addition to having regular maintenance performed. If you are unsure of how to conduct a complete check of the condition of your bike before every ride, you should consult a certified bike mechanic for assistance.

Page 10
WARNING: an improperly secured front wheel and/or handlebar stem can cause loss of control, accidents, serious injury, or death. Check that the front wheel and handlebar stem are properly secured to the bike during assembly and before each ride.


Page 15
STEP 12: Review the remainder of the manual. Once the bike has been assembled per the above instructions and the assembly video available from www.radpowerbikes.com/help, read, understand, and follow the procedures outlined in the remainder of the manual before operating the bike.
WARNING: If you have any questions regarding the assembly of your bike, contact Rad Power Bikes. If you are not able to ensure all the assembly steps in the assembly video are performed properly, or you are unable to view the assembly video, you MUST consult a certified, reputable local bike mechanic for assistance in addition to contacting Rad Power Bikes for help.
WARNING: Before using the bike, always check to ensure all quick release levers and locks are properly secured and undamaged. Check that they are correctly secured before every ride and after every time the bike is left unsupervised, even for a short time. Otherwise the seat post, front wheel, and/or battery may come loose and can result in loss of control, damage to the bike, property, serious injury, and/or death.


Page 25
Operation
NOTICE: Do not perform any of the steps in the Operation section of this manual until you have read this entire manual, since there are important details in the following sections related to safety.
NOTICE: Even if you are an experienced bike user, please take the time to read and implement the guidelines described in the owner’s manual accompanying your RadRunner, and any manuals included with each subcomponent.
Read and understand all sections of this entire manual before operating the bike for the first time. There are important safety warnings throughout the whole manual that must be followed to prevent dangerous situations, accidents, injury, or death.
Users must follow the instructions and warnings contained in this manual for safety. Do not attempt to operate your bike from Rad Power Bikes until you have adequate knowledge of its control and operation. Damage caused by failing to follow instructions is not covered under warranty and could result in dangerous situations, accidents, injury to you and others, damage to the bike, damage to property, injury, or death. Contact Rad Power Bikes if you have any questions about assembly or operation.
Users must become accustomed to the bike’s power control system before operating. The throttle mechanism allows full power to be activated from a stop and inexperienced users should take extra care when first applying the throttle. The pedal assistance feature is also a powerful option and users should fully research and understand how to operate it before first use. Not taking care to familiarize yourself and practice the operation of the power system on your bike from Rad Power Bikes can lead to damage, serious injury, or death.

Page 35
Carrying a Passenger
Notice: Check all regulations where you operate the RadRunner to ensure carrying a child, passenger, or cargo is allowed. The following list provides important tips for the safe operation of the RadRunner when used for carrying a passenger.
• A passenger incapable of riding a bike on their own should not ride as a passenger. Use your best judgement as a parent or guardian to keep a child or an adult passenger and the rider safe.

• Since passengers sit behind the rider, they cannot see bumps or upcoming turns; instruct passengers to brace for bumps and be prepared for turns, braking, and other maneuvers.

It is the user’s responsibility to ensure a passenger on the RadRunner is adequately experienced and fit enough to safely ride as a passenger. Serious injury or death can occur if a passenger is inexperienced, in poor health or fitness, and/or intoxicated, all of which could impact their ability to ride as a passenger.

Page 36
A Note for Parents and Guardians
As a parent or guardian, you are responsible for the activities and safety of your child. The RadRunner is not designed to be ridden by a child under the age of 18.


Warnings and Safety
Safety Notes
Off-road riding requires close attention, specific skills, and presents variable conditions and hazards which accompany the conditions. Wear appropriate safety gear and do not ride alone in remote areas. Check local rules and regulations if offroad ebike riding is allowed.

Engaging in extreme riding is extremely dangerous and should be avoided. Although many articles/advertisements/catalogs depict extreme riding, this is not recommended nor permitted, and you can be seriously injured or killed if you perform extreme riding.

Bikes and bike parts have strength and integrity limitations and extreme riding should not be performed as it can damage bike components and/or cause or lead to dangerous riding situations in which you may be seriously injured or killed.

General Warnings
Like any sport, bicycling involves risk of damage, injury, and death. By choosing to ride a bike, you assume the responsibility for that risk, so you need to know, and practice the rules of safe and responsible riding and the proper use and maintenance of this bike. Proper use and maintenance of your bike reduces risk of damage, injury, and death.

The RadRunner is designed for use by persons 18 years old and older. Riders must have the physical condition, reaction time, and mental capability to ride safely and manage traffic, road conditions, sudden situations,
 

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Matnlely Dregaend
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I own a RadPower bike, a RadCity 5+. My bike wobbled badly even under slow speeds especially when fully loaded with panniers. The problem is the tires, not the quick release. They are OEM garbage that are more square than round. I replaced them with something resembling a circle and the bike has been wobble free since, including descending my local hill at over 35 mph. I agree that the bikes are cheaply made, but so is every other electric bike in the same price range.

Clearly this will settle out of court. My guess is RadPower has insurance and they'll pay out with a non-disclosure agreement.
 

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Most of those bikes come w/ nutted axles, not q/r. But...they're heavy as hell and many times kids...I see them every day ridden by kids 12 and up...have a passenger on back. I've seen 3 kids on one. They constantly come in to the shop because the mechanical disc brakes have worn the (nearly always) rear pads and need adjustment. I can't believe that 1...parents buy kids that young what is basically an electric motorcycle, and 2 the local PD don't give a flying fuck about it at all. Kids ripping down sidewalks, wrong way on the street, most of the time with their helmet hanging on the bars. We won't touch the bike if it doesn't have an electric system we are certified to work on. If the brakes are hooked up to the motor, we won't touch it. Won't even fix a flat on most of them. It's only a matter of time til some kid gets killed in our area, I'm absolutely certain it'll happen. I'd say the parents in this case are completely liable for buying a 12 year old kid something like this. F'ing idiots.
You know, if I ran a bike shop that was thinking of selling/repairing ebikes - especially the "fat tired" ebikes that are really a moped or Vespa equivalent and not a viable "bicycle" - I would have a talk with my insurance carrier. Working and selling "normal" bicycles carries with it a certain level of risk that your current carrier probably understands fairly well, given the fact that bikes shops have been around for over 100 years. Ebikes of that ilk are a different animal, and you are probably very wise for being cautious.

The game-plan for any personal injury lawyer for a plaintiff who is injured by doing something like riding a bike is to rope in anyone who they can plausibly sue. No one should be shocked that Giro got sued (or the manufacturer of the ebike). Giro has this happen A LOT, and their business plan takes it into account. My point is that a a talk with your insurance carrier might be prudent because a ebikes present a greater opportunity for something "bad" to happen that may boomerang back to a shop that either sold or worked on the ebike. Bike shops carry liability insurance, and I would have a conversation with my carrier if my shop started working on ebikes.

Also, I'm not suggesting that the status quo of "sue'em all" is a great state of affairs. It is just the way it is. It is one of the reasons why I've never sold any of the frames that I've brazed up myself....
 

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I own a RadPower bike, a RadCity 5+. My bike wobbled badly even under slow speeds especially when fully loaded with panniers. The problem is the tires, not the quick release. They are OEM garbage that are more square than round. I replaced them with something resembling a circle and the bike has been wobble free since, including descending my local hill at over 35 mph. I agree that the bikes are cheaply made, but so is every other electric bike in the same price range.

Clearly this will settle out of court. My guess is RadPower has insurance and they'll pay out with a non-disclosure agreement.
One thing that popped out in the article is that the geometry of some of the frames ended up with a "trail" number for the front wheel that was unstable at higher speeds. RadPower tweaked the geometry.
 

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On one hand, losing a child is always terrible. OTOH, the accident likely had nothing to do with the bike itself but with the fact that two girls were riding a bike that was meant for one person. On the OTHER other hand, the helmet did its job by sacrificing itself to absorb all the impact it could. Do the parents not understand how helmets work?
 

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On one hand, losing a child is always terrible. OTOH, the accident likely had nothing to do with the bike itself but with the fact that two girls were riding a bike that was meant for one person.
No, it's meant for two. It has a passenger seat and foot pegs for the passenger.
There are also specific instructions for this in the manual. I'm sure the parents carefully reviewed this with the children. :rolleyes:

When carrying a passenger, you must have the foot pegs, rear wheel side covers, and a seat appropriate for the rider

Foot pegs are designed as a footrest only, for use by a passenger while they are sitting on the rear seat. A passenger must always keep both feet on the foot pegs when the bike is in motion. If someone cannot always keep contact with the foot pegs, they should ride in an appropriate child seat or should not ride as a passenger on the RadRunner. Do not stand on or otherwise misuse foot pegs or damage to the product, serious injury, and/or death could occur
 

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I see that passenger seating is a $79 option. I don't know if the accident bike had this; but regardless of that, the geometry doesn't change. A passenger would be sitting right over the rear wheel and the bike would be a handful for a kid to control that way. I think DrSmile is right, this will probably be settled out of court. Sometimes these lawsuits are just pro-forma, to make the insurance company happy.
 

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I'll bet those wheels weren't balanced. Unbalance wheels can cause high speed wobble.

I fully support the lawsuit. It's about time someone hold these e-bike manufacturers responsible for their cheaply made products, and often times advertised toward teens and young adults as "fun toys" requiring no license to operate. I'm hoping this lawsuit will bring about law and regulation changes to the ebike industry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I fully support the lawsuit. It's about time someone hold these e-bike manufacturers responsible for their cheaply made products, and often times advertised toward teens and young adults as "fun toys" requiring no license to operate. I'm hoping this lawsuit will bring about law and regulation changes to the ebike industry.
What about ebikes that are home brew (someone strapping an aftermarket kit onto an existing bike)? What about the shops that sell them (online or brick and mortar)? And no accountability for someone who buys something like this, with clear safety protocols outlined in the manuals, then lets their kids jump on it and take their friends for a ride?

I think there is a lot of blame to go around, but personally, I think the people who let their kids get on it should shoulder the brunt of it.

As far as the lawsuit goes, I think they focused on the axle being a poor design. Well, yea, the entire bike is a poor design as far as safety goes. I will be interested know if there are other accounts of the axle coming loose under hard braking (however hard an 11 yo can brake using mechanical disc brakes).

And the helmet thing is just bunk. Giros helmets all meet (exceed) CPSC standards. The helmet did what bike helmets are supposed to do. Take the brunt of the impact. There will always be scenarios where there will be injuries beyond what the helmet is designed to prevent (just like seatbelts in cars). I honestly hope that this doesn't drive changes to helmet standards. I can't imagine a world where bicycle helmets resemble motorcycle helmets.
 

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I fully support the lawsuit. It's about time someone hold these e-bike manufacturers responsible for their cheaply made products, and often times advertised toward teens and young adults as "fun toys" requiring no license to operate. I'm hoping this lawsuit will bring about law and regulation changes to the ebike industry.
You fully support suing one manufacturer for what other manufacturers do.
Wow... just... wow.

Show me any evidence Rad Power Bikes has done anything you've accused them of.
Because their owners manual contradicts what you accused them of.
Their website contradicts what you accused them of.


How old do I have to be to ride an ebike?
You must be 16 or older to operate a Rad Power Bikes ebike. Children under the age of 16 may lack the necessary judgment and skill to safely operate the ebike. A parent or legal guardian should always decide whether a child should operate or ride on an electric bike or any other vehicle.

Some localities may require ebike riders to be older than 16, so know and obey local regulations regarding rider age and other qualification.
 

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I don't give a damn about these ebikes companies. I'm sick and tired of seeing fat ebikes being ridden recklessly on the trails, and most of the time they're being ridden by teens and 20something people. The early ebike joy-ride phenomenon has now encouraged much more advanced moto-sytle ebikes, and other advanced "electronic wheeled" unicycles, capable of 40-45 mph. Not only that. I've seen a regular guy here riding a goddamn gas-powered mini-moto, and more than a handful of gasolined-powered bicycles. These reckless did not happen until the ebike phenon took off, and it's only getting worse. Certain trails here have become the "wild wild west" for experimental and homemade battery-powered and gas- and gasoline-powered 1- and 2-wheeled fun toys. It's fucking ridicuousl to see a squadron of fucking unicycles blowing down at 25+ mph with every riders in full body armor, knee and elbow pads, and full face moto helmets. I may sound a little unfair, but I will support any attempt to rein in these free-for-all joy ride phenon, I don't care if means going after a big manufacturers, or lobbying the city to change the code, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don't give a damn about these ebikes companies. I'm sick and tired of seeing fat ebikes being ridden recklessly on the trails
Think about what you've said here.

Do you sue car companies when someone drives recklessly?
Boat companies when someone is irresponsible in their Bayliner?
Motorcycle companies when some knothead is weaving in and out of traffic at 90mph?

All of these things have one thing in common. The operator using poor judgement.

Sadly, you can't legislate stupidity out of people.
 

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Certain trails here have become the "wild wild west"
Just curious, where do you live that this is such a problem? Maybe it's on its way to "trail near me" but there's nothing like that here yet.

BTW, some, well a lot, of what you write could just have easy come from the mouth of a hiker talking about MTBs back in the late 90s.
 

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BTW, some, well a lot, of what you write could just have easy come from the mouth of a hiker talking about MTBs back in the late 90s.
It'd be a lot like a victim of rape saying random men should be castrated. Who cares if the random men didn't do anything wrong. Ya know... it may sound a little unfair but ya gotta support any attempt to rein in these free-for-all rapists.
:rolleyes:
 
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