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Help needed on broken wheel...
Hi guys

I purchased this good quality rear wheel and then decided I wanted something else so decided to sell it. I actually paid £50 for it and sold it for more or less the same price. I checked the trueness of the wheel and found that it was well trued both laterally and radially. 3 weeks after I sold it, I get the following message from the buyer,

This wheel you have sold me is a total crock of garbage. I've barely use it, but today I cycled over the sort of bump you hit 100 times a day during the commute to work, heard a metallic "ting noise" then seconds later my bike had ground a halt with broken spokes caught in the chain. 4 spokes had broken (and I am 100% sure none were broken when I set off) and the spoke caught in the derailleur has actually caused it to rip off the rear drop out, thus wrecking it and probably the whole frame (£1000 bike). Needless to say I am furious - there is absolutely no way that should happen. I am not overweight and the bump was just a manhole cover style rut. I cycled for more than 14 months on my last rear wheel before it was worn out (buckled). I want to send this wheel for a full refund please, postage at your expense.
Please confirm this is possible and the return address.

In my opinion, the damage suffered cannot be down to merely a minor bump. I feel the rider has either been involved in a serious accident or wheel has taken a severe knock. Can anyone please advise?

Thank you for any help.
In the USA; a used wheel is sold "as-is" with no warranty implied, unless specifically stated. As soon as the purchaser placed on his bike it was his.

Anyone who is buckling wheels for any reason is abusing them - he had one buckle 14 months ago.....

My last spoke failure was caused by road debris getting caught up in the wheel, shearing a spoke off at the nipple and shearing the debris. I am a HEAVY rider; but have never buckled a wheel.

Thank you for your prompt reply. I never actually used the wheel but sold it as new. From his reply, do you think he abused the wheel? Have you ever heard of 4 spokes breaking off at once? If so, would that be down to a really severe knock?
The odds are VERY high that the purchaser has the cart before the horse. The 4 spokes likely broke in the same manner as Nigel described. The "ting noise" was probably a branch or similar (possibly one he ran over) flipping into the spokes, breaking them and otherwise creating havoc. He mentions no problem before that time, and there is simply no mechanism that would cause 4 spokes to break at the same time during normal use. Tthat requires a huge amount of stress, more than even a serious road hazard, and 3 weeks of trouble-free riding supports the fact that there was nothing wrong with the wheel.
Thank you for the replies. Much appreciated.
Hi guys

Just received the following from the guy that bought the wheels off me,

'I am telling you for a fact that this is exactly what happened. I was cycling to work (only third time I had used the wheels actually, I didn't fit them straight away as I couldn't find my chain whip or chainring key) and I hit a small rut. so it happened doing something which is literally about as normal use as these wheels would get. which was the central point I am making - this should not happen had these wheels been properly assembled using quality parts. there was no road debris and no serious knock. if I had damaged the wheel through irregular use I would not be such a dick as to then expect you to pay for that. but simple fact here is there was no misuse, they are just garbage wheels. I have left you some scathing feedback and if this issue is not resolved I'll slate you on some other websites too. as I say - my frame is wrecked because of your wheels, so I could easily sue for the whole cost, whereas all I am asking for is you take them back. they are no buckled, they just need to be built up and spokes tensioned PROPERLY. As to the last wheel buckling, this happened after 18 months of commuting 14 miles a day. I admit I should have repaired a couple of broken spokes sooner than I did on that occasion, but that hardly confirms miss use here. all it shows is a half decent wheel can withstand a lot of use, whereas the **** you are selling can barely withstand any. refund please or I'll make it my mission to cost you more than it would cost for you to do the right thing here'.

Any feedback would be much appreciated.
your choice - if you are in business, you'll have to take them back. If you are private party, who occasionally sells; ignore him; an post selected edits of his correspondence in the response area to his feedback.

You could also have a legal letter drawn up and sent to him threatening action if he continues to harass you.

In some places, concrete shoes are considered appropriate, but not many.
If you sold these wheels as a private party with no expressed or implied warranty, I can't see how you owe him anything legally. Ethically...I could see it either way. The fact that he's threatening instead of appealing to you doesn't argue in his favor. But it doesn't mean he's lying either.

How about you offer to talk to the company that sold you the wheels. You could tell them that it was your bike that got wrecked, etc. and that you're just asking for a refund on the wheels. Offer to give him anything you get from them?
Up to you to balance the above advice, but in over 20 years in the bike biz I never saw 4 spokes break at once workout without a foreign object involved. It would take in- person or several photos to be able to properly evaluate the cause. I would say you need to be shown that the spokes broke at the head, rather than being pulled out of the nipple.
I would carefully review everything he wrote. I used to process comprehensive auto claims after vehicle inspections. I noticed one thing right off the bat- he said his last wheel lasted over 14 months, which is an incredibly short period. He is either fat like me, abusive, or buying cheap wheels. I am lucky to get 900 miles plus on a cheap rear wheel, they are never tensioned & stress relieved properly, so as a heavy rider I break spokes. $70 is a cheap rear wheel.
Secondly he wrote "this happened after 18 months of commuting 14 miles a day. I admit I should have repaired a couple of broken spokes sooner than I did on that occasion, but that hardly confirms miss use here".
No, it confirms he's abusive.
1) He only got 18 months on his last wheel (changed his initial claim from over 14 months to 18 months)
2) He broke at least two spokes on his old wheel.
3) He admits to not repairing the spokes when he should have.
4) He threatens you.
5) Anyone who puts a $70 rear wheel on a $1400 bike is simply either lying about the cost of the bike or showing a lack of common sense.

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