Its not often that I mention companies on my website, its only if they are really good or really, really bad. I believe in being a consumer watchdog and calling out companies that are slimy and also bringing attention to really good companies that go above and beyond the call of duty. Most of the really horrible companies end up in my fitness hall of shame where I highlight scam artists selling snake oil type products to naive consumers who just want to improve their health and their physique. Sports by Sager is a bit different as they dont belong on my Fitness hall of shame but I feel I need to warn anyone who is contemplating buying anything from them.
Before I explain why I suggest you avoiding Sports by Sager, let me say that I not one of those people who complains about anything. In fact, I complain about very little and am very happy with almost all of my purchases and business dealings. In the last year, I actually gave public praise on YouTube to two companies that I have no affiliation with: a cabinet door company (cabinetdoors.com) with an exceptional DIY product and a travel company (bikeasia.com).
I’m a very reasonable guy with reasonable expectations. When I bought my Dahon Curl i8 on Amazon from Sports by Sager, I had very reasonable expectations of the quality and safety one should expect from a $1500 bicycle which were simply not met. The brakes on the Dahon Curl i8 are dangerously ineffective taking 10x longer to stop than a basic mountain bike at 1/3 the cost. Please see my review of the Dahon Curl i8 for full details. Rather than risk my life on a bike with a defective design, I returned the bike which was in like new condition and explained my safety concerns about the dangerously ineffective brakes and provided them a link to my review page and the video highlighting the braking ineffectiveness. Rather than refund me the entire purchase price as they should have, they only refunded 1/2 of it because “that is their policy”. Had the specs of the bike been listed in a truthful manner, I never would have purchased it in the first place. The Amazon description for the bicycle should clearly indicate the following:
- The Dahon Curl I8 is not designed to be ridden on hills
- The Dahon Curl I8 is not designed to be ridden over 10mph
- The Dahon Curl I8 is not designed to be ridden when pavement is wet
- The Dahon Curl I8 is not designed for anyone over 190 pounds (current limit is 280)
Be warned that Sports by Sager does not stand behind their products nor do they take the safety concerns of their customers seriously. Burying their heads in the sand like an ostrich does not change the fact that the ineffective brakes on this bike will most likely cause someone bodily harm.
Safety concerns raised to Sports by Sager
On August 14, 2019 when I returned the bike to Sports by Sager, I notified them of the safety problems with this bicycle. As of September 5, I have received no response Here is the email I sent them:
Not sure if the Amazon messages are getting thru to you but this is in regarding the return of my Dahon Curl i8 order number 114-6445553-5136269. I am copying Dahon on this because there is a serious safety issue that they need to resolve.
I completely understand your return policy where you only refund 50% of the purchase price; however, in this case I feel that Dahon misrepresented the bikes capabilities in stating that it was appropriate for riders up to 280lbs. I am only 220lbs and found the braking so inadequate that it was too dangerous to ride at anything above a slow jog pace.
I have written a review that fully explains the issues, its on page 1 of the google search “DAHON CURL I8 REVIEW” or you can find it here:
When Dahon fixes these quality issues and the braking safety issue, I will gladly buy the Curl again and review it because it is truly a remarkable design.
So I did hear back from Sports by Sager and below is their response. They are completely unconcerned about the safety of the bikes they sell as is made completely clear in the following email I received from them:
From: Gary Snellenberger
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2019 08:32:02 -0400
Subject: Re: partial refund of Order# 114-6445553-5136269
To: Scooby Werkstatt
Amazon has policy for used items and returns, you were fully aware of
this prior to returning the bike. The bike was to be taken to a bike
shop for assembly and inspection prior to riding it to validate the
warranty. This was offered to you 3 different ways. In the owners
manual, in the 3 sheets of paper with assembly and warranty
information we put inside the box that were returned to us and printed
on the box.
This is a very expensive bike, weather you feel it is safe or not is
really irrelevant. We follow the Amazon policy and expect buyers to
do the same.
The bike was returned in a used condition and we can not sell this as
new, therefore the transaction was processed within the Amazon
There you have it, the safety of the products they sell is not relevant. This seems to be an odd, and potentially very expensive attitude for a sporting goods store to have. I hope Sports by Sager has really good attorneys on retainer for the lawsuits that will clearly be coming their way.
Update September 11
Still not happy that I was charged $800 for returning a bicycle that was not safe because it takes 20 seconds to stop, I contacted Amazon to see if they could help me because in this case the seller was not Amazon but rather a third party in Michigan, “Sports by Sager”. I called them an the Amazon rep was very nice and got the basic information, then she said “Lets get Gary Snellenberger from Sports by Sager” on the line”, and I’m thinking to myself, “this is gonna be interesting”. The first 10 seconds of the ‘conversation’ was fine as he was talking and basically restating what he had said in writing above. Then as soon as the Amazon rep asked him something, it became very clear that Gary Snellenberger has anger management issues because you could just see the veins popping out of his forehead as he got more and more agitated. When I brought up the fact that the bike was not safe because of the inadequate braking and brought up the video I shared with him that shows it takes 21 seconds (10 more than a mountain bike) to stop the Dahon Curl i8, he called me a liar and his proof was “we have sold thousands of these!!”. Then I thought I was doing something very fair and reasonable, I made him an offer. I said “If you can show me a video of a 280 pounds person stopping safely from 15mph, I will publicly apologize and drop all my claims”. To this he scoffed and replied “280 pound people do NOT ride this bicycle!” to which my reply was, “thats odd because your description on Amazon says it is for people up to 286 pounds.” Then the Amazon rep said something and then one very angry Gary Snellenberger hung up on the Amazon rep. He kept coming back to the fact that “this is a very expensive bike” and that they could not resell it as new. Really, not my problem that you cant resell an unsafe bike at full price. After the call, the Amazon rep was VERY apologetic for subjecting me to the very unprofessional and abusive Gary Snellenberger from Sports by Sager and she assured me that all my interactions with them were complete and from now on, I would only be dealing with Amazon.
Please see “buying a bicycle online“.