The question may need to be reworded to be more concise, relevant, or appropriate. Edit as you wish.
I recently saw an article about a man who wanted to purchase a bicycle, but he weighed more than its maximum safe weight rating. The shop originally refused to sell it to him until he signed a waiver declaring that he wouldn't ride the bike until he lost enough weight to be under the limit, but this decision was soon reversed after internal policy changes, media attention, and widespread public outcry.
Was the store in the right here to try to refuse the sale? This could be extended towards other scenarios, such as:
- a customer who wants to buy a lightweight, fragile hardtail bike but has expressed interest in riding massive jumps and drops, risking frame breakage, or
- someone wanting to buy uber-lightweight but relatively weak cross-country handlebars for similar aggressive usage that those bars aren't designed for.
If the customer refuses to acknowledge the risk of the bike or components thereof failing, should the store still sell it to them? These risks could carry into the greater public too, so it's not just a question of personal choice. For example, if he hits a moderately sized pothole but his wheel fails due to the excessive weight, he could strike and injure a bystander during the crash.
Key text in case of link rot:
When Global News published a story March 10 detailing the roadblock Sebastien Barsetti encountered when picking up a Giant bicycle he ordered online, Devantier [marketing surpervisor] said he sought the advice of the company’s lawyer. “His advice was definitely that human rights kind of trump consumer safety,” Devantier said.
Misener [owner of store] also spoke with Global News on March 10 and said his main concern was for Barsetti’s safety. He also wanted to ensure that he wouldn’t be liable for any bicycle malfunctions, or injuries that Barsetti may encounter as a result of currently weighing more than the design limit.
On March 11, that position changed. Giant Group Canada publicly apologized to Barsetti after having discussions with him throughout the day and are now compensating him with a bicycle and extra gear, including a helmet.
Devantier said there are about 200 Giant Bicycle distributors across Canada and they are being told that if situations like this occur again, they just need to make a note on the purchase order that safety discussions were had but sale refusal unless a waiver is signed won’t be necessary.