A man refused to return a bike to his cousin after borrowing it, and the cousin now believes that he was scammed.

A user asked, Am I a jerk for not giving back a bike my cousin gave me for free because he thought it was trash? We’d like to hear your thoughts on this one.


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About a month ago, the Original Poster (OP) got a free bike from his cousin. An old red beach cruiser of unknown make. He needed a bike because his last one was stolen and he was too broke to buy a new one.

His cousin then told him he had an old beat-up bike in his parent’s backyard, and he could have it if he wanted it.

What Does OP Say

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OP says “When I picked it up, it looked a mess. Covered in mud, rusty chain, nicked paint, dry cracking on the white sidewalls of the tires. There was even moss on it. But I took it anyway and thanked them.”

What Else Does OP Say

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“I got it home, cleaned it up, touched up the paint with nail polish, lubed the chain with WD40, put new $7 grips on it, tightened the rear gear, cleaned most of the rust off any chrome, put on an aluminum kickstand that the bike shop tossed out as garbage, and it became my daily rider.

The tubes and tires are still good, and I got it back on the road for less than $10. And honestly, I like it. Rides a little bouncy, but the coaster brake is fun, and it’s simple and reliable.”

What Happened Last Week?

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Last week, OP’s cousin saw him riding the bike and at first, didn’t recognize it as the ‘same’ bike. It was so covered in mud previously that he’d thought it was rusted over.

What Did He Say

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“And now he says that I scammed him and that he wants $60 for the bike or to give it back so he can sell it. I refused and said he didn’t want it in the first place. And I like riding it.

He Calls OP A Jerk

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He’s calling me a jerk and telling his friends and the family I’ve robbed him. The family are all on my side, including his parents. But his friends think I’m a jerk. But I’m the one who put the work into fixing this bike he gave me for free as trash. And I’m the one who actually uses it, unlike my cousin.” OP mentions. 

OP also tells the internet that he’s here for an unbiased opinion. “Am I a jerk for not giving the bike back or giving money for it?” he asks.

Read: 17 Places That’re Popular For Travel But is NOT Worth Visiting Even Once

It Wasn’t Worth It’s Final Condition, Back Then!

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“It was a gift. The value of the bike was weighed at the time of the sale for $0 based on the condition it was in and his honest appraisal of its potential.

I do not believe when you bought it for $0 you had any assurance that you would be able to successfully repair the bike into a good condition. This point bears repeating: at the time it was gifted to you, the bike was not worth its final condition with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight. It was worth the combination of its current condition plus the risk of investing in it. For all you reasonably knew, you would have found the bike in *worse* condition than it appeared, and the money you spent in trying to fix it up to be a waste.

Even now I have doubts that the bike is really worth the amount of money your cousin thinks it is worth. It’s used. It could still fall apart at any time.”

Who On Earth Rides A Bike ‘THAT’ Dirty

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“What was your cousin expecting? That you were going to ride it, still covered in moss and dirt! I was expecting this story to turn into the bike being a special edition that was worth a fortune. Wonder what your cousin has told his friends to make them on his side?”

‘He offered it and didn’t ask for anything. Did he expect you to ride around on it in its unrideable condition? Ask him how much he paid for it. I’ll bet it was his parents who bought it. So, if his parents…whose yard the bike was rusting away in…are on your side, I’d say you’re good.”

It Was Trash, You ‘Untrashed’ It 

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“So he had the intention of dumping his junk onto you to make it your problem, and now he’s mad that his disrespectful attempts worked out for you? And you think YOU’RE the jerk?

Your whole family sees the truth. His friends don’t because they’re biased and probably got a twisted version of events. Don’t listen to them. You can’t make everyone happy. It’s best you learn that sooner rather than later.”

“The only reason it’s worth anything is because you put the work into it. The used bike market has slowed, and nobody is going to pay for a muddy, janky, rusty cruiser with questionable tires. He gave it to you, and you relied on that and put time and money into cleaning it and fixing it up.

Would you have done anything to the bike if he’d told you he would immediately want it back once you were done working on it? Of course not.”

Read: He REFUSED To Let The Passenger In Front of Him To Recline Her Seat on a Flight. She Calls Him A Jerk. Is This Justified?

Takebacks Are Kiddish

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“No take-backs. Only losers and crybabies do that (or so I’ve heard).

Seriously, though, lots of people take someone else’s trash and fix it up into something decent. They don’t generally go back to the person and offer them money or to give it back. Your cousin actually gave you the bike and only wants it back because you fixed it up for yourself. He is being a total jerk.

Are you friends with his friends? I’m thinking that either (1) he is lying about what his friends say, (2) he lied to his friends in his version of the story, or (3) his friends half-heartedly say they agree with him to avoid an argument but actually disagree with him behind his back.”

Charge Him For The Repair Work

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“Give him a receipt for the materials and your time.”

“If you brought the bike as your cousin gave it to you to a bike shop, it would cost you at least $100 to get it ridable. If he wants to give you the $100 you put into bike services, he can have it back (assuming you are willing to sell.) but nothing less of that.”

“Your cousin is a greedy jerk. He gave you the bike when he thought it was trash, now he wants it back to sell. If you did decide to give it back, first make him pay for all the work you put into it. I’d keep it though; he relinquished all claims to it when he gave it to you”

Keep ‘Family’ And ‘Business’ As Separate As Possible

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“Perfect example as to why you never do business with family. Even accepting free junk. As soon as it’s in good condition – they want it back. Easy solution – well I spent $50 fixing it up and 2 hours of my time at 10$ an hour = pay me $70 and you get it back.”

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