WOODINVILLE, WA -- LeMond Fitness and Life Fitness are caught up in court battles over a distribution dispute related to LeMond’s RevMaster Pro group cycling bikes.
Life Fitness, owned by Brunswick Corp., Lake Forest, IL, has had the exclusive rights to sell LeMond RevMaster bikes in North America and some international markets since 2002. Some 75,000 RevMaster bikes have been sold in the United States, according to John Post, LeMond Fitness president.
In late May, Brunswick filed a civil lawsuit in Illinois seeking $3.9 million in damages related to the distribution of LeMond bikes, per published reports.
According to the suit, Life Fitness has received hundreds of customer complaints since early 2008 and has spent more than $225,000 on warranty and service work because of RevMaster problems. Life Fitness said it received complaints about the handle bars, seat and pedals of the bike. The company also said it has lost customers in the process.
The quality issues prompted Life Fitness to terminate its distribution agreement with LeMond last month, the company says.
LeMond denied the quality allegations and filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking more than $1 million in damages for early termination of the distribution agreement.
The company also issued a letter to its retailers on June 15. In the letter, Post told retailers that Life Fitness’ allegations “are without merit” and were an “act of bad faith designed with no other purpose than to injure our reputation as a brand. I also want you to know that notwithstanding these events, we will continue to stand behind each and every one of our products.”
Post told Club Industry's Fitness Business Pro that club owners may now order RevMaster and G-Force bikes, as well as parts and technical support, directly from LeMond Fitness. Online ordering is available on the LeMond Web site. To report problems with the bikes, club owners can contact LeMond directly by phone at 425-482-6773, ext. 109.
Life Fitness also said it will back the LeMond products it has sold.
"Club owners should contact Life Fitness—we stand behind all of our products and support any issues that will arise," says Stephanie Weiss, public relations representative for Life Fitness.