article

The European CEN Standard For Bicycles (updated for 2010)

Laws & Regulations

The European Commission has published the references of a number of CEN standards for bicycles in the Official Journal of the European Union. As a result, bicycles that comply with these standards are

On July 22, 2006 the European Commission has published the references of a number of CEN standards for bicycles in the Official Journal of the European Union. As a result, bicycles that comply with these standards are presumed to conform with the EU General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC that “lays down an obligation on producers to place only safe products on the market.”

The four different CEN standards that were published in the EU Official Journal are:

  • EN 14764 for City and Trekking bicycles
  • EN 14766 for Mountain bicycles
  • EN 14781 for Racing bicycles
  • EN 14872 for Bicycles – Accessories for bicycles – Luggage carriers.

A reference to EN 14765, the safety standard for bicycles for young children has not yet been published in the Official Journal. 

CEN standards are designed to ensure a minimal level of product quality and to strengthen consumer protection legislation. They contain safety requirements for the most important bicycles components like brake systems, transmission systems, handlebars, stems, frames & front forks and saddles.

These standards apply in all 27 EU member states. However, in quite a number of member states there is no legal obligation to comply with the standards, they remain voluntary standards

The EU General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC states that: “A product shall be presumed safe as far as the risks and risk categories covered by national standards are concerned when it conforms to voluntary national standards transposing European standards, the references of which have been published by the Commission in the Official Journal of the European Union in accordance with Article 4 of that Directive.” As a result, since the publication of the references of the CEN standards in the Official Journal, it is a lot more difficult to prove that a bicycle is safe in case it causes a problem and does not comply with the standards. In other words, in court cases, it will be easier to prove the safety of a product if it has been tested according to the CEN standard.

In most member states, manufacturers are allowed to prove compliance with these standards through self-certification. However, CEN, the European Committee for Standardization, does recommend the use of a test lab that is specifically accredited to test according to the standards. For more information on the standards: www.cenorm.be

In the meantime, the new standard EN 15194 for EPACs, Electrically Power Assisted Cycles, has come into effect in 2009. The scope of the standard is EPACs with a voltage up to 48 DC, a maximum continuous rated power of 250 W and an output, which is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25 km/h.

Since the European Commission has officially confirmed that EPACs fall within the scope of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, the EN 15194 standard will have to be harmonised under that legislative text.

The CEN Technical Committee 333 is currently working on a standard for cycle locks, for bicycle trailers and for BMX bikes.

 

 

 

 

Comment on this article