article

European Standards for Bicycles

Laws & Regulations

BRUSSELS, Belgium – The European Standardisation Committee (CEN) has announced the review of four European bicycle standards.

European Standards for Bicycles

Before the revised versions of these standards could be published in the Official Journal, the European Commission was first required to set the specific safety requirements that the European standards should satisfy, and give a mandate to CEN to draw up those standards.

These bicycle standards are:

  • EN 14764:2005 for city and trekking bikes
  • EN 14766:2005 for mountain bicycles
  • EN 14781:2005 for racing bicycles
  • EN 14872:2005 for luggage carriers
  • RN 14765:2005 for bicycles for young children

The Commission did this by means of its Decision of 29 November 2011 on the safety requirements to be met by European standards for bicycles, bicycles for young children, and luggage carriers for bicycles pursuant to Directive 2001/95/EC. The Decision listed the following safety requirements:

  1. PART I:  Specific safety requirements theor bicycles
    SECTION 1: Safety requirements applicable to all types of bicycles
    SECTION 2: Additional safety requirements applicable to specific bicycles
    – Bicycles for young children
    – Mountain bicycles
    – Racing Bicycles
  2. PART II: Specific safety requirements for luggage carriers for bicycles

With this Decision, the European Commission has now set a very first set of requirements that bicycles have to comply with in order to be 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.”

In addition, 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 the majority of member states there is no legal obligation to comply with the standards, they remain voluntary standards.

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 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.

Cycle locks

Furthermore, the CEN Technical Committee 333 has developed EN 15532 for Terminology and EN 15496 for Cycle locks, whereas it is in the process of developing a standard for bicycle trailers and one for BMX bikes.

Comment on this article