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Safety Standards for Bicycles Getting Globalized

Laws & Regulations

BAD SODEN, Germany – The safety standards for bicycles are being globalized. It is the result of a long term discussion between industry stakeholders, test-houses and experts from universities in Europe, America and Asia. On September 1, 2015 the first ISO 4210-2 has been published. This is the safety standard for City-/Trekking-/MTB/Road- and Young Adult bikes.

Safety Standards for Bicycles Getting Globalized
CEN TC 333 Chairman Siegfried Neuberger, ‘Differences between old EN and new ISO standard are not that big.’ – Photo Bike Europe

In Bike Europe’s October edition CEN TC 333 Chairman Siegfried Neuberger clarified the transition from CEN standards to ISO ones. In this interview he said, “The differences between the old EN and the new ISO standard for bicycles distributed on the European market are not that big so we don’t expect many problems. Important for the industry was the publication of the ISO standards in the Official Journal of the European Union in April this year under the General Product Safety Directive 2001/95/EC.”

ISO 4210-2 safety standard

The on September 1 published ISO 4210-2 safety standard for City-/Trekking-/MTB/Road- and Young Adult bikes includes the five named categories in one standard despite the big differences in these product categories. According to Neuberger this was the result of consultations on ISO level.

“We decided it would make more sense to put all categories together in the ISO 4210 part 1 to 9. In ISO 4210 part 2 for each category the requirements e.g. for the handlebar, the frame, the fork etc. are laid down. As the test methods are all the same for the different types of bicycles, the different test-forces are in tables which are defined in the parts 3 to 9 of 4210. This structure makes it much more transparent for bicycle manufacturers as well as its suppliers. For example a handlebar manufacturer only has to check if his production and test facilities are in line with ISO 4210-5 and the requirements described in ISO 4210-2.”

New category

‘Young adult bikes’ is a new category for Europe. It’s there for closing the gap between the testing methods and requirements of kid and adult bikes. Neuberger notes, “The old EN-standards only made a difference between children bikes with a maximum saddle height of 635 mm and adult bikes with a saddle height above 635 mm. The big gap created problems for bicycles which are just over 635 mm saddle height. These bicycles have to be tested in conformity with the adult-bike requirements which do not fit to these small bikes.

Therefore the ISO working group decided to create the new category ‘young adult bikes’. In the new definition the maximum saddle height of kids bikes in ISO 8098 remains 635 mm while the ‘young adult bikes’ in ISO 4210 have a saddle height between 635 mm and 750 mm. The requirements are adjusted to this new category”

The new ISO 8098:2014 is applicable to bicycles with a maximum saddle height of more than 435 mm and less than 635 mm. It does not hold big differences with the old CEN 14765 standard as it formed the basis for the new ISO standard.”

ISO 4210:6

On September 1, 2015 also ISO 4210:6 on frame and fork test methods has been published. “This was not a completely new publication, said Neuberger in the Bike Europe interview. “It was only a correction of the publication as done in July 2014. This included some mistakes, nothing more.

The same goes for the ISO 4210-2 on requirements published last September. The next publication of the ISO 4210 can be expected latest in five years. That’s the normal procedure for a full review of ISO standards.”

Transition period

On the transition period for the bicycle industry to apply to these new standards, Neuberger said, “The publication was in 2014 and the transitional period ended at the 30th of June 2015 for children’s bicycles and 31st of July for adult’s bikes.”

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