What is the purpose of the requirements for bicycles?
This regulation increases the safety of bicycles by establishing, among other things, requirements for assembly, braking, protrusions, structural integrity and reflectors. Bicycles that fail any of the requirements are banned under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.
Where can I find the requirements for bicycles?
The requirements are in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in Title 16, Part 1512.
What is a bicycle?
A bicycle is defined in §1512.2 as either (1) a two-wheeled vehicle having a rear drive wheel solely human-powered; or (2) a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 mph.
The bicycle requirements cover two different types of bicycles. Those with a seat that is more than 25 inches above the ground when the seat is adjusted to its highest position must meet all of the requirements. Sidewalk bicycles – those with a seat height of 25 inches or less – are exempt from some of the requirements or have other alternative requirements. These exemptions and alternatives are marked in bold type in this summary. Please consult §1512.2 of the requirements for more information on how to measure seat height.
Are any bicycles exempt from the requirements?
Yes. Track bicycles designed and intended for use in competition that have tubular tires, a single crank–towheel ratio, and no freewheeling feature are exempt. So are one-of-a-kind bicycles made to the order of an individual without assembling stock or production parts.
How are bicycles tested in general?
Assembled bicycles must meet the requirements of the regulation in the condition in which they are offered for sale. Unassembled or partially assembled bicycles must meet the requirements after assembly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
|Figure 1 – Illustration of a bicycle and its parts
Are there any general requirements that bicycles must meet?
(1) Adults of normal intelligence and ability must be able to assemble a bicycle that requires assembly.
(2) A bicycle may not have unfinished sheared metal edges or other sharp parts that may cut a rider’s hands or legs. Sheared metal edges must be rolled or finished to remove burrs or feathering.
(3) When the bicycle is tested for braking (§1512.18(d) and/or (e)) or road performance (§1512.18(p) or (q)), neither the frame, nor any steering part, wheel, pedal, crank, or braking system part may show a visible break.
(4) Screws, bolts, and nuts used to fasten parts may not loosen, break, or fail during testing.
(5) Control cables must be routed so that they do not fray from contact with fixed parts of a bicycle or with the ends of the cable sheaths. The ends of control cables must be capped or treated so that they do not unravel.
(6) A bicycle may not have any protrusions within the