Fixed-gear pedal bicycles - bulletin

Fixed-gear pedal bicycles - bulletin
Product safety bulletin
Fixed-gear pedal bicycles
July 2010
This bulletin alerts suppliers and users of pedal
bicycles about serious safety issues related to
fixed-gear bicycles, or ‘fixies’.
Two-wheeled fixed-gear bicycles are emerging as a new
type of recreation equipment. But these bikes may not
comply with Australian mandatory safety standards and
may put riders at risk of death or serious injury.
What are fixed-gear bicycles?
These are bicycles that have pedals chained directly to
the rear wheel so that whenever the wheel rotates the
pedals also rotate.
Some fixed-gear bikes are currently being sold without
several compulsory safety features required under the
mandatory standard for pedal bicycles in Australia and
under road safety laws. These include:
• front and rear brakes
• reflectors
• a warning mechanism for pedestrians and other
Laws applying to fixed-gear bikes
Supplying fixed-gear bikes in Australia without
compulsory safety features such as a front or back brake
is against the law. This applies to anyone in the business
of selling, selling through hire purchase, exchanging,
leasing or hiring these products.
To help reduce the risk of death or serious injury,
consumers should report any supply of bicycles without
safety features immediately to the ACCC by calling
1300 302 502 or visiting
Bicycles not required to comply
with the mandatory standard
• Bicycles with a wheel base of less than 640 mm.
• Bicycles that are designed, promoted and supplied
primarily for use in competition such as track racing.
• One-of-a-kind bicycles—that is, bicycles that are
uniquely constructed to the order of an individual
• Bicycles that are designed to be hinged or folded, or
to be taken apart beyond removal of the front wheel,
for ease of storage or portability.
• Tandem bicycles.
• Power-assisted bicycles.
• Bicycles showing signs of appreciable wear or
second-hand bicycles.
• Recumbent bicycles.
Death or serious injury
Having no brakes or only a front brake can cause the
rider to lose control and be propelled over the handlebars
to the ground. Whether this occurs in mixed road traffic
or elsewhere, the rider can suffer:
• serious head injuries
• broken bones
• lacerations and bruises.
Pedestrians and other bike riders are also at risk of
serious injury or death if someone riding a fixed-gear bike
loses control and collides with them.
Mandatory standard for pedal
The mandatory standard is based on Australian / New
Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1927:1988 Pedal bicycles—
Safety requirements.
The following checklist provides suppliers and
consumers with information about aspects of pedal
bicycles they can visually check to ensure they comply
with the mandatory standard.
Product safety bulletin
Fixed-gear pedal cycles
Bicycle checklist for suppliers
• At least two brakes are fitted, one on the front wheel
and the other on the back.
• Hand brakes are accessible to a rider in the normal
riding position.
• Tyres are marked in lettering at least 3 mm high with
the manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure
in kilopascals. If the inflation pressure is in units other
than kilopascals, the instruction manual gives the
kilopascal equivalent.
Protective guards
• The right lever connects to the front brake and the left
lever to the rear brake.
• For children’s bicycles (with a wheel base of
640–765 mm)—a guard encloses the chain wheel
and the upper run of the chain.
• Brake friction pads are securely attached to the
backing plate or holder and, when applied, touch only
the wheel rim.
• For all other bicycles—the upper junction of the
chain and chain wheel has a guard that can only be
removed using a tool.
• For bicycles with cantilever brakes—a safety device
is fitted to prevent the stirrup cable from touching
the tyre.
• Derailleur gears fitted to rear wheels have a protective
• For children’s bicycles (with a wheel base of
640–765 mm)—a back-pedal brake is fitted.
• Reflectors that comply with Australian Standard
AS 2142 Reflectors for pedal bicycles are fitted,
• For pedals with a definite preferred position—the
upper side (at least) of the pedals have tread.
• For pedals designed to be used with toe clips—if toe
clips are optional, the pedal surfaces have tread. If
the pedals are designed only for use with toe clips,
the toe clips are fitted to the pedal.
–– at least one rear red reflector
• For all other pedals—both pedal surfaces have tread.
–– at least one yellow reflector on each wheel and
visible from each side
–– yellow reflectors on the front and rear sides of
the pedals
• Ends of handlebars are securely capped or covered
by other end-mounted devices.
–– at least one white front reflector.
• Handgrips are secure.
• A bell or other suitable audible warning device
is fitted.
• Handlebar stems have either a permanent ring or
a mark to indicate the minimum insertion depth or a
positive and permanent way to ensure insertion to at
least the minimum depth.
Sharp edges
Seat pillar
• All parts of the bicycle that could come into contact
with the rider’s hands or legs are free from sharp
edges, including:
• Seat pillar has a permanent mark or ring indicating
minimum insertion depth.
Bell or other warning device
–– each end of the front mudguard
–– the rear end of the rear mudguard
• Where lights are fitted, they meet Australian Standard
AS 3562 Lighting equipment for bicycles and/or
the requirements permitted by a relevant regulatory
authority such as the local road traffic authority.
–– each end of the chain guard
–– the end of the kick stand.
Control cables
• Control cables for brakes and gears have end
protectors to stop them unravelling.
Wheels and tyres
• The wheels are secured to the frame with a positive
locking device with securely tightened nuts.
• Quick-release devices that:
–– are adjustable to allow setting for tightness
–– clearly indicate the open and locked positions
through their form and markings.
• Permanent markings either stamped or engraved on
the frame state the:
–– name and address in Australia of the manufacturer,
importer or other supplier
–– identification number of the bicycle.
Product safety bulletin
Fixed-gear pedal bicycles
Informative labelling
Supplier responsibilities
• For fully assembled bicycles with misaligned
handlebars—there is a cautionary label on the
handlebars advising that adjustment is required.
Suppliers have a responsibility to ensure that the goods
they stock meet mandatory safety standards.
• For bicycles with misaligned handlebars and
detached pedals—there is a cautionary label advising
that attachment and adjustment is required.
• For all other partially assembled bicycles—the
consumer package has:
–– the following warning in bold capital letters
15 mm high:
–– a list in lettering at least 10 mm high of the
detached components and the tools necessary
for proper assembly and adjustment, including the
recommendation that a torque wrench be used.
–– the following warning, with the word ‘warning’ in
capitals 20 mm high and the remaining words no
lower than 10 mm on each detached component
or the consumer package:
• For bicycles that are styled like a BMX off-road or
stunt bicycle but are not actually suited for that
purpose—the following warning is attached on an
adhesive label in a prominent position in capital letters
at least 3 mm high:
To aid compliance, retailers should always read the
detailed requirements outlined and cross-referenced in:
• AS/NZS 1927:1988 Pedal bicycles—Safety
requirements (available for purchase at
• Consumer Protection Notice No. 6 of 2004 (available
Suppliers should always request that pedal bicycles
they order meet the mandatory standard, and undertake
visual checks of stock to ensure it complies with
obvious requirements.
Penalties and consequences
As a supplier you may identify or be made aware that the
bicycles you supply do not comply with the mandatory
standard. If this occurs, you must immediately withdraw
the product from the market.
Further action such as initiating an immediate product
recall may also be required, depending on the particular
circumstances and level of risk.
Supplying products that do not comply with a mandatory
standard is an offence under the Trade Practices Act 1974.
Fines for non-compliance are:
• up to $1.1 million for companies
• up to $220 000 for individuals.
• The bicycle is supplied with an owner’s manual
containing instructions for use and maintenance.
• For partially assembled bicycles—the instruction
manual includes assembly instructions.
For more information about mandatory standards, bans, recalls
and emerging issues—and to subscribe to email alerts and RSS
feeds—visit our websites:
You can also follow us on Twitter:
ACCC Infocentre: 1300 302 502
Callers who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment can
contact us through the National Relay Service:
Voice-only (speak and listen) users phone: 1300 555 727 and ask
for 1300 302 502
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
23 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
© Commonwealth of Australia 2010
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Important notice
The information in this publication is for general guidance only. It does not
constitute legal or other professional advice, and should not be relied on as
a statement of the law in any jurisdiction. Because it is intended only as a
general guide, it may contain generalisations. You should obtain professional
advice if you have any specific concern.
The ACCC has made every reasonable effort to provide current and accurate
information, but it does not make any guarantees regarding the accuracy,
currency or completeness of that information.
ISBN 978 1 921581 70 0
ACCC 07/10_42395
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