Aussie bike shops face $1.1 million fine in fixie clampdown

Bikes must have front & rear brakes, says safety body... oh, and reflectors and bell

by Simon_MacMichael   August 12, 2010  

Fixed gear bike running brakeless © Simon MacMichael.jpg

Bicycle dealers in Australia selling fixed gear bikes, as much a part of bike culture there as elsewhere in the world, are now being threatened with fines of up to $1.1 million if they do not comply with consumer safety standards, including the provision of both front and rear brakes.

In a July 2010 bulletin, government trading standards body the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warns that some bikes being sold by retailers could contravene consumer safety legislation and legal safety requirements.

"Having no brakes or only a front brake can cause the rider to lose control and be propelled over the handlebars to the ground," the ACCC said in its bulletin.

"Whether this occurs in mixed road traffic or elsewhere, the rider can suffer serious head injuries, broken bones and/or lacerations and bruises,” it continued.

"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," the ACCC added.

The ACCC is now calling on members of the public to let it know of bike shops selling bicycles that contravene safety standards, such as those without bells or reflectors as well as brakes.

According to the section governing brakes of the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1927:1988 Pedal bicycles— Safety Requirements:

  • 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.
  • The right lever connects to the front brake and the left lever to the rear brake.
  • Brake friction pads are securely attached to the backing plate or holder and, when applied, touch only the wheel rim.
  • For bicycles with cantilever brakes—a safety device is fitted to prevent the stirrup cable from touching the tyre.
  • For children’s bicycles (with a wheel base of 640–765 mm)—a back-pedal brake is fitted.

Last year, we reported how police in Germany had confiscated fixed gear bikes that did not comply with the legal requirement to have two brakes.

In the UK, The Pedal Cycles Construction and Use Regulations 1983 require pedal cycles "with a saddle height over 635mm to have two independent braking systems, with one acting on the front wheel(s) and one on the rear".

One common interpretation of this is that having a front brake and a fixed rear wheel satisfes this requirement.
 

45 user comments

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and before the flames start with the the ol' 'fat Aussie' chestnut and cyclehelmets.org BS..

OECD stats show -
Aussie adults with a BMI above 30 is 21.7%
UK adults with BMI above 30 is 24%
http://stats.oecd.org/health/

Lets have a look at some of the other stats on the OECD site...
Life Expectancy -
Australia is ranked 3rd
UK is ranked 18th
http://stats.oecd.org/health/

How about heart disease?
Australia 110.9 deaths per 100,000 people
UK 122 deaths per 100,000 people
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_hea_dis_dea-health-heart-disease-d...

And while the nonsense stats from the cyclehelmets.org and their 'selective' use of data show drops in cycling numbers, lets look at at cycling patterns in Perth WA (as it is touted as an example of how cycling helmet laws caused a drop in cycling).

The Department of Transport data (an edited 'version' of which is used on cyclehelmets.org) on cycling numbers since 1998 shows a 450% INCREASE in the number of cyclists.
http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/cycling/20051.asp

Of course the Department's data collection methods and full stats are available on that site, unlike cyclehelmets.org's 'dead' links and 'edited' excel spreadsheets supposedly from the Department of Transport.

Long Live the Nanny State!!

posted by blundershot [20 posts]
13th August 2010 - 18:02

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tony_farrelly wrote:
Wow, sounds great over there. Maybe one day you'll have cycle usage on a par with the Netherlands or Denmark where they are all forced to wear lids too… oh hold on

chances are we will get closer than the UK ever will =P

edit: we are not 'forced' to wear helmets any more than we are 'forced' to not speed in our cars...
also we are conditioned from early childhood to wear a hat because of the sun (in school 'not hat no play' rules apply) so wearing a helmet is quite natural for us...
And I fail to see any relationship between cycling numbers and helmet laws... and the stats back that up.

posted by blundershot [20 posts]
13th August 2010 - 18:23

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no, the Dutch don't seem to see any relationship either Thinking

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4131 posts]
13th August 2010 - 18:29

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tony_farrelly wrote:
no, the Dutch don't seem to see any relationship either Thinking

no helmet laws in the UK and not many cyclists either... but then don't let logic get in the way of your vanity whine

edit: I'm ready to admit it may not be vanity... perhaps you're just 'fighting the man'

posted by blundershot [20 posts]
13th August 2010 - 18:33

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blundershot wrote:
tony_farrelly wrote:
no, the Dutch don't seem to see any relationship either Thinking

no helmet laws in the UK and not many cyclists either... but then don't let logic get in the way of your vanity whine

Err, actually the average percentage of passenger journeys by bicycle in Australian capital cities is 1.3% compared to over 2% in London.

That, BTW, is a decline since 2001, when it was 1.4%.

Even in Melbourne, which is by far the biggest cycling city, it is only 1.6%. Sydney is a pathetic .8%.

But don't let facts get in the way of the right of every Australian to an utterly misguided sense of superiority, blessedly preserved by blind insularity.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [494 posts]
14th August 2010 - 7:41

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and can you back your claims up with stats? I doubt it...
give me "misguided sense of superiority, blessedly preserved by blind insularity" over constant whining over the simple act of wearing a helmet... bleat on - it is your national pastime

*the only reason I post about this issue is because I am sick of the constant 'soft racism' about cycling in Aus... so there ya go.. a serve back at ya

edit: I guess you are quoting cyclehelmets.org with yr claims... well read my post above about what a load of BS their stats are

posted by blundershot [20 posts]
14th August 2010 - 11:04

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Melbourne riding was like a race with loads of riders commuting it was great but all had helmets as it is the law.

Didn't Oz see a decline in cyclists with helmet use becoming law?

I guess we can frown but there are many idiot cyclists who can crash into a elderly walker killing them or losing control and killing themselves.

Nothing will stop 100% but 2 brakes is fine by us roadies!

I like my bike but it needs a hidden 25cc motor Smile

Fish_n_Chips's picture

posted by Fish_n_Chips [325 posts]
14th August 2010 - 14:30

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Fish_n_Chips wrote:
...Didn't Oz see a decline in cyclists with helmet use becoming law?...

that's a myth perpetuated by the likes of cyclehelmets.org to support their cause, the reality of cycling numbers in West Oz is better reflected in the stats published by the DoT (see above)

posted by blundershot [20 posts]
14th August 2010 - 16:09

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blundershot wrote:
I guess you are quoting cyclehelmets.org with yr claims... well read my post above about what a load of BS their stats are

nobody mentioned helmets until you did, since it's not what this story is about. why do you keep going on about them?

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7236 posts]
14th August 2010 - 16:27

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italiafirenze wrote: "It's almost as if Australia would rather nobody cycled, given the amount of rules and legislation they have regarding the area."

I assume he was posting about helmets... what other 'rules and legislation' would he be discussing when having a go at Aussie cycling?

Helmet laws in Oz being such a fun topic in the UK (ya can have a laugh at how fat Aussies are at the same time as backing your anti helmet cause - if you believe the BS stats)

posted by blundershot [20 posts]
14th August 2010 - 16:55

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blundershot wrote:
I assume he was posting about helmets...

certainly if you've got a particular bee in your bonnet, that's the assumption you'd make...

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7236 posts]
14th August 2010 - 16:56

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abudhabichris wrote:
Err, actually the average percentage of passenger journeys by bicycle in Australian capital cities is 1.3% compared to over 2% in London.

blundershot wrote:
and can you back your claims up with stats? I doubt it...

you might want to take a quick look at the modal share stats in this article:

http://chartingtransport.wordpress.com/2010/01/16/urban-density-and-publ...

it might all be lies, of course. but the author doesn't seem to have any particular axe to grind. i don't know if he wears a helmet on his bike, or even if he rides one Big Grin

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7236 posts]
14th August 2010 - 17:09

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off topic (or more off topic I guess): does that moustache have any relationship to Godwin's Law?

posted by blundershot [20 posts]
14th August 2010 - 17:11

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here's the paper it relates to, if anyone's interested

AttachmentSize
paper10-Mees.pdf 196.21 KB
Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7236 posts]
14th August 2010 - 17:11

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Perth's down as 1.2% modal share for cycling on the data from 2000-2006. assuming the total level of journeys hasn't changed the 2010 stats from blundershot's post suggest it's upped it's share to about double that, so top marks to Perth for pulling their fingers out. That's better than London. It's hardly Assen though.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7236 posts]
14th August 2010 - 17:17

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blundershot wrote:
off topic (or more off topic I guess): does that moustache have any relationship to Godwin's Law?

http://www.theonion.com/personalities/herbert-kornfeld,1019/

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7236 posts]
14th August 2010 - 17:21

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Dave, thanks for spending the time to read and interpret the figures.

posted by blundershot [20 posts]
14th August 2010 - 17:25

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So if there's no relationship between helmet laws and bicycle use, and those countries with the highest levels of cycling don't have helmet laws why are you so keen to tell us that we should be forced to wear helmets seeing as it'll make damn all difference?

Oh and not wearing a helmet in these parts is not 'fighting the man' cos 'the man' doesn't believe in helmet laws either.

I am vain though.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4131 posts]
14th August 2010 - 20:14

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Tony, I can't see where I suggested you should wear a helmet

posted by blundershot [20 posts]
14th August 2010 - 21:31

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So basically your point would seem to boil down to:

"Australia is better than the UK ya boo!" – It might well be, I've never been there;

Nanny knows best - especially if nanny is an Aussie;

Brit cyclists spend all our time whingeing about helmets laws (surely you're falling for a cultural stereotype there… what was that about soft racism?);

And when we're not banging on about how we don't want to wear lids (which we don't have to anyway) we're chuntering on about how fat Aussies are – you're the first person to mention that on this site – all the Australians I know are skinny as rakes;

Finally all we talk about are Australian helmet laws - can't find much mention of them in these parts either though.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4131 posts]
14th August 2010 - 23:04

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hmmm...

posted by blundershot [20 posts]
15th August 2010 - 6:53

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blundershot wrote:
and can you back your claims up with stats? I doubt it...
give me "misguided sense of superiority, blessedly preserved by blind insularity" over constant whining over the simple act of wearing a helmet... bleat on - it is your national pastime

edit: I guess you are quoting cyclehelmets.org with yr claims... well read my post above about what a load of BS their stats are

Actually I am Australian, but of course you just made an assumption without any facts.

Second, the stats I quoted came from the Cycling Resource Centre, part of the Australian Bicycle Council which is charged with implementing the National Cycling Strategy - and what a fine job they appear to be doing.

Any more holes you want to keep digging into ???

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [494 posts]
15th August 2010 - 7:55

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abudhabiChris wrote:

Actually I am Australian.

yeah right LMFAO

posted by blundershot [20 posts]
15th August 2010 - 8:16

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"Second, the stats I quoted came from the Cycling Resource Centre, part of the Australian Bicycle Council which is charged with implementing the National Cycling Strategy - and what a fine job they appear to be doing."

Yes they seem to be doing a fine job on the east coast of Australia...

Now can you point to where the data is located that you refer to? The only data I can find on their website seems to confirm the data presented by myself and Dave.

posted by blundershot [20 posts]
15th August 2010 - 8:24

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Do you make a habit of questioning other people without any evidence or contrary facts, or is it just something you practise occasionally ?

Here's the link - it's under Cycling Data.

http://www.cyclingresourcecentre.org.au/15/Cycling_data

You're welcome.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [494 posts]
15th August 2010 - 14:32

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Projecting a little there Chris? Too many gins at the shopping mall? Maybe living the colonial dream has frazzled your mind (it does get hot out there in the empire)...

Those stats of yours confirm what I have been posting. Thanks.

posted by blundershot [20 posts]
15th August 2010 - 17:27

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blundershot wrote:
Those stats of yours confirm what I have been posting. Thanks.

And those posts of yours seem to confirm what I thought about Australians, and it had nothing to do with them being fat (which is something I have never associated with them until now).

I mean, just because you are Australian doesn't mean you have to defend everything that your Government imposes on you. I certainly wouldn't be defending my Government if they imposed yet more unnecessary restrictions on me and my life.

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [648 posts]
15th August 2010 - 19:18

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Are you sure you found the right ones this time - you needed a little help there, what with it being listed under the heading Cycling Data. Tricky stuff, I can see why you were confused.

So we agree that cycling decreased in Australia over a five year period and is considerably lower than London as a mode of transport.

I'm glad it's all been cleared up at last.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [494 posts]
16th August 2010 - 7:12

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abudhabiChris wrote:

Are you sure you found the right ones this time - you needed a little help there, what with it being listed under the heading Cycling Data. Tricky stuff, I can see why you were confused.

So we agree that cycling decreased in Australia over a five year period and is considerably lower than London as a mode of transport.

I'm glad it's all been cleared up at last.

I don't know what you have been smoking there in the mall mate... but it doesn't show that at all... Perhaps you should read all of my comments, links and what was posted by Dave...

What it does does show is that YOU really don't need a helmet - you have nothing of value to protect

posted by blundershot [20 posts]
17th August 2010 - 10:55

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I'm not quite sure what the Australian argument is about. The UK and Australia have a similar level of cycling - about 1% of all journeys are made by bike. Perth has the highest level of cycling of Australia's major cities, Sydney the lowest. London is above average for the UK.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to my visit to Melbourne in October. I'll take in the UCI World Champs in Geelong, participate in the Around the Bay in a Day ride, and check out the many new cycle paths which appear to have been created since I last visited 10 years ago.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1321 posts]
17th August 2010 - 11:25

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