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Bicycle I.D. System Being Developed to
Deter Theft

The ASTM Bicycle Accessories Task Group is developing a standard bicycle identification numbering system to be applied by manufacturers.

“Bicycle vehicle identification is similar to the automobile VIN number,” said the task group chair, Patrick Logan, P.E., engineer, Product Development, Burley Design Cooperative, Eugene, Ore. “It is a coded number in a fixed format for all bike manufacturers. The number would indicate such things as the manufacturer, date of manufacture, specific plant, and unit number.” Placement of the code and number of digits is being discussed; comments are welcomed.

“The standard is needed to counter the increasing number of bike thefts,” he explained. “Our initial request for this effort came from the Denver Police Department. They are reportedly confronting over $2 million in bike theft annually.”

Logan said the proposed standard’s point of contention is the location on the bicycle. “Manufacturers want to engrave or stamp the bottom bracket (housing for the pedal crank) where there exists adequate material for the purpose,” he said, adding that police prefer I.D. placement on an upper area of the bicycle, to avoid lifting.

The task group, which is part of Subcommittee F08.10 on Bicycles within Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities, is seeking information from stakeholders. “The effort could use more input from police groups as well as manufacturers,” Logan concluded. “The purpose is to come up with a useable standard that can then be adopted by regulation. The standard needs to serve the needs of police without adding hardship to manufacturers.”

Technical comments may be directed to Patrick Logan, Burley Design Cooperative, 4020 Stewart Rd., Eugene, OR 97402 (541/687-1644; fax: 541/687-0436). Committee F08 meets May 9-12, 2001, in Phoenix, Ariz. For meeting or membership details, contact Staff Manager Jim Olshefsky, ASTM (610/ 832-9714). //

Copyright 2000, ASTM