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Magazines & Newsletters / ASTM Standardization News

Bicycles Around the World

January/February 2008

Bicycles Around the World

ASTM standards keep bikes moving safely

Bicycle test

Bicycles have become an important mode of transportation and recreation everywhere around the globe. So important, in fact, that it is estimated that there are now more than one billion bikes worldwide, with bicycling being the primary mode of transportation in some countries. In other words, there are enough bikes on this planet to keep Subcommittee F08.10 on Bicycles busy for years to come. The subcommittee, which is part of ASTM International Committee F08 on Sport Equipment and Facilities, develops standards that enhance the safety of bikes and their owners.

Patrick Logan became chair of the subcommittee in November and says that its mission is to develop standards that represent both requirements and test methods to ensure the safety of bikes. “We want to develop standards that make sense in a global setting and provide manufacturers with a single, effective set of tests for international bike applications,” says Logan, who worked for Burley Design for 10 years and is now a consultant who does design work and some accident investigation. “It’s really helpful for our community to be able to operate through ASTM International to develop standards that address areas that are not covered by other standards.”

Among the important standards developed by F08.10 so far are F 1625, Specification and Test Method for Rear-Mounted Bicycle Child Carriers, F 1975, Specification for Nonpowered Bicycle Trailers Designed for Human Passengers, F 2043, Classification for Bicycle Usage, and F 2273, Test Methods for Bicycle Forks.

Another F08.10 standard whose impact is gradually being felt is F 2268, Specification for Bicycle Serial Numbers, first approved in 2003. The serial numbers would be helpful in providing information for bikes that have been in accidents, stolen or involved in a recall. “Big manufacturers are beginning to put serial numbers on their bikes that match the format shown in the standard,” says Logan. “However, more awareness of F 2268 is needed so that police and others involved can understand the vehicle identification number and be able to investigate it.”

In addition to maintaining its current standards, F08.10 is currently developing proposed new standards on a variety of bike-related subjects, including bicycle frames, front wheel retention and trailer cycles. The subcommittee meets twice a year, once in the spring during Committee F08’s general meeting and again in conjunction with the Interbike International Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nev., each fall.

While the subcommittee is large, Logan encourages participation from all parties in its continuing activities. “We are definitely looking for more involvement from the bicycle community,” says Logan. “We’d like all different groups that are associated with bikes to be involved. It’s a busy time for the subcommittee and we are responding to things on a priority basis. With more involvement, we can accomplish that much more.”