Fixies beware!

3 August 2010. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is cracking down on the fixie craze, warning of serious safety issues and threatening bike shops with fines of more than $1M.

In its latest bulletin the ACCC, which enforces national consumer safety standards for bikes, says retailers could be selling selling fixed gear bikes that do not comply with mandated safety standards, and that could put riders at risk of death or serious injury.

Fixies were being sold without front and rear brakes, according to the ACCC.

“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. “Whether this occurs in mixed road traffic or elsewhere, the rider can suffer serious head injuries, broken bones and/or 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,” the statement said.

To stamp out the illegal sales the ACCC has asked the public to report any supply of bikes without safety fixtures, such as brakes, reflectors and bells.

The Australian / New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1927:1988 Pedal bicycles – requires:.

  1. At least two brakes are fitted, one on the front wheel and the other on the back..
  2. Hand brakes are accessible to a rider in the normal riding position..
  3. 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..
  4. For bicycles with cantilever brakes-a safety device is fitted to prevent the stirrup cable from touching the tyre..
  5. For children’s bicycles (with a wheel base of 640-765 mm)-a back-pedal brake is fitted.

Any supplier whom is aware that a product does not meet the standard must withdraw it from the market immediately.  Fines range up to $1.1 million for companies up to $220 000 for individuals.

The link is here http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/937554

Shades of compulsory bike helmets!

About Peter Bartlett