Alan Cater, the BA’s consultant on matters technical, is to create a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to keep BA members better informed on forthcoming regulations eminating from the standards-mad European Commission

Red tape to be tagged by BAGB

Cater will be on the BA stand at the International Cycle Convention in Harrogate in May and he has invited BA members and non-members to quiz him on the new TAG initiative.

Here’s the tech talk he gave at yesterday’s AGM of the Bicycle Association:

"The current trend, within the EU, to move towards greater unification and harmonised legislation has led to a considerable expansion in technical work associated with the drafting and codification of bicycle safety standards. In the last few years no less than 7 new CEN committees / work groups have been set-up to support this work with the target of having agreed harmonised standards published during 2003.

"Various individuals, on behalf of and funded by the BA, have been working hard within these work groups to achieve the agreed deadlines set by CEN, this work will undoubtedly lead to further changes to braking requirements and more emphasis on fatigue testing of components.

"Information relating to these changes is filtering through and being communicated via the BA, however, due to the importance of this new legislation and the ongoing requirement for technical support the BA has decided to form a small Technical Advisory Group to support its members.

"Your TAG members are technical experts drawn from the bicycle industry with many years experience of the industry as well as considerable expertise and knowledge associated with the inner working of International and National safety committees.

"This group provides a powerful body that can contribute to and influence international and national safety committees due to its expertise in design, research and testing associated with the commercial manufacture and assembly of bicycles and their associated components. This is acknowledged by the fact that members of BA-TAG currently hold key roles on the many committees that are working on the formulation of future bicycle and bicycle related safety standards. These key roles include the chair of ISO, CEN and BSI technical safety committees as well as UK work group leaders and representation on various sub committees.

"TAG can provide support and advise to BA members and the Bicycle Industry on all technical matters ranging from representing the UK and the industry on International and National safety committees through to the provision of a technical advisory support service backed up by a central technical information resource.

"In order to offer a more efficient and enhanced BA technical resource centre the Technical Advisory Group will over the next few months review and update their existing technical library of standards and other specific information. Further, it will be developing closer links with Government bodies involved in the policing and drafting of legislation associated with bicycling and safety standards."

"Your TAG is at present involved in a considerable number of international and national safety committees:


British Standards Institute: Technical Committee GME 25 for Bicycles.

The BA has very strong representation on this committee as well as providing the Chairman. GME 25 is the main UK forum for discussion and approval of all aspects of bicycle standards domestic as well as International. Members are drawn from many walks of life from consumer groups through to Government agencies.


European Committee for Standardisation:

Technical Committee 333

Technical Committee 333 was given the following objectives and strategic direction, during 1998, for its future work:

To improve the safety of bicycles in Europe:

To harmonise Standards across Europe:

To eliminate trade barriers:

To prepare EU standards that are, as much as possible, based on world wide activity (ISO Standards), in order to have in the EU and the rest of the world common requirements applicable to this product:

TC 333 mandated the setting up of six work groups.

CEN TC 333 WG1: Safety requirements for bicycles intended to be used on the public road.

WG1a: Safety requirements of bicycles for young children not intended to be used on the public road.

CEN TC 333 WG2: Safety requirements of mountain bikes for use on terrain other than public roads.

CEN TC 333 WG3: Racing Bicycles – Safety requirements and test methods.

CEN TC333 WG4: Accessories for bicycles.

Present work, luggage carriers and child seats.

CEN TC 333 WG5: Electric Power assisted bicycles: EPACs:

Safety requirements, test methods and instructions for use.

CEN TC333 WG6: Terminology.

Description of common terms used in the field of bicycles.

Members of TAG are closely involved and attend all work group meetings as well as holding the chair of the main Technical Committee, TC 333 and the convenorship of WG2.


International Standards Organisation:

ISO TC 149

Over the years the TAG have invested considerable time and effort in ISO work with the ultimate aim of the adoption of an International harmonised safety standard for bicycles. We currently hold the chair of the main ISO/TC149 committee as well as leading the UK delegates on the various work groups. Because of this groundbreaking work CEN have adopted many of the requirements and test proposals outlined in existing ISO safety standards. Work continues on these standards with the close co-operation of CEN work groups, it is hoped that many of the new approaches made by CEN such as revised braking requirements will eventually be adopted by ISO.

ISO/TC149/SC1/WG4 Mountain Bicycles:

Work on the draft proposal is near completion, this will be forwarded to the ISO

Secretariat for circulation.

ISO 8098: Bicycles for young children:

Revisions are complete awaiting outcome of ballot before final publication.

"I would like to extend a welcome to all members attending the show, to the BA stand, where we can discuss at a more personal level technical matters or concerns that you might have over future safety standards legislation. Further, in an attempt the improve our level of service, I would welcome your ideas and contribution as to what the membership would like from the TAG."

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