You’ve likely seen pre-assembled bikes available for purchase at sporting goods stores, local bicycle shops or big-box retailers. What you may not have realized is that there are specific safety standards to which retailers must adhere when assembling bikes for public sale.
These requirements exist to minimize the chances of bicyclists being injured in collisions.
What standards must retailers meet when assembling bikes?
These safety standards require retailers to install chain guard covers if a bike has both front and rear sprockets, a category into which at least 90% of bikes fall. These regulations also dictate that these guards should provide about 3.2 inches of coverage when measuring the distance from the central portion of the bicycle’s rear axle.
Regulators also require all retailers to equip the bikes they sell with at least rear hand brakes. They emphasize the importance of installing both front and rear brakes, though. The regulators expect any brakes that these retailers install to be able to bring a 150-pound cyclist to a complete stop in 15 feet if they’re traveling at 15 mph.
These same standards also require retailers to permanently mark the lowest seat and handlebar height settings that a bike can have.
Regulators also require the installation of specific reflectors on a bike. These standards call for retailers to place an amber reflector on the front wheel’s spokes and a red one on the back. Regulators require the front and back of the bike’s pedals to feature recessed reflectors as well.
What you can do if improper bike assembly resulted in your crash
There are inherent dangers that exist anytime bicyclists share the road with motorists. Few riders expect a retailer’s subpar assembly of their bikes to result in an uptick in their injury risk. It can happen, though.
Fortunately, New Jersey law allows victims of catastrophic crashes to hold parties liable for any injuries they suffer due to their negligence. An attorney here in Jersey City can let you know if your case warrants a lawsuit against a retailer or anyone else.