This is a question regarding bureaucracy/testing. What are the quality tests / standards that a bicycle and/or its parts need to pass before access the market? I am thinking about Germany/USA and other big european markets.

What is preventing from setting up a carbon fiber press in my basement and starting selling ultralight carbon forks with a little fine print "not liable if ridden for more than 100 miles"?

My question steems from two thing: - fear and - the unpleasant feeling of seeing so many nice road bike from +-2005 which could be very good commuter bike ... apart from their carbon fork (it's my feeling: no implications or judgements, at the moment).

ps: apologize, I would refer to composite material in the tags, but I cannot create it ... but for SEO reasons I stiil put it here, I am really interested into the required standards for bike forks and composite forks and frame in composite carbon/crabon fiber CF.

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    What is preventing from setting up a carbon fiber press in my basement and starting selling ultralight carbon forks with a little fine print "not liable if ridden for more than 100 miles"? Likely the same things that prevent me from getting away with "Not liable if you don't get out of my way and I squash you" on a bumper sticker on the front bumper of my car. You can't just claim you're not liable and then do something you're liable for. Feb 28, 2019 at 16:04
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    @AndrewHenle pardon me, but we are not discussing or questioning common sense here: Walmart sells bike that looks like MTB, with a label saying "not for off-road use".
    – EarlGrey
    Feb 28, 2019 at 16:11
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    pardon me, but we are not discussing or questioning common sense here: Walmart sells bike that looks like MTB, with a label saying "not for off-road use". Well then hire a law firm and get an actual legal opinion that's worth something instead of fabricating examples that violate common sense. You know, like WalMart did. Feb 28, 2019 at 16:26
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    I'm curious, what do you think is bad about carbon fibre composite forks? Feb 28, 2019 at 18:37
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    There are minimal regulations as to what can be sold as a bicycle in the US. Mainly, if intended for street riding, it must have brakes, and, in some cases "redundant" (ie, front and rear) brakes. (As I understand it these are state laws and so may vary from state to state.) Of course, you may be subject to legal liability if someone is injured by a defective bike, but that's between you and your insurance company (which you'd better have). Feb 28, 2019 at 22:27

2 Answers 2


There are quite a number of standards that should be adhered to. The list below comes from the references section of the Bicycle page on Wikipedia

The TC149 ISO bicycle committee, including the TC149/SC1 ("Cycles and major sub-assemblies") subcommittee, has published the following standards:

  • ISO 4210 Cycles – Safety requirements for bicycles
  • ISO 6692 Cycles – Marking of cycle components
  • ISO 6695 Cycles – Pedal axle and crank assembly with square end fitting – Assembly dimensions
  • ISO 6696 Cycles – Screw threads used in bottom bracket assemblies
  • ISO 6697 Cycles – Hubs and freewheels – Assembly dimensions
  • ISO 6698 Cycles – Screw threads used to assemble freewheels on bicycle hubs
  • ISO 6699 Cycles – Stem and handlebar bend – Assembly dimensions
  • ISO 6701 Cycles – External dimensions of spoke nipples
  • ISO 6742 Cycles – Lighting and retro-reflective devices – Photometric and physical requirements
  • ISO 8090 Cycles – Terminology (same as BS 6102-4)
  • ISO 8098 Cycles – Safety requirements for bicycles for young children
  • ISO 8488 Cycles – Screw threads used to assemble head fittings on bicycle forks
  • ISO 8562 Cycles – Stem wedge angle
  • ISO 10230 Cycles – Splined hub and sprocket – Mating dimensions
  • ISO 11243 Cycles – Luggage carriers for bicycles – Concepts, classification and testing

Other ISO Technical Committees have published various cycle relevant standards, for example:

  • ISO 5775 Bicycle tire and rim designations
  • ISO 9633 Cycle chains – Characteristics and test methods

Published cycle standards from CEN TC333 include:

  • EN 14764 City and trekking bicycles – Safety requirements and test methods
  • EN 14765 Bicycles for young children – Safety requirements and test methods
  • EN 14766 Mountain-bicycles – Safety requirements and test methods
  • EN 14781 Racing bicycles – Safety requirements and test methods
  • EN 14782 Bicycles – Accessories for bicycles – Luggage carriers
  • EN 15496 Cycles – Requirements and test methods for cycle locks

Yet to be approved cycle standards from CEN TC333:

  • EN 15194 Cycles – Electrically power assisted cycles (EPAC bicycle)
  • EN 15532 Cycles – Terminology
  • Thanks, good starting point. I just learned that European commission "adopted a series of new standards: EN ISO 4210, parts 1-9 for city and trekking bicycles, mountain bicycles and racing bicycles, and standard EN ISO 8098 for bicycles for young children. These replace the previous standards EN 14764:2005, EN 14766:2005 and EN 14781:2005." eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32015D0681
    – EarlGrey
    Feb 28, 2019 at 16:42
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    Worth noting these are ISO standards, not legal requirements. (unless a territory has a law stating 'must comply with ISO xyz') I don't think you're implying they are, but it might not be clear to some readers. Feb 28, 2019 at 20:39
  • There are general liability requirements in the EU and in most other civilized parts for commercial sellers who put a product on the market. The danger resides in the huge amount of counterfeit products flooding the market, especially on-line.
    – Carel
    Mar 1, 2019 at 11:20

There is a growing neurosis over carbon fiber bikes it seems. This article describes this trend and the developing legal battles over liability. Source is long-published magazine, Outside, and there's general acceptance of it's journalistic integrity. The article, "Carbon Fiber Fails", begins telling the circumstances surrounding a rider's experience of a catastrophic carbon fork failure and examines the resulting legal machinations arising from that accident. Seemingly one of a rising trend involving carbon fiber.

Despite news like this, there is huge support and positive experiences with carbon fiber. This is reflected in bike forum discussions where the large majority of participants relate positive experiences with, and long-term, durable performance of, carbon fiber parts and frames when the topic is carbon fiber safety. Carbon Forks Durability.

My answer to what standards? what tests? comes from the perspective that two very powerful effectors of change--important litmus tests, as it were--are the courts and customer satisfaction. I think they're both in a bit of flux, but carbon fiber is a proven material whose role in bicycle manufacture will likely continue to expand.

A Stack Exchange thread looking at aluminum vs carbon forks. Answer reflects confidence in carbon, which is perhaps ultimately what you seek.

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