I heard a rumor that there is a legal requirement for bicycles in Germany to have treaded tires. I found this quite surprising and took a look at the regulations:

StVZO §36 (3) requires treaded tires with a minimum depth of 1mm on motorized bicycles (E-Bikes), but has no requirements on regular bicycles.

However, StVZO §63 states that the legal requirements regarding tires (and other aspects) for motorized vehicles shall also be applied to "other vehicles", which include bicycles (or not?). In other words, the requirements for car tires also apply to bicycle (non-motorized) tires, which includes a tread pattern with a minimum of 1.6mm.

This would mean that most non-MTB tires (including tires for road, touring, or even gravel) are illegal to use on non-motorized bikes, and that almost all ordinary city-bikes sold aren't street-legal without changing tires. This seems hard to believe, is it true?

  • 2
    If the German law is so convoluted as ours, I wouldn't be surprised if it uses the same word once for any vehicle (including bikes, carts, carriages...) and once only for motorized vehicles. Actually, we have a similar problem with studded tyres in our law. Dec 1, 2021 at 12:47
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    To be more accurate, the Czech technical law that specifies the requirements for tyres uses the word for a "vehicle", but specifies requirements that only ever make sense for motorised vehicles (including the tread depth). But the same word is used for all vehicles including bikes, carts and carriages in the general law about traffic rules. I would not be surprised if German law did the same. Dec 1, 2021 at 13:15
  • Maybe better belongs to law.stackexchange.com ?
    – nightrider
    Dec 2, 2021 at 9:19

1 Answer 1


This rumored requirement at least does not stem from the paragraphs you've cited:

StVZO §63 states that §32, §34 and §36(1) also apply to other road vehicles. However, the tread pattern is regulated in §36(3), which is not referenced by §63.

  • But it is written "und Bereifung" in §63.
    – nightrider
    Dec 2, 2021 at 8:09
  • 1
    Yes, but the "Bereifung" in §63: "Die Vorschriften über [...] Bereifung [...] (§§ 32, 34, 36 Absatz 1)" refers to the regulations in §36(1). For example, the tires must be suited for the operating conditions of the bike, and shouldn't unduly damage the driving surface.
    – dobiwan
    Dec 2, 2021 at 8:49
  • 1
    Ok, I am removing my answer.
    – nightrider
    Dec 2, 2021 at 9:18
  • Great spot, I completely missed the "(1)". Thanks!
    – Erlkoenig
    Dec 3, 2021 at 6:26

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