ASTM Standard for Bicycle Classification Usage Is Revised; Proposed Trailer Cycles Specification Is Under Development

At any given moment, millions of bicycles are being ridden throughout the world. Developing standards for bikes, and keeping current standards up to date is the responsibility of Subcommittee F08.10 on Bicycles, part of ASTM International Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities.

Recently, F08.10 has published an important revision to one of its key standards, and the subcommittee is currently working on a proposed new specification for trailer cycles.

Bicycle Usage
Originally intended as a document to guide developers of other bicycle standards, ASTM F2043, Classification for Bicycle Usage, has now been revised for use as an educational tool for both those in the bicycle industry and for consumers purchasing bikes.

According to David Mitchell, engineering consultant, MET Ltd., and an F08.10 subcommittee member, the expansion of the scope of ASTM F2043 occurred after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission expressed an interest in the standard as a means to guide bicycle purchasers in selecting a proper bike for its intended use.

The subcommittee devised five different intended bicycle uses, incorporating a standard naming scheme that would apply to all manufacturers. The five uses are:

-   Condition 0 — Adult supervision required, no traffic;
-   Condition 1 — Suitable for road riding (only);
-   Condition 2 — For off-road riding and jumps less than 12 in. (30 cm.);
-   Condition 3 — For rough off-road riding and jumps less than 24 in. (61 cm.); and
-   Condition 4 — For extreme off-road riding.

“There is not currently a designation for BMX-style riding,” says Mitchell, referring to bikes used in the sport of bicycle motocross. “As bicycles evolve, the subcommittee intends to add additional designations for BMX use and other areas.” Mitchell notes that engineering personnel who can define new levels of bicycle use are welcome to join in the subcommittee’s work on future revisions to ASTM F2043.

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Child Riding Trailer Cycles
Trailer cycles that carry children and are pulled behind bicycles have become a common sight at parks and on bike paths. However, because trailer cycles are recent additions to the bicycle industry, no definitive standards for them currently exist. Subcommittee F08.10 is currently working on such a standard, ASTM WK22294, Specification for Child Riding Trailer Cycles.

Steve Nagode, research and development engineer, REI Gear and Apparel, and an F08 member, says that the proposed trailer cycle standard is being written in three parts. The first section covers general items such as protrusions, sharp edges and reflectors, while the other two parts cover tests that simulate riding situations.

The first riding test simulates the effect of a bump on the road for a trailer cycle traveling at a speed of 13 miles (20.9 km.) per hour. The second test is to demonstrate how the side-to-side twisting that takes place between the lead bike and the trailer cycle will affect the trailer cycle.

Nagode notes that the subcommittee is in the midst of drafting WK22294 and that interested participants are welcome to join in the development process. 

For technical Information, contact: (F2043) David Mitchell, MET Ltd., Cumming, Ga. (phone: 678-475-9000;; (WK22294) Steve Nagode, REI Gear and Apparel, Kent, Wash. (phone: 253-437-7466;  Committee F08 meets May 19-21 at the May committee week in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

ASTM International welcomes and encourages participation in the development of its standards. ASTM’s open consensus process, using advanced Internet-based standards development tools, ensures worldwide access for all interested individuals. For more information on becoming an ASTM member, please contact Christine Sierk, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9728;

Release #8199

March 9, 2009