ACCC Press release

A friend of mine forwarded this to me today:


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted court enforceable undertakings from Dirt Works Australia Pty Limited after it acknowledged supplying bicycles that did not comply with the mandatory standard for pedal bicycles.

Between April 2007 and April 2008 Dirt Works, a wholesaler of bicycles, supplied to retailers 115 Surly Steamroller bicycles which did not have a back brake and also, in some instances, did not have reflectors and a bell – all breaches of the standard.
Dirt Works also supplied those bicycles and a further 190 Surly Steamroller bicycles between May 2008 and June 2009 with a manual which did not comply with the standard. Also, the packaging of the bicycles did not have printed on it certain information and a warning regarding their assembly, as required by the standard.
The ACCC was concerned that by supplying the bicycles Dirt Works had engaged in conduct in contravention of section 65C of the Trade Practices Act 1974. This section prohibits a corporation in trade or commerce from supplying certain bicycles that do not comply with the mandatory standard.

In response, Dirt Works wrote to its retail customers to whom it supplied the bicycles advising them of the bicycles’ failure to comply with the standard and requesting that they cease selling stock until they complied with the standard.
Dirt Works has provided court enforceable undertakings not to supply any Surly Steamroller bicycles unless they comply with the mandatory standard and to implement a trade practices law compliance program.

Dirt Works has also provided court enforceable undertakings which are designed to have consumers who purchased the bicycles:
• made aware that their bicycles failed to comply with the standard
• provided with the opportunity to have their bicycles fitted with a back brake, reflectors and a bell free of charge if they were not supplied with any of those items when they purchased their bicycle, and
• supplied with a manual which complies with the standard.

“The bicycles supplied by Dirt Works were fixed-gear bicycles,” ACCC deputy chairman, Peter Kell, said today. “Fixed-gear bicycles only have one gear and do not have the ability to coast. Fixed-gear bicycles are used for competition track cycling in a velodrome and are not fitted with brakes when used for this purpose. However, there has been a growing trend in people riding fixed-gear bicycles on the road.”
“Suppliers need to be aware that where fixed-gear bicycles are not designed, promoted and supplied primarily for use in competition, as was the case with the Surly Steamroller bicycles supplied by Dirt Works, they must comply with the mandatory standard for bicycles.”

i’ve been waiting for someone to get caught out :frowning:

Well it makes sense.
So the law requires both a front and rear brake even on a fixie?

geez. surely this is gonna affect a hell of a lot of bikes. i’d like to see Bianchi claim the Pista is promoted primarily for track riding

can see this turning into the same thing they do with bongs. put a little sign on them saying “for tobacco use only”

im confuzzled,

as far as we all know, the law requires ONE working Mechanical, argue all you want about the drivetrain being a “mechanical brake” ( as i will), but whats this about it having to be a rear brake?? dont think I have seen ANYWHERE that the “one mechanical; brake” must e a rear??

i think that rule/law changes state to state, nate.

i think the one that dave is saying is more to with australian standards and that all bikes sold must have reflectors, bell, and other silly bollocks.

can any bike retailers confirm or deny this?

Australia wide bike laws…

258 Equipment on a bicycle
A person must not ride a bicycle that does not have:
(a) at least 1 effective brake; and
(b) a bell, horn, or similar warning device, in working order.

259 Riding at night
The rider of a bicycle must not ride at night, or in hazardous
weather conditions causing reduced visibility, unless the
bicycle, or the rider, displays:
(a) a flashing or steady white light that is clearly visible for at
least 200 metres from the front of the bicycle; and
(b) a flashing or steady red light that is clearly visible for at
least 200 metres from the rear of the bicycle; and
(c) a red reflector that is clearly visible for at least 50 metres
from the rear of the bicycle when light is projected

Supplying bicycles is not the same as riding bicycles.

It may be that a bike for street use must be supplied with 2 brakes, even though the law requires only one brake when riding.

Has someone come across the actual legislation regarding brakes in Australia?

Edit: Ah… Jolan has updated his post.

Can you post a link to this?

i remember reading (maybe on here) that “race” bikes didn’t need to have reflectors.

But you probably have to be in a sanctioned race to get away with that.

Road rules by state
NSW rules… is that all there are?

couldn’t help myself.

stickers (pdf 4k)

I might be mistaken, but I think this is more about the standards covering bicycle manufacture rather than road rules. And the two could easily be contradictory or at least, not consistent.

I think the relevant standard is AS/NZS 1927:1996, but AS/NZ standards are not always freely available.

edit: OK, that is the relevant standard and it says, amongst a lot of other things, that “bicycles shall be equipped with not less than two brakes, one acting on the front wheel and one on the rear wheel

Well there you go then. 2 brakes eh

I wonder if this will have any impact on things in the future:

not knowing the standard intimately, could it not be determined that the rider (when fixed) is the brake acting on the rear wheel? or does the standard specifically mention how the brake is to be constructed and operated?

found this nugget of information also:

Don’t go there.

This has been discussed to death over the years on this forum and many others.
In many legal precedents (in the US IIRC), the standard has been interpreted to mean a mechanical brake, not a human beings legs.

Snowflake, I realise it is about Australian Standards, but to establish whether the standards are or are not consistent with the road rules, you need both sets of rules.

On this topic, note the requirement of a bell, horn or similar warning device. Surely you could argue that your voice is sufficient.


I’d say that’s irrelevant because the standard is about manufacturing, not riding.
ie. the bike has to be manufactured with two brakes. So with the rider effectively being the rear brake on a fixed doesn’t meet the standard because the bike is not manufactured with the rider on it.

I’d interpret it as meaning that a fixed gear bike could be ridden with a single brake and be in compliance with the road rules, but if it was manufactured and sold that way it would be in breach of the standard.

Anyway, contradictory laws and regulations is nothing new.