Consumer Reports (CR), the independent, nonprofit member organization, welcomes the opportunity to submit comments to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding the petition for rulemaking to revoke the footbrake requirement for sidewalk bicycles, a type of bicycle intended for young children. We also welcome the opportunity to comment on whether the requirements in 16 CFR Part 1512, the agency’s requirements for bicycles, are out of date, and whether the current requirements are adequate to address bicycles defined in section 1512.2(a)(2). We are glad to see the agency prioritize the safety of bicycles, a product category that is a priority for CR and has – since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – seen a notable surge in popularity.
From 2020 to 2022, all bike sales rose by more than 50 percent. The e-bike category in particular saw a huge increase in demand. CR has periodically, for years, tested and rated bicycles for performance. We also evaluate Class 1 and Class 2 electric bikes. Our e-bike evaluations consider a number of factors including range, comfort, and overall usability.3 Regardless of which type of bicycle they ride, consumers should be able to have confidence that their bike has been tested rigorously for safety. From style, to material, to brakes and beyond, bicycles have evolved dramatically since federal bicycle safety regulations first took effect. Now, decades later, it is critical for the agency to update its bicycle standards to reflect advancements in technology. In the following sections, we share CR’s comments on information related to bicycle safety that has been requested by the agency.
For full comments, click here.