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New European Standard for Bicycle Trailers (EN 15918:2011)

In September 2011, CEN published European Standard EN15918 to cover the safety of trailers. For Europe this is a new standard and not a revision of an existing standard. An American Standard - ASTM F1975:09 already exists for such products for the US market.

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The EN 15918:2011 standard specifies safety requirements and test methods applicable to two track cycle trailers and their connecting devices. The trailers are intended for the conveyance of cargo loads or to carry up to two passive child passengers. The maximum weight including cargo and/or passenger(s) that is permitted is 60 kg.

New requirements are now applicable in Europe for these popular products:

  • Chemical properties and flammability requirements applicable to the materials used.
  • Construction and dimensional requirements are introduced, including drawbar load and height. In addition there are requirements for deflection devices, for front protection devices and for the headroom needed.
  • Requirements are set to avoid hazardous sharp edges and protrusions, shear and compression points. Indirect contact with the wheels and entrapment hazards should be avoided. Also small parts that may be swallowed by the child passengers should not be within their reach, or they should withstand a certain force.
  • Specific conditions regarding the folding system are required, and a secondary safety device between the drawbar and the bicycle is needed.
  • The trailer should have a parking brake that sufficiently limits the movement of the trailer during engagement.
  • Stability tests have been developed.
  • Lighting and/or a reflector and other conspicuity aids should be provided.
  • Structural integrity of the bicycle trailers including drawbar, connecting devices and secondary safety device should be checked during an overload test, a dynamic durability test and a cyclic oscillation test. In addition a rigidity test for the passenger cab has been developed.
  • There are requirements for the children’s restraint system. These include strength tests.
  • Product information shall be provided to ensure the safe use of the product.

The EU standard for bicycle trailers EN 15918 can be used as a voluntary standard to show compliance to the General Product Safety Directive. Please note that for EU Member State countries where national legislation exists (like in the UK and France) the national legislation should be followed.

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