With many copy and artwork updates to keep pace with rapid changes in bicycle technology, PeopleForBikes sent version 12 of the industry-wide owner’s manual on February 1 to three dozen bicycle company dealerships representing more than 50 brands.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission established an extensive set of regulations governing bicycles in 1978. One of the regulations, 16 CFR 1512.19(a), requires that a bicycle “must have an instruction manual attached to its frame or included with the unit packaged.” The manual is required to cover operations and safety, maintenance, and instructions for final assembly if the bike is sold unassembled.
In an effort to improve bicycle safety for all users and to help bicycle shops manage manual distribution and record keeping, the Bicycle Wholesale Distributors Association (BWDA), led by Nick Andrade of West Coast Cycle , proposed in 1987 to create a standardized owner’s manual content. The association hired Tom Franges, an attorney who at the time ran Suntour USA, to help create the manual. The goal was to create uniform, high quality and complete product instructions for the customer.
At the same time, a checklist for merchants has been created so that stores can standardize and demonstrate their procedures.
These two proactive measures, combined with a robust industry approach to improving rider education, have dramatically reduced the number of warning-related claims made against bike manufacturers, as many major bike companies have embraced the concept. and have authorized BWDA owner’s manual.
The BWDA was renamed the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA), which merged into PeopleForBikes in 2019. Today, PeopleForBikes is the exclusive licensor of owner’s manual content for bicycle brands and is responsible for updating the contents. Licensing fees range from $1,000 to $3,000 per year.
The Version 12 review process took two years of regular meetings by a group of 20 industry experts, including attorneys Matt Moore of QBP, chair of the legal/legislative subcommittee, and Alex Logemann, counsel politics at PeopleForBikes.
Owner’s manual licensees are permitted to modify and supplement the owner’s manual at their discretion.
Once the version 12 content was distributed, a much larger effort to create an industry-wide e-bike owner’s manual to add to the existing content was immediately launched. In addition to e-bike suppliers, the task force for this venture will include representatives from drive system brands. Content is expected to be finalized by the end of 2022.
For more information, contact Ray Keener, Owner’s Manual Project Manager, [email protected]