During a recent meeting of the Dutch standardisation committee and European stakeholders, the completion of a standard for cargo bikes was discussed. “A European standard would be helpful to standardise the legal patchwork that exists throughout Europe,” explains velotech.de MD Marco Brust. The standard will describe the safety requirements and test methods for light and heavy weight cargo bicycles, with and without electrical assistance. At the moment there is no international standard at all for the cargo bike industry. Therefore, manufacturers in general use the existing German standard DIN 79010. This was last revised in 2020 and was developed by velotech.de founder Ernst Brust as chairman. DIN 79010 will be superseded by the new standard.
In October 2022, in close cooperation with the Netherlands Standardization Institute (NEN), Pon.Bike subsidiary Urban Arrow took the lead to develop seven standards for cargo bikes. Project manager of the European working group Joost Witsenburg, presented an update during the International Cargo Bike Festival. In March 2023 bicycle industry representatives, scientists and politicians met with the Dutch standardisation committee in the Netherlands to discuss the development of a common European cargo bike standard.
Additionally, in November 2022 the German industry association Zweirad-Industrie-Verband (ZIV) took over the chairmanship of the Cargo bikes Working Group at European level. Jointly organised by the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) and Cycling Industries Europe (CIE), the working group is concerned with legislation of cargo bikes for both private and personal use.
‘The aim of the working group is to discuss technical issues relating to standardization and legislation as well as general issues concerning cargo bikes, to get to common positions and to represent these to external stakeholders, for example in politics,’
Head of Technology & Standardization at ZIV.
The working group with the abbreviation CEN/TC 333/WG 9 consists among others of velotech.de MD Marco Brust, the trailer manufacturer NÜWiel, Riese & Müller, Urban Arrow, Accell Group, Shimano, Schaeffler, Bosch eBike Systems and Mando as well as the Technical University Hamburg-Harburg, ZIV and others.
New standard EN17860
Together they are developing the draft of the new standard EN17860. It now also includes heavy cargo bikes and heavy trailers, whose standard was previously not sufficiently described. Trailers which come with their own electric drives and brakes as well as single-track cargo bikes with an allowed weight of up to 250 kg, multi-track cargo bikes with an allowed weight of up to 300 kg and heavy cargo bikes up to 650 kg are all described separately in the new standard.
When finished the standard will include the following chapters:
prEN 17860-1: Terms and definitions
prEN 17860-2: Lightweight single track – mechanical and functional aspects
prEN 17860-3: Lightweight multi track – mechanical and functional aspects
Part 4: Heavyweight multi track – mechanical and functional aspects
Part 5: Electronics
Part 6: Passenger transport
Part 7: Trailers
‘The standard facilitates the business as everybody clearly knows to what specifications the cargo bike needs to comply’
Easier exports and product development
The importance of a standard for cargo bikes is explained by Marco Brust. “Cargo bikes have developed strongly over the past few years, especially those used for the transport of goods. A European standard would be helpful to standardise the legal patchwork that exists throughout Europe. Sometimes similar cargo bikes are classified differently from country to country. For example, in the Netherlands the current maximum weight of 75 kg of a cargo bike is being discussed. In France, four-wheeled vehicles are not considered bicycles in some regions, and different rules apply in Germany.”
“This hinders the international trade and development but also causes all kinds of legal issues. That’s why the new European standard would help the industry forward. On one hand, the export-oriented manufacturers will benefit because sales in the European Union will be easier. On the other hand, the standard facilitates the business as everybody clearly knows to what specifications the cargo bike needs to comply.”