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PeopleForBikes Launches Version 12 of the Bicycle Owner's Manual

Published March 24, 2022

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With numerous copy and illustration updates to keep pace with rapid changes in bike technology, PeopleForBikes sent out Version 12 of the industry-wide Owner's Manual on February 1 to three dozen bike company licensees representing over 50 brands.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission set forth a sweeping set of regulations governing bicycles in 1978. One of the regulations, 16 C.F.R. 1512.19(a), requires that a bicycle "shall have an instruction manual attached to its frame or included with the packaged unit." The manual is required to cover operations and safety, maintenance, and instructions for final assembly if the bicycle is sold unassembled.

In an effort to enhance bicycle safety for all users and to provide help bike shops handle manual distribution and recordkeeping, the Bicycle Wholesale Distributors Association (BWDA), led by West Coast Cycle's Nick Andrade, proposed in 1987 to create standardized owner's manual content. The association engaged Tom Franges, an attorney who at the time was running Suntour USA, to help create the manual. The goal was to create uniform, high-quality, and comprehensive product instructions for the customer.

At the same time, a checklist for retailers was created so the shops could standardize and demonstrate their procedures.

These two proactive moves, combined with a robust industry approach to enhance rider education, drastically reduced the number of warning-related claims asserted against bicycle manufacturers as many major bike companies embraced the concept and licensed the BWDA Owner's Manual.

The BWDA rebranded as the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA), which merged with PeopleForBikes in 2019. Today, PeopleForBikes is the exclusive licensor of the Owner's Manual content to bike brands and is responsible for keeping the content current. License fees range from $1,000 to $3,000 per year.

The Version 12 revision process took two years of regular meetings of a group of 20 industry experts, including attorneys Matt Moore of QBP, Chair of the Legal/Legislative sub-committee, and Alex Logemann, Policy Counsel at PeopleForBikes.

Owner's manual licensees are permitted to amend and supplement the owner's manual in their discretion.

Once the Version 12 content was distributed, a much broader effort to create an industry-wide E-bike Owner's Manual to add to the existing content immediately launched. Along with e-bike suppliers, the working group for this undertaking will include representatives from the drive system brands. Content is expected to be finalized by late 2022.

For more information contact Ray Keener, Owner's Manual Project Manager,

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