Cycling in Sydney Australia
This bicycle does not comply with the mandatory standard for pedal bicycles (Consumer Protection Notice No. 6 of 2004 'Consumer Product Safety Standard: Pedal Bicycles: Safety Requirements').
The standard requires a children's bicycle to be fitted with two methods of braking, one of which must be a rear back pedal brake. This bicycle does not have a back-pedal brake, but has two hand operated rim brakes, one for the front wheel and one for the rear wheel.
There have been no reports of injury.
If consumers wish to have a back-pedal brake fitted, they should contact their place of purchase to arrange to have a rear pedal brake fitted to the bicycle, free of charge, when parts become available.
Consumers requiring further information can contact Groupe Sportif on 03 8878 1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail)
Specialty bicycle retail stores
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (link is external) is the responsible regulator for this recall.
Never knew that was an Australian requirement.
When my kid upgraded from a balance bike, I considered it better to get him a bike like this, with hand brakes for front and rear, and perhaps thats why I ended up ordering from overseas. I can't quite remember...
Why did I consider it better to have two handbrakes? When I was a kid my brother's best friend was given a two hand brake bike after riding for years with a coaster brake. First ride out the gate was down the hill of his very steep street. He tried to back pedal to brake, nothing happened, panicked, crashed badly and required extensive plastic surgery to correct his face.
I'm sure that's an extremely rare occurrence, but nonetheless I figure if adult bikes use hand brakes, so can kid bikes. My boy was using the hand brake on his balance bike from the age of 2 and half.
The mandatory standard requires that a child’s bicycle (wheelbase between 640 mm and 765 mm) be equipped with no fewer than two braking systems one of which must be a back-pedal brake. Wheelbases less than 640 mm are not governed by the safety standard.
Clause 2.14 of AS/NZS 1927:1998 provides details for all braking systems including back-pedal systems and hand brakes.
Google "Consumer Product Safety Standard: Pedal Bicycles: Safety Requirements" and download the pdf from ACCC.
I too didn't know about the back pedal being a legal requirement for children bike.
Quick, someone inform the cops to prey on schoolkids and teach those juvenile crims a lesson in authority power trips.
Also .. if one is mandated as a back-pedal brake, what can the other one be other than a hand brake?
In the early days of the big wheel standard bicycles, wheelmen used to throw out a chain with a hook on it to drag in the dirt road and slow their descent down hills. Maybe that still qualifies as a handbrake though, as it has to be thrown by hand.
On most kids bikes the hand brakes are junk. Flexy brake calipers, brake levers they struggle to reach because they aren't ergonomic for children or, if they can be reached a child would struggle to engage with enough force to bring the bike to a proper stop... in which case if you do actually want them to stop then that back pedal brake is pretty important.
It is, however, annoying when trying to teach a child to set their feet up for a good start - it stops them from being able to spin the pedals around to get a foot high enough to push down with enough force.
With a decent quality of bike and components I would have no problem teaching a child to ride for the first time on a bicycle without a back pedal brake (and indeed don't, I've taught thousands of kids, many of whom went straight on to a BMX bike with no back pedal).
I think your probably right about the quality of handbrakes on a lot of kids bikes, which are often k-mart, target etc bikes. In my case, the hand brakes on my kids bike and balance bike are good - actually excellent on the balance bike (FirstBike) and decent on his later bike which is a Dawes Blowfish - though reach and braking force is at the edge of what I can can tweak until his hands grows a bit larger.
Anyway, I don't have anything against back pedal brakes, in fact I love the clean look they have on Dutch upright bikes. But as you say, its important kids get training, the lack of which was the problem in my horrible but hopefully rare anecdote.