Author Topic: Pedal reflectors  (Read 1233 times)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Pedal reflectors
« on: June 08, 2019, 02:33:48 pm »

Was talking to the designer of a pedal assist quad cycle, he mentioned that for UK compliance, the pedal reflectors need to be visible to both the front and rear.

Is this really the case? Where is that hidden in the regs? How do recumbents and velomobiles deal with it if it is the case?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2019, 02:46:58 pm »
Yes it is the case. I recently learned of it when doing some British cycling e learning. It's just another stupid non enforced regulation from the highway code.

https://www.highwaycodeuk.co.uk/changes-and-answers/highway-code-for-cyclists

Section 60 (the MUST guidelines mean it is a bona fide rule as opposed to 'should').
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fd3

Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2019, 02:57:38 pm »
I believe that
* These rules only apply at night (which is defined differently for bikes than cars IIRC)
* They must have amber pedal reflectors, there is no provision or requirement that takes into account the absurdity of these on recumbents (it's not specified that the reflectors need to point back/front)
* 90% of bikes fail this based on either clipless pedals or reflectors falling off the pedals
* It's handy for cops to be able to pull you over for this, but they are more likely to do so because you are riding assertively in traffic, or not wearing a helmet, and less likely to know that your pedals need reflectors.
[/I could be wrong]

Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2019, 03:05:11 pm »
I
* They must have amber pedal reflectors, there is no provision or requirement that takes into account the absurdity of these on recumbents (it's not specified that the reflectors need to point back/front)
The regulation if here
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1989/1796/schedule/20/made

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2019, 03:50:35 pm »
I
* They must have amber pedal reflectors, there is no provision or requirement that takes into account the absurdity of these on recumbents (it's not specified that the reflectors need to point back/front)
The regulation if here
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1989/1796/schedule/20/made

So velomobiles are basically not road legal by the letter of the law? But noone is ever going to enforce such things?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2019, 03:52:54 pm »
I think they know the pedal stuff would get thrown out of court because I should think at least 33% of cyclists in the country are in violation.
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fd3

Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2019, 04:12:00 pm »
By what Paul posted they need to be visible front/rear but there is no size required - so arguably a microscopic dot would do?  Or full sized reflectors could be argued to not be seen?
[/I could be wrong]

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2019, 05:15:08 pm »

Thinking about it more, it seems like a totally stupid requirement, that messed up pretty much all bakfiets, as well as velomobiles. Ugh, I forget how when you read the letter of the law, what it says about bikes in .UK really is utterly upwrong centric...

Seems silly to have it on the books, even tho it's not enforced, where it may potentially stifle innovation and uptake of useful pedal cycles...

The designer of the quad cycle I was talking to was making a big point of how he had to engineer a solution to make the pedal reflectors visible front and rear. So his cycle would be UK legal. Feels like a massive compromise when legally it's not enforced.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2019, 05:22:39 pm »
I
* They must have amber pedal reflectors, there is no provision or requirement that takes into account the absurdity of these on recumbents (it's not specified that the reflectors need to point back/front)
The regulation if here
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1989/1796/schedule/20/made

So velomobiles are basically not road legal by the letter of the law? But noone is ever going to enforce such things?

J
They're perfectly legal, provided it's only used between the hours of sunrise and sunset.

The construction and use regulations are split between the 2 categories in the title, of which lights and reflectors are in the usage category rather than construction. And the usage restrictions for when they are required are in the regs.

Having 2 independent brakes however is construction.

As another example you can get a motorbike approved for daylight use only, when you mot it you get an advisory note reminding you of the usage restrictions that apply to it.

Pedal reflectors are available for spd and spd-sl so if anyone does try to use that reasoning for not having them it's not going to work but...

If you're in court for that then they've probably arsed up evidence for something else like my mate who got done for dodgy registration plates after the polis discovered the VASCAR had failed... The Jammy bas.


I remember I once read that the difference between Netherlands and English law is that while English law tells you what you're not allowed to do, Netherlands tells you what you are allowed to do... And of course in England/wales very few care about most of the things they're told you're not allowed to do anyway. (similar situation with Scots law and Scotland, NI a tad different...)

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Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2019, 05:29:45 pm »

Thinking about it more, it seems like a totally stupid requirement, that messed up pretty much all bakfiets, as well as velomobiles. Ugh, I forget how when you read the letter of the law, what it says about bikes in .UK really is utterly upwrong centric...
Not true.  There are many cases where others cannot ensure rear visibility of pedal reflectors, such as those who use panniers or tricycles where full visibility is obstructed by the axle or a low level saddle bag carrier.  For your quad manufacturer, they probably cannot meet the letter of the law because of axle obstruction, so the way around it is to sell without pedals.  Agreed, it is a very poorly considered requirement which is largely ignored.  Many of us use reflective ankle bands instead.   I remember reading that when it was pointed out to the lawmakers that few (at that time) pedals accepted reflectors, the answer came back "can't you get some pedals made?"

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2019, 06:21:28 pm »
It's a stupid rule, and IMHO it should be relaxed to point of sale, in line with the requirement for bells.  While they're pretty much redundant as soon as the bike has proper lights fitted, pedal reflectors are so useful for spotting BSOists, that I'd hate to abandon them entirely.

(I have pedal reflectors on my about-town upright.  The other uprights have Scotchlite on the cranks.  I don't bother on the recumbents, because if you can see the cranks, you can see the front light/reflector.)

I don't believe anyone's actually been prosecuted for lack of pedal reflectors?  Whoever did would surely achieve urban hero status.  See also: Being charged for 'furious cycling'.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2019, 07:35:35 pm »
I have several spare sets of pedal reflectors, let me know if you want some
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2019, 08:04:14 pm »
Is selling without pedals a way round the legislation...?  :demon:
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2019, 12:01:12 pm »
Is selling without pedals a way round the legislation...?  :demon:

May well be.  My Kingcycle did come with a pair of horrid plastic reflectorised pedals, the assumption being presumably that they'd be immediately replaced with Looks, but the other recumbents were pedal-free at the time of purchase.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2019, 12:06:06 pm »
Selling without pedals is surely SOP for recumbents, where foot retention of some kind is expected, and left as an exercise for the purchaser.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2019, 12:52:55 pm »
Selling without pedals is pretty standard for what you might call "serious cyclists' machines" regardless of their configuration.

Of interest to visitors from the Royal Republic of Batavia and Orangeland as well as pretty much everywhere else, bikes (and trikes! and velomobiles!) temporarily imported only have to comply with the Vienna Convention of 1968[?], which only requires front and rear lights, rear reflector and a bell. IIRC, E&OE.
"Pick a flower on Earth and you move the farthest star." Dirac.

Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2019, 01:23:14 pm »
Pedal reflectors were brought into law at a time when lights were crap, frequently fell apart when you hit a bump hard enough, and battery life was non existent.  Never Readys as we used to call them.  You can see that pedal reflectors made sense to the powers that be at the time.  But with modern lighting setups they have long since served their purpose. I do have Amber 3M reflective tape on my cranks on my recumbent. But that will only be picked up from the front where they will see my front light anyway.

Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2019, 03:13:59 pm »
Is selling without pedals a way round the legislation...?  :demon:
Used to be, as did selling it as a kit even though only a couple of included parts needed attaching, one of the revisions introduced the term "substantially complete" which changed this.
I can't find a reference, but there's also an exemption to some regulations based on the maximum saddle height, intended to exclude kids bikes though unintentionally it also applies to some recumbents.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2019, 03:39:30 pm »
Pedal reflectors were brought into law at a time when lights were crap, frequently fell apart when you hit a bump hard enough, and battery life was non existent.  Never Readys as we used to call them.  You can see that pedal reflectors made sense to the powers that be at the time.  But with modern lighting setups they have long since served their purpose.

Only if the bikes have modern lighting setups.  Sure, us Cyclists are going to fit proper lights, but you're lucky if the average BSOist fits a green Tesco blinky with a flat battery.  Half the time their main source of illumination is the backlight of their phone.  The pedal reflectors still do their job there.

I'd be in favour of a Dutch style rule on dynamo lighting required at point of sale unless actually a race bike (mainly because it would make decent bike lights much cheaper), but good luck with that.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2019, 04:03:22 pm »
Is selling without pedals a way round the legislation...?  :demon:
Used to be, as did selling it as a kit even though only a couple of included parts needed attaching, one of the revisions introduced the term "substantially complete" which changed this.
I can't find a reference, but there's also an exemption to some regulations based on the maximum saddle height, intended to exclude kids bikes though unintentionally it also applies to some recumbents.

Well yes, as recumbents do not have saddles (amongst other attributes).

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2019, 04:08:39 pm »
Even with lights fitted, people don't always use them. Though by and large I'd say the majority of bikes I see* around Bristol* are lit nowadays, with anything from off-road constellations to Asdal blinkies.

*Unrepresentative sample alert!
"Pick a flower on Earth and you move the farthest star." Dirac.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2019, 06:34:48 pm »
I'd be in favour of a Dutch style rule on dynamo lighting required at point of sale unless actually a race bike (mainly because it would make decent bike lights much cheaper), but good luck with that.

I believe that's a German law, not a Dutch one, and IIRC, it's been changed recently.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2019, 07:15:59 pm »
I'd be in favour of a Dutch style rule on dynamo lighting required at point of sale unless actually a race bike (mainly because it would make decent bike lights much cheaper), but good luck with that.

I believe that's a German law, not a Dutch one, and IIRC, it's been changed recently.

Ah, possibly.  I know it was leading to e-bikes being sold with hub dynamos, which is clearly daft[1].


[1] Even if the system isn't capable of regeneration, an e-bike battery will happily power lighting for a few hours when it reaches the point where it can't run the motor.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2019, 07:17:35 pm »
I don't know about Netherlands but German law allowed battery lights instead of dynamos something like ten years ago. It definitely happened before the rise of the ebike.
"Pick a flower on Earth and you move the farthest star." Dirac.

fd3

Re: Pedal reflectors
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2019, 09:40:24 pm »
My experience of German compulsory dynamo lights were that they and the dyamo were rather shonky.  I'd be concerned that even with a mass requirement on the purchase the increase in cost of bikes would put some people off and condemn others to BSOs.
[/I could be wrong]