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European child seat legislation

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by mickle, 23 Jan 2008.

  1. European Standard for Childs Seats for Bicycles

    MAARSSEN, the Netherlands - Since 2004, it has become easier for the consumer to determine whether a child’s seat for bicycles is safe and of good quality. In that year, a European standard that includes a number of elementary safety aspects has become effective. Compliance is based on self-certification.

    In the meantime, the EN 14344 label appears on the majority of the branded seats. The main requirements of the standard are as follows.
    3 types of seats

    The standard applies to seats for the transport of children, weighing from 9 up to 22 kg. This more or less corresponds to the age group of 9 months up to 5 years, provided that the child is capable of sitting unaided.
    The standard distinguishes three groups of child’s seats:

    * Category A15 comprises rear seats suitable for children up to 15 kg.
    * A22 is the category of rear seats for children up to 22 kg.
    * C15 covers seats to be mounted between the handlebar and the rider and that can carry children up to 15 kg.

    All other types, for instance to be attached to the handlebar only or seats for children above 15 kg to be mounted between the handlebar and the rider are excluded from the standard.

    EN 14344 imposes minimal dimensions for the following parts of the seat: the seating area, the backrest, the footrests and the parts that hold the legs. The seat should not have any protruding or sharp parts. It must be designed in such a way that any contact between the child’s feet and the bike wheel is impossible. If the protection integrated in the seat is not sufficient to that end, the manufacturer must supply additional guards. Moreover, the standard lays down detailed tests to ascertain whether the seat is sufficiently shock- and temperature-resistant.
    Attachment

    The attachment to the bicycle of all types of seats must meet the following conditions. A tool must be required to (un)lock at least one of the attachment mechanisms. Alternatively, attachment should consist of two independent locking mechanisms that are operated simultaneously. A third option is at least two automatic systems that cannot be simultaneously released by an unintentional action. Last solution is a system that is (un)locked by means of two consecutive actions, the first of which is maintained while the second is carried out.

    Rear seats attached to a luggage carrier must have an additional fastening that cannot be removed from the seat, that is attached to a part of the bicycle other than the carrier and that only allows to move the seat backwards to a limited extent. This type of seat must be used in combination with luggage carriers that have a width between 120 and 175 mm. Front seats must have at least one attachment point to the bike, which is not the handlebar or the extension of the handlebar stem.
    Centre of gravity

    For the benefit of the mounting, the centre of gravity must be clearly visibly marked on the outside of the seat. In any case, it is not allowed for the centre of gravity to be more than 100 mm behind the point vertically above the rear wheel axle in the case of A22 seats and 150 mm in the case of A15. On the seat should also be mentioned the maximum weight of the child, the name of the manufacturer or the brand name, year and month of production and the number of the standard, i.e. EN 14344.

    The seat must be supplied with a separate manual in the language(s) of the country where the seat is sold. The manual must also include all necessary information on mounting and usage and the maximum weight of the child. It must also indicate which tools are required for mounting the seat provided they are not supplied with the seat.

    Finally, EN 14344 also imposes a restraint system. The seat must have at least belts that restrain the child at the shoulders and crotch. A combination of shoulder- and hip belts is only allowed if the seat has a between-legs hump or pommel of minimum 20 mm high. The seat must also have footrests with adjustable straps, unless the seat is designed in such a way that the legs are completely shielded.
     
  2. samji

    samji New Member

    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Hi I am currently in my final year of university my final year project is on a muilti function carrier similar to a bike trailer but mounted at the front of the bike.
    Which could then be removed and used as a trolley/ pushchair I was wondering if you knew of any more standards relating to this type of device. I have looked at pushchairs and normal mounted bike seats however as I am sure you know the standards website is so vast any pointers would be very helpful many thanks
    Samantha
     
  3. Clearly your device would fall under the above legislation whilst fitted to the bike. There are a few seats available which attach to the front of the bike but I'm not a fan (although my colleague who actually has children thinks they are ok...). One of the issues is the amount of weight which one can attach to a bike and it's position relative to the centre of gravity of bike and rider. Also, attaching the weight of a child seat and its precious cargo to the steering components of front wheel and handlebars plays havok with the handling, especially in a gusty cross wind. Attaching to the unsteered part of the bike, the head-tube area of the frame, (butchers bike front carrier) is problematic; cable interference, clashing with the handlebar turning radius and the issue of how exactly to install such a device without damaging the frame or paintwork.

    Our much more advanced European neighbours build bikes and trikes with child carrying in mind. They are hellishly expensive. There are trikes which are designed to function in the way you describe but no bicycles to my knowledge.

    A tradish load carrying trike with non removeable box
    [​IMG]

    and a modern Trio which converts from a 2 kiddy carrying trike into a bike and buggy. I cant imagine the kind of lifestyle which might suit such a contraption but it's very cool.
    [​IMG]

    Gazelle of Dutchland have a new folding (to make it narrower but still rideable) two wheeler but I can't remember what they call it just now.

    What course are you on Samji?
     
  4. samji

    samji New Member

    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Hi thanks for your comments, I am on Computer aided product design. I was on a workplacement last year at a Aircraft hydraulics component company where the head of engineering did point of the same factors as yourself as well as turning forces ect.(he thinks I am mad)
    However beening the typical woman and an ex Airframe and Engine aircraft technican myself I still decided to give it my best shot do love a challange.
    I got the Idea from Amsterdam where bikes seem to be the main source of transport as I watched many people with children zipping around the streets. I have seen the tri bike however it does seem to be a very pricey piece of kit. ( I researched as many different designs as I could find another part of the assessment)
    Part of the assessment is based on standards as well as patents and as I am sure you are very aware how important it is that any design mets the correct ones. However I have also been looking at other ways the frount attachment could possibly be used say for postal workers as an example.
    Anyways thank you very much for replying to me
    Sam
     
  5. PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    Location:
    Brighton
    Ah - I just found the one mickle was talking about; the Gazelle Cabby (directs to the Google-translated version of their page)