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Is my bike street legal?

edited September 2008 in Commuting chat
First, Hi. I've done a few posts already but not actually said Hello yet - so Hello. Been looking at the forums and site for a while but only just joined. Thanks for all the helpful tips and advice I've picked up and the many laughs I've had.

Onto the main topic (wasn't sure it if was for here or the silly question section but as it isn't too technical I thought best here).

I've got a sensible hybrid - Ridgeback Velocity (about 4 years old) with mud guards, panniers, bell etc. But the old mid-life crisis thing hit me the other day and I lusted after a "racer" like my first adult bike (a raleigh Arena 10 speed :) ). Mentioned it to a mate at work, who said he had a winter trainer he no longer used and if I serviced it and got the chain (slack) and back wheel (bearings shot) sorted it was mine.

So, picked it up yesterday and am now the proud owner of a Silver Ribble winter training bike (about 8 years old - but hey, it was free!). It looks lovely and as it was bought for vanity - (rare with me but I can't drive so an open top sports car wasn't an option :D or in my budget :wink: ) so it doesn't have the practicality of mudguards or panniers. I can cope with that but what worries me is...

- No reflectors on it anywhere (front or rear or on pedals)
- No bell

So, is it still legal? I think I'll get some reflectors put on for sure when I take it in for the service and repairs tomorrow.

My less legal but more practical questions are
- How easy is it to fit lights on the front of a racer (massive set of aero bars on front but think I'll take them off)?
- With no panniers how do you carry your pump, tools and spare tubes?

I know I could ask in my LBS but - tbh - it's a bit ittimidating as the price range of bikes in there is very expensive and they seem to get v technical v quick (but have a v good reputation)

Cheers for any advice.
Pain is only weakness leaving the body

Posts

  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    The highway code will tell you everything your bike needs to be road legal :wink:
  • downfader wrote:
    The highway code will tell you everything your bike needs to be road legal :wink:
    :shock: You mean I have to read as well as cycle :twisted:
    Pain is only weakness leaving the body
  • _Brun__Brun_ Posts: 1,740
    The law says you need the reflectors (front, back and pedals) if you use your bike during darkness. The bell is supposedly required to be on the bike when it's sold, but doesn't need to stay there.

    A frame pump will squeeze between the BB and top tube, but the more popular alternative for the road is a mini pump which comes with a bracket that'll mount to the bottle cage bosses. Tools, tubes etc will fit in a modestly sized saddle pack.
  • _Brun_ wrote:
    The law says you need the reflectors (front, back and pedals) if you use your bike during darkness. The bell is supposedly required to be on the bike when it's sold, but doesn't need to stay there.

    A frame pump will squeeze between the BB and top tube, but the more popular alternative for the road is a mini pump which comes with a bracket that'll mount to the bottle cage bosses. Tools, tubes etc will fit in a modestly sized saddle pack.

    Top man, thanks. I've got a pump bracket on the hybrid which I don't use (as I leave it n the pannier) so an easy swap. I guessed a saddle bag may be in order but wasn't sure. I'll sort out the reflectors (barkness or not) as I need to be seen.

    Thanks again :wink:
    Pain is only weakness leaving the body
  • prj45prj45 Posts: 2,208
    IIRC it's only mandatory to have a rear reflector and pedal reflectors.

    As well as front AND rear brakes.
  • prj45 wrote:
    IIRC it's only mandatory to have a rear reflector and pedal reflectors.

    As well as front AND rear brakes.

    The pedal reflectors bit is interesting - I had to buy new pedals for the bike (mate wanted his SPDs) but new pedals didn't come with reflectors! You'd have thought that they would given the legal requirement.
    Pain is only weakness leaving the body
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    prj45 wrote:
    IIRC it's only mandatory to have a rear reflector and pedal reflectors.

    As well as front AND rear brakes.

    No, you still need the front white reflector under law:

    highway code 60, law rvlr regs 13, 18 & 24.
  • prj45prj45 Posts: 2,208
    downfader wrote:
    prj45 wrote:
    IIRC it's only mandatory to have a rear reflector and pedal reflectors.

    As well as front AND rear brakes.

    No, you still need the front white reflector under law:

    highway code 60, law rvlr regs 13, 18 & 24.

    At night your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit. It MUST also be fitted with a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 1/10/85). White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen. Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp.

    Front reflectors optional, pedal reflectors mandatory if bike manufactered after 1/10/85.

    In general highway code is only law when it says MUST.

    Edit: reading that it also only appears they are only mandatory at night, but I think that's not true.
  • :shock: You mean I have to read as well as cycle :twisted:

    Preferably not both at the same time.
  • I've got a plan...

    Since this morning I've added some toe clip thingys - and added the pedal reflectors from my Velocity which I took off for the toe clip thingys I put on that. So I at least have some reflectors on the bike now (apart from my clothing).

    I'm in LB Wlatham Forest and they have a bike recycling scheme so I'll pop down there next Saturday I pick up some reflectors from one of the many "parts bins".

    Took it out for a spin in a supermarket car park at 16:00 - thought I'd find it tricky with the thin wheels and diffrent riding position but it was no problem at all. It's much faster than my Velocity but you do tend to feel every bump in the road just that little bit more.

    I'll get some lights for it as well just in case I want to use it for the odd commute in place of the mudguard and panniered Ridgeback. It will be like a weather vein - only out in the good weather :D
    Pain is only weakness leaving the body
  • prj45 wrote:
    downfader wrote:
    prj45 wrote:
    IIRC it's only mandatory to have a rear reflector and pedal reflectors.

    As well as front AND rear brakes.

    No, you still need the front white reflector under law:

    highway code 60, law rvlr regs 13, 18 & 24.

    At night your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit. It MUST also be fitted with a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 1/10/85). White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen. Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp.

    Front reflectors optional, pedal reflectors mandatory if bike manufactered after 1/10/85.

    In general highway code is only law when it says MUST.

    Edit: reading that it also only appears they are only mandatory at night, but I think that's not true.

    No, it is true. There is a clause in the exemptions section of the RVLR that states (and I paraphrase) that nothing in the RVLR shall require a bike to be fitted with reflectors or lights during the hours of daylight.

    Regarding the front/wheel reflectors and bell; these are required under law to be fitted at the point of sale but are not required for the bike to be operated legally. Note that this legal requirement only applies if you are being sold a complete bike (and with certain exclusions even then) so some bikes are sold without pedals as you are then not being sold a complete bike and, so, there is no need for these things to be fitted.

    _
  • The front, rear and pedal reflectors along with bell only have to be on the bike at point of sale i.e. when bought from the shop. What you do to it after is your choice.
  • _Brun__Brun_ Posts: 1,740
    Kushtrim wrote:
    The front, rear and pedal reflectors along with bell only have to be on the bike at point of sale i.e. when bought from the shop. What you do to it after is your choice.

    Strangely, that contradicts what most people think to be the case, including those that appear to be quoting directly from the highway code. Care to let us know your source?
  • If it's a Ribble winter training frame won't it have attachment points for mudguards? Several companies make racks that clamp to the seatpost too and what about this instead of a bell?
  • _Brun_ wrote:
    Kushtrim wrote:
    The front, rear and pedal reflectors along with bell only have to be on the bike at point of sale i.e. when bought from the shop. What you do to it after is your choice.

    Strangely, that contradicts what most people think to be the case, including those that appear to be quoting directly from the highway code. Care to let us know your source?
    CTC summarise the law in detail, without legalese.

    There are three parts of legislation that apply to bicycles:
    Construction and Use: Basically most pedal bikes need two independent braking systems
    Pedal Bicycles (Safety): Regulates the sale of new bikes
    Road Vehicles Lighting: What reflectors and lights you need

    The PB(S) regulations require reflectors and bell. The RVL require you to have the appropriate reflectors/lights between dusk and dawn, and at other times of poor visibility. Only the C&U regs apply to a bike all the time, and they don't force you to have a bike or bell once the bike's been sold.
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