Trivial brake law question.

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
atlas_shrugged
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Joined: 8 Nov 2016, 7:50pm

Re: Trivial brake law question.

Postby atlas_shrugged » 19 Dec 2020, 11:28pm

If it is a tadpole recumbent trike and it has two independent brakes on the front wheels left and right then that is legal in the UK.

Edited to add: For saddle height less than 635mm see PCCUR 1983 7.(a)
Last edited by atlas_shrugged on 21 Dec 2020, 6:20pm, edited 1 time in total.

thirdcrank
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Re: Trivial brake law question.

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Dec 2020, 7:18am

Over the last couple of days we've had two threads about the regulations for pedal cycles: one re lights and this re brakes.

In general, the publication of statute law online seems good, including updating with amendments, which are enacted as new legislation; the importance being that it saves the reader having to do a DIY job of cutting and pasting.

The lighting regs are only available "as published" so the reader has to do their own amending and the cycle brake regs are only available in PDF format. It doesn't seem that the authorities attach much importance to the publication of regs about pedal cycles.

tatanab
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Re: Trivial brake law question.

Postby tatanab » 20 Dec 2020, 7:20am

I think the operative word there is "recumbent" because there are different rules according to seat height.
With twin braked wheels (front or rear) there is nothing in law to say that the brakes must be linked.
A delta configuration lightweight requires a minimum 2 front brakes (assuming not fixed wheel) and any rear braking is optional so could be absolutely anything.
A tadpole configuration lightweight requires a minimum of 2 rear brakes with front braking being optional. Therefore, I would suggest that a rudimentary rear brake is still required, which why I believe recumbent riders have a "parking" brake, although they may not even need that under the seat height rule.

To form your own opinion, see construction and use act 1983 paragraphs 7 to 9 where 9 is about tricycles. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/198 ... 176_en.pdf

I have owned upright machines in both configurations for many years, mainly delta. I tell people that the reason I have two front brakes is because the law recognises that rear brakes on a light trike achieve very little, but redundancy in the case of failure is still required - hence two brakes. Some bicyclists then comment about lifting the back end under braking, which is complete nonsense since tricyclists come with ABS installed between their ears and seldom use more than one brake anyway. (on a delta).

thirdcrank
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Re: Trivial brake law question.

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Dec 2020, 7:44am

I'd always assumed that the reason for most traditional/ conventional trikes being allowed to have both brakes on the front was a recognition that it's more than adequate and it's not easy to fit two rear brakes. I suspect - without evidence - that pedal cycles were quite well-developed before anybody got round to making regulations. On the same theme, I fancy one front brake + fixed was around before the regs. Put another way, the regs just formalised the existing norm.

That brings us to the saddle-height exception. It seems obvious to me that it was a learned friendly way of ensuring the regs didn't extend to children's toys. Along come modern developments and a rule intended to be a clever way of achieving one thing has an unintended result.

NB I amended the above in recognition of goods tricycles needing back brakes. I'm unaware of a recumbent trike ever being fitted with an ice cream fridge or any other whatabouts.

9494arnold
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Re: Trivial brake law question.

Postby 9494arnold » 20 Dec 2020, 8:34am

Picking up what Third Crank says, the brakes on pedal cycles regs USED to talk about the wheel size, however , the rise of Moulton etc meant that technically you could ride a Moulton with no brakes legally (not a good idea) so the regulation was amended to relevant saddle height .
Then recumbents started to gain popularity ,so the relevant saddle height rule became redundant in their case .

thirdcrank
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Re: Trivial brake law question.

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Dec 2020, 9:13am

I can't do a Maurice Chevalier and sing ♫ "Ah reemember eet well"♫ because I don't.

Perhaps it's a case of

Do you remember? Well if you remember,
Well, Dearie, you're much older than,
Quite a bit older than,
You're older than I.

(And I'm not old enough to remember who sang that.)
===========================================================================

PS It's occurred to me that this has little to do with age and meic's thread title is the clue. In a career which began by learning big chunks of the law by heart and included passing both - law-based promotion exams first time round - and being a swot, I don't think I ever had any dealings with cycle brakes at all. eg I knew fixed + a front brake was ok ditto two front brakes on a barrow largely because of what I picked up from the comic and CTC Gazette as a cyclist

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Trivial brake law question.

Postby Tigerbiten » 21 Dec 2020, 12:03pm

I always assumed the two front/zero back brakes on a trike was the law makers being sensible for once.
How do you fit brakes on a wheel that has nothing near that wheels rim ??
Before disk brake became common there was no easy fix.

As for independent left/right front brakes on a tadpole trike, I had always assumed that wasn't strictly 100% legal.
It covers the spirt of the law in there is two independent brakes but not the letter as all the regs I read online always says if there is two or more wheels on the front then two need to brake together.
There is a provision for only a one wheel of a pair on the back to be braked, but not the front.
So is there a provision for independent front brakes that I don't know about or is it just a grey area that's just accepted as legal but never been challenged in court as to how legal it is.

Luck ...... :D

thirdcrank
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Re: Trivial brake law question.

Postby thirdcrank » 21 Dec 2020, 12:54pm

atlas_shrugged wrote:If it is a tadpole recumbent trike and it has two independent brakes on the front wheels left and right then that is legal in the UK.


Can you explain that with reference to exactly which bits of the regs make it so?

Tigerbiten wrote: ... As for independent left/right front brakes on a tadpole trike, I had always assumed that wasn't strictly 100% legal. ...


Something spelled out in detail in the regs is legal or it isn't. I've been prompted by your post to look at the regs beyond the saddle / seating aree guff and it looks to me as though the arrangement does not comply with the regs.

I've also discovered where 9494arnold's wheel size point originates. It was in the regs prior to these and is preserved in Reg 8 for certain pedal cycles manufactured before 1.8.84.

Brakes operating directly on a pneumatic tyre are dealt with at 10(2) They are not banned, but are "deemed not to be in working order" on a bicycle or tricycle. So you can have one as a handbrake, as somebody suggested above, but it doesn't count towards your required braking systems.
===================================================================================================
PS I've read and re-read the regs. Again.
This is now my explanation. These regs updated earlier ones and the motivation seems to have been the growing number of electric bikes and they've tidied up at the same time.

The legislators wanted to exempt toys and the previous definition based on 406 mm wheel diameter had been made useless by small-wheeled bikes for adults (although I'm unaware of any manufacturers trying to exploit this.) Saddle height was chosen instead but somebody (perhaps a rep from Raleigh) must have gone "ah but, what about Choppers etc?" so they defined saddle as referring to the "seating area." ie the bit the rider sits on. Now recumbents, whether with two or three wheels are not toys. The sleeping dogs have remained undisturbed and the regs haven't even been converted onto the online legislation system.

atlas_shrugged
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Re: Trivial brake law question.

Postby atlas_shrugged » 21 Dec 2020, 3:53pm

@thirdcrank

Sorry I can't help you in your quest to find the written version of the state rules on brakes for tadpole trikes. I suspect you are having the same frustrations as our king George III who came from Germany and was so frustrated that our laws were not written down in one single publication that he ordered this to be done. The result was 'Statutes of the Realm' - this included publication of e.g. our magnificent Magna Carta and Bill of Rights.

It is really really a good idea to have two independent brakes.
Last edited by atlas_shrugged on 21 Dec 2020, 4:01pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jdsk
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Re: Trivial brake law question.

Postby Jdsk » 21 Dec 2020, 3:55pm

atlas_shrugged wrote:... as our king George III who came from Germany...

In what sense did George III come from Germany?

atlas_shrugged wrote:The result was 'Statutes of the Realm' - this included publication of e.g. our magnificent Bill of Rights.

Are you thinking of William of Orange?

Thanks

Jonathan

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Trivial brake law question.

Postby thirdcrank » 21 Dec 2020, 3:59pm

atlas_shrugged wrote:@thirdcrank

Sorry I can't help you in your quest to find the written version of the state rules on brakes for tadpole trikes. I suspect you are having the same frustrations as our king George III who came from Germany and was so frustrated that our laws were not written down in one single publication that he ordered this to be done. The result was 'Statutes of the Realm' - this included publication of e.g. our magnificent Bill of Rights.

It is really really a good idea to have two independent brakes.


My problem s with people who state something as fact and cannot explain on what basis they formed their opinion.

atlas_shrugged
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Joined: 8 Nov 2016, 7:50pm

Re: Trivial brake law question.

Postby atlas_shrugged » 21 Dec 2020, 4:07pm

@thirdcrank

You go and have a good Christmas and get stuck into Statutes of the Realm to keep you busy. It only goes up to the laws of Queen Anne unfortunately. Never the less it is a great collection of our legal works. But it was never updated unfortunately.

tatanab
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Re: Trivial brake law question.

Postby tatanab » 21 Dec 2020, 4:22pm

Tigerbiten wrote:How do you fit brakes on a wheel that has nothing near that wheels rim ??
Before disk brake became common there was no easy fix.
Simple - there is nowhere a disc goes that a drum brake hasn't preceded it. Usually there would be only one which could be built into a wheel or attached to the central drive mechanism - near the gear cluster. This would work on one wheel drive machines or on differentials. The cheap and nasty fix, as used on some utility machines, was a bar across the rear with a pair of sidepull brakes.

thirdcrank
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Re: Trivial brake law question.

Postby thirdcrank » 21 Dec 2020, 4:37pm

Tigerbiten

I think the answer is that the legislators appreciated that fitting brakes on the rear wheels of a "lightweight" trike wasn't easy and so went along with accepted practice of two on the front wheel. Goods tricycles, typically with substantial container between the wheels, had more scope for fitting brakes on both of those wheels and perhaps more need of them.

More generally, it looks as though pedal cycle regs are ignored until something triggers a review. When there is a change, then existing machines are often exempt. As good a reason as any for holding on to your receipt.

tatanab
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Joined: 8 Feb 2007, 12:37pm

Re: Trivial brake law question.

Postby tatanab » 21 Dec 2020, 5:03pm

thirdcrank wrote:I think the answer is that the legislators appreciated that fitting brakes on the rear wheels of a "lightweight" trike wasn't easy and so went along with accepted practice of two on the front wheel.
it is not something they dreamed up in 1983. I recall from a few decades ago that this particulate part of the requirements has been in place since the late 1940s or early 1950s and simply carried over .