Review of Handlebar Width for Mountain Bikes (MTB)
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On behalf of the MTB (Mountain Bike) community in Singapore, I am writing in with extreme concern on the new implementation of handlebar width for Personal Mobilty Devices i.e. maximum width of 70cm/700mm:
• "Recommendations On Rules And Code Of Conduct For Cycling And The Use Of Personal Mobility Devices" proposed by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel (dated 17th March 2016, point 6: "While the Panel supports allowing bicycles and PMDs on all paths, we recommend setting maximum weight, size and speed limits on all bicycles and PMDs to further enhance safety for pedestrians. Specifically, all bicycles and PMDs used on public paths and roads must not weigh more than 20kg, must not exceed 700mm in width and must not have a maximum device speed exceeding 25km/h (if they are motorised)."
• Active Mobility Act (AMA), Land Transport Authority (LTA) w.e.f. 01st May 2018 (All bicycles, PMDs and PABs have to meet the device criteria of maximum weight of 20kg, maximum width of 70cm and maximum capped speed of 25km/h to be used on public paths.)
We, as a united entity would like to seek your kind attention and understanding in reviewing this new rule and regulation for reasons that I shall explain below:
< handlebar width should be relative to the rider's height, shoulder width, and the type of riding that he/she does.
< studies have shown that for mountain biking (MTB), the ideal handlebar width is the length of the shoulder width plus 4cm/40mm.
< wider/longer handlebar improves the stability and control of the bicycle as mountain bikers are exposed to rough terrains and technical descends in the trails. In retrospect, a short handlebar might increase the risk of a potential injury as the ability to control our bicycles are being limited and/or restricted.
< most of us have to commute to the trails via public paths, shared pavements and/or PCN. With this new law, riders are being compelled to cycle on the road instead, which might pose an imminent danger and hence, become a safety concern/issue as vehicles tend to travel at a faster speed and will therefore pose a "threat" to the rider.
< due to the wide/long handlebar, cycling on the road is not a viable option as there is a high tendency for large/heavy vehicles to graze/knock against the bicycle/rider, thus resulting in an unnecesary and/or unfortunate accident.
We understand that the speed limitations for PMD's are necessary in order to ensure the safety of pedestrians as it poses a hazard for the general public. We are definitely willing to abide by this rule, and shall dismount and push our bicycles if it is mandatory. However, we would strongly like to urge and appeal for the relevant authorities to reconsider and make the necessary amendments, thereby allowing us (mountain bikers) to continue enjoying our passion for MTB. In conjunction with the Health Promotion Board (HPB) campaign on "Get Active", and holistic approach to leading a healthy lifestyle, kindly assist us to gain satisfaction in a sport that helps us to remain active and healthy.
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