Mandatory safety inspections for used bikes, to protect buyer and seller

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PROBLEM

- damage to carbon fibre bikes are often invisible to the naked eye. When they fail, they fail suddenly. 

- 10% of bicycle accidents involve a ‘single vehicle’ (cyclist only), however it is estimated it could be two  to three times higher due to low numbers of police/hospital reporting 

- few specialists have the skills and technology to adequately inspect for structural damage or defects 

- almost half (49%) of riders involved in an accident did not have their bike inspected afterwards (source: independent survey)

- there is no easy way for buyers to ensure the safety of a bike before they purchase it 

SOLUTION

- Mandatory bicycle inspections for used bikes being sold (valued at over $1,000) 

- Inspections to be wholly or partly subsidised 

- Better access to premium inspection technology 

BACKGROUND 

Many cyclist casualties are not reported to the police, even when the cyclist is injured badly enough to be taken to hospital - and although the number of deaths is accurate, it is estimated there could be two or three times as many seriously injured cyclists. However, even if no injuries were sustained, the INVISIBLE damage to carbon fibre bicycles could be considered the greatest risk of all - to current and future owners of a bike. Particularly those in the market for an affordable used carbon fibre bike of which are now much more affordable than they once were. 

Despite it's superior strength-to-weight ratio to steel, carbon fibre is an inherently brittle material when impacted, and much of it’s damage is invisible to the naked eye. 

Today, a worrying disparity exists between those with the skills and tools to accurately inspect for hidden damage (approx. 20), and the growing number of carbon bicycle riders (estimated to be approx. 1m). 

Despite an acute awareness of the risks and limitations of damaged carbon fibre bicycles, riders are currently choosing to play 'russian roulette' with their safety by not to have their bikes inspected - because of a lack of accessible and easy options.

It has been years since the high profile deaths of Australian cyclists from fork failure, and unfortunately the same barriers exist today as they did then. Exorbitant inspection fees, logistical difficulties, confusion over the process and methods used; and wait times of over a week, in some cases, are driving riders away. 

Inspection solutions need to become more widespread so that MORE riders have the opportunity to have their bicycles inspected MORE often. In some cases (e.g. the sale/purchase of used bicycle sales), the industry has a duty of care to mandate safety checks prior to purchase and raise awareness of the risks of riding/using potentially damaged equipment.