Safety first - this is especially true in road traffic. We tell you what equipment you need to stay roadworthy.
What equipment do I need for my bike to be roadworthy?
The Road Traffic Licensing Regulations or Straßenverkehrs-Zulassungs-Ordnung (StVZO) regulate what makes your bike roadworthy. For example, your bike needs two independently acting braking systems (front and rear brakes), as well as a loud bell. Your bike should also have a white front headlight and reflector plus a red rear light with a red reflector. The reflectors may be integrated into the lights. Since 2017, you are allowed to use detachable lights, so they do not have to be permanently mounted on the bike. Also, reflector strips should be attached to the wheel or spoke clips. Or you can attach two yellow spoke reflectors per wheel. In addition, your bike needs non-slip pedals with two yellow reflectors each that are firmly bolted to the pedals. Violations can be costly, so take these guidelines seriously if you don't want to pay. The guidelines apply to all bicycle models.
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Which additional accessories increase safety when cycling?
If you want to be on the safe side, buy equipment that makes cycling even less dangerous.
You should never do without a bicycle helmet; it can be a lifesaver! Although helmets are not compulsory in Germany, except for S-Pedelecs, the bike helmet plays a significant part in your own safety. Make sure that the helmet fits properly and does not slip off. Also, choose a colour as bright as possible for greater visibility on the roads. In addition to ordinary helmets, nowadays there is a considerable selection of smart helmets. These, for example, have lights that indicate the direction of travel or speakers with which you can listen to announcements from the navigation system. Some manufacturers now even offer helmets with airbags.
Speaking of airbags - these are also available for bicycles in the form of vests. You know the principle from driving a car. The airbags serve as protection for the upper body, because the air cushion inflates at lightning speed in the event of an accident.
Bike lock & GPS tracker
In our big bike lock test, we showed which bike locks are particularly suitable and which you should not buy. In addition to a secure lock, you can also get a GPS tracker for your bike. These inconspicuous devices can be easily hidden on the bike and ensure that you can track the current location of your beloved bike via an app. This way, you hardly give thieves a chance!
It's best not to use any electronic device, such as your cell phone, while riding your bike. If you do need to make a phone call, buy a universal bike mount from a specialist dealer. You can attach them to the handlebars. In principle, holders for your bike are allowed. However, it is forbidden to hold and operate the cell phone while riding. Your hands must always be on the handlebars!
Baskets and bicycle bags
Bags that you simply hang on your bike handlebars can quickly fall off or get caught in the spokes. This can turn out badly. To prevent this from happening, you can buy a bike basket or bags specially made for the bike. This will help store your things safely.
These bike gadgets are banned - hands off
Not all items that you can buy for your bike are allowed. For example, not all lights that you can buy in stores may be used. In general, you should make sure that other road users are not dazzled. In addition, you must not use a bright headlamp, as this can also be extremely blinding for oncoming cyclists or car drivers. Bicycle turn signals are prohibited on single-track bicycles, but are permitted on multi-track bicycles.
With the right accessories, you not only protect yourself, but also other road users in traffic. So you'd better check your bike again. Check whether it is roadworthy. Is it? Great! Then consider if you can increase the safety of your bike with more gadgets. It's important to avoid accessories that are prohibited by law. The rule here is: anything that dazzles or distracts you or the person in front of you has to go.
And what makes cycling even safer? Clearly, Bike Insurance! Among other things, it protects you in the event of bicycle theft - worldwide.