Dutch road safety groups criticise crossbar bikes, warn of dangers

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The traditional crossbar on men’s bikes is unsafe and should be avoided by some groups, say traffic safety organisations Veilig Verkeer Nederland (VVN) and TeamAlert.

The organisations warn that the design is putting fathers with young children and older men at greater risk in case of an accident.

Swedish crash tests have shown that cyclists on a crossbar bike tend to hit their heads first when they fall because they bend over more than they would on a bike without one.

Mounting and dismounting is also a problem. ‘As people get older getting on and off the bike isn’t as easy. It’s the moment when most accidents occur, especially on e-bikes, and the consequences of a fall can be very serious for older people,’ VNN spokesperson José de Jong says.

The time that a crossbar strengthened the bike is long past. ‘That may have been true in the 19th century but now women’s bikes are as strong as men’s because the design has changed,’ TeamAlert spokesperson Juliën L’Ortye says.