Rose Bikes puts UK bike sales on hold over brake rules

Rose Bikes will pull sales of bikes to the UK as a result of the UK’s legislation requiring a front brake to be set up on the right hand side of the handlebar.

The firm announced last week that assembly process tweaks led the bike maker to the decision, deciding that, for the time being at least, it was no longer feasible to make an exception for the UK’s customers.

The decision comes on the back of a efficiency drive by the business in which the customisation options that the brand was somewhat known for have been trimmed in order to bring about cost savings and drive forward a reduction in delivery times. The move shunts the firm to a focus on serial production.

For the UK market, where standards applied to braking differ to much of the rest of the world, that’s a deal breaker. It is required by law that bikes sold here are set up with the front brake on the right lever and the rear on the left where levers are used.

While arguably a bike could be shipped and then converted by a skilled mechanic, this job can be laborious and for Rose it’d be immensely hard to predict just how many customers would be interested in undertaking this work. This would make forecasting production runs for the UK only very difficult. Bikes cannot be shipped to the UK if pre-assembled with the levers conforming to European norms.

Rose has left the door open to a return “soon” describing the UK as a vital market. The firm’s statement in full reads:

As some of you have already noticed, we recently had to discontinue the assembly and shipping of ROSE bikes for the UK. This was a difficult decision for us, so we want to take some time to explain it to you.

In the UK, bicycles are constructed differently than in the rest of Europe: the market standards and laws in Great Britain, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland clearly convey that the front brake lever must be mounted on the right-hand side of the handlebar and the rear brake lever on the left-hand side. For the rest of Europe, it is the exact opposite.

With the technical complexity of our bikes increasing, we are facing the ever-growing challenge of being able to offer affordable Rose bikes with a high level of quality and safety. And because we want to shorten our delivery times for our customers, this summer we decided to gradually shut down the configuration of bikes, so that we are able to maintain our usual standards. Installing the brake cables and brake levers on the opposite side would require the type of special solution for the UK that we simply can’t realise right now.

We want to be able to guarantee each and every ROSE bike rider that they are sitting on a safe bike and keep the same level of quality. As soon as we are done with the transition in our production and get more clarity about the future of doing business with the UK, we will look for a long-term solution. Because we hope to soon be able to offer our bikes again to the UK and its vital market.

Until then, you can still find our bikes on and in our stores in Germany and Switzerland. We’re hoping for your understanding.