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Old 09-03-06, 11:39 PM   #1
Mos6502
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BMA 6 Certified

I know that the BMA was the Bicycle Manufacturers Association of America - but I have no idea what is supposed to be "certified" by /6. Does anybody know the specifics? Or what manufacturers were part of the BMA? (it seems like most were, excepting Schwinn).

Thanks.
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Old 09-04-06, 06:04 PM   #2
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BMA/6 certified was a marketing ploy, Schwinn had no reason to align itself with that as it would have put them on the same tier, Schwinn was above. It had to do with minimum performance of the brakes and things like "toe clip" overlap and CPSC mandated stuff.
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Old 09-04-06, 08:05 PM   #3
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IIRC, the BMA/6 "certification" evolved from a Consumer Products Safety Commission's 1970s attempt to try to protect children from Dangerous Things. I think the thought was, if bicycles for kids are made less dangerous - i.e., less prone to component failure - kids will suffer fewer injuries. So the CPSC took standards from the Bicycle Manufacturer's Association re: frame & component stress testing etc, & awarded "certification" for "children's" bikes of such quality. Schwinn & other manufacturers of "adult" bikes weren't a concern for the CPSC at the time.

Biggest thing I remember (as a teen, when this BMA/6 certification first appeared in '72 or '73) was all the stupid reflectors that began sprouting on the newly "certified" bikes. I think, if memory serves, that the BMA/6 standard called for simply reflectors rather than headlights or taillights - lights were probably more effective for safety, but not necessary because kids obviously wouldn't be riding bikes at night anyhow!
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Old 09-04-06, 08:19 PM   #4
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When I worked at the bike shop, BMA/6 was synonomous for "crappy POS bicycle". There was a reason that Schwinn wouldn't lower themselves to attaching that sticker - their good reputation.

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Old 09-04-06, 08:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by repechage
BMA/6 certified was a marketing ploy, Schwinn had no reason to align itself with that as it would have put them on the same tier, Schwinn was above. It had to do with minimum performance of the brakes and things like "toe clip" overlap and CPSC mandated stuff.
What it seemingly had nothing to do with was stuff like quality frames, well built wheels, stems that were well cast, and overall good construction. You know, the kind of stuff that a lifelong bureaucrat, with no worries of ever being fired, would never consider important. Hell, they let Murry, Huffy and Iverson decide the safety standards!

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Old 09-04-06, 09:05 PM   #6
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I had read somewhere that Schwinn wasn't part of the BMA because the association required silly things, such as shipping bicycles with the front wheel in place - which Schwinn properly assumed as being stupid. I think that was written in a popular mechanics article from the 70s, or a book published by popular mechanics, I just wanted to know if there were any other manufacturers who decided not to join.

So I'm going to assume that there was never a BMA 5 or BMA 7 rating? (does the number signify anything?) Does anybody know about when they stopped putting the BMA 6 sticker on everything?

Thanks for the answers.
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Old 09-04-06, 10:43 PM   #7
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Would you want to trust a discount store stock clerk to put in a front wheel? I guess I should strike that today, as Toys-R-Us and Waldosmart seem to.

BMA/6 was just a Marketing name, went away when the cost of the stickers was beyond their proven value.
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Old 09-05-06, 12:15 AM   #8
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I've got an old beast with one of those stickers. It mentions standards tested by an independent laboratory. Perhaps that lab was actually a auto wrecker's yard with one of those big car crushers.
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