Anyone know if there is any such thing as a global spec(brake types, # gears, chain guard, etc.)? Minimum requirements to satisfy the needs of most countries (Australia, Germany, UK, Iberia, France, UK, Japan, USA). Any input would be awesome.
What does the number of gears have to do with safety? And what do you mean by "needs of most countires"? Laws?
As far as I know, most local regulations require a rear brake capable of skidding the rear wheel on dry pavement. Many require bell or horn. Most require at least a headlight at night and a reflector at the back. Some places also want you to have spoke and pedal reflectors, some insist on reflective tape. Some have mandatory helmet laws.
These are too varied, but in general if you use common sense (have a good braking system, light yourself up at night), you'll be fine in most countries. Most of the time you will exceed the legal requirements. There might be some weird obscure regulations in places that a common-sense set-up will not quite satisfy, but I doubt you'll be hassled about them.
thanks for the reply, but you are right, there seem to be little idiosyncrancies of each country, whether its a type of reflector here, the association of right and left caliper brakes, and certain warning labels. I have just been doing alot of research, and most country's bike standards are not readily accessible (like they are $200 to read a 30 page PDF). I was just hoping to see if anyone had any experience in comparing bikes of different countries.