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Safety equipment for cyclists

For the safety of cyclists, their bikes and other road users, it is important to own a full set of equipment. Some equipment is mandatory.


Mandatory equipment

To ensure the safety of cyclists, a full set of equipment is essential together with regular monitoring of their bikes.

Accident insurance

In the case of mechanical bikes, a cyclist’s civil liability insurance (often the household CL) should cover any damage caused to third parties.

Electric bikes with pedal assistance in excess of 25 km/h, mopeds and approved electric scooters must carry a registration plate (small yellow plate) issued by the Cantonal vehicles service.


At night and in tunnels, cyclists must have good lights. The lights must be white at the front and red at the rear. If the bike is not fitted with a dynamo, the cyclist must purchase a removable light kit.

Bikes must also be fitted with at least two reflective strips, one at the front and one at the rear. Four additional reflective strips must be fitted on the two short sides of each pedal. An equivalent retro-reflector can replace the reflective strips.

Bell or horn

Cyclists are more vulnerable than other road users as they make no noise. It is therefore mandatory to fit a clearly audible bell or horn on your bike. A bell allows cyclists to warn other road users of their presence. 

Brakes and tyres

Bikes must be fitted with two effective brakes. The brakes must be checked on a regular basis. They must ensure effective braking in all circumstances.

Tyres must be regularly maintained. The pressure must be checked and the tyres must be re-inflated if necessary. Good to know: the rear tyre becomes worn more quickly than the front tyres. It must therefore be changed more often.

Anti-theft device

Bikes must be fitted with a bike lock, a chain or a similar device enabling them to be tied up to avoid theft.

Other rules to be respected

  • The width of a bike must not exceed 1 m;
  • The width of the handlebar must not exceed 70 cm;

The frame must carry the name of the manufacturer and an individual number which serves to identify the bike (the owner must make a note of this number).

Recommended equipment

Bike lock

A bike lock is part of the mandatory equipment for cyclists. The City of Geneva recommends that you choose a U-shaped bike lock, which is more resistant and more readily discourages thieves. A chain or similar anti-theft device can be used instead of a bike lock.

In the street, it is important to fasten your bike to a fixed element (bike stand, post, bollard, etc.) in a visible location.

Mark your bike

Marking your bike provides additional protection against theft. This involves having an identification number engraved onto the bike frame. This BICYCODE is then recorded in a database along with the name of the bike owner. This practice:

  • dissuades thieves;
  • limits the possibilities for reselling stolen bikes;
  • makes it easier to search for and identify a stolen bike.

The bike pound of the Canton of Geneva provides a bike marking service in cooperation with the Pro Vélo Genève association. The operation takes about 5 minutes and costs CHF 15.

Suitable clothing

When it is raining or foggy, you are strongly advised to wear clothes in fluorescent colours or fitted with reflective strips. At night, wear light colours. You are also advised not to wear loose clothing which could be caught in the spokes of the wheels and cause an accident.


You are strongly advised to wear a helmet.

A helmet absorbs and protects against impacts to the head. It is essential to ensure that your helmet is correctly attached, stable and positioned such that it covers both the top of your head and your brow. A good-quality helmet must satisfy the safety requirements of European standard EN 1078.

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Article modifié le 26.02.2020 à 15:42