New Jersey to ban Quick Release Wheels

You gotta love my state. Our state is getting known not only for mishandling the highest per-capita revenue of any state (it also has the highest debt of any state) and the endless perp walk of politicians. It will now be known as the state of inane legislation.

I always get concerned when the first explanation of a new legislation is “to protect our children.” So when Masiguy posted that my wonderful state is trying to protect my two kids, I sat up and took notice.

Back in 2006, the Assembly considered a bill saying:

It shall be an unlawful practice for any person to sell a bicycle [intended for use by children] with a front wheel diameter of 20 inches or less, which is equipped with a quick release wheel, exclusive of specialty adult bicycles.


OK, so what. Sounds like that would be a good idea. 20 inch wheels are for fairly young kids anyway so I don’t see them needing a quick wheel change in a high stakes race. Plus, I remember noticing that virtually no bikes, including racing bikes, actually had quick release wheels at that size. So NJ State Assembly, have at it! Ban something that does not exist. Way to spend more tax dollars!

But, like a bad horror movie, something more sinister lurked around the next corner. The bill recently passed the Assembly. It looked a little different than when it went in. This was added in addition to the 20 inch or less line to broaden our State’s child protection.

c. (1) It shall be an unlawful practice for any person to sell a bicycle which is equipped with a quick release wheel if:

(a) the front wheel diameter is greater than 20 inches; or

(b) it is a specialty adult bicycle with a front wheel diameter of 20 inches or less

Wait a minute! Wheels of 20 inches or less and wheels greater than 20 inches! What’s left! This bill is now at the State Senate and if passed will hurt shop owners, not help children. Look at our State’s geography, no one in the state is too far from either Pennsylvania, New York, or (tax free) Delaware. The most profitable bike shop will be the one right over the border.

I almost prefer when our elected officials spent their time routing money to friends rather than making laws.


12 Responses to New Jersey to ban Quick Release Wheels

  1. Ed says:

    Not satisfied by just being a laughing stock of government, upon which all other states heap ridicule, (I’m in Birmingham, Al. so I know all about piss-poor government) now Jersey government is actually doing things that hurt people and businesses. At least Jim McGreevy was pretty much harmless.

  2. LuckyLab says:

    So when you Craigslist your excess bikes, you have to sell sans wheels to be legal? Nice.

    Oh, wait, that might be the loophole. Instead of selling whole bikes, shops will have to sell a frame and components and a wheel package. You’re not selling a whole bike with equipped wheels with quick realease skewers, you’re selling a frame and wheels (not attached, therefore not equipped).

    Hmmm… seems to me this little action was well though out.

  3. pelotonjim says:

    Ed, I knew this would catch your eye. Lucky, well put. Like the old Salt Lake City days where you had to buy your bottle in a liquor store and the “bar” could only sell the mixer. As it turned out, people ended up drinking a lot more since they had the whole bottle there. All in the effort of curbing drinking by prohibiting bars from selling alcohol in order to ‘protect’ us.

    I’m opening a bike assembly shop in NJ that puts all those parts together.

  4. Ed says:

    Good old fashioned entrepreneurship motivated by profit.

    Free-market capitalism, how do I love thee…let me count the ways.

    Go for it, Jim!

  5. Tim Jackson says:


    Thanks for the mention. Ed- How’re things in my home state? My dad still lives just outside of Birmingham and the rest of the relatives are down south in Fairhope… small world.

    Anyway, this bill is worded poorly at best. The poor staffer at one assembly member’s office had no idea what would be legal or not. He felt pretty sure that the lawyer tabs on the fork would be sufficient as “secondary retention devices”, but he was not positive. Fortunately, he said that he was being inundated by questions about the bill, so maybe it can be stopped or at least worded better to protect bike shops from something terribly stupid.

  6. Ed says:

    We’re currently in unprecedented drought territory. Level 3 I think. That means only hand watering in the yard, only on certain days and during certain hours. In addition, if you exceed your allotment of water, you pay between 200%-300% on every gallon you go over. And if the cops catch you watering and it’s not your time, there can be as much as a $300 fine. To sum it up…things are hot and dry.

    I’m in Hoover. Where’s your dad?

  7. Tim Jackson says:

    Ed- Yes, I can remember when things would get dry there, though it wasn’t too often. It gets bad when it gets dry. I keep sending you guys wet, rain wishes! I know my dad’s place is getting pretty crunchy. He’s up in Remlap, not far from the Warrior River (I believe).

    Jim- Open a shop! I know a really cool bike brand you could stock!We’ll talk…

  8. pelotonjim says:

    Let me guess…… Masi?

  9. Greg says:

    Coming up next … mandatory seat belts and airbags on bikes.

  10. […] it’s also been dealing with a controversy in the New Jersey legislature over a proposed ban on quick release wheels. But now the legal bills are coming due: “In fact, the expenses […]

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