25 years fighting against the mess – Dirk Zedler mercilessly exposes defective products of the cycle industry by means of expert’s reports and extensive laboratory tests. We were allowed to attend even the most secret corners of Zedler Institut für Fahrradtechnik und -Sicherheit in Ludwigsburg where it is normally strictly forbidden to take photographs.
On April 1st, 1993 graduate engineer Dirk Zedler sat down at a desk in a repurposed child’s room and decided to be a bicycle expert from this moment on. It was the time when the obsession with light construction resulted in spooky products in the mountain bike scene. Cranks and stems were milled to the max, handlebars and frames laminated haphazardly. The stuff broke in series.
Nevertheless, the first years were tough for Zedler. He was thinking about giving up. At that time the safety issue was not yet a big thing for the company. The engineers were more engaged in optimizing the sophisticated refinements. Disc brakes, suspension elements, gear units, there was plenty of work in fact.
With carbon triumphing over other materials laboratory tests became more and more important from the middle of the first decade of the new century. Zedler who had meanwhile established his reputation with test stands for the German road bike magazine TOUR expanded his company more and more into a test laboratory. In parallel he also developed the lab test including accompanying test stand for the German publishing house Delius-Klasing Verlag that is also owner of BIKE and FREERIDE.
Since Zedler’s test lab has been restructured into an institute in 2010 – which required the proof of scientific work – companies from Europe, Asia and America send prototype samples in the rhythm of the days to have them tested for durability. The sector had discovered the safety issue for themselves. And this is certainly due to Dirk Zedler’s major contribution. In BIKE 4/2019 we dedicated a detailed portrait to the tireless fighter for product safety.
Read the entire article here.
Author/Photo: Henri Lesewitz