Ever heard about the locker or cabinet test? No? One of my colleagues at the German FREERIDE magazine likes to mention it as negative example when it comes to testing things. If one tested for example TV sets with the locker test, it would look like that: Take the TV sets to be tested and let them fall down the locker one after the other. The result: All TV sets get broken. Although there can be no doubting the result, the findings are for the use in practice utter nonsense.
In the case of component tests, as in our case handlebars and stems, a practice or field test cannot supply findings relating to the durability. It is extremely difficult to standardize test rides and the time factor would put a spoke in our wheel. Bringing our complete test field comprising 21 handlebar/stem-combinations, three items of each (to detect material deviations), to the limits would take decades.
With our two test fields (cross-country trail: handlebar width 725-760 mm and all mountain-enduro/downhill 770-815 mm) we therefore have to rely on the test stands of the independent test institute Zedler in Ludwigsburg, whcih can test handlebars in fast motion. Compared to the past test in BIKE 5/14 we did not change the established test procedure. First, a handlebar/stem-combination had to pass the ISO 4210:2015 test. Rather a show then a real hurdle, as weight and assembly of the loads have not much to do with reality.