"Offshore racer for hot bumps", "nervous greenhorn for brave cowboys" or "off-road racer for grandpa and grandchildren". When we developed the first test methods for mountain bikes 25 years ago, the test letters often ended with a flippant joke. Today, nobody will allege that a BIKE test is flippant. For years, our testing system has been setting international standards; many manufacturers and other media tried to copy our testing methods for the determination of stiffnesses, chassis efficiency, sitting comfort and paint quality. After all, BIKE tests led to an improvement of mountain bikes; no industry insider will contradict. With this issue we go another step forward: Curtain up for the BIKE test V2.0. For 2016, we upgraded our laboratory, tuned up testing methods, added new criteria and adjusted ratings. With the new testing system, we place more importance than ever before on the benefit of a bike for the customer spending a lot of money for his sports equipment and expecting maximum quality. The key issues are "usability", guarantee or quality, but we'll revert on that further below.
Future BIKE tests will continue to be composed of the elements laboratory (objective) and practical riding (subjective). Our internal test centre was upgraded with state-of-the-art-and-technology test stands. The new stiffness test stand developed by our partner Zedler-Institut für Fahrradtechnik und -Sicherheit GmbH also includes a function for the measurement of the characteristic curves of forks and rear frames as well as the recording of the wheel trajectory curve. Due to these three functions, this brand-new machine was internally dubbed "Triceratops". We still determine the isolated value of the frame stiffness, without wheels and fork. The value is added to the points table, criterion riding stability.
Read more on the new test
Author: Christoph Listmann
THE TEST MONSTER CALLED TRICERATOPS
One for (nearly) all: Centrepiece of the new BIKE test is the test stand developed by Zedler-Institut, internally called: Triceratops. It not only determines the frame stiffness, but also measures accurately the characteristic curves of fork and rear frame in the following step.
1. SPRING CHARACTERISTIC CURVE We determine spring travel and characteristic curve of each bike on ourselves. It provides data about the chassis characteristics as well as the actually usable spring travel. The new test stand from our technology partner Zedler writes the characteristic curve documented in the test letter and also records the wheel trajectory curve. This helps analysing the character of a rear frame system.