All about bicycles, electric-assisted bikes, technology and safety in the press

In our daily work as we deal with bicycle safety, technology and user manuals we come across lots of safety risks. The most frequent ones are published in articles of the leading German special-interest magazines TOUR – Europas Rennrad-Magazin Nr. 1, BIKE – Das Mountainbike Magazin Europas Nr. 1 and E-Bike – Das Pedelec-Magazin to make this information important for the sector accessible to a wider public.

For many years now the Eurobike Show Daily accompanying the annual international Eurobike Show has given us the opportunity to publish our perspective on major developments in the cycle industry in full-page articles.

We also speak regularly in independent lectures about all topics relating to bicycle technology and bicycle market. In addition, we are regularly cited by further special-interest magazines or trade journals as well as more and more by radio and television and in their media reports, which shows us that we are completely right with our information. The section NEWS informs you about the latest news from our specialist fields. The reports and publications of this section are listed chronologically or according to topics of interest.

RadMarkt 01/2014

The future of e-mobility

There are two reasons why the service and bicycle association (VSF) mobilises many participants for their member’s general meeting year after year. The first one is to maintain the feeling of community. The other one is the presentation of lectures and workshops offering a wide range of information. From November 23 to 26, 2013, the topics of the meeting in Bad Boll dealt with current market concerns and the future.

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Lecture Andreas Lübeck: E-bike reality of specialist dealers

Chances to make people mobile – in particular those who would never dare to go into a specialist shop. But the problems increase. At present, however, they are only pushed between dealers and manufacturers. Direct quote Lübeck: "That’s absurd! This stereotype thinking, here the dealer, there the manufacturer. This cannot function. In this regard the industry must professionalise."

The market will continue changing. "The currently big number of e-bike producers will decline. In the end, only a few systems will win the race. These will then determine the brands that meet their demands," thinks Lübeck. The clear positioning of the shops could be an alternative. At present, there was a "bubble of devalued systems."

Bicycle tester Dirk Zedler stated that only with a concentration the profit margins would increase. "Offering 30 e-bike models and selling no more than 100 to 500 cannot be profitable. In this regard the development costs are too high. Have a look at Volkswagen. They have the Golf and sell it by millions!"

What would happen, Lübeck dreams aloud, "if the VSF concentrated on two or three e-bike brands?" A dealer objects that in his job individuality would play an important role. Individuality can, however, mean two things, as it turned out. On the one hand the selling of bicycle brands outside the mainstream, on the other hand the individual retrofitting of e-bikes. That’s what Zedler warns about: "I can only advise against individualising e-bikes. We are here within a strait-jacket in which we have to move. And we have to take care for the legal requirements. The dealers are aware of the standards, but this is it!" In other words: The dealers should let go of the tinkering.

On the other hand it was decided to present to the member’s general meeting's plenary session the following day their application to ask for the composition of a VSF e-bike purchase expert committee that should actively approach suppliers and sellers. The next step would be to try to convince three to four suppliers to become authorised VSF e-bike suppliers complying with all legal regulations.

Authors: J. Beckendorff, M. Bollschweiler, C. Müllenhof

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