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.

SAZbike 10/2014
Reading time 1:40 minutes

Attention! Mounting new handlebars and stems to e-bikes bears risks

In Germany the product safety law has been in force since 1997. It was revised in 2011 and is valid in this form. To date the bicycle sector has been hardly affected by this law, but with the increasing sales of electric bicycles the preconditions are changing: At the moment of the sale, the products must have a CE-marking. Therefore, it is inevitable to keep some peculiarities in mind when doing any modifications of handlebars and stems for ergonomic reasons.

In principle, the German product safety law is applicable when the products are made available, displayed or used for the first time on the market in the context of a business activity (pursuant to section 1 (1), ProdSG). (...)

According to the repeated statement of Dirk Zedler from Zedler  Institut für Fahrradtechnik und -Sicherheit GmbH, "it is forbidden to sell a pedelec without CE-marking".  In addition, it is stipulated to supply the product together with the user manual, as it is regarded as part of the product, a fact which is unfortunately often neglected by some bicycle dealers. (...)

CE-marking applies to the entire vehicle
The situation not only turns out to be problematic, when there is no CE-marking on the product. It becomes complicated when a loss occurs in spite of the CE-marking due to a component which was mounted later. That’s exactly the reason why ergonomic modifications of handlebars and stems on pedelecs must be carried out with utmost caution and by observing certain rules. "I advise in general against modifications and tinkering on pedelecs", warns Zedler. Handlebar or stem failure as a result of wrongly mounted parts is in this case a problem for the dealer. (...)

Lists should be made available by the manufacturers
There are, however, only a few dealers who are actually aware of the severe consequences arising from the modification of a pedelec. For this reason the dealers request from the manufacturers to make available more information on this issue. (...)

Dirk Zedler therefore speaks out in favour of a rethinking in the bicycle sector: He recommends that prior to every handlebar or stem modification the dealers should ask the manufacturer by writing whether these are suitable and have them approved by them. According to the expert another option would be that the manufacturers, just like in the automotive industry, offer original spare parts which are obligatory for dealers. "To date the world of bicycle could do whatever they wanted. But from now on that will not work any longer", says the expert.  (…)

Author: Thomas Geisler

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