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.
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During the discussion the fronts became quickly clear: On the one side Kurt Schaer (managing director of Biketec AG), Dirk Zedler (managing director of Zedler Institut für Fahrradtechnik und -Sicherheit) and Dietrich Sudikatis (owner of the bike shop Radgeber Linden/Hanover). The three were supported by a plenum consisting of partly enraged VSF dealers. On the other side was Dr. Holger Brackemann, Divisional Director Testing of Stiftung Warentest. (…)
The test setup of the German product testers
The frame breakage at the drop-outs of the Flyer e-bike tested by the German product testers was a most controversial issue. For Kurt Schaer the incident is not verifiable.
Brackemann replied that the experiences Schaer referred to were applicable to bicycles of earlier production years. Stiftung Warentest had, however, tested bicycles of 2013 without any experience values gained during long-term uses. "New bicycles could therefore be concerned by the problem." This was a reproach Dirk Zedler could not leave hanging in the air and took the side of the e-bike manufacturer: "Broken drop-outs haven’t been a problem for years", explains the expert. This argumentation were a proof for the fact that the German product testers were apparently lacking bicycle know-how. "There is much too little knowledge in how to handle a bicycle. Look for test laboratories which have the knowledge", advised the expert. (…)
The uncritical implementation in the media
There was for example the description of a scenario where the rear wheel breaks away while riding on a cobblestone road. However, the tests were exclusively conducted on a test stand without wheels. "I have nothing against a negative and critical press. But it must come from the bicycle sector and should not miss the point", makes Dirk Zedler clear. (…)
Lessons for future tests
In one point there was, however, agreement among all participants: The currently valid pedelec standard which only meets minimum requirements, is not enough. Dirk Zedler suggested to additionally test the riding stability in the next tests conducted by the product testers. "Your test is not comprehensive. Practical riding stability and riding safety are not included in the test", he added to his advises for Brackemann. (…)
Author: Thomas Geisler
SAZbike, 2019/07/18 and 14/2019