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

The most common safety risks that we come across in our daily work around bicycle safety, technology and operating instructions are also published by us in articles in the leading German special-interest magazines TOUR (Europe's road bike magazine no. 1), BIKE (Europe's mountain bike magazine no. 1), MYBIKE and EMTB in order to make this information, which is important for the industry, available to a wider public.

For many years now, the Eurobike Show Daily, trade fair magazine of the annual Eurobike Show, has also given us the opportunity to publish our view of major developments in the cycle industry in full-page articles.

We also speak regularly in independent expert presentations about all areas of bicycle technology and the bicycle market. In addition, we are quoted by further special-interest magazines of the industry and the trade as well as increasingly by radio and television in their media reports, which shows us that we are spot on with our advice. The section "News" informs you about the latest news from our specialist areas. The reports and publications of this section are listed chronologically or according to areas of interest.

SAZbike 24-25/2013
Reading time 2:00 minutes

Brackemann in discussion with the "victims who have no say"

The German service and bicycle association (VSF) invited their members to attend the members’ general meeting in Bad Boll in Baden-Wuerttemberg. One of the highlights was a panel discussion about the pedelec test conducted by the German foundation for comparative product testing (Stiftung Warentest) this year. The panel discussion also included Dr. Holger Brackemann (divisional director of the product testers).  For the first time, there was not only a talking about, but also a public exchange of views about the disastrous test that had been conducted in summer. At the beginning of the discussion moderator Reiner Kollberg called for a constructive dialogue which actually happened to take place. 

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

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