Does the annual cycle of models compromise safety?
For the expert Dirk Zedler (Zedler – Institut für Fahrradtechnik und -Sicherheit) especially the annual model change and the wide model range is a problem which affects product safety. He therefore requests "Stop the annual change of models" to ensure thorough safety tests of the models. Moreover, he suggests creating solutions for the components suitable to be mounted to a wide range of bicycles. This would increase the piece numbers of the parts, reduce the price of the components as a result of an increased demand, allow a less expensive production of the complete bicycle and make product tests safer, as they could be conducted more thoroughly.
Cycle training for new customers
This information is of major importance in particular for e-bike purchases and new purchases. These customers are strongly focussed on their new bicycle and not so much on road traffic. The consequence: an increased risk of accident. This fact is proved by Dirk Zedler who surveys lots of new bicycles damaged in accidents in his institute. "The users need to learn from the beginning how to handle the products", says the expert. An interesting possibility to improve the situation suggested from many sides was a cycle training for pedelec cyclists.
All in all the discussion proved that there were different approaches to improve the safety especially of e-bikes. All interested parties, from the bicycle manufacturer via the specialist dealer and the test institutes to the end consumers, could however contribute to an improvement of the situation. Although Dirk Zedler concluded that no one was able to design and test the "all-in-one device suitable for every purpose", he stated that the entire sector could make a contribution to improve the safety by cooperation to ensure that the dealers will not feel left alone.
Author: Thomas Geisler