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 05/2024
Reading time 2:45 minutes

Making positive use of a negative fuss

The sales ban of Babboe cargo bikes in the Netherlands is also causing a stir in Germany and playing into the hands of cargo bike critics. What the trade should do now.

On March 18, the German newspaper “Braunschweiger Zeitung” headlined “The cargo bike scandal has also arrived in Braunschweig”. The background to this was that due to the Babboe cargo bike recall (...) the city of Braunschweig contacted 25 Babboe cargo bike owners by writing and gave them the choice to take countermeasures or pay back the grants.

The city’s offer: If the purchase of the Babboe cargo bike can be cancelled, the subsidies received can be offset if the “model from another manufacturer eligible for grants” is purchased. If no new cargo bike is purchased, the subsidy granted has to be paid back. “Meanwhile, Babboe offers the option of entering frame numbers on the website (...). “We don't yet know exactly what will happen next,” said the Braunschweig-based Babboe dealer Radspezial when asked by Braunschweiger Zeitung.

What happens to Radspezial, also happens to many other German dealers who have sold Babboe cargo bikes. However, the fuss being made around the Accell brand is now also affecting other cargo bike brands, as in some media fear of the products is fuelled, leading to uncertainty among end consumers. What should be the reaction of the trade?

The cargo bike industry takes the issue of safety very seriously and has developed important requirements and test procedures for cargo bikes with the DIN 79010 standard and the EN 17860 standard, which is already available in partial drafts. Despite media reports to the contrary about spectacular crash tests, there is no evidence that there is an increase in accidents involving cargo bikes. The opposite is rather the case: Thanks to their size and conspicuousness, cargo bikes are particularly safe in road traffic and even contribute to increased safety for other road users, especially where they replace car rides,” explains Arne Behrensen, senior expert transition in transportation at Zukunft Fahrrad.

High requirements of the authorities

The expert Dirk Zedler is well-versed in the processes of approval of the authorities. “The catalogue of measures to make safe electric bicycles available on the market within the EU is comprehensive. This includes not only extensive tests of the frames, the individual parts and the fully-assembled bicycle or cargo bike, but also a lot of technical documentation including much more than a user manual,” states Zedler. Therefore, a solid base in all these fields makes the bicycle as well as the cargo bike undoubtedly much better and safer, will cost however umpteen thousand euros per model.

High requirements, major quality, hardly any accidents, increased safety: There are several arguments that should be mentioned in a sales conversation to reduce the uncertainty of customers when buying a cargo bike. Retailers should use their expertise on this topic to their advantage and let the positive arguments speak for themselves. Because as SAZ bike already headlined in issue 20/2023: In many fields, the cargo bike is already the better vehicle than the car.

Alexander Schmitz
Photo: Babboe

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