Regular cycle magazine readers know it: the Zedler institute in Ludwigsburg. The institute for bicycle technology and safety founded more than 20 years ago. All other interested parties should get to know it, as it is a unique thing in the world of bicycles.
There is no doubt about it – no one knows the bicycle better than Dirk Zedler and his meanwhile 18 team members, and that applies to all fields, not only engineering, but in this field in particular.
There is not a single carbon fork, not a seat post which is not treated to rupture, not a single new bicycle model which is not fully dismantled. Safer and user friendly bicycles, pedelecs and components, tested according to scientific principles, are target and goal of the Zedler team. Besides the development of always state-of-the-art-and-technology testing systems, this goal is also pursued by journalistic work in the leading Germany bicycle magazines.
In particular in the booming area e-bikes and pedelecs there’s a big deal of uncertainty about the safety of these vehicles which are spreading more and more. In this field the Zedler institute has carried out extensive tests on the riding stability which are made available to everyone on their homepage. There you also find further reports on other bicycle-related issues.
However, there are yet further business fields which provide the product bicycle with more safety, objectivity, comparability as well as professionalism.
But the sworn in expert not only develops testing system. The elaboration of experts’ reports and loss analyses is another field of major importance. For manufacturers and private individuals, as well as for courts and insurers, whereas the reports deal with accident, theft and material failure issues.
The findings of about 800 expert’s reports per year are incorporated into the development of the test methods, discussed in the tests of the bicycle magazines and presented in lectures on congresses.
Another important field are the user manuals developed, drawn up and produced for all bicycle types in accordance with the EN and ISO standards. They are available in more than 30 languages and regularly awarded test winner.
Taking account of the philosophy and the spirit prevailing there, it is not surprising that the company was awarded with prizes for their environmental and social commitment. They were honoured with the "Medium-Sized Company Award for Social Responsibility in Baden-Wuerttemberg" and were nominee in the competition "Business Award for the Environment Baden-Wuerttemberg". The Zedler team uses for example the waste heat of the compressors for the operation of the test stands with a self-constructed heat exchanger for the heating of the company building.
The social commitment is demonstrated for example by an education partnership with three Marbach schools where a master mechanic cycle craft regularly teaches pupils the bicycle principles of bicycle technology. For this purpose a fully equipped bicycle workshop was established there.
Needless to say that the team members feel more than well in this climate and that they have certainly found one of the nicest work places in Ludwigsburg. Most of them take their bike to come to work and hereby contribute a lot to make the city more pleasant.
In the near future they will face ambitious plans. The removal into a newly built energy-plus-building providing more space and a future-oriented testing and laboratory situation is intended to be finished by 2017. In 2017, in fact, we will celebrate the 200th birthday of the bicycle. In 1817 Baron of Drais set off for the first time on the draisine, named after him, to cycle through Mannheim. In accordance with that the new bicycle centre will incorporate a museum showing one of the biggest and most important collections of historic bicycles in Europe. It will allow visitors to admire from a draisine over high wheels to state-of-the-art carbon racing machines.
That’s how the very car-friendly city of Ludwigsburg will get, completely unmerited, one of the nicest bicycle museums in Germany.
Author: Juergen Isendyck