The second conference day started with a comprehensive workshop program consisting of four parallel blocks. The attendees could choose between the issues electric bicycle, conflicting priorities of dealers and manufacturers, bicycle standards as well as initiatives on the promotion of cycle traffic.
The panel discussion at noon dealt with a regularly recurring issue: Bicycle and component testing of the German Foundation for comparative product testing (Stiftung Warentest). Are these product tests a lottery for the sector? Dr. Holger Brackemann, head of the testing department of Stiftung Warentest, bicycle expert Dirk Zedler, the managing director of the German cycle club (ADFC) Horst Hahn-Kloeckner as well as Mathias Seidler, the managing director of bicycle manufacturer Derby Cycle Werke were spurred on by moderator Gunnar Fehlau to argue.
The Derby principal tossed in that the positive or negative outcome of a test often happened by chance and that the tests regularly compared apples with pears. What he was missing above all, was transparency and traceability of the test procedures. Dirk Zedler took the same line: "In doing so you prevent progress and hinder the sector from learning from their mistakes". He added that the publishing of mere test results by Stiftung Warentest would not help. Brackemann made clear that it was not the business of Stiftung Warentest to assume the quality assurance of the manufacturers.
There was controversy about reasonable test procedures. Bicycle manufacturers and experts like Zedler prefer more simple tests that are in alignment with European standards. Professor Fueglein, however, conducts on behalf of Stiftung Warentest a service load test on his costly hydro pulse. By means of this procedure it is actually possible to simulate relatively practical loads. It is however stated by Zedler that this procedure often produces types of damage that are not often seen in real life. There was agreement among all panel members about the fact that the types of damage actually occurring in real life were not registered systematically.
Author: Andreas Oehler