Own test stands developed partly on their own incorruptly record all data. Some test procedures, such as the head tube stiffness measurement of TOUR, have set new standards and been in use for almost twenty years now, as explains graduate engineer Dirk Zedler. The bicycle expert is one of the persons mainly responsible for the development of the test stands and procedures.
The triathlon freak makes a few thousand kilometres per year on his road, mountain and city bikes on which he commutes to his own company in Ludwigsburg every day. 2500 kilometres alone in city traffic estimates the 48-year old. After his studies in mechanical engineering, Zedler worked in a bicycle shop. His affinity for cycling never let go of him, even though working in the car company of his parents. At that time, when the head editor of TOUR, Uwe Geissler, was looking for a successor to engineering guru Smolik, Zedler saw his chance and had the job within 24 hours. Later, he started his own business with his consulting office for bicycle technology.
"No one in Germany sees more wrecked bicycles than we do", says the engineer; that’s how you get to know the weak points. There is permanent cooperation between him and the editors of the four magazines to design the test stands still more practice-oriented. That’s how a unique construction was developed which by means of a specially programmed software can determine the behaviour of full suspension rear frames of mountain bikes. This is something that often not even the cycle industry is able to realise. He sees a positive development on the trekking market. "Ten years ago an adjustable stem was junk. Today, these are sophisticated constructions. All in all, bicycles technology is at a much higher level. Compared to the time prior to EURO conversion you get a perfectly functioning all day bicycle for 600 Euro today. Illumination alone has changed a lot. Instead of miserable lamps you can now use safe LED light; the hub dynamos are technically mature."
The developed tests and measurement methods are designed for the buyer "outside" who is to benefit from them. The coating test, for example, with a defined blade and different heights of fall clearly indicates to the bicycle user how quickly the paint or the powder coating chip off in the case of stone chipping or when leaning the bicycle thoughtlessly against an object. (…)
Author: Thomas Roegner
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