In interviews following the publication of the test results Dr. Brackemann didn’t hold back his criticism towards the bicycle industry. The product testers accused the industry of palming their consumers off with products that should actually not be sold due to alleged safety deficiencies. But the head of the testing department of Stiftung Warentest had to accept harsh criticism in return holding an amateurish performance of the pedelec tests against Stiftung Warentest and their partners (among others ADAC). Among those who expressed their opinion were the most renowned specialists for bicycle tests, such as e.g. Dirk Zedler.
The initially very controversial debate with Stiftung Warentest has adopted an increasingly constructive character in the past weeks. The fact that besides Dr. Brackemann the scientific director Elke Gehrke as well as the project manager pedelec tests Kolja Oppel were in the delegation of the product testers who had accepted the invitation to visit the test laboratory of Zedler in Ludwigsburg is for the bicycle tester "a very satisfactory conclusion of the discussion which has led us over the summer and winter and in which we had the opportunity to deliver a good deal of competent input".
The question how one could have carried out a better pedelec test from Zedler's point of view was of course demonstrated to the product testers. "Our test set-up was simple and descriptive; as we operate several testing systems for each load case, we could test frames side-by-side in comparison. To compare them directly we had modified one test stand respectively into the StiWa configuration which had not only been criticized by us". Zedler continues: "We hope with this pro bono action that the presentation of dynamic tests which are much closer to the actual everyday use will convince the colleagues from StiWa to critically rethink their own static, over-determined and therefore unnecessarily product damaging test set-ups. In addition, the presentation was accompanied by visualizations on a ready-for-use bicycle. (…) And we are very excited to see how StiWa will proceed in future with their fatigue tests".
Author: Markus Fritsch