The series of comments from the cycle industry and associations is currently complemented by the comment given by the German service and bicycle cooperation (Verbund Service und Fahrrad e.V.).
German service and bicycle cooperation (VSF):
The German foundation for comparative product testing (Stiftung Warentest) has published once again "disastrous" test results without communicating any details concerning test procedure or precise test criteria to the manufacturers of the pedelecs tested.
In consideration of the negative publicity for the e-bike sector the independent branch association VSF (Verbund Service und Fahrrad g.e.V.) requests from the German product testers to keep their promise of a better cooperation and more transparency given already during the vivavelo conference in 2010. The latest publication by the German product testers titled "The risk goes along with e-bikes" seems however rather aimed at making headlines than at providing independent consumer information.
This time the German product testers get a lot of attention with broken frames and handlebars during a simulated endurance test over 20,000 km. On the occasion of the official presentation of the results, Stiftung Warentest’s head of testing Dr. Holger Brackemann requires appropriate action from the manufacturers to perform "adequate safety tests" prior to selling the bicycles. He refuses them, however, any data by means of which the presumable shortcomings determined by Stiftung Warentest become understandable.
Dramatic test results do not comply with the practical experiences. "From our about 230 specialist retailer members 84% have been selling pedelecs for many years", explains Uwe Wöll, VSF product manager. "There is, however, not one retailer who has stated a clear increase in handlebar or frame breakages compared to 'normal' bicycles."
This statement corresponds to the experiences of Dirk Zedler, owner of Ingenieur und Sachverständigenbüros für Fahrradtechnik Zedler, preparing bicycle expert’s reports on accidented bicycles of any sort: "All in all there are no abnormal developments in the requests of expert’s reports for pedelecs which would support the test of the German product testers."
Author: Jürgen Wetzstein