The fact that Zedler-Institut is not just any old bicycle repair workshop is visible at first glance, even if end customers occasionally ask for a repair. On the one hand, the very respectable bicycle museum at the location in Ludwigsburg testifies to a fine sense of bicycle culture and bicycle technology in particular. On the other hand, the rooms are abundantly equipped with test stands that you probably won't find anywhere else in this form and quantity. And last but not least, this can also be concluded from the fact that admittance to the evening event of the anniversary was strictly regulated and all even remotely sensitive bicycles and products were covered or removed from the building altogether.
Long company history
What was celebrated on April 1st, was not an April Fools’ joke, but a long company history that began in the early 90s. In those days, mountain biking and triathlon were hot trend sports with millions of products sold and, unfortunately, also increasing numbers of accidents. Dirk Zedler realised the need for experts who were able to correctly determine the value of bicycles, analyse failures and rate damage patterns with regard to possible courses. After an apprenticeship as a craftsman, a degree in mechanical engineering, in parallel six years of experience in the bicycle trade and well over a hundred cycling and triathlon events under his belt, he set up his own business as a bicycle expert. At the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the business idea was commented on with the sentence: “Who needs that?“.
Today, no one asks this anymore; Zedler is a globally known name in the cycle industry. But the actual business of the company performed day after day, is something that is not known. On the open house day, business partners, friends and all other interested parties were given an insight. More than 350 visitors took advantage of this opportunity and were guided through the laboratories and workshops in eight guided tours throughout the day.
Informative guided tours for guests
During the guided tour, you not only got an idea of how demanding bicycles and components are tested today, but you also learned many an anecdote from German court rooms. The story of the customer who wanted to cancel his purchase because of noises on the bicycle stuck in memory. It took 2000 euros of court fees to find out that it would have been enough to grease the chain to solve the problem. On the other side there are American experts opinions involving amounts of loss of 50 million US dollars. Zedler's expertise is also called upon in these cases. Meanwhile, global business is an essential part of the work.
Still on a growth course
In its 30th year, the company was able to reveal a growth of more than 67 percent again, explained Dirk Zedler in his speech at the evening event. “If you manage to achieve this kind of growth in your 30th year, then you are probably on the right track,” the jubilarian stated with satisfaction. The demand for bicycle expertise continues unabated even at this level.
On this occasion, he also let the guests know that the latest sustainability report for the year 2021/ 2022 has been completed. The fact that the efforts in this field are worthwhile can be concluded, among other things, from the fact that Zedler is thus independent of rising energy prices and so far no price increases for the own services have been necessary. In addition, the DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council) has confirmed that the company building is climate positive. This means that the building makes a positive contribution to climate protection with its CO2 balance. In connection with this, the platinum certificate for the company headquarters was extended until 2025. The building thus continues to be one of the best-rated buildings in the world.
Author: Daniel Hrkac