That is to say one of only a few of his craft all over Germany. "In Germany there are about two handfuls of bicycle experts, three of them can make a living from this activity," explains Zedler. The 46-year-old is one of them. Bicycle experts act, just like their colleagues in the car sector, on behalf of courts and insurances as well as of privat claimants; they inspect two-wheelers that were involved in accidents or that have sustained damage. It appears astonishing to Dirk Zedler still today that he has finally ended up in the bicycle branch. As in the automotive region Stuttgart his path was supposed to be clear.
Still during his schooldays he learned the fundamental terms of car technology in the business of his parents and took up automotive engineering and manufacturing technology studies at the Institute of Technolgy Karlsruhe. However, his competitive sports activities as triathlet and his part time job in a bicycle shop led him in the end to shift his professional focus, as well. Following his career entry in Ludwigsburg he remained true to the city and started his own business in 1993. Since that time his office has expanded continuously and he has opened up new business fields around the bicycle.
His main business is still the work as an expert. About 500 experts’ reports per year are drawn up in the Zedler workshop. For this purpose the bicycles or parts to be inspected are delivered by mail to the workshop. Surveys on the spot, as usual in the car sector, are not carried out. The orders are not only placed from all over Germany, but even from a few neighbouring countries, mainly from German-speaking countries. According to Zedler, about half of the turnover of about 600,000 Euro last year has been realized by the experts’ reports. The other half is being generated by a company that is legally independant from the expert office and making use of the know-how and technical developments arising from the expert work. as Zedler’s know-how has also received the attention of the bicycle industry.
Meanwhile, in the engineering laboratory parts, such as handlebars, forks or wheels are being tested for the bicycle industry before being launched on the market. The test machines necessary for this purpose are developed, built and even sold to bicycle manufacturers by Zedler himself. Furthermore, the skilled mechanical engineer makes use of his bicycle know-how by publishing. In the west end of Ludwigsburg technical documentations, i.e. user manuals, are made for the bicycle industry. Since quite a long time Zedler has been writing articles on material issues as well as the "workshop" column for a German road bike magazine. When it comes to bicycles, he is a sought-after expert or author even for other media, from daily papers over radio and TV to the German "Test" magazine. Meanwhile, his one-man-office has thus developed into a company with eleven employees.
Author: Jürgen Schmidt