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Frankfurter Allgemeine, 2013/11/25
Reading time 1:40 minutes

Stiftung Warentest – The controversy over the e-bike test continues

The German product testers (Stiftung Warentest) publicly discussed with their critics from the cycle industry. During a panel discussion the controversial e-bike test caused a stir once again.

Holger Brackemann, board member of Stiftung Warentest and responsible for the field of testing, defended the controversial e-bike test in June on the occasion of the members’ meeting of the branch association VSF (Verbund Service und Fahrrad) (…) 

More bicycle know-how 

Apart from Schaer and Brackemann, it was Dirk Zedler, certified engineer and managing director of the Zedler institute for bicycle safety, as well as Dietrich Sudikatis, managing director of the cycle specialist shop Radgeber Linden in Hanover, who took part in the discussion on the VSF stage. The latter described that directly after the publication of the tests criticised as "sensational" from various sides, there had been a lady customer who wanted to give back her e-bike. In her opinion the tests of Stiftung Warentest had revealed that such a vehicle must not be sold. 

Zedler declared that Stiftung Warentest needed more bicycle know-how. He indirectly accused the testers to conduct the test for cost reasons with a wrong frame clamping thus provoking the unusual breakage of the Flyer-frame. The fact that other frames had not broken, was a "weak argument". The following statement came from the professional audience of the discussion: "A weak frame withstands more cycles with a fix clamping, but this has nothing to do with quality." More than once it was claimed on the stage as well as by the audience that one should have tried from the part of Stiftung Warentest to validate the laboratory results in reality, f.ex. by inquiring the dealers and workshops whether cases comparable to the test results of the testers were known in practise. 

Willingness to enter into dialogue 

(…) It was stated that at the invitation of Stiftung Warentest the VSF will be represented in the advisory council for the next pedelec test meeting in December. "One has to see whether the promises of dialogue and transparency will be followed up with actions", said Herresthal.  This was an allusion to Brackemann’s promise to more cooperation on the VSF-conference vivavelo 2010. This promise was also mentioned by Dirk Zedler during the discussion: On this occasion the disclosure of test criteria had been assured. "I’m still waiting for this to happen", says Zedler in Bad Boll. 

Author: Hans-Heinrich Pardey

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